Caraway Seeds

6 Proven Health Benefits of Caraway Seeds

Caraway seeds are typically used as a popular spice to add flavor and punch to a variety dishes. Their warming, peppery flavor and fragrance make them a firm favorite in traditional European cuisine especially in the Mediterranean region.

Scientifically known as Carum carvi, caraway seeds belong to the Umbelliferae family of plants which also includes other well known spices like fennelcumin, anise and dill.

It is unsurprising therefore that caraway seeds, much like their other family members, confer a variety of health benefits to give your cooking and your health the boost it needs.



We have already mentioned what a great source of dietary fiber caraway seeds are. Adding sufficient fiber to your diet is vital for proper digestive function. It can help settle the stomach and stave off common stomach problems including indigestion, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.

The fiber found in caraway seeds helps add bulk and mass to the food you have consumed as it passes through the digestive tract making it easier to pass through the body before being excreted. They are also useful if you are one of the many people suffering from chronic stomach conditions like IBS.


Foods which are high in fiber are not only good for your digestive health but they are also believed to be good for the waistline. In the case of caraway seeds, there is scientific evidence to back up the belief.

Recent research conducted in Malaysia found that an extract made from caraway seeds helped participants not only to lose weight but also body fat and BMI.

The study was done using 70 female volunteers who were either obese or overweight but otherwise in good health. The women were separated into groups and either treated with caraway seed extract or given a placebo for 90 days. Apart from being given caraway no changes were made regarding diet or exercise.

By the end of the trial, those who took the caraway extract had lost an average of over 6 pounds compared to a slight weight gain among the placebo group. People in the caraway group also experienced considerable improvements in BMI, body fat percentage and an increase in muscle mass.

Those in the group given caraway also saw a two inch reduction in waist circumference. (1)


Foods which are rich in fiber like caraway seeds can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the body. Reducing overall and LDL cholesterol in turn reduces your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. The natural antioxidants found in caraway seeds also play a vital role in cardiac health by neutralizing the damaging effects of free radicals.


Many women suffer from extreme cramps during their period as the uterine wall contracts to shed its inner lining. While many women find relief in pharmaceuticals, there are a number of more natural treatments available that may just relieve their spasms. One of the purported uses of caraway seeds is to help women overcome the pain of spasms during menstruation.

It is a safe and natural alternative treatment and is so easy to do that it is certainly worth trying.

  1. Just add a teaspoon or so of caraway seeds to a cup of boiling water and allow it to steep.
  2. After ten or so minutes, strain the seeds away , flavor with some honey and drink up.


For the millions of people suffering from poor sleep patterns or insomnia, caraway seeds may provide a natural solution. The reason that you may get some comfort from caraway seeds is that they are high in magnesium which is linked to better quality and duration of sleep.

They also help to regulate your metabolism which can also help you to overcome sleeping issues. Try a cup of caraway tea before bed and see if it helps.

Apart from the uses listed above, caraway seeds are used for respiratory issues especially to clear coughs. They are also used to sweeten the breath and combat gum disease. An essential oil made from caraway can be applied topically to improve the appearance of the skin, scalp and hair.


Caraway seeds are available the year round in either seed or ground powder form. After buying your seeds, you should store them in a cool and dark area where they should keep well for a number of months.

Caraway seeds have a sweet, warm pepper like aroma and are a popular spice in Mediterranean cuisine. You will find a number of recipes which call for caraway or you can simply experiment and try them in your own recipes.

Caraway seeds can be used on bread, biscuits and even sprinkled on cheese or salad.

To improve your digestion or deal with menstrual pain, you can chew on the seeds but the most effective and satisfying way to take them is to make a caraway tea.

  1. Simply bring a cup of water to the boil, add a heaped teaspoon of caraway seeds and allow the mixture too steep for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Strain, sweeten as desired with honey and drink up several times a day.


Caraway grows profusely all around Europe, Northern Africa and parts of Western Asia. It is a biennial herb that blooms every other year with white or cream colored flowers. The caraway plant which grows to a height of two feet bears seeds which appear very similar to cumin seeds.

The seeds are dark brown, crescent shaped with several stripes running along the surface. The plant is harvested early in the day, bundled and allowed to dry under the sun before the seeds are threshed and extracted manually or with a machine.


Caraway seeds are extremely healthy and nutritious. They contain a wide variety of important vitamins and minerals and also act as a natural antioxidant. If you are wondering why you should be eating caraway seeds, here are some facts that may persuade you.

  • Caraway seeds contain loads of important dietary fiber. A 100 gram serving of these seeds contains a whopping 38 grams of fiber which is 100%..that’s right 100% of your recommended daily allowance of fiber. For those of you who feel you need to increase your fiber intake, look no further than the caraway seed.
  • Caraway seeds get their distinctive flavor and fragrance from chemical compounds called caveoles and carvones. These chemical compounds are largely responsible for several of the medicinal properties of the spice including its antioxidant, carminative and digestive properties.
  • Caraway seeds are a great source of diverse minerals including copper, potassium, iron, calcium, selenium, magnesium, manganese and zinc.
    • We all know that calcium has bone benefits while iron and copper are essential for the body to produce red blood cells.
    • Potassium helps our heart work effectively and to maintain both healthy blood pressure and steady heart rate.
    • Zinc has a number of important functions in the body including growth, development, digestion and sperm production.
  • Caraway seeds also provide you with a number of very important vitamins including several of the the B family of vitamins, vitamins A, C and E.
  • Caraway seeds are not only eaten. An essential oil is also made from the plant with a wide variety of health benefits. The essential oils made from caraway contain numerous chemical compounds such as limonene, pinen, carveol, thujone and aldehyde. These compounds have been well studied and are known to have many therapeutic actions including antioxidant activity and digestive benefits.


Paprika: The Antioxidant-Rich Spice that Fights Disease

Paprika - Dr. Axe

Who knew a tablespoon of red powder could contain so much goodness? Meet paprika, the pepper-based spice that helps your body steer clear of disease.

From its discovery in the New World in the 1400s to the current use around the world of this handy ingredient, paprika has been much loved since entering the scene when explorers brought some home to Europe, Africa and Asia. Hungary currently produces what’s widely known as the highest-quality paprika, and Hungarian chefs are famous for their preparation of goulash with paprika.

Recently, it’s been found that paprika not only helps your body fight inflammation and disease in general, but it may even have specific targeting to prevent and fight autoimmune conditions and certain cancers. Read further to find out more about these breakthrough discoveries and the benefits you can reap from the popular nightshade vegetable spice.

Paprika Benefits

1. Rich in Antioxidants

Perhaps the most impressive quality of paprika is the amount of antioxidantpower it packs in just one serving. Peppers and products created from them have long been understood to have disease-fighting properties, due in large part to their ability to fight oxidative stress. (1)

There are many antioxidants in paprika, including carotenoids, which are found to varying degrees in different types of paprika. (2) Carotenoids are a type of pigment found in many plants that serve the body as antioxidants, preventing damage from oxidative stress (caused by an overabundance of free radicals in the body) and helping the body fight disease. These are fat-soluble nutrients, meaning they’re absorbed best when consumed alongside a healthy fat source, such as avocado.

The carotenoids commonly found in paprika are beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and lutein/zeaxanthin. Beta-carotene has many benefits, from skin protection to respiratory health to pregnancy support. The best-known benefit of beta-cryptoxanthin is the ability to lower inflammation in disorders such as arthritis. (3) And, of course, lutein and zeaxanthin are known for their roles in the health of the eyes, helping fight off molecules that are known to cause damage that leads to conditions like macular degeneration.

In general, vitamin A is known for the way it decreases inflammation through antioxidant properties, and since inflammation is at the root of most diseases, getting enough of the nutrient is important in living a life that’s free of disease. And that’s just one of the paprika benefits.

2. Aids in Treatment for Autoimmune Conditions

A groundbreaking study conducted in 2016 found that capsaicin, the ingredient in chili peppers and other hot varieties that provide the heat — like paprika — may have incredible power against autoimmune conditions.

These often debilitating illnesses stem from the immune system attacking the host’s body. Symptoms of autoimmune diseases affect brain, skin, mouth, lungs, sinus, thyroid, joints, muscles, adrenals and gastrointestinal tract functions. However, while autoimmune disorders are not curable, this 2016 study found that capsaicin stimulates biological reactions consistent with the treatment of autoimmune disease. This could be an incredible new body of research in the search to find ways to treat disease by dietary means. (4)

3. May Help Treat and Prevent Cancer

The capsaicin found in spicy paprika isn’t useful in treating just one type of disease — it also has great potential in treating and/or preventing cancer. Operating in several different mechanisms, capsaicin seems to be responsible for altering signaling pathways that limit cancer growth and even suppress genes that tell tumors to increase in size. (5)

In particular, one paprika benefit may be its ability to protect against gastric cancer. A 2012 study of gastric cancer states, “Gastric cancer is the second most common cancer worldwide and the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths.” Over 80 percent of patients diagnosed with this form of cancer die within a year of their diagnoses or recurrence of the disease. (6)

The good news is that capsaicin has potent anti-inflammatory effects on the incidence of gastric cancer, as discovered in 2016 in early research out of Japan. (7)

There are many natural cancer treatments that have been effective in aiding treatment, so if you’re at risk of developing this disease, it’s wise to use paprika as one ingredient in a cancer-prevention lifestyle.

4. Potentially Useful in the Treatment of Diabetes

Like many nutrient-rich foods and spices, paprika seems to have the potential to help regulate blood sugar levels and assist in treating diabetes. When patients with diabetes consume paprika containing capsaicin, they better process the digestion and processing of sugars in the blood. In addition, women with diabetes also tend to birth babies too large for their gestational ages, and capsaicin supplementation decreases the incidence of this as well. (8)

5. Good for the Eyes

Because of the large amount of antioxidants present in this spice, such as vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin, it’s already clear that paprika benefits you by helping prevent diseases that damage your eyes.

In addition to these nutrients, the existence of vitamin B6 in paprika also helps keep your eyes healthy. People who consume high amounts of B6 see a slower onset of macular degeneration and other eye-related diseases, especially when consumed with large quantities of folate.

6. Keeps Your Heart Strong

Spicing up your life with paprika helps keep your heart and cardiovascular system in good shape. Vitamin B6 helps lower high blood pressure and heal damaged blood vessels. It even treats anemia by creating hemoglobin in the blood responsible for transporting oxygen through the bloodstream.

Paprika also contains capsanthin, which is touted, according to one study, as the main carotenoid in the spice. Little, however, is known about this antioxidant, especially in comparison to the other common antioxidants. As more research is done, one source found that capsanthin in paprika caused an increase in good HDL cholesterol, which is another way paprika can keep your cardiovascular system working well. (9)


What is paprika? - Dr. Axe


13 Surprising Benefits Of Cumin

The health benefits of cumin include its ability to aid in digestion, improve immunity and treat piles, insomnia, respiratory disorders, asthma, bronchitis, common cold, lactation, anemia, skin disorders, boils and cancer. cumin benefits










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Cuban Oregano

Cuban Oregano / Thyme: Culinary, Medicinal Uses and Nutrition

 Cuban Thyme Plectranthus Amboinius 1 Live Plant

Cuban oregano or plectranthus amboinicus is an herbaceous tropical plant thought to have originated in India. This herb has traditional medicinal uses in Asian cultures, and is a culinary herb that rivals oregano and thyme for its robust, aromatic, similarity of flavor.

This perennial herb, known as Cuban oregano or Spanish thyme, has a similar taste and aroma to its namesakes, but is related to neither and is actually a member of the Lamiaceae or mint family. This herb has culinary uses, predominantly, in the cuisines of Cuba, India and the Philippines. The Leaves of Cuban oregano are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties and are traditionally used in the ancient Ayurvedic medicine of India.

As with many plants, the botanical name of this herb plectranthus amboinicus gives us an indication as to its place of identification. In this case amboinicus refers to Ambon, a mountainous, fertile island located in the Maluku Islands near Indonesia. From there the plants propagation spread throughout the East Indies, Africa, and was eventually naturalized in Latin America by the Spanish, who named this herb ‘oregano de la Hoja Ancha‘. Cuban oregano can still be found growing wild in the rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia, and because it is easy to grow, and can survive considerable neglect, it is a popular house plant found worldwide.

Cuban oregano is one of 350 plant species, of the Plectranthus genus, mostly grown as ornamental house plants. This herb has velvety textured leaves and small lavender flowers in spring and summer. Varieties to look out for, for the herb or kitchen garden include; Marble, Golden Ruffles, Silver Shield, Well-Sweep Wedgewood, and also attractive variegated types.

By Peter Bilton


12 Amazing Benefits Of Capers for Skin, Hair And Health

Tangy, spicy and exotic, capers add a delightful touch to Italian dishes. Capers are mainly used as a seasoning or for garnishing. They are redolent with flavor but surprisingly have many health benefits as well. Let’s explore this flavorful ingredient and understand how including capers in our diet can have positive effects on our health

Health Benefits Of Capers:

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