The Health Benefits of Caraway Seeds

Caraway seeds are tasty and may also offer health benefits

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Caraway seeds
Caraway seeds. Getty Images/DR NEIL OVERY

Caraway seeds (Carum carvi) are a natural substance long used in cooking and in Ayurvedic medicine. Caraway seeds are typically consumed as a food or spice, but caraway oil and caraway seed powder are also sold in dietary supplement form. Some proponents suggest that consuming caraway seeds or caraway supplements can promote weight loss and offer other health benefits.

2) Diabetes

Caveats

Since caraway may lower your blood sugar, people with diabetes should be cautious when consuming high amounts of caraway. Given caraway's potential to affect blood sugar levels, it's also important to avoid consuming caraway for at least two weeks prior to undergoing surgery.

It's important to keep in mind that supplements haven't been tested for safety and dietary supplements are largely unregulated. In some cases, the product may deliver doses that differ from the specified amount for each herb. In other cases, the product may be contaminated with other substances such as metals. Also, the safety of supplements in children and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established.

Caraway seeds are available in most grocery stores. Caraway supplements are widely available for purchase online, and can also be found in many natural-foods stores and in stores specializing in dietary supplements.

Using Caraway for Health

Although it's too soon to recommend caraway supplements as a standard treatment for any health-related purpose, it's possible that including caraway seeds in your diet could help enhance your health to some degree.

If you're considering the use of caraway supplements for the treatment of a specific health condition, make sure to consult your physician before starting your supplement regimen. Self-treating a chronic condition with caraway supplements and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious health consequences.

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