World Carrot Museum - carrots  logo

History Wild Carrot Today Nutrition Cultivation Recipes Trivia Links Home Contact


Carrots Nutrition and Good Health - Part 3 - Medicinal Uses
 

Navigation of this page: Medicinal Uses Alternative Medicine Daily Needs Nutritional Analysis Doctrine of Signatures Yin and Yang Hallelujah Diet Food Colouring

Nutrition Page 1 deals with pigment power, the goodness of carrots, what happens if you eat too many and carrot allergy.
Nutrition Page 2 the effect on your bodily functions, your daily needs; how carrots can help with Cancer, heart disease, stroke & diabetes.
Nutrition Page 3 examines medicinal uses and alternative medicine associated with carrots and carrot analysis

PLEASE NOTE: The Carrot Museum does not recommend self diagnosis or self medication. The information contained in this web site has not been verified for correctness. Some of the information contained herein is hearsay and may not be correct. Use the information from this page only at your own risk!  If in doubt consult a doctor.
Note: If you have diabetes it is recommended you read this before eating carrots.
Speak to your doctor or health-care provider about vitamin A rich carotenoids if you have diabetes or are at risk for developing the condition. Read more here.

Simple summary sheets - "Why Everyone Should Eat more Carrots"  - The Health Benefits of Carrots  and The Benefits of Carrot Juice 

Traditional Medicinal Uses for Carrot and its seeds around the world (pdf).


NUTRITION : THE MEDICINE OF THE FUTURE - Voltaire said:

"The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while Nature cures the disease".

The medicine of the future will no longer be remedial, it will be preventive; not based on drugs but on the best diet for health. This page explores the issue in relation to carrots. Always remember carrots nourish they do not heal. If the body has the ability to heal itself, it will use the raw materials found in foods to do its own healing work. Herbs do not heal, they feed. Herbs do not force the body to maintain and repair itself. They simply support the body in these natural functions.

Medicinal Uses

Remember carrots nourish they do not heal. If the body has the ability to heal itself, it will use the raw materials found in foods to do its own healing work. Herbs do not heal, they feed. Herbs do not force the body to maintain and repair itself. They simply support the body in these natural functions.

Carrots are credited with many medicinal properties; they are said to cleanse the intestines and to be diuretic, remineralizing, antidiarrheal, an overall tonic and antianemic. Carrot is rich in alkaline elements which purify and revitalize the blood. They nourish the entire system and help in the maintenance of acid-alkaline balance in the body. The carrot also has a reputation as a vegetable that helps to maintain good eyesight. Raw grated carrot can be applied as a compress to burns for a soothing effect. Its highly energizing juice has a particularly beneficial effect on the liver. Consumed in excessive quantities, carrots can cause the skin to turn yellow; this phenomenon, which is called Carotenemia and caused by the carotene contained in carrots, is frequently seen in young children but is not at all dangerous.
See "do not overdose" below or click here.

An infusion of carrot seeds (1 teaspoon per cup of boiling water) is believed to be diuretic, to stimulate the appetite, reduce colic, aid fluid retention and help alleviate menstrual cramps. The dried flowers are also used as a tea as a remedy for dropsy. Taken in wine, or boiled in wine and taken, the seeds help conception. Strangely enough the seeds made into a tea have been used for centuries as a contraceptive. Applied with honey, the leaves cleanse running sores or ulcers. Carrots are also supposed to help break wind and remove stitches in the side. Chewing a carrot immediately after food kills all the harmful germs in the mouth. It cleans the teeth, removes the food particles lodged in the crevices and prevents bleeding of the gums and tooth decay. Carrot soup is supposed to relieve diarrhoea and help with tonsillitis.

In days gone by they grated raw carrot and gave it to children to expel worms. Pulped carrot is used as a cataplasm for application to ulcers and sores. They were also supposed to improve your memory abilities and relieve nervous tension. An Old English superstition is that the small purple flower in the centre of the Wild Carrot (Queen Annes Lace) was of benefit in curing epilepsy. Visit the Wild Carrot page. Click here.

Queen Annes Lace (the Wild Carrot) was also considered toxic. The leaves contain furocoumarins that may cause allergic contact dermatitis from the leaves, especially when wet. Later exposure to the sun may cause mild photodermatitis. Wild Carrot seed is also an early abortifacient, historically, sometimes used as a natural "morning after" contraceptive tea. Queen Annes Lace has long been used because of its contraceptive properties.

Read more about contraception (caution this page contains items which may not be suitable for minors)

twin carrotIt has since been scientifically proven that the carrot seed extract, if given orally at the correct dosage from day 4 to 6 post-coitum, effectively inhibits implantation.

Pliny the Elder suggested that it was used as a love potion, guaranteed to be effective, and Galen goes so far as to claim that it actually "procures lust." As a vegetable, however, the carrot in Roman times remained a bitter, tough taproot, edible only in the early spring as a pot herb.

As the carrot was improved it found its way into medicine chests as well as stew pots. Both Gerard and Culpeper recommend the carrot for numerous ills. Culpeper says that the carrot is influenced by Mercury, the god of wind, and that a tea made from the dried leaves should dispel wind from the bowels and relieve dropsy, kidney stones, and women's complaints.

Experimentally hypoglycemic, a tea made from Queen Annes Lace was believed to help maintain low blood sugar levels in humans, but it had no effect on diabetes artificially induced in animals. Wild carrot tea has been recommended for bladder and kidney ailment, dropsy, gout, gravel; seeds are recommended for calculus, obstructions of the viscera (internal organs), dropsy, jaundice, scurvy. Carrots of one form or another were once served at every meal for liver derangements; now we learn that they may upset the liver.

Medicinally the Carrot was used as a diuretic, stimulant, in the treatment of dropsy, flatulence, chronic coughs, dysentery, windy colic, chronic renal diseases and a host of other uses.

Eating carrots is also good for allergies, aneamia, rheumatism, tonic for the nervous system. Everyone knows they improve vision; But it does not stop there the delicious carrot is good for diarrhoea, constipation (very high in fibre), intestinal inflammation, cleansing the blood (a liver tonic), an immune system tonic. Carrot is traditionally recommended to weak, sickly or rickety children, to convalescents or pregnant women, its anti-aneamic properties having been famous for a long time.

Tea made the seeds can promote the onset of menstruation. It is effective on skin problems including broken veins/capillaries, burns, creeping impetigo, wrinkles and sun damage.  Carrots also help in stimulating milk flow during lactation. Believe it or not the carrot is also effective against roundworms and dandruff. Pureed carrots are good for babies with diarrhoea, providing essential nutrients and natural sugars.

Scientists have given us another reason to eat carrots - Falcarinol a compound found in the popular root vegetable has been found to have an effect on the development of cancer. - read more

Alternative Medicinal Uses

The alternative medicine believers consider the carrot (the whole plant or its seeds) to have the following properties:

Read what the Chinese practitioners consider the health benefits of carrots to be. Here (Healthmad.com)


Nutritional analysis of 100 grams of uncooked carrot (USDA source) equivalent to one average 7 inch carrot and NO FAT or CHOLESTEROL!

This table gives the main analysis of key ingredients for an average carrot.

For the full USDA nutritional analysis click here.

Edible part 95%
Water 91.6g
Proteins 1.1g
Lipids 0g
Glucides 7.6g
Carbohydrates 10
Fibre 3.1g
Energy 33kcal
Vitamin A (mcg) 2813
Sodium 95mg
Potassium 220mg
Iron 0.7mg
Calcium 44mg
Phosphorus 37mg
Niacin 0.7mg
Vitamin C 4mg
Vitamin E (mg) 0.5
Zinc (mg) 0.2

 

A simple chart for the average carrot More detailed analysis

Carrots (Daucus carota), Fresh, raw, Nutrition value per 100 g. Total-ORAC value 666 umol TE/100 g. (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

Carrots - Nutrition Facts

 


So what is your carotene need? Meeting your Vitamin A requirement from beta carotene is easy: Eat a handful of baby carrots and you've done it! Six ounces of carrot juice (made from two medium-sized carrots) supplies a whopping 28 mg. of beta carotene. Read all about the wonders of Carrot Juice on the recipes pages. Click here to go there.

One pound of carrots will make approximately six to eight ounces of carrot juice.

Recommended dietary allowances - Vitamin A is the name for a group of compounds which have the biological activity of retinol. Vitamin A is measured in retinol equivalents (RE) which allows the different forms of vitamin A to be compared. One retinol equivalent equals 1 mcg of retinol or 6 mcg of beta carotene. Vitamin A is also measured in international units (IU) with 1 mcg RE equivalent to 3.33 IU.

Carrots - serving size 1/2 cup Vitamin A (retinol) equivalents (micrograms) % RDA* for women % RDA* for men
Fresh, raw 2050 256% 205%
Boiled, raw 1790 223% 179%
Boiled, frozen 1290 161% 129%
Boiled, canned 1005 126% 101%

*RDA = Recommended Daily Amount (The RDA of vitamin A is 800 micrograms for women and 1,000 micrograms for men.)

Your daily requirements

The Food and Nutrition Committee of the National Research Council has established a scale for the minimum daily requirement of vitamin A as follows:

Who International Units
Children under 1 year 1500
Children 1 to 12 years 2000 to 3500
Adolescent girls & boys 4500 to 5000
Adults - men and women 5000
Women during pregnancy 6000
Women during nursing period 8000

The above scale is based upon the minimum required to prevent deficiency diseases and does not provide the necessary surplus required for full health.

It is impossible to determine, with any degree of scientific accuracy, what the daily requirement is for any individual under varying physical conditions, and how much of the vitamin A intake the body is able to absorb at any given time due to metabolic conditions or other factors.

Cooked carrots are rated at 49 in the Glycaemic Index, the scale invented to help in the treatment of diabetes, and which is used to measure the rate at which blood sugar levels rise when a particular carbohydrate bearing food is ingested. Lower level GI foods, (those below 50 are seen as best), are more complex and hence digested more slowly, ensuring a longer feeling of satiety, longer term energy maintenance and keeping blood sugar levels constant.

Did you know? - One pound of carrots gives a normal man enough energy to raise 64 tons 1 foot in the air?  That same pound can produce 1 ounce and 11 grains of sugar.   A pound also contains 14 ounces of water.

(From: Food collection Bethnal Green Museum – Dr Lankester) 


Doctrine of Signatures - THE DOCTRINE OF SIGNATURES is an ancient principle found in many cultures, east and west. Like homeopathy, the Doctrine of Signatures rests on the belief that all living things are interconnected by an energetic force: called 'chi' in oriental medicine, 'prana' in Indian philosophy, the vital force, or quantum energy in other cultures. It can go by many names.

In simple terms, the "Doctrine of Signatures" is the idea that God has marked everything He created with a sign (signature). The sign was an indication of the purpose for the creation of the item. The "Doctrine of Signatures" was popularised in the early 1600s by the writings of Jakob Böhme (1575-1624), a master shoemaker in the small town of Görlitz, Germany. At the age of 25, Böhme had a profound mystical vision in which he saw the relationship between God and man. As a result of the vision, he wrote "Signatura Rerum; The Signature of all Things".

His book espoused a spiritual philosophy; however it soon was adopted for its medical application. The Doctrine states that, by observation, one can determine from the colour of the flowers or roots, the shape of the leaves, the place of growing, or other signatures, what the plant's purpose was in God's plan

Paracelsus, a physician, mystic and alchemist in the sixteenth century was a famous proponent of the Doctrine of Signatures. He, like others of his time, believed that the microcosm (man) was a reflection of the macrocosm (the universe): as above, so below; as without, so within. This meant that each person was a reflection of everything external including the stars and the planets. Any imbalance in man (manifesting as disease symptoms) would have to be corrected by a substance or element in nature, balancing the universe within the man.  

Paraclesus used the Doctrine of Signature to understand the healing properties of plants. This method of understanding the healing properties of the plant is based on the plants distinct characteristics such as growth, colour, shape, scent, or taste.

The Doctrine of Signatures was highly developed during the European Renaissance. This interest paralleled the widespread belief in an overall unity of Nature

The word "signature" is a duplet, or two-part word derived from the two words "sign" and "nature", or Signs of Nature. Ancient pOrange carrot sliceeople saw patterns in certain whole foods that resembled parts of the human body and used them to choose specific foods for specific health.

For example, a sliced carrot with its radiating lines looks like the pupil and iris of the human eye. That is the "signature" of a carrot. The ancients equated that to mean that carrots are good for the eyes. Recent research has confirmed this scientifically.   Also in the 18th century people ate carrots to cure icterus (jaundice) because of the colour of its root. Ictersu cause a yellowing of the white of the eye.

Another example is the walnut. If you open a walnut shell, the nourishing nut inside appears to resemble the human brain with its left and right hemispheres, lobes, and cerebral cortex. So the walnut's "signature" is the brain. Recent science again confirms that the fleshy food of walnuts contains omega 3 and 5 fatty acids which cross the blood-brain barrier and are necessary for the production of the pre-cursor of neurotransmitters in the brain. There are many other whole foods with signatures recognized by the wisdom of the ancients. Other examples of foods with signatures include kidney beans for the kidneys, avocados for the female cervix/womb, tomatoes for the heart and blood and so on.


ying yang symbolYin and Yang - Asians traditionally classify foods as yin, yang, or neutral, depending on the energy they impart to the body. Yin, or cooling, foods are said to have a calming effect, whereas yang foods are warming. Neutral foods, such as rice and other whole grains, provide balance. Westerners tend to over indulge in yang foods, such as french fries and meat. The aim is to maintain health through a proper balance of yin and yang.

Yin (cooling) foods include Steamed, poached, or boiled foods. Bok choy, bean sprouts, cucumber, eggplant, tofu, seafood.

Yang (warming) foods include Deep fried, stir-fried, or roasted foods. Meats & poultry. Garlic, ginger, spices, carrots, onion.


Food Colouring/Chromotherapy  - Synthetic colours added to colour food should be used with great caution. Many food colours are being banned by Governments of several countries. Food colours are only a matter of choice. Colour is added to food to improve the appearance, delight the on-looker and deceive the senses. But the colour itself does not alter the nutritive value or taste in any way. Carrots, saffron, turmeric, cocoa, caramel, annatto, etc., are all food colouring agents obtained from natural sources. They generally contain lignans, carotene, quercetin, flavonoids and isoflavanoids, which are known to have a profound preventive effect on certain types of cancer. It is possible to extract natural colours from coloured fruits and vegetables and use them to colour other foods. For example, pink and orange colour can be extracted from beetroot and carrot and used to colour sweets.

Chromotherapy is a method of treatment of diseases by colour. It is best used as a supportive therapy along with other natural methods of preserving health such as correct diet, adequate rest and relaxation, exercise, yogic asanas and so on.

According to practitioners of chromotherapy, the cause of any disease can be traced to the lack of a particular colour in the human system. Colour therapy is a technique of restoring imbalance by means of applying coloured light to the body. It was a popular method of cure even in ancient times. Some 2,500 years ago, Pythagoras applied colour light therapeutically and 'colour halls' were used for healing in ancient Egypt, China and India.

The orange Carrot colour is symbolic of prosperity and pride, and is useful for stimulating blood supply and energising the nerves. It is beneficial in the treatment of kidney and gall stones, hernia and appendicitis. It is also used to stimulate the milk producing action of breasts after childbirth.


The Hallelujah Diet - Have you heard of the Baptist pastor who at the age of 42 was pastoring a large church in Glenfalls New York and was stricken with colon cancer? He heard about a different way to eat so he started on raw vegetables, fruit, barley green, distilled water and for the first couple of months 8 to 10 glasses of pure carrot juice a day. Not only did his cancer disappear but every other ailment as well. That was about 18 years ago and now Dr George Malkmus gives seminars across the US and Canada and recently in Australia. He says "Eat the Hallelujah Diet and you do not have illness". Quite a claim!

Check out the website of Hallelujah Acres for more. Forget the religious hype and see the diet then read the testimonies from people of all ages who have had their serious cancers, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease and other serious illnesses disappear as a result of the diet, which of course includes lashings of carrot juice.


Click here to access The Womens Health Page. Find out why Women should eat carrots but beware during motherhood. This page also examines cosmetic uses of carrots and touches on weight management. Otherwise skip on to the cultivation page.


Visit Choose My Plate (previously My Pyramid) for some good information on diet and health..   Traditional Medicinal Uses for Carrot and its seeds around the world (pdf).

NOTE: The information on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a replacement for medical advice from your personal physician.

next page - Cultivation


History Wild Carrot Today Nutrition Cultivation Recipes Trivia Links Home ContactSITE SEARCH