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Carrot - Health Benefits of Carrot Juice

Botanical Name: Daucus carota

Family Name : Umbelliferae

A large number of carrot varieties, some indigenous but mostly imported from Europe and America, are cultivated in India. The color of the roots in the cultivated types varies from yellowish, orange, light purple, deep purple, to deep red etc.

An annual or biennial herb, with twice or thrice pinnate leaves and flattish umbebs of small, white flowers, each with a single, central crimson or red brown floret. The fruit is oblong, dorsally. flattered, with prickles tipped by minute bristles.

Origin and Distribution

The carrot appears to have originated in Central Asia, in the hills of Punjab and Kashmir in India, with a secondary center of distribution in Asia, Europe and North Africa around the Mediterranean. It is cultivated in India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Central, East and West Africa, South America and the Caribbean.

Properties of carrot

Aromatic, stimulant, carminative, lithontriptic, antifertile, abortifacient, diuretic, galactagogic, ophthalmic and source of minerals.

Forms of Use :- Juice, decoction, essence, tincture.

Food Value of carrot

Carrot is valued as food mainly because it is a rich source of the fat soluble hydrocarbon, C40 H56 the beta form of which is the precursor of Vitamin A. Analysis of the edible portion of carrot gave the following composition (per 100 gm's of edible part):

Moisture 86.0%
Protein 0.9%
Fibre 1.2%
Carbohydrate 10.7%
Phosphorus 530 mg
Fat 0.1%
Calcium 80 mg
Vitamin C 3 mg
Iron 2.2 mg

Carrot : Medicinal Uses & benefits

  1. Carrot has a beneficial influence on kidneys and dropsy, and prevents the brick-dust sediment sometimes found in the urine.
  2. Carrots clear the blood and are recommended in chronic diarrhea.
  3. A decoction of carrot is useful in jaundice.
  4. Seeds are used as aphrodisiac and nervine tonic.
  5. Intake of seeds is avoided during pregnancy as it can cause abortion.
  6. It is a good source of vitamin A. Beta-carotene present in carrots is a precursor of vitamin A. One unit of betacarotene gives two units of vitamin A, and is good for eyesight. This conversion is done by the liver and it is stored in our body.
  7. An infusion of carrot has long been used as a folk remedy for thread worms.
  8. Carrot leaves contain a vitamin E-rich oil and, in some areas, are used in the making of soup.
  9. Carrot is rich in alkaline elements which purify and revitalize the blood. It nourishes the entire system and helps in the maintenance of acid-alkaline balance in the body.
  10. Carrot contains good amount of anti-cancer nutrient, beta carotene. One should make use of it daily in each meal.
  11. The juice of carrot is known as a "Miracle juice." It makes. a fine health-giving drink for children and adults alike. It strengthens the eyes and keeps the mucus membranes of all cavities of the body in healthy condition. It is beneficial in the treatment of dry and rough skin.
  12. Chewing a carrot immediately after food kills all the harmful germs in the mouth. It cleans the teeth, removes the food particles from cavities and checks bleeding of the gums and tooth decay.
  13. Regular use of carrot prevents formation of gastric ulcer and other digestive disorders.
  14. Carrot juice is an effective remedy in diseases like intestinal colic, colitis, appendicitis, peptic ulcer and dyspepsia.
  15. Carrot soup is an effective natural remedy for diarrhea as it gives sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulphur and magnesium essential to check diarrhea. Besides, it is good source of pectin and coats the intestine to allay inflammation. It checks growth of harmful bacteria and prevents vomiting. It is specially useful for children (112 kg carrot to be cooked in 150 ml water until it becomes soft, water is drained, little salt is added, 112 cup soup is given every half an hour).
  16. Carrots are useful in the removal of worms from children. A small cup of juice or two medium-sized carrots taken in the morning for at least a week clears the thread worms.

Carrot products like carrot juice, carotene concentrates, carrot oil etc. are prepared by canning and dehydration. Both canning and dehydration have been used for preserving carrots. The carotene content of canned carrot is slightly affected by storage for six month, Vitamin B1& B2 are better retained but there is loss of vitamin C. It is stored in cans after pressure-cooking and oven-cooking.

For dehydration, carrots are subjected to steam blanching for 5-7 minutes. The sliced material is dipped in a solution of sulphur dioxide before blanching, as this treatment improves color retention in dehydrated products. Carrots are dried to 5% moisture or less and packed in containers with nitrogen. The dehydrated product retains most of the vitamins.

Carrot juice is prepared by pressing carrots. After routine treatment, juice is stored and remains fresh for over a year. It retains all the vitamins and minerals.

Beta-carotene concentrates are prepared from fresh or dried carrots. The juice-free carrots are macerated and digested with alkali under pressure and the carotene is extracted with mineral oil.

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