Herb: Carrot


Latin name: Daucus carota sativus


Synonyms: Daucus carota sativa


Family: Umbelliferae



Medicinal use of Carrot:

Cultivated carrot roots are a rich source of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A by the liver. When used as a regular item in the diet the roots improve eyesight and skin health, and also have anti-cancer effects. A wonderful cleansing medicine, it supports the liver and stimulates urine flow and the removal of waste by the kidneys. The root is diuretic and ophthalmic. The juice of organic carrots is a delicious drink and a valuable detoxifier. The raw root, grated or mashed, is a safe treatment for threadworms, especially in children. The seed is carminative, galactogogue, lithontripic and stimulant. They are useful in the treatment of kidney diseases, dropsy and to settle the digestive system. They stimulate menstruation and have been used in folk medicine as a treatment for hangovers.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Biennial


Height:
120 cm
(4 feet)

Flovering:
June to
August


Scent:
Scented
Biennial

Habitat of the herb:

Not known in the wild.

Edible parts of Carrot:

Root - raw or cooked. The roots of well-grown plants are crisp, sweet and juicy, they are very nice raw and are also cooked as a vegetable or added to soups, stews etc. The grated root is a tasty addition to the salad bowl. The juice can be extracted from the root and used as a health-promoting drink. The root is very rich in carotene, which is transformed by the body into vitamin A when it is eaten. The root is sometimes ground into a powder and used in making cakes, bread etc. The roasted root is a coffee substitute. Carotin, extracted from the roots, is used as an orange-yellow food dye. Leaves - raw or cooked. A very strong flavour, they can be added in small quantities to mixed salads. The leaves contain an oil that is rich in vitamin E, they are sometimes used as a flavouring in soups. An essential oil from the seed is used as a food flavouring.

Other uses of the herb:

The roots are fermented in order to produce alcohol. An orange dye is obtained from the root. An essential oil from the seed has a distinctive fragrance and is used in perfumery.

Propagation of Carrot:

Seed - sow in situ in succession from early spring to early summer. Do not transplant the seedlings, since this will usually cause damage to the roots and a good crop will not be obtained. Carrot seed needs a well-made seed bed with a fine tilth if good germination is to be achieved. The earliest sowings can be made of an early maturing variety in a cold frame or greenhouse in January or February, this will provide edible roots in late spring. The first outdoor sowings are made as the soil warms up in the spring. Successional sowings can be made until early summer if required. A September sowing in mild areas can provide an early spring supply of young roots, though the plants will often require some protection.

Cultivation of the herb:

Not known in the wild.

Known hazards of Daucus carota sativus:

Carrots sometimes cause allergic reactions in some people. Skin contact with the sap is said to cause photo-sensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.