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Carrot Family Carminatives.

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Here come the YACFCs!

The seeds of a lot of carrot family (umbellifer) (Umbelliferae (or Apiaceae)) plants are carminative.

What's carminative, you ask? Petersen defines it as "Carminatives: Medicines that expel flatus from the gastro-intestinal tract and thus relieve pain produced by pressure." Felter says: "Carminative. An agent that prevents or relieves flatulence and thereby allays pain."

And that's what the aromatic seeds of nontoxic umbellifers are good at. Got that strange green feeling from eating too much almost rancid fat? Chew on a few caraway seeds. Got gut cramps from eating too much cabbage? Try eating a few fennel seeds. Got an indefinable ache in the middle regions? Chomp down on a few angelica seeds.

And so on and so forth. The ones that work are the seeds of caraway, cumin, black cumin, and ajwain, there's fennel, aniseed, coriander, the angelicas (they taste disgusting), dill, celery, lovage ... pretty much any umbellifer, if it's nontoxic and aromatic, will work. Even the seeds of sweet cicely work, as long as they're aromatic - that is, as long as they aren't ripe.

Jim will probably mention carrot seeds as well, but I haven't tried them.

These seeds, if chewed open, work extremely fast, and they're very effective for that kind of digestive upset.

There are toxics in the umbellifers. That means that you have to know the precise species you're chewing the seeds of - both water hemlock (Cicuta) and poison hemlock (Conium) are deadly in rather small amounts.

Related entries: YARFAs - YAMFAIs - YAMFDs - Quick fix: gut cramps - Oils and resins