Active Ingredients. - Caraways owe their properties to a volatile oil, which is thin, colorless, or straw-yellow, with a well-known penetrating smell, and a hot, bitterish taste. It dissolves in an equal volume of rectified spirit. It consists of two bodies, carvol and carvene. The former has the formula C10H14O; it is a thin, clear fluid, with caraway smell; sp. gr., 0.953; and does not boil under 250° C. Carvene is a camphor-like body; formula C10H16; it forms a crystalline salt with hydrochloric acid, and boils at 173° C.

Physiological Action. - Caraway oil appears to be, in large doses, a fatal narcotic poison to rabbits. One case has been recorded where a man took about a drachm; he was attacked with shiverings and heats, congestion of the head, and delirium.

Therapeutic Action. - Flatulent colic in children is often satisfactorily treated with preparations of caraway, but the chief use is that of a flavoring agent. Caraway-water is a convenient article for saline purgatives; it is good also for covering the taste of nauseous medicines and preventing the griping action of purgatives in general. For this latter purpose the oil is frequently used in the preparation of cathartic pills.

Preparations and Dose. - Oleum Carui, m j. - v. (.05 - .25). Caraway is contained in Tinct. Cardomomi Comp.