As temperatures sore here in the land of LaLa, deep in the earth edible taproots are descending further and further into moist dirt. The carrot, in all her guises from seed, flower and root is illuminated this very fine hot summer day.
Although historical evidence is inconclusive, most likely our modern carrot originated in Afghanistan from the wild carrot. The domesticated Daucus carota, sativus is native to Europe and now grows throughout the world. Over time the root transformed from a small root used mainly as a medicinal plant to a world renown sweet, fleshy edible root. Infamous in the natural food sector the carrot not only evolved in texture and taste but also in color from white to purple to reddish hues.
The World Carrot Museum offers a plethora of fun links and educational information regarding our umbellious orange friend, including carrot festivals throughout the world. The city of Holtville, California will host a celebration complete with floats sometime in January/February.
For aromatherapy and botanical, natural perfume we have Carrot Seed essential oil, steam distilled from the dried, crushed seeds. The golden yellow essence has a pleasant dry, earthy character laced with wood and spice notes which works well in Chypre and Oriental compositions. I am extremely fond of the aroma of carrot seed essential oil and have included a few drops of this middle note in the new Gracing the Dawn perfume.
Carrot seed essential oil and the C02 extract is valued in aromatherapy for it's performance in skin treatments, detoxifying formulas and as an aid to digestion. There is also a carrot seed hydrosol which is terrific sprayed on the skin. Read more about hydrosols in the book by expert Suzanne Catty.
As a seed, in morphological terms, it is associated with new life, growth and the base chakra. According to the Blending Manual by Jade Shutes the keywords associated with essences from seeds are: Creation, Movement, Reproduction and Release.
Considering we are now in an Earthly phase of dynamic change and shifting carrot seed essential oil is a great choice. The essence will work well in blends to designed to balance and facilitate movement, especially with any bodily dis ease attributed to stress.
According the Steffen Arctander the French use carrot seed oil in flavorings for seasonings and liquors. In our home, during the summer, we tend to use carrots raw in smoothies and for salads. Our favorite smoothie is inspired by one we sampled at Paru's Indian Restaurant in East Hollywood. Into a blender we add fresh raw carrots, almond milk, almonds and cardamon.
Images: Carrot Flowers are Pretty on Wikipedia by Fir0002, Carrot, Nose and Mouth on parchment by Roxana Villa.