Caraway has a long history of use as a “carminative,” an herb said to relieve gas pain. Mentions of caraway for digestive problems can be found in Egyptian records, and the herb has been used in Europe for this purpose since at least the Middle Ages. The seeds, or their essential oil , are the part of the plant used medicinally
What is Caraway Used for Today?
Only double-blind , placebo-controlled studies can prove a treatment effective, and thus far such studies have not been performed on caraway alone. (For more information on why such studies are essential, see Why Does This Database Rely on Double-blind Studies? ) However, a few double-blind studies have been reported on combination products containing caraway oil for the treatment of dyspepsia (non-specific stomach distress).
Caraway oil is said to be helpful for irritable bowel syndrome . Teas made from caraway are recommend for periodontal disease and canker sores . However, there is no meaningful supporting evidence for any of these uses.
Caraway is generally regarded as safe when used in recommended doses. However, essential oils can be toxic to very young children, and excessive doses could be dangerous for adults as well. Maximum safe dosages in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease have not been established.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 07/2012 -
- Update Date: 07/25/2012 -