Modern studies tend to confirm traditional claims that caraway oil, especially when it is combined with peppermint oil, can support stomach upset. Other claims remain unsubstantiated, but given the extremely low toxicity of caraway oil, there is no reason not to try it. Even if taking caraway does provide support for stomach upset, persistent symptoms require medical evaluation.
Often called by its German name, kümmel or kuemmel, this plant's crescent-shaped seeds are reputed to strengthen the memory and to help avoid lovers from being fickle. The ancient Greeks prescribed caraway tea for pale young girls in the belief that it would bring color to their cheeks. Caraway seeds flavor kümmel liqueurs, which many people make themselves by steeping 2 tablespoons crushed caraway seeds and 1 cup powdered sugar in 1 pint brandy. This mixture is shaken daily for a week, after which it is strained and ready to drink. Caraway tea is believed to help stimulate appetite and digestion, to promote the onset of menstruation, to help support uterine cramps, and to help increase lactation. It can also be tried to help support flatulent colic in infants and as a stomach settler for those who have taken nausea-inducing supplements.
Plant Facts and Growing Tips
Plant: Biennial, hardy to -30°F (-34°C). It has delicate, lacy foliage, similar to that of the carrot, which grows on a hollow stem. The white, carrot-shaped root is sometimes eaten as a vegetable. Flat, umbrella-like clusters of greenish white flowers appear in May and June on stems that rise above the foliage. The seeds (fruit) are dark brown, oblong, and flattened. You must gather them after they have ripened but before they fall to the ground.
Height: 2 feet.
Soil: Neutral, well drained.
Exposure: Full sun.
Propagation: By seeds planted 1/4 inch deep during the third or fourth lunar phase in fall or spring. Germination is slow. Fall sowing will yield plants the following year. Spring planting will delay seed formation until the second year.
Care: Keep plants 8 inches apart. The seeds ripen unevenly, and care must be taken to harvest them regularly. In cold climates, protect the plant with mulch in winter.
Part Used for Tea: Seeds.
Taste: Warm, sweet, bit ing.
How to Brew
Seeds - By Infusion: Grind or crush 1 teaspoon seed. Cover with 1 cup boiling water and steep to taste.
Seeds - By Decoction: Use 2 teaspoons seeds to 1 cup boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain.
Toby's Tummy Tea
Toby Chamberlain of California, a distributor of little vellum tea bags for those who grow and package their own teas, recommends this blend:
1 teaspoon dried alfalfa leaves
1 teaspoon dried peppermint leaves
1/2 teaspoon crushed caraway seeds
Infuse all ingredients in 1 cup boiling water. Steep 5 to 8 minutes, or to taste.
User Group Forum
Share your questions and information with the ZooScape community!
Be the first to post!
Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 tea bag for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the pot, cover and let steep for 2-4 minutes. Pour into your cup; add milk and sugar to taste.
Iced tea brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 5 tea bags into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea itself. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into the serving pitcher straining the tea bags. Add ice and top-up with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste.
More Photographs - Caraway Seed (Certified Organic) Tea
End of More Photographs - Caraway Seed (Certified Organic) Tea
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease. If conditions persist, please seek advice from your medical doctor. Information provided at ZooScape.com relies partly on Traditional Uses. The essence of the current American rule on Traditional Uses is, as stated by FTC, "Claims based on historical or traditional use should be substantiated by confirming scientific evidence, or should be presented in such a way that consumers understand that the sole basis for the claim is a history of use of the product for a particular purpose."