Caraway Seed CO2-to
- Distillation Method: CO2-to
- Country of Origin: Europe
- Plant Part: Seed
- Latin Name: Carum carvi
- Cultivation: Naturally Grown
About the Oil: Caraway, supercritical CO2 distilled in Europe from Caraway Seeds. This is a truly fine oil, smelling like a fresh loaf of rye bread. It is an excellent addition to digestive formulas and blends for the respiratory system.
Note: CO2 extracts generally include some larger molecules compared to their steam-distilled counterparts. Some may not be suitable for use in a nebulizing diffuser (unless blended with a thinner oil) – though most will be just fine in an ‘ultrasonic’ unit. Learn more about CO2 extracts on our Making Essential Oils page.
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About The Plant
Caraway is a multi-branched biennial herb that stands less than a meter in height and is part of the Umbelliferae family. This family contains over 3,000 species throughout the world with an unusual concentration of healing plants such as Angelica, Anise, Carrot, and Parsley. Native to Europe, Siberia, and North Africa, Caraway has been used by humans for over 8,000 years.
About The Oil
This Caraway essential oil is extracted from naturally grown Carum carvi seeds using a low temperature CO2 process. This distillation method retains all the therapeutic properties of this complex oil.
Caraway seed has been used for centuries as a spice in bread making, cheese making, cured meats, pickles, sauces and seasonings. The ancient Romans were noted for using it. Herbal lore has it that a regular intake of caraway oil is said to protect from all ailments and diseases and keep one healthy and young.
THERAPEUTICS DESCRIBED BY AROMATHERAPY SPECIALISTS
From Salvatore Battaglia’s The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy1:
Promotion of breast milk
From Julia Lawless’ The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils2:
From Len Price’s Aromatherapy for Health Professionals3:
Digestif & aperitif ingredient
Tonic & warming
PROPERTIES OF CARAWAY REPORTED IN PEER-REVIEWED RESEARCH
SUMMARY OF RESEARCH STUDIES
Caraway extract was shown to lower blood lipid levels in rats and reduce hyperlipidemia, which is a primary factor in cardiovascular disease.5
A study in rats showed that both caraway and tansy “have strong diuretic action confirming their ethnopharmacological use.”6
Caraway was found to have strong antioxidant activity in vitro and to protect against liver toxicity and damage in animal models.7
Caraway oil exhibited significant antifungal and antibacterial activity against food contaminants, spoilage fungi, and pathogenic bacteria.8
An experimental study showed that ingested doses of caraway prevented the development of colon cancer in rats.9
Rats administered with caraway extract before being exposed to environmental stressors showed reduced stress reactions and showed higher cognitive performance than those not given caraway. The researchers suggest that these results provide support for caraway’s “traditional use as a culinary spice in foods as beneficial and scientific in combating stress-induced disorders.”10
Inhalation of the oil through a diffuser is recommended for respiratory issues and as a psychological aid. It can help establish grounding and stability, boost self confidence as well as counteract mental and emotional fatigue.
Dilute Caraway essential oil for use on the reflex points of the feet for the digestive system or respiratory system. This application is excellent for children. Also use in formulas for massage of the digestive and/or chest area.
This essential oil of Caraway is light in viscosity and pale clear yellow in color. The aroma has a distinct, freshly green and seedy top note, a white pepper middle note with a slightly roasted undertone.
It is reminiscent of anise and freshly-baked German rye bread and blends well with Cinnamon, Coriander, Frankincense, Ginger, Basil, Jasmine, Cinnamon, Lavender, Tangerine, and Cassia. However, the aroma can be overpowering for oils with more subtle aromas.
Caraway seed oil is considered non-toxic and non-sensitizing, however it should not be used on the skin undiluted as it has been known to irritate mucous membranes. Always test a small amount first for sensitivity or allergic reaction.
1. Battaglia, Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. International Centre of Holystic Aromatherapy, 2003.
2. Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils in Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health & Well-Being. Fall River Press, 2014.
3. Price, Len. Aromatherapy for Health Professionals. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2011
4. Johri, R.K. “Cuminum Cyminum and Carum Carvi: An Update.” Pharmacognosy Reviews, vol. 5, no. 9, 2011, pp. 63–72., doi:10.4103/0973-7847.79101.
5. Agrahari, P. and Singh, D. K. “A Review on the Pharmacological Aspects of Carum carvi.” Journal of Biology and Earth Sciences, [S.l.], vol. 4, n0. 1, pp. M1-M13, Feb. 2014. ISSN 2084-3577.
6. Lahlou, Sanaa, et al. “Diuretic Activity of the Aqueous Extracts of Carum Carvi and Tanacetum Vulgare in Normal Rats.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 110, no. 3, 2007, pp. 458–463., doi:10.1016/j.jep.2006.10.005.
7. Samojlik, Isidora, et al. “Antioxidant and Hepatoprotective Potential of Essential Oils of Coriander (Coriandrum Sativum L.) and Caraway (Carum Carvi L.) (Apiaceae).” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol. 58, no. 15, 7 July 2010, pp. 8848–8853., doi:10.1021/jf101645n.
8. Simic, A., et al. “Essential Oil Composition of Cymbopogon Winterianus. and Carum Carvi. and Their Antimicrobial Activities.” Pharmaceutical Biology, vol. 46, no. 6, 2008, pp. 437–441., doi:10.1080/13880200802055917.
9. Kamaleeswari, Muthaiyan, et al. “Effect of Dietary Caraway (Carum Carvi L.) on Aberrant Crypt Foci Development, Fecal Steroids, and Intestinal Alkaline Phosphatase Activities in 1,2-Dimethylhydrazine-Induced Colon Carcinogenesis.” Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, vol. 214, no. 3, 2006, pp. 290–296., doi:10.1016/j.taap.2006.01.001.
10. Koppula, Sushruta, and Dong Kug Choi. “Cuminum Cyminumextract Attenuates Scopolamine-Induced Memory Loss and Stress-Induced Urinary Biochemical Changes in Rats: A Noninvasive Biochemical Approach.” Pharmaceutical Biology, vol. 49, no. 7, July 2011, pp. 702–708., doi:10.3109/13880209.2010.541923.