The Humble Carrot
Indigenous to the north-western Indian subcontinent, carrots are an easy and nutritious vegetable to eat!
They contain over 13,000 i.u. of vitamin A per 100g and are also one of the richest sources of the antioxidant beta-carotene (provitamin A), which protects against cancer as well as treats night blindness, ear infections, earaches, and deafness. Beta-carotene/vitamin A benefits the skin and is anti-inflammatory for the mucous membranes.
Carrots benefits according to Ayurveda are extensive. They purify the blood, benefits the lungs, strengthen the spleen/pancreas, and improve liver function. Carrots are useful for skin lesions and lung infections. They ease whooping cough and coughs in general. The juice heals burns when applied directly. Carrots increase the milk supply of nursing mothers and help regulate all hormones. They help ripen measles and chicken pox.
They have diuretic properties – improving kidney function, helping dissolve accumulations such as stones and tumors, treating indigestion including excess stomach acid and heartburn, eliminating putrefactive bacteria in the intestines and have been used for diarrhea and chronic dysentery. Grated carrots are best for parasites and dysentery and have been used as a poultice over cancerous growths to reduce inflammation and odour. Carrots are cooked in cases of diarrhea; when cooked and pureed or as a soup, they benefit infants with weak digestion. They contain large amounts of silicaceous fiber and the ability to liquefy the bile which makes them useful in treating constipation. They can also help eliminate infection of the digestive and urinary tract.
Carrots also contain an essential oil that destroys pinworms and roundworms. They are alkaline-forming and clear acidic blood conditions including acne, tonsillitis, and rheumatism.
Eating carrot sticks daily helps strengthen children’s teeth, and in some cases, can reduce overcrowding of the teeth by encouraging the development of the lower jaw.
For a concentration of vitamin A and other nutrients, juice is ideal and makes a good foundation for adding other juices.
The tops are bitter and serve as a mineral-rich addition to soups and broths. Adding a little of the tops when juicing carrots makes the juice less sweet but a better remedy for cancer prevention, liver stagnation, and damp conditions.
Caution: Carrot juice is very sweet, and regular over consumption may lead to weakened kidneys with symptoms such as head hair loss. No more than four cups a day is recommended.