Caraway is used for digestive problems including heartburn, bloating, gas, loss of appetite, and mild spasms of the stomach and intestines. Caraway oil is also used to help people cough up phlegm, improve control of urination, kill bacteria in the body, and relieve constipation.
Caraway is used in mouthwashes and in skin rubs to improve local blood flow.
In foods, caraway is used as a cooking spice.
In manufacturing, caraway oil is used to flavor certain medications. It is also commonly used as a fragrance in toothpaste, soap, and cosmetics.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for…
- Heartburn, when used in combination with other herbs. Taking caraway oil as part of a specific combination with peppermint oil (Enteroplant, Spitzner Arzneimittel) seems to relieve heartburn, including symptoms of fullness and mild gastrointestinal (GI) spasms, about as well as a drug called cisapride. This peppermint oil/caraway oil combination is not available in the US. Another combination product that contains caraway plus clown’s mustard plant, peppermint leaf, German chamomile, licorice, milk thistle, angelica, celandine, and lemon balm (Iberogast, Medical Futures, Inc) also seems to improve symptoms of upset stomach. This combination seems to significantly help acid stomach, cramping, nausea, and vomiting.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for…
- Asthma. Early research suggests that drinking tea containing chamomile, saffron, anise, fennel, caraway, licorice, cardamom, and black seed twice daily for 6 months reduces symptoms of allergic asthma, including sleep discomfort and coughing.
- Poor appetite.
- Spasms of stomach and intestines.
- Menstrual cramps.
- Poor blood flow.
- Starting menstruation.
- Increasing milk flow in nursing mothers.
- Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of caraway for these uses.