• The Fantastic Spices World
  • The Fantastic Spices World
  • The Fantastic Spices World
  • The Fantastic Spices World

CARAWAY ( Carum carvi L. )
Names in Other Languages:

English Caraway, Wild cumin, Carvies, Carroway
French Cumin des prés, Carvi, Grains de carvi
German Kümmel
Spanish Alcaravea, Carvi
Italian Cumino tedesco, Carvi, Caro
Turkish Frenk kimyonu, Karaman kimyonu
Japanese 姫茴香 Himeuikyō

FAMILY: Apiaceae

ORIGIN:   : Central Europe to Asia and it is indigenous to Europe. It is cultivated in Finland, the Netherlands, Eastern Europe and Germany, furthermore North Africa, particularly Egypt as well.

Dried caraway fruits


Caraway is the mature, dried schizocarpic fruit and each schizocarpic fruit is formed of two caraway seeds and divides into the two half-fruits when mature. These are 3 - 7 mm long, 1.5 - 2 mm wide, crescent-shaped, pointed at both ends, dark brown and have 5 yellowish ridges. The umbels are cut shortly before they reach maturity and dried.

USEFUL PARTS: Fruits are used.

SENSORY PROPERTIES: Strongly aromatic and warm.


Caraway fruits may contain 3% to 7% essential oil. The aroma of the oil is mostly dominated by carvone (50 to 85%) and limonene (20 to 30%); the other components carveol, dihydrocarveol, α- and β-pinene, sabinene and perillyl alcohol are of much minor importance. The seeds contain from 4 to 7 per cent of volatile oil, according to the variety of caraway fruit. Caraway grown in more northerly latitudes is richer in essential oil than that grown in southern regions, and if grown in full sun a greater percentage and a richer oil is obtained. The exhausted seed, after the distillation of the oil, contains a high percentage of protein and fat, and is used as a cattle food.

The composition of caraway seed per 100g of spice:

Moisture: 4.5 %
Protein: 7. 6 %
Fat: 8.8 %
Fiber: 25.2 %
Carbohydrates: 50.2 %
Total ash: 3.7 %
Calcium: 1.0 %
Phosphorus: 0.11 %
Sodium: 0.02 %
Potassium: 1.9 %
Iron: 0.09 %
Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 0.38 mg/100g.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 0.38 mg/100g.
Niacin: 8.1 mg/100g.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid): 12.0 mg/100g.
Vitamin A: 580 I.U, Calorific value (food energy):465

Source: http://www.indianetzone.com/1/caraway.htm


Caraway is a controversial spice, appearing dominant and unpleasant to those who are not accustomed to it. Use of the ground spice or the fruits in bouquet garni removed after cooking is a compromise. Caraway is widely used for flavouring bread, biscuits, cakes and cheese. Caraway or "Caraway seed" is popular for its commercial purpose. This fruit is known as seed because they look like seed. Caraway seed oil is also used for scenting of soaps.


Both fruit and oil of caraway has aromatic, stimulant and carminative properties. Caraway is recommended in dyspepsia and symptoms attending hysteria and other disorders. It possesses some tonic property and forms a pleasant stomachic. Its former extensive employment in medicine has much decreased in recent years, and the oil and fruit are now principally employed as adjuncts to other medicines as corrective or flavouring agents, combined with purgatives. For flatulent indigestion, however, from 1 to 4 drops of the essential oil of Caraway given on a lump of sugar, or in a teaspoonful of water, will be found efficacious. Distilled Caraway water is considered a useful remedy in the flatulent colic of infants, and is an excellent vehicle for children's medicine. When sweetened, its flavour is agreeable. Carvone isolated from caraway oil is used as anthelmintic in hookworm disease. Caraway oil is used chiefly for flavouring purposes and in medicine as a carminative. The bruised seeds, pounded with the crumb of a hot new loaf and a little spirit to moisten, was an old-fashioned remedy for bad earache. The powder of the seeds, made into a poultice could take away bruises.