CARROT, daucus carota, is a well- known household vegetable. Carrot is native to Eurasia and northern Africa. It belongs to the umbelliferae family of plants, and grows up to 80cm high, with tiny leaves. Both the plant and the root are referred to as carrot. A biennial plant [lasts only for two seasons], car- rot grows very well in its first season and stores a surplus of food in its root, which becomes big, fleshy and large and orange coloured due to the presence of carotene. In the second season the root becomes woody and less nutritious and delicious.
As early as 1500 BC, the skin friendly effect of carrot was well known. Carrot is the king of cosmetic herbs. Its skin-friendly property is due to the presence of provitamin A. The root contains pectin, a glycosidic sub- stance with absorbent and ant diarrheic actions. It also contains potassium, phosphorus and essential oil. Its pecu- liar aroma and vermifuge effect are due to the presence of essential oil. Carrot also contains vitamin B and C.
But what are vitamins? Vitamins are organic compounds needed by the body for sustenance of health, proper metabolism and growth. Vitamins are also needed for hormonal formation, building up of blood cells and for the sustenance of the nervous system. Though there are many vitamins, they all differ in physiology and chemistry. Each group of vitamins is therefore unique and different. Vitamins help to ginger important chemical reactions in the body, without which the body will lack vitality and force.
A lot of mystery still surrounds how vitamins operate and how they cause their endless chemical reactions in the body. Science has opened new frontiers in the human search for knowledge, but there are still so many mysteries surrounding human physiology and chemistry which science is yet to discover. Indeed, life is bigger than science and the human heart deeper than logic.
There are two classes of Vitamins, namely, fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins. The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K. These vitamins are present in fat-containing foods and can be stored in the body’s fat. The water-soluble vitamins are the eight B vitamins, and vitamin C. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins that can be stored in the body and so need not be consumed everyday, water-soluble vitamins cannot be stored and so have to be consumed daily or frequently.
How to apply carrot therapy
Carrot is used both internally and externally for various health complaints. You can use carrot in three ways as explained below.
Method 1: Carrot juice drink: Cut 7 carrots into pieces and blend with two bottles [beer bottles] of water and one of honey. Drink half a glass [approx. 200ml] morning and night.
Method 2: Grated carrot: Simply cut some carrots into shreds and add to salad or add to your meal. Alternatively, you can simply chew the carrot. This is the most convenient way as it does not require any preparation.
Method 3: Beauty cream: To make carrot beauty cream blend 5 carrots with a bottle of honey. Rub it on the face or body at night and leave it overnight. Wash it off in the morning. Do this every night for at least two months. You will be amazed at the transformation it will bring to your skin.
You want a youthful and healthy skin? You want your skin to take on a youthful glow and radiate beauty and health? Then make friend with carrot. It is not an accident that carrot is so easily available everywhere in our society. It is true, and I agree, that one’s state of mind matters a lot when it comes to physical appearance. Nevertheless, it is also true, as scientific evidence testifies, that carrot makes the skin healthy and youthful. Do you suffer from skin dryness, wrinkles, atrophy or acne? Then make friend with carrot and you will see the difference. Carrot not only helps the skin but also strengthens the nails and hair and gives them a natural look. Such is the beauty enhancing qualities of carrot.
Carrot helps to prevent kidney stones and gall bladder stones. This it does by helping to balance mucosas, that is, the membranes that cover the interior of ducts and organ cavities. By strengthening the immune system, carrot helps to prevent sinusitis, cough and catarrh. Carrot also gives a quick relieve in cases of gastritis, ulcers and excess acidity.
Mothers should train their children to love carrot rather than coke or chocolate. As from six months onward, let your baby take carrot and watch to see the effect. It prevents diarrhea and anaemia, stimulate growth, help tooth growth and beautiful skin. Sickle cell anemia is still common in our society. But carrot is there to offer hope and solace. A sickle cell sufferer who takes carrot regularly can live a crisis-free life and grow up to ripe old-age. Carrot takes care of the complications associated with sickle-cell anaemia. Children who suffer from growth retardation and are so deficient that they can’t walk, or talk or play, will benefit from carrot.
Carrot helps to expel worms or parasites due to its essential oil. For this, it is recommended that you eat fresh, raw carrot or grated. Two carrots on empty stomach for a week is effective. Note, however, that carrot is very sensitive to light. Carotene, which is the main active component of carrot, loses a lot of its potency when exposed to light for long. It is therefore recommended that you eat your grated carrot as soon as possible or better still, immediately. For diarrhea and colitis, boiled or grated carrot will be beneficial due to the presence of pectin. Boiling does not harm carotene, its major ingredient, but exposure to light does. So feel free to boil carrot with your yam or rice and enjoy yourself naturally.
Carrot is invaluable in treating infertility. Drinking carrot juice is excellent for treating dysmenorhea [painful menstruation], ammernohea [premature menopause], annovulation [inability to ovulate] and hormonal imbalance.