Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Caraway Seed Essential Oil...a nod to the Irish

"Caraway" photo by H. Zell , via Wikimedia Commons 
'Tis St. Patrick's Day week so I searched for an essential oil with an Irish connection and decided upon caraway seed. Although caraway seeds are actually an American addition to traditional Irish soda bread, caraway seed cake is indeed authentically Irish. Sometimes called "seedy cake," it is a lovely, gently sweet cake perfect for afternoon tea, especially spread with some wondrously creamy Irish butter. (I've included a recipe at the end of today's post.)

Caraway Seed essential oil has a sweet, spicy, mildly peppery fragrance. It can be dropped into an infuser for inhalation, bath water for soaking, carrier oil/ lotion/ or shampoo for massaging into the skin or scalp. The following are benefits widely
"Caraway Seeds" by Slick, via Wikimedia Commons
attributed to caraway seed oil:

Emotional Wellbeing-- its warming fragrance aids stress relief, mental strain, and emotional fatigue.

Respiratory Health-- acts as an expectorant and useful for coughs, bronchitis, and other respiratory ailments.

Skin and Hair-- as a tissue regenerator, it can help fight oily skin, clear acne, heal bruises and boils, and clean infected wounds. It also soothes itchy skin, as well as dandruff and other scalp problems.

Digestion-- helps relieve upset stomach, colic, and gastric spasms.

So, as if that isn't enough, toss some caraway seeds into a cake recipe and enjoy their unique texture and flavor. You might say you "can have your cake and eat it, too!" Thanks to for this culinary treat:

Caraway Seed Cake
adapted from Make, Bake, Love by Lilly Higgins
Serves 8 to 10
175 g (1 1/2 cups) self-raising flour
150 g (1 1/4 cups) caster sugar, plus extra to sprinkle
125 g (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon) butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
(If you’re worried that your batter looks too dry, add in 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk.)
Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F). Grease and line a 1 lb loaf tin.
Cream the sugar and butter together, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in the flour and mix just until smooth, taking care not to overmix, then fold in the caraway seeds. Pour the batter into the tin, level the top and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for about 1 hour (check it after 50 minutes), or until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to rest in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool
"Rugby Union Flag of Ireland" [Public domain], via Wikimedia Common
Have a good couple weeks, dear Reader. Thanks for stopping by...y'all come back now! 

(As always: this post is for information only and does not replace medical advice. Тest out an oil first by placing a small diluted amount on your arm as a patch test. In particular, those who are or could be pregnant should always refer to their physicians before using any essential oils.) 

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