Carirm Carvi (Carui),
Syn. Carawayseed, Caraway Seed (Fruit), Carvies; Br. Carui Fructus; Fr. Carui, Carvi, Cumin des Pres; Ger. Fructus Carvi, Kummel, Gemeiner Kummel.
Ca'rum. L. careum, fr. Gr.
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°) high, hollow; leaves bi- or tripinnate, deeply incised; flowers May-June, small, white, no involucre; root fleshy, fusiform, white. Fruit, cremocarp, oblong, brownish, 2-seeded; mericarps 2, usually separate, crescent-shaped, 3-7 Mm. (1/8-1/4') long, 1.5 Mm. (1/16') broad, each transversely nearly pentagonal with 5 yellowish filiform ribs; in transverse section dorsal surface with 4 vittae (1 between each primary rib) and commissural surface with 2; endosperm large, oily, enclosing small embryo; odor and taste agreeably aromatic. Powder, yellowish-brown; microscopically - fragments of endosperm cells with aleurone grains each containing a rosette aggregate of calcium oxalate, fragments with light yellow vittae and inner epidermal cells of pericarp, fragments with tracheae and sclerenchymatous fibres. Should be kept in tightly-closed containers, adding occasionally a few drops of chloroform or carbon tetrachloride to prevent insect attack. Solvents: alcohol; water partially. Dose, gr. 10-30 (.6-2 Gm.).
Fig. 283. - Carum Carvi (Carui): flower, fruit, and cross-section of fruit, enlarged.
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 2nd 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.
Oleum Cari. Oil of Caraway, official. - (Syn., 01. Cari., Caraway Oil; Br. Oleum Carui; Fr. Essence de Carvi; Ger. Oleum Carvi, Kum-melol, Carvon.) This volatile oil, obtained by steam distillation from the fruit, is a colorless, pale yellow liquid, characteristic odor and taste of caraway, soluble in 8 vols. of 80 p. c. alcohol, sp. gr. 0.905, dextrorotatory; contains at least 50 (50-65) p. c. of carvone, d-carvol, C10H14O (ketone), 35-50 p. c. of carvene, C10H16 (terpene - chemically identical with citrene, hesperidene, d-limonene), and an alcohol, C10H17OH, 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, eij-5 (.13-.3 Ml. (Cc.)).
Fig. 284. - Carum: fruit and longitudinal section, 3 diam.; transverse section, 8 diam.
Preparations. - I. Fruit: 1. Tinctura Cardamomi Composita, 1 p. c.
II. Oil: 1. Spiritus Juniperi Compositus, 1/20 p. c.
Unoff. Preps.: I. Fruit: Aqua Carui (Br.), 100 Gm. + water 2,000 Ml. (Cc.), distil 1,000 Ml. (Cc). Fluidextract, dose, ex-30 (.6-2 Ml. (Cc.)). Infusion, 5 p. c, dose, ℥j-2 (30-60 Ml. (Cc.)). II. Oil: Spirit (Spiritus).
Properties. - Carminative, stimulant, diuretic, stomachic.
Uses. - Flatulent colic, especially for 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 anaesthetic, etc.