Feb 12, 2014
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DAUCUS CAROTA

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Linn. var. sativa DC.

Family ► Umbelliferae; Apiaceae.

Habitat ► Native to Europe and the Mediterranean region; extensively cultivated in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for its fleshy tap roots which are eaten raw or cooked. Wild Carrot: Native to Europe, Africa and Asia. Grows at 3,000-3,600 m in the Himalayas.

English ► Carrot, Cultivated Carrot. Wild carrot (D. carota Linn.wild var.: the root, small and white), Queen Anne’s Lace, Bird’s Nest. Bees’ Nest Plant.

Ayurvedic ► Gaajara, Garjara, Granjana.

Unani ► Gaajar.

Action ► Roasted roots—prescribed in palpitation, burning micturation, cough and bronchitis. Carrot increases the quantity of urine and helps the elimination of uric acid; also lowers blood sugar. Juice—a rich source of carotene. Seeds—diuretic, emmenagogue, spasmolytic (prescribed in anuria and sexual debility). Wild carrot— diuretic and antilithic (used for kidney stones, cystitis and in gout). Seeds—emmenagogue. Also used for hot flushes of the menopause.

In cooked (orange) carrots beta- carotene content (1890 mcg) was found much higher than in raw carrots- (1045 mcg/100 g). Heat processing of carrots affected alpha- and beta-carotene contents; their value decreased (3.7; 5.3) in water blanching, whereas increased (5.8; 8.2) in steam blanching compared to that in fresh carrots (5.2; 8.1 mg/100 g) respectively.

An interferon inducer has been isolated from carrot. It stimulates cells to produce the protein that increases human resistance to virus infections.

Aqueous extract of carrots showed hepatoprotective activity against CCl4- induced hepatic damage in mice liver.

The ethanolic extract exhibits direct relaxant action on cardiac and smooth muscle preparation and this action may be responsible for its hypotensive action. (Gently heated peeled roots, mixed with sugar candy, are given as a hypotensive drug.)

The ethanolic extract of seeds exhibited diuretic effect in dogs.

The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia recommends Daucus carota Linn. (wild carrot) for its diuretic activity. Wild carrot contains flavones including apigenin, chypsin, luteolin; flavonols including kaempferol, quer- cetin and various glycosides. The fura- nocoumarins, 8-methoxypsoralen and 5-methoxypsoralen are found in the plant. The seed oil contains terpinen- 4-ol, a renal irritant. It is believed to cause diuretic activity.

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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