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Doctor carrot - medicinal properties of a well-known root vegetable
There is no garden plot or rural vegetable garden where there would be no garden bed or even two with carrots. This plant, famous for its delicious juicy roots, is known to people and has been cultivated by them since time immemorial. And this is understandable.
Carrots belong to the Umbrella family. There are two varieties of this crop: wild carrot (Daucus carota) and seed carrot (Daucus carota sativus).
Wild carrots grow in natural conditions, its root crop cannot be eaten, and sowing carrots are divided into fodder carrots, which are grown for livestock feed, and table carrots, it is it that is grown for consumption by gardeners and summer residents.
Carrots are delicious and healthy. Modern studies have shown that in its bright orange roots (now there are roots of a different color - red, white, yellow and even purple, and it has been proven that carotene is responsible for the orange and red color of carrots, anthocyanins are responsible for the purple color, and the roots of yellow and white are juicy and sugar-rich) contains many substances useful for the human body: sugar in it - 6.5%, there are proteins, vitamins - C, E, K, vitamins of group B, provitamin A (carotene), as well as mineral potassium salts, copper, iron, cobalt, phosphorus.
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Now you can buy carrot root vegetables all year round in grocery stores and supermarkets. Yet experienced gardeners and summer residents prefer to grow carrots in their beds. They have mastered all the methods of harvesting. To have fresh juicy carrots as early as possible - in late spring - early summer, they use winter sowing. To do this, they prepare a bed in a high place not flooded with melt water, fill it with organic matter, cut grooves for sowing with a depth of 2-3 cm.And at the end of October or at the beginning of November, when the soil is seized by the first frost, the seeds are sown, and then they are closed with fertile soil or compost, mulch with peat.
In spring, in order to accelerate the germination of carrots and ensure an earlier appearance of root crops, experts recommend covering the bed with a film to better warm the soil. Later, after the first shoots appear, it is advisable to cover the seedlings with white spunbond to protect them from damage by the carrot leaf. And then, in late spring - early summer, you can already try the first root crops. You just need to remember that carrots grown in this way cannot be stored for a long time - they cannot be left for the winter, but must be consumed immediately after harvesting or frozen after chopping in the freezer.
In the spring, carrots are sown for various purposes. There are various varieties for this, the choice is very large: early ripening, mid-ripening, late-ripening. The first of them are sown mainly in order to get an early harvest (after 100 days) of vitamin root crops for fresh consumption. Popular and very tasty varieties - Zabava, Karotel. Mid-late varieties ripen in 120 days. They are intended for winter storage. The Vitamin carrot variety is known here. Late-ripening varieties take up to 140 days to ripen. Their roots are grown for winter use. Recently, the late-ripening variety of carrots Queen of Autumn has been popular.
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Carrots are delicious fresh. Remember your childhood years - with what pleasure you crunched carrots that had just been pulled out of the garden, washed and peeled. She is also good in various dishes. A stupefying aroma rises from the kitchen when they cook fried with onions and carrots there for soup or other dish.
Now almost everyone knows what carotene is. Its lack in the body leads to metabolic and nervous system disorders, to a decrease in immunity. If you ask someone: where to find this carotene? Most people will answer - in carrots. Indeed, carrots are a rich source of beta-carotene (vitamin A). It is believed that two good carrots are enough to provide our body's daily need for this vitamin. True, experts say that for its absorption, carrots should be eaten with vegetable oil or sour cream. Once in the body, carotene is converted into vitamin A, which is essential for our eyes, hair, skin, reproductive system and liver.
And it is no coincidence that in folk medicine, carrots have long been used as a means to improve digestion, heal wounds, and increase milk secretion in nursing mothers. Also, folk healers recommended eating carrots for the prevention and treatment of "night blindness". And now doctors advise eating it to strengthen the retina of the eyes, to prevent conjunctivitis and other eye diseases. Eating carrots containing beta-carotene helps with anemia and chronic body fatigue. The pigment apigenin is found in the core of the carrot root, which helps relieve fatigue of the heart muscle.
Raw carrots have been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels, helping to reduce the risk of stroke.
Due to the content of potassium and other trace elements, carrots are useful for high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, varicose veins and other cardiovascular diseases.
Carrot pulp extracts are used for the treatment of urolithiasis and pathologies of the bile ducts.
The juice obtained from carrot roots also has unique medicinal properties. Regular intake of it helps the endocrine system to work normally, this juice increases the body's resistance to bronchitis, flu. And with angina, it is recommended to mix fresh carrot juice and warm boiled water in equal parts, add one or two tablespoons of honey to a glass with this mixture and rinse a sore throat with this liquid. This rinsing also helps with stomatitis.
Scientists believe that all parts of the plant are useful in carrots, even the tops. It also contains many vitamins, even more than root vegetables. It also contains trace elements such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, which have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. It is somehow not customary for us to cook salads with the addition of young juicy carrot tops, and in European countries it is sold even for these purposes in vegetable stores. And the tops are willingly bought.
Decoctions for external and internal use are prepared from fresh or dried carrot tops. These broths, which have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, wash wounds and cuts.
Carrot tops decoction
To obtain it, one tablespoon of chopped dry or fresh carrot tops is poured with half a liter of boiling water, insisted for half an hour. Then the broth is filtered and used for its intended purpose. For example, it is used for herpes and stomatitis. Practice has shown that such a decoction is useful during childbirth to stimulate uterine contractions. In this case, it is recommended to take it every half hour, 100 ml.
Carrot seeds also have medicinal benefits. A decoction is prepared from them, which helps dissolve stones in the gallbladder. This broth is also useful as an anthelmintic. It also lowers blood sugar.
Carrot seed decoction
For its preparation, three tablespoons of seeds are poured with three glasses of boiling water and placed in a water bath for 10 minutes. Then it is filtered and taken hot, 1 glass 2-3 times a day.
In folk medicine, an infusion is prepared from carrot seeds and an infusion for the treatment of legs with varicose veins. To do this, pour one tablespoon of seeds with a glass of boiled water and bring the liquid to a boil. Keep boiling for 1-2 minutes, then insist for two hours. It is recommended to take such an infusion 3 tablespoons 3 times a day.
A purified dry extract "Daucarin" is obtained from carrot seeds. Indications for its use are chronic coronary insufficiency, manifested by pain in the chest and in the region of the heart at rest or after physical exertion. At the same time, "Daucarin" eliminates pains or significantly relieves them.
Possible contraindications for carrots
As they say, everything is good in moderation. And even healthy and tasty carrots, consumed in large quantities, can harm some people. It should not be eaten with colitis and enterocolitis, as well as with exacerbation of peptic ulcer disease, diabetes mellitus (diabetics are advised to use boiled carrots - they contain 34% more antioxidants than raw ones) and for problems with the thyroid gland. Also, excess beta-carotene can cause yellowing of the skin of the hands and face in some people.
Photo by Olga Rubtsova and E. Valentinov