Daucus carota / Wilde peen
Deze plant heeft een penwortel, die bij de wilde plant houtig wordt, doch bij de gekweekte in het eerste jaar dik en vleezig is. De stengel is rechtopgaand, gegroefd, stijf behaard met uitgespreide takken. De bladen zijn dubbel of drievoudig gevind met vinspletige, doffe blaadjes en langwerpig-lancetvormige slippen. De bladstelen zijn stijf behaard. Bron; blz. 452, deel 2 van de Flora van Nederland 1909-1911 (3 delen) door H. Heukels.
De schermen zijn groot, met 20-40 dunne, bij rijpheid der vrucht naar elkaar gebogen stralen. Het omwindsel en de omwindseltjes zijn veelbladig, de blaadjes van het omwindsel zijn 3- tot vinspletig. Het middelste schermpje bestaat bij de wilde plant vaak slechts uit een vergroote, zwartroode bloem (men houdt het er wel voor, dat de afwijking een gevolg is van een galvorming, die in vorige geslachten zou zijn geschied, doch nu door overerving blijvend is geworden). De blaadjes der omwindseltjes zijn lijnvormig toegespitst, vliezig gerand, gaaf of 3-deelig. De kroonbladen zijn wit of rosé. De vrucht is 4 mM lang, bruin, ellipsoïdisch, met weerhaken, die omstreeks even breed zijn als de vrucht. 3-9 dM. Juni-Herfst.
Evenals bij Aegopodium heeft men ook hier waargenomen, dat in de jongere schermen de buitenste schermpjes 2-slachtige bloemen hebben, terwijl die der binnenste mannelijk zijn. Ook zijn de buitenste bloemen wel vrouwelijk. Zelfs is er een vorm met roodachtige bloemen gevonden, die bepaald vrouwelijk is.
Bij regenachtig weer en bij nacht buigt zich de geheele bloeiwijze, als die nog jong is, naar beneden. Tevens krommen zich de schermstralen en de bloemstelen zoo sterk naar binnen, dat de geheele bloeiwijze meer bolrond wordt. In lateren tijd blijft wel de bloeiwijze rechtopstaan, doch de zooeven genoemde kromming heeft bij droog weer ook plaats. Bij vochtig weer staan dus de vruchtjes uit. Misschien heeft dit beteekenis voor de plant, omdat zij dan door den regen en den wind gemakkelijker verspreid worden. De vruchten worden trouwens door hare weerhaken ook gemakkelijk door dieren verspreid.
Voorkomen in Europa en in Nederland
De plant komt in geheel Europa op grazige plaatsen, aan dijken en wegen voor en is bij ons algemeen op allerlei gronden, vooral ook in de duinen, echter weinig op laag veen. Ook wordt zij veel gekweekt om den wortel.
Behalve de namen gele peen, gele wortel, pee, peeën, peen, roode wortel en wortel, die veel gebruikt worden, hoort men ook de namen witte bloemen in Drente, paardewortel in Salland, pompwortel in den Achterhoek, moeren en mooren in Limburg, in Zuid-Limburg ook caroten, in het Land van Hulst boterpee.
In Zuid-Europa komt aan de zeekust voor D. littoralis Sibth. (D. muricatus L.), de strandpeen, die zich van D. carota onderscheidt, doordat de omwindselbladen slechts 1/3 van de breedte der schermen hebben en doordat de vruchtstekels haakvormig omgebogen en aan den voet vergroeid zijn. Deze heet in 1828 in de duinen bij Katwijk te zijn gevonden, doch waarschijnlijk is dit niet.
Daúcus = van het Grieksche daucos, een naam door de Grieken aan verschillende schermbloemigen gegeven, doch waarvan de afleiding onzeker is. Caróta = wortel, littoralis = strand.
Volgens A Modern Herbal van Mrs. Grieve
---Medicinal Action and Uses---Diuretic, stimulant deobstruent. An infusion of the whole herb is considered an active and valuable remedy in the treatment of dropsy, chronic kidney diseases and affections of the bladder. The infusion, made from 1 OZ. of the herb in a pint of boiling water, is taken in wineglassful doses. Carrot tea, taken night and morning, and brewed in this manner from the whole front, is considered excellent for a gouty disposition. A strong decoction is very useful in gravel and stone, and is good against flatulence. A fluid extract is also prepared, the dose being from 1/2 to 1 drachm.
The seeds are carminative, stimulant and very useful in flatulence, windy colic, hiccough, dysentery, chronic coughs, etc. The dose of the seeds, bruised, is from one-third to one teaspoonful, repeated as necessary. They were at one time considered a valuable remedy for calculus complaints. They are excellent in obstructions of the viscera, in jaundice (for which they were formerly considered a specific), and in the beginnings of dropsies, and are also of service as an emmenagogue. They have a slight aromatic smell and a warm, pungent taste. They communicate an agreeable flavour to malt liquor, if infused in it while working in the vat, and render it a useful drink in scorbutic disorders.
Wild carrots belong to Mercury, and therefore break wind, and remove stitches in the sides, provoke urine and women's courses, and helpeth to break and expel the stone; the seed also of the same worketh the like effect, and is good for the dropsy, and those whose bellies are swoln with wind
Nicholas Culpeper, 1653
Carrot seed oil has a detoxifying effect on the liver and helps to fight jaundice, while at the same time cleaning the digestive system and the body as a whole. It is helpful for arthritis, gout, edema, rheumatism and the accumulation of toxins in muscles and joints and also strengthens the mucus membranes in the nose, throat and lungs, thus having a beneficial effect on problems such as bronchitis and influenza.
It relieves fluid retention and can be beneficial in cases of anorexia, while it revitalizes and tones the skin, helping in cases of dermatitis, eczema and rashes.
Wetenschappelijk onderzoek Daucus carota
Phytomedicine. 2000 Oct;7(5):423-6.
Hypotensive action of coumarin glycosides from Daucus carota. Gilani AH, Shaheen E, Saeed SA, Bibi S, Irfanullah, Sadiq M, Faizi S.
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, The Aga Khan University Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan. email@example.com
Daucus carota (carrot) has been used in traditional medicine to treat hypertension. Activity-directed fractionation of aerial parts of D. carota resulted in the isolation of two cumarin glycosides coded as DC-2 and DC-3. Intravenous administration of these compounds caused a dose-dependent (1-10 mg/kg) fall in arterial blood pressure in normotensive anaesthetised rats. In the in vitro studies, both compounds caused a dose-dependent (10-200 microg/ml) inhibitory effect on spontaneously beating guinea pig atria as well as on the K+ -induced contractions of rabbit aorta at similar concentrations. These results indicate that DC-2 and DC-3 may be acting through blockade of calcium channels and this effect may be responsible for the blood pressure lowering effect of the compounds observed in the in vivo studies.
J Ethnopharmacol. 1995 Jul 7;47(2):69-74.
Hepatoprotective activity of carrot (Daucus carota L.) against carbon tetrachloride intoxication in mouse liver.Bishayee A, Sarkar A, Chatterjee M.
Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India.
The effect of carrot extract on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced acute liver damage was evaluated. The increased serum enzyme levels (viz., glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase, glutamate pyruvate transaminase, lactate dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase, sorbitol and glutamate dehydrogenase) by CCl4-induction were significantly lowered due to pretreatment with the extract. The extract also decreased the elevated serum bilirubin and urea content due to CCl4 administration. Increased activities of hepatic 5'-nucleotidase, acid phosphatase, acid ribonuclease and decreased levels of succinic dehydrogenase, glucose-6-phosphatase and cytochrome P-450 produced by CCl4 were reversed by the extract in a dose-responsive way. Results of this study revealed that carrot could afford a significant protective action in the alleviation of CCl4-induced hepatocellular injury.
Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2012 Jul;12(6):640-52. Effects of bioactive compounds from carrots (Daucus carota L.), polyacetylenes, beta-carotene and lutein on human lymphoid leukaemia cells.
Zaini RG1, Brandt K, Clench MR, Le Maitre CL.
New therapies for leukaemia are urgently needed. Carrots have been suggested as a potential treatment for leukaemia in traditional medicine and have previously been studied in other contexts as potential sources of anticancer agents. Indicating that carrots may contain bioactive compounds, which may show potential in leukaemia therapies. This study investigated the effects of five fractions from carrot juice extract (CJE) on human lymphoid leukaemia cell lines, together with five purified bioactive compounds found in Daucus carota L, including: three polyacetylenes (falcarinol, falcarindiol and falcarindiol-3-acetate) and two carotenoids (beta-carotene and lutein). Their effects on induction of apoptosis using Annexin V/PI and Caspase 3 activity assays analysed via flow cytometry and inhibition of cellular proliferation using Cell Titer Glo assay and cell cycle analysis were investigated. Treatment of all three lymphoid leukaemia cell lines with the fraction from carrot extracts which contained polyacetylenes and carotenoids was significantly more cytotoxic than the 4 other fractions. Treatments with purified polyacetylenes also induced apoptosis in a dose and time responsive manner. Moreover, falcarinol and falcarindiol-3-acetate isolated from Daucus carota L were more cytotoxic than falcarindiol. In contrast, the carotenoids showed no significant effect on either apoptosis or cell proliferation in any of the cells investigated. This suggests that polyacetylenes rather than beta-carotene or lutein are the bioactive components found in Daucus carota L and could be useful in the development of new leukemic therapies. Here, for the first time, the cytotoxic effects of polyacetylenes have been shown to be exerted via induction of apoptosis and arrest of cell cycle.
Biol Pharm Bull. 2006 Jun;29(6):1154-61. Pharmacological evidence for the potential of Daucus carota in the management of cognitive dysfunctions.
Vasudevan M1, Parle M.
The present study was aimed at investigating the effects of Daucus carota seeds on cognitive functions, total serum cholesterol levels and brain cholinesterase activity in mice. The ethanolic extract of Daucus carota seeds (DCE) was administered orally in three doses (100, 200, 400 mg/kg) for seven successive days to different groups of young and aged mice. Elevated plus maze and passive avoidance apparatus served as the exteroceptive behavioral models for testing memory. Diazepam-, scopolamine- and ageing-induced amnesia served as the interoceptive behavioral models. DCE (200, 400 mg/kg, p.o.) showed significant improvement in memory scores of young and aged mice. The extent of memory improvement evoked by DCE was 23% at the dose of 200 mg/kg and 35% at the dose of 400 mg/kg in young mice using elevated plus maze. Similarly, significant improvements in memory scores were observed using passive avoidance apparatus and aged mice. Furthermore, DCE reversed the amnesia induced by scopolamine (0.4 mg/kg, i.p.) and diazepam (1 mg/kg, i.p.). Daucus carota extract (200, 400 mg/kg, p.o.) reduced significantly the brain acetylcholinesterase activity and cholesterol levels in young and aged mice. The extent of inhibition of brain cholinesterase activity evoked by DCE at the dose of 400 mg/kg was 22% in young and 19% in aged mice. There was a remarkable reduction in total cholesterol level as well, to the extent of 23% in young and 21% in aged animals with this dose of DCE. Therefore, DCE may prove to be a useful remedy for the management of cognitive dysfunctions on account of its multifarious beneficial effects such as, memory improving property, cholesterol lowering property and anticholinesterase activity.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:9045196. doi: 10.1155/2016/9045196. Epub 2016 Feb 14. New Claims for Wild Carrot (Daucus carota subsp. carota) Essential Oil.
Alves-Silva JM1, Zuzarte M2, Gonçalves MJ3, Cavaleiro C3, Cruz MT3, Cardoso SM4, Salgueiro L3.
The essential oil of Daucus carota subsp. carota from Portugal, with high amounts of geranyl acetate (29.0%), α-pinene (27.2%), and 11αH-himachal-4-en-1β-ol (9.2%), was assessed for its biological potential. The antimicrobial activity was evaluated against several Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, yeasts, dermatophytes, and Aspergillus strains. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimal lethal concentration (MLC) were evaluated showing a significant activity towards Gram-positive bacteria (MIC = 0.32-0.64 μL/mL), Cryptococcus neoformans (0.16 μL/mL), and dermatophytes (0.32-0.64 μL/mL). The inhibition of the germ tube formation and the effect of the oil on Candida albicans biofilms were also unveiled. The oil inhibited more than 50% of filamentation at concentrations as low as 0.04 μL/mL (MIC/128) and decreased both biofilm mass and cell viability. The antioxidant capacity of the oil, as assessed by two in chemico methods, was not relevant. Still, it seems to exhibit some anti-inflammatory potential by decreasing nitric oxide production around 20% in LPS-stimulated macrophages, without decreasing macrophages viability. Moreover, the oils safety profile was assessed on keratinocytes, alveolar epithelial cells, macrophages, and hepatocytes. Overall, the oil demonstrated a safety profile at concentrations below 0.64 μL/mL. The present work highlights the bioactive potential of D. carota subsp. carota suggesting its industrial exploitation.
Huile essentielle de CAROTTE - sauvage/naturel
Bien connue, de nos régions, la carotte se prépare de multiples façons, ici ce n'est pas la racine que l'on distille pour obtenir l'huile essentielle mais les fruits apparus après la floraison des ombelles.
Propriétés de l'huile essentielle Carotte * carotte-sauvage-bio-huile-essentielle
Régénératrice et dépuratif du foie.
Draineur des reins.
Hypocholestérolémiant (fait baisser le taux de cholestérol, triglycérides dans le sang).
Régénérant, revitalisant cutané.
En cas de paresse, surcharge ou intoxication grave du foie.
Elimine les toxines accumulées (foie, rein).
Taux élevé de cholestérol.
Traitement de la peau (brûlures, stress).
Vieillissement cutané, antiride.
Plan Psycho- émotionnel *
Comme sur le plan physique où l'huile essentielle de carotte sauvage agit sur la régénération du foie, ici on l'utilisera pour la régénérescence d'un individu sur le plan psycho- émotionnel, elle l'aidera à trouver en lui toutes les ressources nécessaires pour se reconstruire. (A.Bitsas)
Application (diluée dans de l'huile végétale) au niveau des organes concernés (rein, foie).
Application (diluée dans de l'huile végétale) en soin du visage.
Beauté du visage, Huile souplesse pour toutes peaux (Chantal Lionel Clergeaud)
5cl d'huile végétale d'argan ou onagre, 10 cl d'huile végétale de rose musquée, 5 cl de jojoba ou de bourrache, 10 gouttes d'Huile Essentielle de bois de rose, 20 gouttes d'HE de carotte sauvage, 10 gouttes d'HE de lavande vraie, 10 gouttes d'HE de géranium rosat. Mélangez ensemble les ingrédients
Beauté du visage, Huile dorée " Bonne Mine " (Chantal Lionel Clergeaud)
15 cl d'huile végétale de rose musquée, 40 gouttes d'huile essentielle de carotte sauvage, 15 gouttes d'HE de petit grain bigarade. Mélangez ensemble les ingrédients
Cuisine : 1 goutte d'huile de carotte dans la vinaigrette rendra les crudités plus faciles à digérer
Descriptif huile essentielle de Carotte sauvage
Principaux constituants aromatiques : majoritairement de monoterpènes (alpha-pinène 9%) , de sesquiterpènes (bisabolène) et surtout de sesquiterpénols : le daucol et le carotol (33%) (les % sont des valeurs moyennes destinées à serrer au plus près l'identification)
Nom en latin : Daucus carota
Famille botanique des apiacées ou ombellifères
Partie de la plante distillée : distillation de la semence
Pays d'origine : France
Vieillissement cutané, rides, peaux matures, relâchement cutané, foie, hépatique, paresse foie, intoxication foie, insuffisance rénale, traitement de la peau, brûlures, stress, régénératrice du foie, draineur des reins, diurétique, hypocholestérolémiant, cholestérol, triglycérides, revitalisant cutané, antiride cutanée, toxines, reconstruction.
Déconseillé pendant la grossesse et l'allaitement.
Déconseillé aux nourrissons et jeunes enfants.
Ne pas dépasser la dose conseillée.
Ne pas ingérer.
Tenir hors de portée des jeunes enfants.
Une réaction de type allergique est toujours possible.
Faire un test dans le pli du coude avant utilisation de cette huile essentielle.
* = Sources = lien vers les sources du rédactionnel de cette page.
* Donné à titre informatif : ceci constitue une synthèse des propriétés /indications décrites dans les ouvrages d'aromathérapie reconnus, dans les traditions populaires, dans les traditions anciennes. Ce n'est en aucun cas une information médicale ni une liste d'indications. Les réflexions dispensées, ne peuvent en aucun cas se substituer à une consultation chez un médecin ou un thérapeute qu'il vous revient de contacter pour votre suivi.
Pharmacology of Daucus carota
Much of the action of the seeds is due to the volatile oil content. According to the United States Dispensatory, “by distillation [the seeds] yield a pale yellow volatile oil, upon which their virtues chie"y depend.” It was found to yield 1.26%.124 e terpenin-4-ol oil in the seeds is a renal irritant, believed to cause the diuretic activity.125
~ Studies showing an anti-fertility affect ~
The action of Daucus carota seed extracts on mice has been such that the implantation process is disrupted and a fertilized ovum either will not be implanted or, if it has been implanted for only a short period, it will be released. Evidence suggests that terpenoids in the seed block crucial progesterone synthesis in pregnant animals.126 It could stimulate sex hormones FSH and LH through the pituitary.127 Porphyrins in the leaves are known to stimulate the pituitary to release gonadotropic hormones.128 Volatile oils stimulate circulation to uterus, and act like counter-irritant.129
Increased blood "ow to the uterus causes more endometrial lining, so implantation is easier if the volatiles are not present anymore, which could explain it's fertility enhancing effects when taken away.130
We don't know exactly the mechanism of action of wild carrot that prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg in a human uterus. What we do know from the plant's chemical constituents and pharmacology is that it the terpenoids have shown an anti-progesterone and implantation inhibiting action in animal models; the volatile oils may stimulate circulation to the uterus; the volatile oils and terpenoids are irritating to the
kidneys, and we may speculate that they may also irritate the uterus. Blocking progesterone synthesis in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle inhibits necessary conditions for the endometrial tissue to sustain a fertilized ovum. There are other questions about exactly how this works that may or may not be answeredwith time. The following is a summation of the evidence to date.
The traditional use of this plant as a contraceptive over thousands of years is enough proof for me, but also I have found it extremely interesting to understand better how this might work. MM Sharma, 1976. Alcoholic extracts of carrot seeds (Daucus carota) were assessed for effects on implantation in mice. Doses of 60 to 120mg were administered. The extract was found to possess weak estrogenic activity. The extract signi!cantly inhibited the uterotropic effect of estradiol-17beta in the 3 day antiestrogenic assay. The 80 and 120mg doses of the extract, administered orally from day 4 to 6 postcoitum, effectively inhibited implantation. Administration on days 8-10 postcoitum did not affect pregnancy.
Chu et al., 1985. “A signi!cant decrease in serum progesterone level was observed in treated rats. ese data clearly implied that carrot seed terpenoids blocked progesterone synthesis in pregnant animals.”132 [note: author was unable to read this study, this quote is from a review paper.] Kant et al, 1986. The terpenoids were shown to block progesterone synthesis in pregnant animals. When progesterone receptor sites in the uterine lining are blocked, the uterus cannot make a nutritive bed for the fertilized ovum, thus preventing implantation.
Kaliwal et al, 1986. A study designed to know the effects of progesterone in the anti-implantation activity of the carrot seed extract in albino rats. ey were given 0-6ml/100g of body weight of carrot seed extract, administered subcutaneously from days 1-7. Controls exhibited implantations on day 8 and small embryos on day 16. In the carrot seed group, the extract was administered on days 1-7, and there were no
implantation sites on day 8. A group was given carrot seed and graded doses of exogenous progesterone from days 8-15, !nding that 4-8mg of progesterone caused almost all the rats have implantations on day 16. e authors conclude that “Any imbalance in the hormonal ratio causes delay or inhibits implantation. erefore, the inhibition or delay of implantation by carrot seed extract might be due to an imbalance in
the progesterone-estrogen ratio which could be reversed by the administration of exogenous progesterone.”
Bhatnagar, 1995. A study looking at contraceptive effects in rats. A 95% EtOH extract was administered to rats at different doses ranging from 50 to 250 mg/kg of bodyweight. ere was a dose dependent effect, where a lower dose showed anti-implantational activity and higher doses caused fetus resorption. e main effect appears to be an abortifacient activity. At higher dose levels there was a pro-estrogenic effects, whereas at lower doses there was an anti-estrogenic effect.
Majumder et al., 1997. Study designed to understand the mechanism of action and the component, responsible for the anti-fertility activity in mouse ovaries. Extract was administered intraperitoneally for 15 days and the estrous cycle examined by a vaginal smear daily. ey killed the mice and kept their ovaries for examination. e petroleum ether extract of carrot seeds reduced the wet weight of ovaries and arrested the normal estrous cycle. ere was an elevated amount of cholesterol in the ovaries, which serves as a precursor for the synthesis of steroid hormones, suggesting that the cholesterol was not utilized. e possible mechanism of action resulting in inhibition of fertility is thought to be from inhibiting the activity of the key enzymes involved in ovarian steroidogenesis [synthesis of sex hormones].
~ Volatile oils and anti-microbial activity ~
Kumarasamy et al, 2005. A study looking at the activities associated with constituents in the methanol extract of wild carrot seeds. Constituents isolated include three luteolin "avones. ese compounds were found to have free radical scavenging activity, and antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Bacillus cereus, Citrobacter freundii, and Lactobacillus plantarum.137
Ahmed et al, 2005. A biological investigation into the root of the wild Daucus carota. e seed oil of the root contains daucane-type sesquiterpenes, including trans-dauc-8-ene-4beta-ol, trans-dauca-8,11-diene, dauca-5,8-diene, acora-4,9-diene, acora-4,10-diene, carotol and daucol, furocoumarins, "avonoids, polyacetylenes. e three new sesquiterpene daucane derivatives found in this investigation are: 1) 2alphaacetyloxy-4beta-hydroxy-6alpha-p-hydroxybenzoyloxy-10beta-benzoyloxy-dauc-8-ene; 2) 2alpha-acetyloxy-4beta-hydroxy-6alpha-angeloyloxy-10beta-benzoyloxydauc-8-ene; 3) 2alpha-Acetyloxy-4beta-hydroxy- 6alpha-angeloyloxy-10beta-cinnamoyloxydauc-8-ene.138
Maxia et al, 2009. An in vitro study investigates the volatile oils of Daucus carota growing wild on the Atlantic coast of Portugal and in the Mediterranean on Sardonia Island. It found that there is a higher essential oil content in the seeds than the "owers. Constituents of the methanol seed extracts showed antibacterial and anti-fungal activity against a wide range of organisms, including Staphylococcus aureus,
Escherichia coli, Bacillus cereus, Citrobacter freundii, and Lactobacillus plantarum. ere is the most activity in the oils of the mature umbels, less in the herb, and the least in the "owering umbels. e leaf, stem and blooming umbels are mostly monoterpenes and/or sesquiterpenes. Oils isolated from unbels in nest or seeds were mostly sesquiterpenes and phenylpropanoids (beta-bisabolene and beta-asarone).139
Food as Medicine: Carrot (Daucus carota, Apiaceae)
History and Traditional Use
Range and Habitat
Ubiquitous at any supermarket, the common root vegetable carrot (Daucus carota, subsp. sativus) is a biennial plant that is an excellent source of vitamin A (one cup contains approximately 600% of the recommended daily value) and fiber.1 Indigenous to Europe as well as parts of Asia and northern Africa, carrots now are cultivated commonly in a wide range of environments as they can withstand frosts.2 The colorful varieties of carrots as well as their hardiness make them popular with home gardeners.
Phytochemicals and Constituents
Favored for their sweet flavor and versatility, carrots not only supply an impressive array of vitamins and minerals, but also contain carotenoids such as alpha- and beta-carotene, lycopene, and the flavonoid quercetin. Though the orange carrot is the most well known in modern times, carrots appear in a number of colors including white, yellow, red, and purple.3 In fact, purple was the prevailing color for carrots until about four hundred years ago, when popular theory claims that the unusual orange variety was cultivated in Holland as a sign of Dutch nationalism to honor William of Orange. The exact reason why the orange cultivar became the dominant variety is unknown, though genetic evidence suggests that orange carrots developed from yellow ones.4
The different colors of carrots reveal their various concentrations of phytochemicals.5 Carotenids give yellow, orange, and red carrots their colors, while anthocyanins produce the deep purple variety. Orange carrots contain high quantities of beta-carotene. Yellow carrots contain low quantities of beta-carotene, but higher levels of lutein, which may protect from age-related macular degeneration and be beneficial for eyesight. Red carrots contain lycopene — a potent antioxidant with potential anti-cancer activity — in concentrations similar to that of tomatoes. Red carrots also contain moderate levels of alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein. Purple carrots contain high levels of anthocyanins, antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory and cardio-protective properties. The white variety has low levels of these phytochemicals, but contains high levels of potassium.
The record of use of carrots in herbalism dates back to the 10th century, with mentions in the Old English Herbarium and the Leech Book of Bald indicating the use of the root as an emmenagogue as well as a treatment for smallpox and cough.6 Around the world, both root and seed have documented historical uses, typically to promote menstruation or as a diuretic. A different species, the wild American carrot (D. pulsillus), has an ethnobotanical history among many American native tribes as a remedy for colds, fevers, itching, and snake bites.7
Current research suggests that carrots may possess anti-cancer properties,8-10 as well as benefits for people with high blood pressure11 and cardiovascular disease.12 Beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A and is a powerful antioxidant, protecting the body from free radicals and maintaining healthy skin and eyes.13
Consuming large amounts of beta-carotene, especially from carrots, can result in a harmless side effect called carotenemia, which temporarily yellows the skin.13 Infants, whose commercial foods often contain carrot puree as an added ingredient, are most likely to get carotenemia. The yellowing effect subsides as the body processes the excess beta-carotene.
Carrots can be enjoyed cooked or raw, as they retain their nutrients during the cooking process.14 Their sweetness adds to their versatility and supports their use in both sweet and savory dishes. A sweet-and-spicy pickle, for example, enhances the carrot’s natural flavor and pleasing crunch.
Macronutrient Profile: (Per 1 cup raw carrots)
1.26 g protein
12 g carbohydrates
0.23 g fat
Secondary Metabolites: (Per 1 cup raw carrots)
Excellent source of:
Vitamin A: 34,317 IU (~686% DV)
Vitamin K: 16.1 mcg (20% DV)
Very good source of:
Vitamin C: 11.4 mg (18% DV)
Dietary Fiber: 3.7 g (14.6% DV)
Potassium: 394 mg (11.3% DV)
Good source of:
Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg (9% DV)
Manganese: 0.2 mg (8.5% DV)
Molybdenum: 6.1 mcg (8.1% DV)
Thiamin: 0.1 mg (8.0% DV)
Niacin: 1.1 mg (5.6% DV)
Phosphorus: 53.7 mg (5.4% DV)
Magnesium: 18.3 mg (4.6% DV)
Folate: 17.1 mcg (4.3% DV)
DV = Daily Value, as established by the US Food and Drug Administration, based on a 2,000-calorie diet.
Recipe: Spicy Pickled Carrots
· 1 lb. baby carrots
· 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
· 1 cup of water
· 1/2 cup of sugar
· 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
· 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
· 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
· 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
· 2 dried red chilies
Place carrots and garlic in a 1-quart, spring-top glass jar.
In a non-reactive sauce pan, bring the water, sugar, cider vinegar, mustard seeds, salt, and dried chili flakes to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Boil for 4 minutes.
Slowly pour the pickling liquid into the jar, covering the carrots and garlic completely. Submerge the chilies in the jar and cool before sealing.
Refrigerate for two days (for a milder pickle) or a week (for a spicier pickle). These will get hotter the longer they are kept.
Basic Report: 11124, Carrots, raw. US Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Library. Available here. Accessed November 19, 2014.
Taxon: Daucus carota L. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. Available here. Accessed November 19, 2014.
History of the Carrot Part Three: From Medicine to Food – A.D. 200 to 1500. World Carrot Museum website. Available here. Accessed November 19, 2014.
History of the Carrot Part Five: The Road to Domestication and the Colour Orange. World Carrot Museum website. Available here. Accessed November 19, 2014.
Arscott SA, Tarnumihardjo SA. Carrots of many colors provide basic nutrition and bioavailable phytochemicals acting as a functional food. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. March 2010;9(2):223-239. Available here. Accessed December 3, 2014.
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