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Carrot as an Herb

Wild Carrot as an Herb

Daucus carota

a.k.a. Queen Anne's Lace

The wild carrot, found so plentifully in Britain, both in cultivated lands and by waysides, thriving more especially by the sea, is superior, medicinally, to the cultivated kind.

Wild Carrot is also known as Queen Anne's Lace, Birds Nest Weed, Bees Nest, Devils Plague, garden carrot, Bird's Nest Root, Fools Parsley, Lace Flower, Rantipole, Herbe a dinde and Yarkuki.

The cultivated root contains sugar, volatile oil, beta-carotene, fiber (high), vitamins A, B, B1, B2, B6, C, E, K, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and anti-angina compounds that act like calcium channel blockers (other vegetables with similar compounds are celery, fennel, and parsley). Also contains 8 compounds that lower blood pressure (The Green Pharmacy, James A. Duke) and enough fiber pectin to lower cholesterol.

Wild Carrot as an Herb for Medicinal Uses

In general, it is the seeds of the wild carrot that are used medicinally, while it is the orange root of the garden variety that is used for nutritional and medicinal purposes.

The wild carrot is an aromatic herb that acts as a diuretic, soothes the digestive tract and stimulates the uterus. A wonderfully cleansing medicine, it supports the liver, stimulates the flow of urine and the removal of waste by the kidneys. An infusion is used in the treatment of various complaints including digestive disorders, kidney and bladder diseases and in the treatment of dropsy.

Wild carrot leaves An infusion of the leaves has been used to counter cystitis and kidney stone formation, and to diminish stones that have already formed.

Carrot leaves contain significant amounts of porphyrins, which stimulate the pituitary gland and lead to the release of increased levels of sex hormones.

An infusion is used in the treatment of oedema, flatulent indigestion and menstrual problems. Carrot seed has been used as a morning-after contraceptive by the Dutch settlers of Pennsylvania. There is some evidence to uphold this belief. It requires further investigation.

Other uses for the seed have been: gas, hiccoughs, dysentary, chronic coughs, gall bladder stones. Raw scraped carrots have been applied to sore nipples. Raw carrots have been used in combination with garlic for worms in children.

Old writers tell us that a poultice made of the roots has been found to mitigate the pain of cancerous ulcers, and that the leaves, applied with honey, cleanse running sores and ulcers.

Carrots along with other fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C which inhibits release of histimines thus curbing allergy and asthma symptoms.

In a Harvard study women who ate 5 servings of carrots per week had 68% fewer strokes than those who ate them rarely (less than twice a month).

Infusion

The infusion, made from 1 ounce of the herb in a pint of boiling water, is taken in wineglassful doses. Carrot tea, taken night and morning, and brewed in this manner from the whole front, is considered excellent for a gout. A strong decoction is very useful in gravel and stone, and is good against flatulence. A fluid extract is also prepared, the dose being from 1/2 to 1 drachm.

Culinary Uses of Wild Carrot

Wild Carrot Flower Head The wild carrot grows in dry fields, and its roots are edible.

Cook as greens or use fresh in salads. Also, add to stews for seasoning. Parboil for a few minutes, pour off the liquid, and then cook until tender.

Leaves can be dried and later added to other foods as seasonings.

First-year root growth (those plants not blooming) are tender and are used like domestic carrots. When using older roots, remove the hard core after cooking, and allow the soft pulp and the juices to flavor the other foods cooked.

The fresh flower heads can be battered and fried like fritters, or can be used to make jelly. Fill a pot full of fresh flowers, cook for 15 minutes, strain and add "Sure-gel" to the liquid as if making a fruit jelly. Final product is slightly gelled.

Gather and use as a seasoning for soups and stews.

The seeds can be used like caraway seeds to top breads.

Simple Soup. 1 pound peeled, grated carrot in 3/4 cup of water and cooked until thick, then strained (or put through blender). Add 1 quart of meat broth.

Folklore

Ancient folk lore said that to cure epileptic seizures you should eat the dark colored middle flower of Queen Annes Lace. The flower is also used in ancient rituals and spells, for women to increase fertility and for men to increase potency and sexual desire.

Cautions

Toxic only if large quantities are eaten. Wild carrot is not used medicinally during pregnancy.

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