Caraway, otherwise called field anise, belongs to the Celery family. In vivo occurs in Central Asia, Asia Minor, North America, Western Europe. Gained distribution in Russia in the forest-steppe and steppe zones of the European part, also growing in Kazakhstan and southern Siberia.
Caraway seeds were grown in Asia Minor in the 8th century as a melliferous and spicy aromatic plant. Essential oil from it began to be produced in the 16th century. Caraway came to Europe in the 19th century, and is currently cultivated in Hungary, Holland, Denmark and the Scandinavian countries, in the USA.
Anise field is a biennial or sometimes perennial plant. In the domestic flora, there are about 10 varieties of wild anise, but in Russia and European countries only caraway seeds are grown in culture.
The first vegetation period is characterized by the formation of a fleshy and powerful spindle-shaped root and a basal rosette consisting of 8-15 leaves. The following year, a peduncle with white flowers and umbrellas is formed, less often plants with lilac-pink flowers are observed. The fruit is a two-seeded oblate flattened ovoid. The fruit tastes spicy, has a characteristic smell. When ripe, it is easily divided into two halves. From 1 square meter, about 50-100 g of seeds are collected, which are both a spice used in cooking and a medicine.
Features of growing caraway seeds on the site
Caraway is a thermophilic plant, and therefore you should choose a well-lit place and sunny. Strong shading can lead to the fact that in the second year of its life, caraway seeds will not bloom and bear fruit only in the third year of vegetation. Cumin is a frost-resistant plant that can withstand up to -25 degrees Celsius even in snowless winters in the rosette phase. Seed germination occurs at a temperature of +7 degrees.
It is believed that caraway seeds are quite unpretentious to soils, but nevertheless gives the most preference to the earth with fertile, rich organic matter.
Sowing can be both early spring and summer. If sowing takes place in July, it is necessary to ensure a sufficient amount of moisture. In such conditions, the plant will be able to safely form a rosette and winter well, especially if it grows in the southern region. Before sowing, DachaDecor recommends soaking the seeds for a day in water, changing the water from time to time. This will help accelerate the germination of sprouts.
The distance between the beds is better to keep at 50-60 cm, and square. a meter in this way will take about 1.5-2 g of seeds. The sowing depth should be 2.5-3 cm for medium-sized granulometric soils, and for 3.5-4 - on light and sandy loam.
In the first year of life, all care for caraway seeds consists in regular weeding and cultivation. If severe drought is observed, then additional watering is desirable. This will provide the opportunity to form a large number of anise leaves and will become the key to a good harvest for next year.
Caraway fruit ripening occurs in July in the second year. When ripening, the fruits become brown, it is then that harvesting should begin. Seeds are easily showered, and therefore the ripening of the fruits is uneven. In this regard, one should not expect full ripening of all fruits, but cut them off with a sickle or secateurs while drilling about 35-40% of the fruits on the plant. We advise you to pay attention to one small trick: it is best to remove caraway seeds in the early morning, when the dew has not yet dried. So the seeds will last longer and not crumble. After that, everything is laid out on paper or tarpaulin in a well-ventilated room. After complete drying, the fruits are threshed.
Two varieties are most popular in Russia: Podolsky 9 and Khmelnitsky 1180. They are characterized by high contents of essential oil, high yield.
Caraway and all about it
Useful properties of caraway seeds
Caraway seeds were found by archaeologists at the Neolithic sites, which indicates its use by people more than 8 thousand years ago. The ancient Egyptians used it to organize rituals, as well as to improve digestion. For fresh breath after eating, the Romans chewed it. And in India, caraway is still served with sugar after a meal. Some people believe that fumigation with caraway smoke can get rid of the evil eye.
Caraway essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of dry powdered fruits. In this case, the output is about 3.2-6% of the oil. Fatty oil in fruits contains about 22%, protein - 15-20%. In addition, the fruits contain triterpine compounds, sitosterol, quercetin, tannins and camperol.
But why is cumin essential oil so useful? This substance has an antispasmodic effect on the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, it is often used for colitis, flatulence, digestive disorders and gastritis. Cumin is often recommended to improve lactation in breast-feeding women. It is also a good remedy for joint diseases.
Diluted oil is often used as a rubbing agent for colds, intestinal and skin diseases (applied internally).
Also, according to Barnaulov O.D., cumin can be used as a prophylaxis for the appearance of sclerosis and hemorrhagic strokes. It is very effective in patients with diabetes, atherosclerosis, and hypertensive "black flies."
Caraway seeds are used as medicinal raw materials in many countries of the world. Already in 152, it was recommended by the scientist Kulpeper as an excellent tool for getting rid of bloating and a diuretic.
Now the plant is used as an antispasmodic for improper digestion, gas formation, enteritis, intestinal colic and fermentative dyspepsia.
Together with other means, caraway seeds have a beneficial effect on improving digestion and appetite. So, to stimulate appetite, folk remedies advise using cumin powder on the tip of a knife before eating for 20-30 minutes.
Cumin is also a recognized milk product, which successfully combines with dill and fennel in the form of tea to increase lactation 30 minutes before feeding the baby. To make such tea you need 1 spoon of caraway seeds and a mixture with other plants. The powder is poured into a glass of hot water, insisted for 15-20 minutes in an enameled bowl, then used inside.
Cumin in cooking: not just buns
Cumin has been known as a spicy aromatic plant for a very long time. Its oil was used in the medical and food industry, perfumes and soap making, in medicine.
Also, caraway fruits are popular in baking. The fleshy roots of the plant and its young leaves are widespread in cooking, as seasonings. Ground seeds are used for cooking dishes that are not subject to heat treatment: pastes, cheeses, salads. Some seeds are added to soups. Fermented cabbage with caraway seeds has a wonderful aroma, and sulfur cookies with caraway seeds are a great addition to beer. We recommend learning about calendula and its beneficial properties.
Also, caraway with garlic is just the necessary ingredients in the preparation of lamb, and all thanks to the oil contained in it. Dried caraway plants, plucked during flowering, are often used in veterinary medicine.