Cumin seed

Caraway fruits of ordinary Kümmels called colloquially (Carum carvi). Originally the cumin in Asia is, he is now widespread but also in Europe and North Africa.

The caraway is a plant that makes a leaf rosette in the first year, from the second year but drives out a flower stems with fine feathery leaves, which can grow up to one metre high. The small white pink flowers grow in umbels of double. Its aromatic fragrance and taste are typical of the caraway seeds. The caraway should not be confused with the cumin, the black cumin or other, partly toxic Umbellifers.

The young leaves and the root of Kümmels can be used as soups. It is also used for vodka and liqueur production. The Caraway and essential oils therefrom be used medically. Manufactured is the drug most of them in the eastern part of Germany, as well as in Poland, Egypt, and Holland.

Effects and ingredients

Caraway seeds contains an essential oil consisting for the most part of the odour-determining component Carvone and different terpenes such as limonene. The main effects of Kümmels are attributed to them. Still, fat oil, polysaccharides, proteins, coumarins and flavonoids are included.

The essential oil is antispasmodic in the gastro intestinal tract and digestion-promoting. Also, caraway causes an increased release of bile acids, stimulates gastric juice production and promotes the appetite. Carvone has an inhibitory effect on bacteria and fungi.

Areas of application

Cumin is used for the treatment of indigestion with mild cramps in the stomach-intestinal area, Völlegefühlen and flatulence. Often seed preparations are used in Pediatrics. Other applications of Kümmels be Gurgelmittel or externally as Liniments to promote blood flow. In addition, caraway is traditionally as a condiment and for the preparation of hard digestible or blähung-promoting food, such as various types of cabbage and fresh bread, used.

In folk medicine, cumin is applied in addition of breastfeeding mothers, to promote milk production. Cumin can be used in cough, dental and headache, as well as for relief of menstrual cramps. An effectiveness is however not proven.

Dosage and application

Cumin can be applied in the form of a tea, or as a pure essential oil. Essential oils are characterized by slightly volatile ingredients, have a characteristic smell and taste aromatic, bitter or sharp. The daily intake should not exceed 1,5 to 6 g cumin.

Tea: A half teaspoon (1, 5-2 g) dried and crushed caraway with a cup of boiling water and pour over and covered to go 10 to 15 min. Daily cups warm seed tea between meals should be consumed two or three. Because the essential oils are slightly volatile, it is important to prepare the tea fresh each time and to cover while dragging.

When you use of the essential oil one to two drops on sugar should be taken up to three times a day. The drug should be cool and be kept away from light.

Often, cumin is part of the digestive Darmmittel and dairy education teas contained plants along with other essential oils. Because of its anti-microbial effect, it is used to also most.


Long-term and high-dose use of caraway seeds can lead to kidney and liver damage. Also caraway should be taken not with a hypersensitivity to caraway or other Apiaceen such as celery, carrots, parsley, anise, cumin or coriander.

During pregnancy or breastfeeding advice a doctor should be sought prior to treatment with Caraway. Use as a spice seems but harmless.

Acute complaints that continue over a week despite treatment, or always return, a doctor should be sought.

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