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Caraway seeds form an integral part of the Indian diet. The strong aroma of this gourmet spice is what makes it stand out in all food preparations. Thus, irrespective of the region of India that you grew up in, chances are that caraway seeds were an integral part of your childhood diet and the mere name of the same is enough to trigger pangs of nostalgia in you.
Popularly known as 'Shahi Jeera' in India, it is interesting to note that the same forms an essential constituent of Scandinavian, German and Russian cuisines as well.
Although most of us are aware of the presence of this seed in our life and its strong aroma, not many of us know the health benefits of the same. Other than its common use as a spice, in order to make the most of its health benefits, some people are known to drink it as a herbal tea.
For children who are totally against the idea of going herbal, you may include the same as seasoning in their favourite food to ensure that they get their daily dose of nutrition.
Read on to know more about the health benefits of caraway seeds and reasons why you should make them an integral part of your life.
Here are 14 health benefits of Caraway seeds:
1. Source of minerals
2. Regulates periods
3. Better digestive system
4. Improves appetite
5. Reduces pigmentation
6. Better oral hygiene
7. Kills hookworms
8. Heals open wounds
9. Cough relief
10. Source of vitamins
11. Effective facial cream
12. Deals with urinary tract infections (UTIs)
13. Keeps neurological diseases at bay
14. Reduces scalp infections
1. Source Of Minerals
Caraway seeds are a very good source of important minerals like zinc, magnesium, selenium, copper and calcium. By consuming caraway seeds on a daily basis, you ensure that all of this make their way into your diet.
This, in turn, helps generate sperm generation in men as well as controls vital body parameters like heart rate and blood pressure. The copper and iron that is present in abundance in caraway seeds help in the generation of red blood cells in the body.
2. Regulates Periods
The cause of irregular menstrual cycle in a woman may be due to a wide array of reasons. Some women have their periods more frequently than they should, whereas others have them spaced too far apart. The consumption of a small quantity of caraway seeds on a daily basis helps to keep a check on both these conditions.
Its medicinal properties are also known to help bring down the pain that is associated with the menstrual cycle in the form of period cramps. Other gynecological benefits would include improving the milk secretion in lactating mothers.
3. Better Digestive System
Modern dietary habits (that include dining at odd hours and increased consumption of junk food) make the process of digestion a bigger challenge for the human body. Since it is not possible for us to keep away from all of that, the best thing to do is to make way for caraway seeds as a part of our diet.
Caraway seeds make a very good carminative. As a result, it provides relief from flatulence and gas. It also brings down bowel spasm by easing the gut. Thus, if you do not want your stomach to bear the brunt of your unhealthy lifestyle, the best thing to do would be to opt for a daily intake of caraway seeds.
4. Improves Appetite
As normal human beings, it is a general tendency to want to eat. However, sometimes due to certain ailments or bodily conditions, a person may not feel like eating and end up suffering from a loss of appetite. This is very commonly seen in the case of cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy.
However, it is important to realize that food is the primary source of nutrition for any person (irrespective of whether he is a patient or a healthy human being). Thus, by not having proper quantity of food, it will be very difficult to fight the disease-causing ailments.
In such a situation, caraway seeds are a boon, as they help to increase the appetite in case of patients suffering from loss of appetite.
5. Reduces Pigmentation
Due to the increasing amount of pollution in the air, people are more prone to pigmentation. This is all the way popular in women over 40. To them, pigmentation is one of the first signs of ageing. On the other hand, in case of younger women, acne and pimples are among the common skin care problems.
Some women have skin types that are prone to the occurrence of boils. Caraway seeds help to tackle all these skin care problems. They are also known to regenerate skin cells and thereby make a person look younger than her actual years.
6. Better Oral Hygiene
As most of us are well aware, caraway seeds have a pungent aroma and a taste that is slightly bitter than cumin seeds. The combined effect of these two properties is the fact that putting a few seeds in the mouth for a few minutes (and not chewing the same) will help reduce bad breath. This will make you feel much fresher and will keep away the occurrence of gum diseases as well.
7. Kills Hookworms
Caraway seeds play a very crucial role in the overall strengthening of the stomach. This makes them capable of dealing with minor infection-causing agents and not allowing the same to have an effect on the body.
Other than that, its anthelmintic properties play a very important role in killing hookworms in the stomach itself. This ensures that the hookworms do not cause any infection in the body. Carvone is an essential ingredient in caraway oil. Its anthelmintic properties are among the best that is available in nature and can effectively kill intestinal parasites.
8. Heals Open Wounds
Caraway seeds have excellent antiseptic properties. In order to make the most of it, what you can do is to mix it with some mild carrier oil. An ideal choice in this regard would be that of olive oil. You can then wash the wound with clean water and after drying the same apply the oil tincture over it. This will ensure that the wound heals faster.
9. Cough Relief
Cough is another condition wherein the cause of occurrence of the same is varied. It is usually accompanied by throat pain and sore throat. If the cough that you are suffering from is dry in nature (that is, there is no mucus release) one of the most effective ways of dealing with the same would be by boiling 6 to 7 caraway seeds in a glass of water and then consuming the same while it is still hot.
Ideally, this type of herbal tea should be consumed twice a day in order to bring down the cough.
10. Source Of Vitamins
Caraway seeds are an excellent source of vitamins A, E and C. Many vitamins that belong to the B-complex group are also found in these. Thus, the consumption of these seeds is highly recommended for people suffering from vitamin deficiency.
11. Effective Facial Cream
Most of the facial creams that are available in the market are filled with tonnes of harmful chemicals. By using the essential oils extracted out of caraway seeds as a facial cream, you not only disinfect your skin, but also effectively tackle the occurrence of fine lines and wrinkles. This will give your skin a natural glow and the natural aroma of caraway seeds will make you feel much fresher.
12. Deals With Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Urinary tract infections are difficult to deal with because of the fact that they happen in a very sensitive area and any form of medication (or application of ointment) on those areas will do you more harm than good.
In such a situation, one of the best ways to deal with UTI is the regular consumption of caraway seeds. Caraway seeds contain components like crypto-xanthin and zea-xanthin that help to bring down the infection in a very natural way.
13. Keeps Neurological Diseases At Bay
Caraway seeds are filled with the goodness of several flavonoid antioxidants. As a result, they are effective in removing free radicals from the human body. This protects the body from a number of neurological disorders like Parkinson's ailments, etc.
14. Reduces Scalp Infections
Caraway seeds are rich in essential oils. The essential oils that are present in caraway seeds have antiseptic properties and are hence the perfect solution to a host of scalp problems. These days, a lot of people complain about hair loss due to some form of scalp infection. Caraway seeds help to take care of all of that.
Pestering conditions like the presence of dandruff or lice can be tackled by the same. People using the same note a significant improvement in the texture of their hair. There is little or no side effect of caraway seeds on the hair.