Using caraway seeds in skin care is not as common as using them in diluted form for internal problems such as indigestion, gas, relief of menstrual cramps and infant colic. However, the oil of seeds has been used for centuries for some external complaints and caraway is slowly being integrated into other forms of skin care.
Caraway Seeds in Skin Care: History
Also known as Carum carvi, caraway is found in Asia and northern and central Europe. It has been used as a spice since antiquity, and is possibly the oldest spice in Europe. In addition to its flavoring in breads, cakes, soups and sauerkraut, its digestive aid capacity has been understood at least since the 17th century, and most likely many hundreds of years before.
Today, caraway seeds are still most commonly used as spices in breads and cakes, especially rye bread. And if you go to any decent organic grocery or health food store, you will find essential oils derived from caraway seeds for skin care usage or aromatic facial steams. What was true in the middle ages remains true today - caraway can be good for puffiness, so a poultice made of it will help quicken the healing process when skin is inflamed or injured.
Modern Use of Caraway Seeds
Caraway seeds can be made into a tea, but this is still best used for internal complaints. For skin care, the essential oil has been shown to have some effect in reducing boils, acne and similar eruptions. Even better, it can be effective in regenerating skin cells, thus improving the look of acne scars or dark spots.
Other uses for caraway seeds in skin care include treating oily skin, cleaning infected wounds, relieving itching (including scabies) and even tending to some scalp problems. Finally, it can be said to give a more healthful glow to pale, dull complexions.
Using Caraway in Essential Oils
As with many essential oils, caraway must not be applied directly on the skin. It should instead be mixed with a diluting or carrier oil, which are available wherever essential oils are sold, and then applied according to the dosage directions on the bottle. It is non-toxic and does not sensitize, but it can be irritating if overused, so it's best to follow the instructions exactly, or even use a bit less than suggested if you have highly sensitive skin.
Surprisingly, very few skin care products seem to include caraway, considering all the positive benefits it can have. As more and more natural skin care remedies come on to the market, it is presumed that caraway or Carum carvi will be a major ingredient.
The French company Caudalie is ahead of the curve, touting caraway as one of the ingredients in its Vinoperfect Complexion Correcting Radiance Serum. The serum contains no parabens, relying predominantly upon natural ingredients to deliver excellent moisture and rejuvenation. With caraway as one of the main active ingredients, the serum works well on acne scars, age spots, blotchiness, stretch marks and other complaints. Furthermore, it acts to prevent new dark spots from occurring. It stimulates collagen and elastin production and is oil-free. It is on the pricier side, but note that you only need to use a few drops at a time, so a one ounce bottle should last as long as three or four months. More importantly, users note a lighter, more even skin tone and uniformity in their complexion. Most people find it works quickly and is effective, making it well worth the expense.
Ancient Formulas, Modern Needs
More and more people are incorporating essential oils into their skin care routine, finding that they can work well without bringing concerns about chemical exposure. Everything old is definitely new again, and caraway seeds in skin care are sure to become more popular as they are increasingly found to be effective.