Carum Carvi (Carui), Linne. (The dried ripe fruit, with not more than 3 p.c. of other fruits, seeds or foreign organic matter, yielding not more than 1.5 p.c. acid-insoluble ash.)

Habitat. C. And W. Asia, Himalayas, Caucasus, Europe, Siberia; cultivated in England, Norway, Russia, Germany, Holland, Morocco, United States.

Syn. Caraway Seed (Fruit), Carawayseed, Caravies; Br. Carui Fructus; Fr. Carui, Carvi, Cumin des Pres; Ger. Fructus Carvi, Kummel, Gemeiner Kummel.

Ca'rum. L. Careum, fr. Gr. Kapov, after Caria, in Asia Minor -- i.e., its original habitat. Carui was the name used by medieval pharmacists for the drug.

Car'vi. L. For carvy, carvey. Ar. Karawya, Eng. Caraway. Here frequently the word Carui is used, thus assimilating L. Gen., as though for Carui Semina.

Plant

Biennial herb; stem .3-1 M. 1-3 degrees) high, hollow; leaves bi-or tripinnate, deeply incised; flowers May-June, small, white, no involucre; root fleshy, fusiform, white.

Fruit

cremocarp, usually in 2 separated mericarps; curved, tapering, toward both ends, 3-7 Mm. (1/8-1/4') long, 2 Mm, (1/12') broad, dark brown, 5 yellow filiform ribs, dorsal surface 4 vittae, commissural surface 2, endosperm large, oily; odor and taste aromatic.

Powder

yellowish-brown--outer epidermal cells characterized by a waviness and striping of the cuticle; endosperm cells containing aleurone grains with the embedded rosette aggregates; tracheae, lignified fibers, oil tubes. Solvents: alcohol; water partially. Dose, gr. 10-30 (.6-2 Gm.).

Adulterations

Allied and occasionally exhausted (drawn) fruits--having shriveled appearance; seeds of weeds-- usually yielding starch in the powder; dirt -- showing excess of ash.

Commercial

Fruit ripens in the 2d year, August, when the plant is cut down, dried, and thrashed on cloth. There are five varieties: 1, Holland (Dutch), finest; 2, German; 3, English, shortest ; 4, Mogador, longest, lightest; 5, American, the result of home cultivation in gardens, being quite aromatic but smaller than the German, these two constituting nearly our total supply; yield 8-10 hundred-weight per acre; root, resembling that of parsnip, is employed as food in N. Europe.

Constituents

Volatile oil 5-7 p.c., fixed oil, resin, tannin, sugar, gum, ash 5-8 p.c.; no starch.

Oleum Cari Oil of Caraway, U.S.P. -- (Syn., Ol. Cari., Caraway Oil; Br. Oleum Carui; Fr. Essence de Carvi; Ger. Oleum Carvi, Kummelol, Carvon.) This volatile oil, obtained by steam distillation from the dried ripe fruit, should yield not less than 50 p.c. of carvone, and is a colorless, pale yellow liquid, characteristic odor and taste, soluble in 8 vols. of 80 p.c. alcohol, sp. gr. 0.905, dextrorotatory; contains a ketone -- carvone (d-carvone, carvol), CHO, at least 50 (50-65) p.c., a terpene -- carvene (d-carvene, citrene, hesperidene, d-limonene), CH, 35-50 p.c., and an alcohol, CHOH, etc.  Carvone may be obtained by treating the oil with alcoholic solution of ammonium sulphide, decomposing the resulting crystals with potassium hydroxide; it is a viscid, yellowish, oily liquid, creosote odor and taste, closely related to menthol and myristicol, identical with thymol, cuminic alcohol and carvacrol, this latter being the product of distilling a mixture of caraway oil and potassium or sodium hydroxide (thus expelling carvene), decomposing residue with sulphuric acid, rectifying; useful in toothache, by inserting it into cavity.  Should be kept cool, dark, in well-stoppered, amber-colored bottles.  Dose, mij-5 (.13-.3 cc.).

Preparations

Fruit

1, Tinctura Cardamomi Composita, 1.2 p.c.  OIL: 1.  Mistura Caminative, N.F., 1/20 p.c.  2.  Spiritus Cardamomi Compositus, N.F. 1/20 p.c.

Unoff. Preps.:  FRUIT: Fluidextract, mx-30 (.6-2 cc.).  Infusion, 5 p.c., 3j-2 (30-60 cc.).  Water (Br.), 100 Gm. + water 2000 cc., distil 1000 cc.  OIL: Spirit.

Properties

Carminative, stimulant, diuretic, stomachic.

Uses

Flatulent colic, especially of infants, corrective to nauseous purgatives, flavoring, toothache (carvacrol), as a spice in cakes, bread, etc.  The oil is used mostly, which acts externally like other essential oils, as an anesthetic, etc.