How to Use Medicinal Herbs: Caraway

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Having a pungent, licorice-like flavor, caraway is a favorite herb among both cooks and herbalists, as this common household spice is a powerhouse of nutrition and taste. Although several portions of this plant can be used, caraway seeds – or, more accurately, the fruits – are the most common portion, and it's easy to see why, as the majority of its nutritional value can be found in the small, curved, brown achenes.

Caraway As a Supplement

Pill form supplements can be tricky to find; however, if you are willing to get kind of creative, you can easily make them yourself. For instance, if you purchase an inexpensive bag of gel caps, you can fill them with either caraway seeds or food grade oils. Tinctures are also available, and a little easier to find than pill form caraway supplements.

Caraway in Liquid Form

Aside from dried herbs, one of the most common ways to get a good dose of this plant is through food grade oils. These oils can be consumed alone or mixed in with foods or other oils. You can also make a delightful caraway tea by mixing the dried herb with other complementary herbs and spices, like peppermint, cinnamon, or rosemary.

Caraway in Homemade Beauty Concoctions

Caraway oil is extensively used in commercial beauty and hygiene products like toothpaste and soap. Given this fact, it is not surprising that there are a plethora of ways to utilize this herb at home. For instance, you can mix it in with aloe vera gel and baking soda to create a homemade toothpaste or mouth wash, or it may be mingled with olive oil to create an anti-acne skin lotion. You can also place the oil directly on the skin or scalp to relieve itchiness or heal wounds.

Caraway in Recipes

Caraway makes for an incredibly versatile kitchen herb. Though it is regularly baked into breads, muffins and pastries, it can also be used to make a batter for chicken, or to add some zing to a salad or soup. Additionally, this herb is a favorite among cheese enthusiasts. If you have never paired the two, give this recipe a try:

Sweet and Spicy Caraway Cheese Balls


Ingredients:


3 teaspoons of caraway seeds

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

2 tablespoons of olive oil

6 ounces of softened cream cheese

1 pound of shredded cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon of spicy mustard

Steps:


1. Start by beating the cream cheese until it extra soft and fluffy.

2. Though it may be tempting to continue beating the cheese, go ahead and step back, then stir in the mustard, the nutmeg, and one tablespoon of caraway seeds.

3. Next, go back to beating the cream cheese, and while you are at it, throw in the cheddar cheese and vegetable oil. Make sure that everything is well mixed -- you want to be certain that you can taste all of the lovely spices!

4. Take a small handful of your cheese mixture and shape it into a ball.

5. Roll the cheese balls into the remaining caraway seeds until well coated.

6. Wrap the cheese balls in plastic, and stick them in the fridge for a minimum of four hours, or until they are firm.

This recipe is actually fairly mild and sweet. If you prefer something more spicy than sweet, you can also add some horseradish or paprika into the cheese mixture.

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Comments 3 comments

hecate-horus profile image

hecate-horus 4 years ago from Rowland Woods

I love learning about different herbs and their uses. Thanks for the interesting hub!


mvaivata profile image

mvaivata 4 years ago Author

Thank you for your comment, hecate-horus! I'm really excited to get to share this information.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

I love the flavor of caraway seeds. Your cheese ball recipe sounds good. Thanks! I had no idea that it was used in other ways in addition to its uses in recipes.

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