385. Carum.—Caraway.

Botanical name: 

The dried fruit of Car'um car'vi Linné prevented from attacks of insects by chloroform or carbon tetrachloride.

BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS.—A biennial 2 feet in height, with bipinnate leaves. The umbel rarely involucrate, flowers consisting of 5 obcordate, small, white petals; carpels with 5 filiform ridges; stylopodium (the disk-like expansion of the receptacle) depressed. Fruit brownish, oblong, slightly curved.

HABITAT.—Asia; introduced into America.

DESCRIPTION OF DRUG.—The mericarps, which are usually separated, are about 4 to 5 mm. (1/6 to 1/5 in.) in length, tapering somewhat at the ends. Surface dark brown, smooth, with the exception of the five lighter colored, filiform ribs, between which are the six large, easily visible oil-tubes. A cross-section shows the pentangular seed and oil-tubes. Odor and taste aromatic, agreeable. "Drawn fruits:" This name has been applied to a form of adulterated caraway—a partially exhausted fruit, whereby they have been deprived of a portion of the volatile oil. It is said that "Dutch seed" of fair quality should give over 5 per cent. of volatile oil. Exhausted fruits have been found to contain but 1.5 to 1.9 per cent. of oil. They are of much darker color than the genuine. The American seed is slightly smaller than the German. The seed cultivated in Northern Germany is too deficient in essential oil for profitable distillation, but it has a fine appearance.

Powder.—Characteristic elements: See Part iv, Chap. I, B.

CONSTITUENTS.—Volatile Oil 4 to 5 per cent., consisting of carvone and carvene, see 385a; readily soluble in alcohol, slightly soluble in water. Ash, not more than 8 per cent.

ACTION AND USES.—Stimulant, stomachic, and carminative, and an adjuvant. Dose: 15 to 30 gr. (1 to 2 Gm.).


Tinctura Cardamomi Composita (1.2 per cent.) Dose: 1 to 4 fl. dr. (4 to 15 mils).

385a. OLEUM CARVI, U.S.—A limpid, colorless or pale yellow volatile oil, specific gravity 0.92, with an aromatic odor and taste, becoming acrid and of a higher specific gravity when exposed. It consists of two portions, a light hydrocarbon, carvene, identical with limonene, and a heavy oil, carvone, isomeric with thymol.

ACTION AND USES.—Stimulant, stomachic, carminative, and adjuvant. Dose: 1 to 10 drops (0.065 to 0.6 mil).


Spiritus Juniperi Compositus (0.05 per cent.) Dose: 2 to 4 fl. dr. (8 to 15 mils).

A Manual of Organic Materia Medica and Pharmacognosy, 1917, was written by Lucius E. Sayre, B.S. Ph. M.