The virtues of Wild Carrot

Wild Carrot is a biennial plant, which means it only grows for 2 years and does not form a very large root. It is a very prolific seeder, spreading itself very easily. We find it often growing in abandoned places/waste lands and roadsides.

A little bit of history

Wild carrots are the ancestors of cultivated carrots. The wild root is yellowish white and very tough and fibrous, but the Dutch began breeding the roots to be orange in the 16th century in order to honor the royal family.

It is a plant with both food and medicine uses in many cultures around the world, but perhaps the most well-known use of wild carrot seed is as a contraceptive. A very old children’s rhyme may contain a veiled reference to the antifertility properties of the plant: 

“Queen Anne’s lace
Saves women's place.
I love that flower
To keep my power."

There is historical evidence that wild carrot seed was utilized as a female contraceptive in Ancient Greece. In the 4th or 5th century B.C., Hippocrates made reference to the abortifacient properties of the plant, and Pliny the Elder described it as an emmenagogue (plants that stimulate blood flow in the uterus).

Uses

The volatile oils of the seeds are antiseptic and antibacterial, and that in addition to the diuretic properties of the plant make it useful for urinary problems. They are also useful for digestion disorders, commonly used to reduce gas or bloating (by chewing the seeds, for example).

Carrot seed essential oil is also used in skin care products for its emollient and antioxidant properties, traditionally used to help reduce scars, irregular skin tone, or wrinkles. The hydrosol is excellent for all skin types, but is especially recommended for sensitive skin or mature skin. Suzanne Catty (aromatherapy practitioner) states that Wild Carrot Seed Hydrosol soothes eczema, psoriasis, inflammation, and promotes the growth of healthy new skin cells. Some sources also report reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. 

The plant can also be used in the kitchen: the flowers can be eaten raw or battered and deep fried, the leaves can be used in salads, and the seeds can be added to breads or soups and stews.

However, wild carrot is very similar to poison hemlock, which is a very poisonous plant growing in the wild. You should be certain that the herb you harvest is Wild Carrot before using it in any recipe (plant identifer apps are great for this, or just simple herbal books)!!

 

 

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