Carrot Seed: A Queenly Plant
I remember being quite taken by the many umbels of “Queen Anne’s Lace” that graced the roadsides and meadows during many a childhood summer! It took my imagination over to the land of fairy tales and butterflies! Did the same happen to you?
Only later in life was it brought to my attention that the plant is actually “Wild Carrot” and also goes by the name of “Bird’s Nest.” Another other common name is “Queen Anne’s Lace,” colloquially referring to the lace-like umbels. There is generally a single blackish-red flower in the center of the florets which by some accounts was thought to represent a drop of blood from Queen Anne of England when she pricked her finger while sewing lace.
For classification purposes, Wild Carrot (Daucus carota subsp carota) is in the Apiaceae family which includes other friends such as Angelica, Lovage, Parsley and Celery. As with many plants classified in the Apiaceae genera Daucus carota has a biennial life cycle. During the first year it manifests as rosette green leaves where the focus is on storing energy in the whitish-root. Then it sends up its flowers through the growing season of the second year before going to seed.
A Queenly Plant Is Considered a Weed?
Wild Carrot is classified as a noxious weed by some states in North America. It has naturalized across fields, disturbed ground and along roadsides since European settlers brought the plant to the continent. Although related to the edible carrot (Daucus carota subsp. sativa), “carota” has a small, inedible, tough and whitish taproot. It is thought that cultivated (“sativa”) carrots were first developed in the Afghani-Pakistani region from the wild carrot (Daucus carota var. carota).
Should you decide to start collecting this plant be careful about plant id as it may be easily confused with deadly plants in the Apiaceae family, notably Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum) and “Giant Hog Weed” (Heracleum mantegaz-zianum). Queen Anne’s Lace has hairy stems whereas Hemlock is smooth with purple spots along its stems and Giant Hog Weed is, well, giant (but not when it’s young!).
Carrot Seed Essential Oil: Protective and Reparative
Carrot Seed’s essential oil is obtained from the wild harvested and dried seeds of Daucus carota subsp. carota and most often harvested and distilled for its essence in France, Holland, Hungary and Egypt.
This highly adaptable plant creates a home and provides food to several insects showing how it is “a supporter of others” that fosters growth. Its personality is that of someone “who gets you;” not mothering but there to support and hold. Consider the flower as it goes to seed, how it becomes protective by folding in on itself.
Affinities and Usage Applications for Carrot Seed Essential Oil
Carrot Seed essential oil is well tolerated by the skin and an effective regenerator as well as a digestive and detoxification supporter (i.e., it has an affinity for the liver). As a historically regenerative herb it is not to be used during moments of crisis but during convalescence.
When considering the skin and digestion what is happening on the inside manifests outside. Carrot seed’s umbels may assist with both and are tightly-knit as a “seed nest”. When I think of this plant and its affinity for reparative and restorative properties for the skin this makes sense: think about knitting tissues together. This plant grows on sites that are disturbed and neglected—it helps repair and heal the land. The taproot breaks up congested soil—bringing to mind a congested liver or GI tract. Following are core indications for working with Carrot Seed essential oil:
- Carrot seed aids in getting things moving. It supports healthy digestion, stimulates the appetite and urination (diuretic) and helps relax and dispel (i.e., gas and constipation).
- Consider blending with other members of the Apiaceae family such as Fennel seed, Lovage root and Coriander, members of the Citrus family such as Grapefruit and our friends Ginger and Cardamom.
- Encourage skin health and revitalization. Carrot seed is not only regenerative but also works with fungal infections and soothes dry skin.
- Consider blending with Helichrysum, German chamomile, Yarrow, Rosemary verbenone and “Spike” or “True” Lavender. Other reparative plants to consider are Sandalwood (Santalum sp.), Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) and Rock rose (Cistus ladanifer).
- Support the nervous system and emotions with Carrot Seed’s message about “trusting your gut.” Calming without sedation its warming energy holds you and supports the possibility of “letting go.”
- Consider blending with any of the botanicals listed above!
Impressions of Carrot Seed Essential Oil
Being with the oil slows down time, encapsulating the lazy-hazy mid-summer weather the plant thrives in. It is calming but not sedative and offers time to rest, digest and repair.
The olfactory experience is tenacious and permeates the head from the temples down to the soft palate of the throat. Blood is drawn to the hollows of the cheeks hinting at the start of digestion. The action slowly glides its way down the esophagus to the stomach and circulates in the solar plexus. Its action is deep yet gentle in the body rather than drawing attention outward. Carrot seed is nurturing without coddling while asking you to “trust your gut.”
The aromatic palate of Carrot Seed starts off warm, spicy, fresh and sweet; layered with intense and persistent notes of dry-dirt-earth, roots and woody tar-like notes. Going in deeper are layers of ozone mixed with chlorine and Lovage root. After the first clear, sharp and pointed introduction, the dry-out is heavy with wood and sawdust, deep leather, dusky and languid. The end mellows into a dry-warm, lazy summer day where carrot seed’s essence lets you know that “everything is going to be okay.” It is steady, quiet and enduring. The aroma is very distinct. It is highly suggested to use the oil with discernment. The aromatic palate of carrot seed is deceptively complex and I’ve found it varies by the geographic location and year it is from
Aromatherapy Recipes with Carrot Seed Essential Oil
Revitalizing Face & Body Serum
Harness the power of aromatic wonders known to help repair and tone tissues. The base oils for this serum are also quite healing and reparative as well as shelf-stable.
10 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil
5 drops Carrot seed (Daucus carota subsp. carota) essential oil
5 drops Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) essential oil
5 drops Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) essential oil
1 drop Cistus (Cistus ladanifer) essential oil
15 ml Baobab (Adansonia digitata) fixed oil
9 ml Camellia (Camellia sinensis) fixed oil
6 ml Meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba) fixed oil
How to make:
Combine the essential oils into a one ounce glass bottle (with a pump top or dropper top) and swirl the bottle around to combine the essential oils. Measure the fixed oils into a graduated cylinder then add the mixture to the glass bottle. Affix the top, shake to disperse the oils and label appropriately.
- For reparative work on the face and neck (e.g., sagging skin, toning) consider using up to 2 times daily, after cleansing, for 60 days. Consider applying the serum more often for work on the body (e.g., liver spots on the hands, scars).
- For maintenance, use 3 to 5 x/week for 60 days.
Digestive Support Salve
It isn’t always necessary to ingest botanicals to realize their effect on digestion. Help ease bloating, gas and get things moving by massaging a salve made with essential oils known to aid the eliminatory organs and dispel gas. Consider adding the following essential oil blend to 2 ounces of a basic salve base or oil base such as sesame or jojoba.
- 18 drops Carrot seed (Daucus carota subsp. carota)essential oil
- 13 drops Ginger (Zingiber officinale)essential oil
- 13 drops Black pepper (Piper nigrum) essential oil
- 10 drops Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce) essential oil
- 6 drops Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) essential oil
Thank you for taking time out of your day to read about Carrot seed essential oil. Maybe it is an essential oil you work with a lot, or maybe it is a new ally to consider adding to your collection of essential oils. It is one I often include in face serums for myself and clients. I chose to write about carrot seed during the time it is blooming here in the Mid-Atlantic States. Although it’s considered an invasive and noxious weed by some, it has a lot to share and communicate. As one of my dear teachers once mused “How can you hate a plant?” So true.