Carrot Seed Essential Oil
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Carrot Seed Essential Oil - General Description
Carrot seed essential oil is extracted through steam distillation from the seeds of the wild carrot, Daucus carota. Wild carrot, otherwise known as Queen Anne's lace in North America, is a biennial flowering plant thriving in the temperate areas of Europe and southwest Asia and should not be confused with their domesticated or cultivated "for human consumption" cousins, Daucus carota subsp. sativus. These herbs have tripinnate lacy leaves and umbels composed of small white flowers.  Prior to steam distillation, the dried carrot seeds may be crushed.
Carrot seed essential oil has a distinguishable woody, earthy, slightly sweet scent and appears yellowish to amber or light orange brown in color with a thin to medium consistency. It has a medium to strong aroma that is described by some as harsh; its aroma though becomes mild with herbaceous hints when blended with other essential oils such as rose geranium, juniper, lavender, lemon, lime, and clary sage essential oils and carrier oils. 
Not only is carrot seed essential oil valuable in perfumery and food aromatization, but also it works wonders on dry, oily, damaged, or wrinkled skin and eliminates toxin build-up, thus its therapeutic utility in skin care.  In aromatherapy, carrot seed essential oil helps relieve stress and anxiety and is an excellent promoter of good respiratory and digestive functions.
Carrot Seed Essential Oil - Uses and Reported Benefits
Carrot seed essential oil is regarded as an important additive to skin creams and claimed to rejuvenate dry and damaged skin, reduce skin wrinkles and fine lines, soothe burns, blisters, and scars, balance skin moisture, remove excessive water accumulation, enhance skin complexion, and encourage healthy hair growth. It is also considered potentially beneficial to detoxify the liver, cleanse the digestive tract, and relieve pain associated with arthritis, gout, and rheumatism when used in massages and baths or as compress. Among the beneficial properties listed for carrot seed essential oil include anthelmintic, antiseptic, carminative, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, hepatic, stimulant, and tonic. 
Carrot Seed Essential Oil - Contraindications and Safety
Great caution should be used if harvesting D. carota because it bears a close resemblance to poison hemlock. In addition, the leaves of the wild carrot can cause phytophotodermatitis, so caution (protective gloves) should also be used when handling the plant. 
As with other essential oils, carrot seed essential oil should not be taken internally. It should be diluted with a base oil for skin application or diffused for up to an hour daily. Pregnant women are strongly advised not to use carrot seed essential oil due to the possible risk of bleeding.
Individuals with a history of epilepsy are to avoid carrot seed essential oil application or aromatherapy. Because of the stimulating nature of carrot seed essential oil, it may trigger overstimulation and severe reactions in epileptic patients.
Carrot Seed Essential Oil - Scientific Studies and Research
Carrot Seed Essential Oil as antifungal: A Polish research group from the Institute of Chemistry, University of Opole, screened the antifungal activities of sesquiterpenic allelochemicals that can be isolated from carrot seed essential oil against Alternaria alternata, a phytotoxic allergenic fungus notorious for being the most common fungal cause of asthma. In this study, the sesquiterpenes existing in carrot seed essential oil, namely, carotol, daucol, and beta-caryophyllene, were identified from the surface of carrot seeds, with the strongest antifungal activity having been observed for carotol, the principal compound of carrot seed essential oil. Carotol deterred the radial growth of fungi by 65%.  Antifungal activities of the essential oil were also observed against dermatophytes and Cryptococcus neoformans, with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values ranging from 0.16 to 0.64 μL mL(-1). 
Carrot Seed Essential Oil as antibacterial: Increasing in vitro evidence indicates that carrot seed essential oil possesses potent antibacterial property and can act as an antimicrobial agent against a wide range of bacteria. In mouse models, Bergonzelli, Donnicola, Porta, and Corthésy-Theulaz (2003) evaluated the antibacterial effect of 60 essential oils against Helicobacter pylori in the gastric mucosa, which is a Gram-negative bacterium associated with gastritis, gastric ulcers, and gastric cancer. They further analyzed the effects of various essential oils on the viability of the said bacterial species and tested sixteen essential oils presenting varying inhibitory potentials in liquid medium. After an hour of incubation with H. pylori, the essential oils tested caused a pronounced inhibition of H. pylori P1 viability, with carrot seed essential oil being the most active with a minimum bactericidal concentration of 0.5 g/liter. Furthermore, carrot seed essential oil also exhibited very strong bactericidal potential against other H. pylori strains (ATCC 43504, 1172, 2322.7, P49, and SS1). In this study, although oral administration of carrot seed essential oil for 14 days to mice that had been inoculated with H. pylori SS1 failed to significantly decrease the bacterial loads in the treated animals compared with those in the controls, it was able to clear infection in 20 to 30% of mice treated with carrot seed essential oil.  Using broth dilution method, Marzouki et al. (2010) likewise examined the antimicrobial activity of carrot seed essential oil against Escherichia coli ATCC 35218 and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 43300 and clinical strains of Candida albicans and C. tropicalis 1011 RM. Results revealed an MIC value greater than 2.5% (v/v) for the carrot seed essential oil. 
Carrot Seed Essential Oil as smooth muscle relaxant and vasodilatory: Carrot seed essential oil demonstrated in animal organ studies both smooth muscle relaxant and vasodilatory action. In the study Gilani et al. (2000), activity-directed fractionation of carrot aerial parts resulted in the isolation of two coumarin glycosides. Intravenous administration of both carrot coumarins has been proven to lead to a dose-dependent decrease in arterial blood pressure in normotensive anaesthetized rats and to dose-dependently inhibit spontaneously beating guinea pig atria and K+-induced contractions of rabbit aorta. The in vivo study attributed the blood pressure-lowering activities of the two carrot coumarins to the blockade of calcium channels. 
Carrot Seed Extract as antioxidant and hepatoprotectant: Extracts of carrot seeds have been evidenced as well to decrease oxidative stress, improve antioxidant status, and render liver protection in experimental animal models. In the study of Rezaei-Moghadam et al. (2012), who had investigated the antioxidant potentials of turmeric and carrot seed extracts in rats, the experimental groups receiving different doses of turmeric and carrot seed extracts displayed significantly increased levels of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase in their hepatic tissues and decreased malondialdehyde content and alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alkaline phosphatase levels as compared to the control groups. This means that orally administration of the extracts enhanced the levels of antioxidant enzymes, inhibited peroxidation activity in the liver tissue, and reduced hepatic oxidative damage. 
Carrot Seed Essential Oil - Molecular Components and Chemistry
Carrot seed essential oil contains a number of active components, including steroids, triterpenes, carbohydrates, glycerides, tannins, flavonoids, amino acid, carotene, and hydrocarotene. It has been heavily reported by several studies to be an excellent natural source of sesquiterpenes, especially carotol, daucol, and beta-caryophyllene.  In the study of Maxia et al. (2009), the essential oil yielded from flowering and mature carrot umbels with seeds was found to possess beta-bisabolene, 11-alpha-(H)-himachal-4-en-1-beta-ol, geranyl acetate, and and alpha-pinene. References:
 Daucus carota. Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daucus_carota
 Carrot seed essential oil. AromaWeb. Retrieved from http://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/carrot-seed-oil.asp
 Aura cacia essential oil carrot seed (Daucus carota) 0.5 oz. Amazon. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/CACIA-Essential-Carrot-daucus-carota/dp/B000I4AKBW
 Carrot 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oil- 5 ml. Amazon. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/Carrot-100-Therapeutic-Grade-Essential/dp/B005CBI5BS
 Jasicka-Misiak I. et al. (2004). Antifungal activity of the carrot seed oil and its major sesquiterpene compounds. Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C. 59(11-12): 791-796. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15666536
 Maxia A. et al. (2009). Chemical characterization and biological activity of essential oils from Daucus carota L. subsp. carota growing wild on the Mediterranean coast and on the Atlantic coast. Fitoterapia. 80(1): 57-61. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2008.09.008. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18950693
 Bergonzelli G. E., Donnicola D., Porta N., Corthésy-Theulaz I. E. (2003). Essential oils as components of a diet-based approach to management of Helicobacter infection. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 47(10): 3240-3246. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14506036
 Marzouki H. et al. (2010). Essential oils of Daucus carota subsp. carota of Tunisia obtained by supercritical carbon dioxide extraction. Natural Product Communications. 5(12): 1955-1958. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21299130
 Gilani A. H. et al. (2000). Hypotensive action of coumarin glycosides from Daucus carota. Phytomedicine. 7(5): 423-426. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11081994/
 Rezaei-Moghadam A. et al. (2012). Effect of turmeric and carrot seed extracts on serum liver biomarkers and hepatic lipid peroxidation, antioxidant enzymes and total antioxidant status in rats. BioImpacts: 2(3): 151-157. doi:10.5681/bi.2012.020. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3648928/?report=classic
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