Carrot is an edible plant-based root vegetable that is used as a common food item all around the world. It is taken both in raw and cooked form and is used in both savory and sweet dishes. Not only is carrot good in taste, but it also contains many beneficial properties for a healthy lifestyle and dietary habits.
Both Science and Ayurvedic experts prove that carrots are a good source of boosting the digestive system and maintaining overall good physical health. The presence of Beta- carotene, fiber, and antioxidants have been fruitful in improving many health conditions like diabetes mellitus (type 1 and 2), diarrhea, piles, constipation, fibromyalgia, and others. Carrots have also been used in various skincare routines for reducing pigmentation, dark spots, sun-blocking, etc. It also improves eyesight and lowers the chances of getting cataract-like problems. Various uses of carrots such as Carrot seed oil have been beneficial in maintaining hair growth due to its anti-hair fall measures. However, excessive use of anything, be it carrots, is not recommended. It is seen that carrots may cause a skin condition known as Carotenoderma.
Types of Carrot
Carrots are available in different varieties and colors. Varieties of carrots in orange, black, yellow, white, red, and purple are found worldwide. Among these, the orange-colored varieties are the most common ones. Yellow carrots contain the Lutein compound, which works great for improving the vision and health of the eyes. Black carrots are used for preventing the growth of cancer cells due to the presence of anthocyanin compounds.
Other Names for Carrot
Daucus carota sativa, Gajar, Gajjati, Gajara, Gajram, Gajjarakiangu, Zardak, are some of the other names for carrot.
Benefits of using carrots in Ayurvedic Treatment
For Hair Growth
According to Ayurvedic experts, hairfall in a person results from an aggravated Vata dosha in the body.
Carrot taken in the form of a topical application of Carrot seed oil can help increase the growth of hair. When applied on the scalp, carrot seed oil can gradually prevent hair fall by strengthening the hair roots. It contains Snigdha (Oily) and Ropan (healing) properties that can reduce the dryness of hair and promote new hair growth fast. You can add 5-10 drops of carrot seed oil to 10 ml of base oil like almond oil and massage the scalp with it.
For Healing Wounds
According to Ayurvedic experts, carrots are naturally infused with the healing properties of Ropan. This helps treat open wounds quickly and efficiently by reducing the swelling and bringing back the normal texture of the skin in no time. For this, you can take 2 carrots and blend them to a fine paste. Add coconut oil to the base and mix well. Apply on the affected area generously and let it sit there for 24 hours or more.
For Weight Loss
According to Ayurvedic experts, Carrots can be a good and healthy source for losing weight easily. An unhealthy lifestyle and dietary habits are the major cause of increased weight in a person. An excessive or abnormal weight gain ultimately results in weak digestive fiber, creating problems in digestion.
But, if carrots are taken regularly, it can produce a counter effect on the body. Since obesity results in Ama's accumulation and an imbalanced Meda dhatu, Carrots can help restore the meda dhatu to its normal level and remove Ama entirely. This is all due to its healing properties of Pachan (digestion) and Deepan (appetizer). Thus, including carrots in the daily diet can help overweight people in losing weight naturally.
For Treating Piles
In Ayurveda, Carrots are seen as a good source for reducing the symptoms of Piles (Arsh in Ayurveda) to a great extent. Piles of Arsh is caused due to an unhealthy diet and bad lifestyle habits. All three doshas in the body, mainly Vata, are thereby affected and get impaired eventually. This leads to many health problems, including Piles. Because of an aggravated Vata, the digestive fire in a person gets considerably weak, resulting in constipation. And, if not controlled early on, it can get worse by causing swelling of the veins of the rectum. This results in the accumulation of pile mass.
Carrots, on the other hand, are known to a potent healer in such cases. This is because they can restore the digestive fiber to a normal functional level and balance all the body's doshas. Due to the healing properties of Pachan (digestion) and Deepan (appetizer), Carrots will gradually improve the digestive system if taken regularly.
Both Ayurvedic and Science experts vouch for carrots' ability in restoring the texture and color of the skin.
From a scientific view, the topical oil application can result in a natural lightening of skin because of its anti-oxidant, sun-blocking, and anti-inflammatory properties. With excessive sun and pollution exposure, the skin might get burned, inflamed, or tanned easily. But antioxidants present in carrots help protect the skin against sun damage by inhibiting the production of free radicals. These free radicals are known to harm the skin cells. Thus taking carrots daily or regularly can help prevent pigmentation of skin, dark spots, and inflamed skin naturally.
From an Ayurvedic view, Carrot-based oil contains Pitta balancing compounds that help in skin lightening. By applying carrot oil on the skin, one can organically improve the skin texture and restore the natural color easily. This becomes an effective and alternate source of skin products, which are much better than cosmetic ones.
Treatment of diseases using Carrots
We will be dealing with the uses of carrots in treatments methods of different diseases from scientific and Ayurvedic point of view:
Even in the lack of any scientific proof, carrots may help in reducing the effects of Fibromyalgia.
No ayurvedic evidence on the treatment of Fibromyalgia.
Carrots are known to contain anti-bacterial properties. Since diarrhea is often caused by E.coli (a bacteria), consuming carrots can eventually prevent the worsening of diarrhea easily by inhibiting the spread of E.coli. Carrot soup is a widely followed remedial measure for patients (mostly infants) suffering from diarrhea.
Known as ‘Atisar’ in Ayurveda, diarrhea is caused due to an aggravated Vata in a person. A lifestyle involving an unhealthy diet, impure water, and a weak digestive system (Agnimandya) often leads to an imbalanced Vata. Due to this, fluids from various tissues get mixed up with stool, resulting in loose motions.
Carrots, on the other hand, contain Grah (an absorbent property), and if one consumes carrots, it can improve the fluid-retention capacity of the body. Thus, treating diarrhea in no time.
Little is known about the effects of carrots in treating constipation in patients. However, since Carrots are a rich source of fiber, they can help in managing constipation. Patients dealing with constipation are often advised to increase their intake of fiber-rich content.
No Ayurvedic proof of carrots being used for treating constipation.
● Diabetes mellitus( Type 1 and Type 2)
Carrots can help in controlling diabetes mellitus (type 1 and 2) as they increase glucose tolerance levels in a person. An increased glucose tolerant capacity will result in more secretion of insulin, thus helping in managing diabetes.
Madhumeha, which is an ayurvedic term for diabetes, is caused due to an aggravated Vata. Ama (a toxic byproduct of weak digestion) gets accumulated in cells of the pancreas in people with weak digestive capacity. This results in the weakening of insulin.
But if a person increases its intake of carrots, it can help greatly as it contains balancing properties for Vata, Pachan (digestion), and Deepan (appetizer).
It will help in making insulin functional again and also help in maintaining blood sugar levels.
Cancer may be managed with the help of carrots as they are rich in contents having anti-cancer properties. These are antioxidants, carotene, and polyacetylenes like compounds.
Black carrot, a variety of carrot, is rich with anthocyanins that prevent cancer cells from metastise.
There is no Ayurvedic use of carrots in the treatment of cancer.
● Gout and Hyperuricemia
Despite a lack of scientific evidence regarding carrots' effects in treating gout and hyperuricemia, carrots can be considered useful. Carrots are alkaline in nature. And, since gout patients are advised to take an alkaline-rich diet, carrots make for a healthy option among them.
No mention of carrots in treating gout or hyperuricemia.
Ways of Consuming Carrots with Recommended Dosage
Carrots can be taken in the following ways:
Whole raw carrot: Increase your intake of carrots every day at a manageable level. It is recommended to eat 2-4 carrots every day or as per your suitability. Have it mostly after breakfast or before meals as it will improve your digestion later on.
Carrot Juice: Juice strained from the pulp of carrots can be a healthy addition to your diet. Take 4-5 carrots and wash/peel them properly. Add them to a juicer, add few drops of water to it and blend well. Strain the juice into a glass. You can even add a few drops of lemon or salt to enhance the taste of it.
Recommended Dosage: 5-6 teaspoons of carrot juice once or twice a day.
Carrot Salad: Carrots have been one of the most used ingredients in the salad. However, you can create a salad exclusively with diced or evenly sliced carrots. Or you can opt for the common salad types using other vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, radish, etc.
Carrot Powder: Carrots are also available in powder. You can take one-fourth to half a teaspoon of carrot powder in water. You can even use honey if you like. Mix well or add salt or lemon as per your wish. Consume it once or twice a day for an improved digestive system.
Recommended Dosage: ¼ or ½ teaspoon twice a day.
Carrot Fibre Capsules: You can take 1-2 capsules of carrots daily or as per your convenience. You can either mix it in warm water or swallow it with water.
Recommended Dosage: 1 or 2 capsules twice a day.
Carrot Seed Oil: To apply on the scalp, you can take 5-10 drops of carrot seed oil and mix it with 10ml of other oil like olive or jasmine oil. Gently massage the scalp to increase penetration of oil into the hair roots.
Using Carrots for Skin Care
For naturally healthy and bright skin, carrots are often recommended as part of a daily diet. You can use carrots in the following ways for various skincare routines:
a) Carrot Face Scrub
For making a DIY raw carrot face scrub:
- Take 1 raw carrot and blend to a fine paste.
- Add a few drops of honey and mix well.
- Apply evenly on the face and let it sit for 1-2 hours.
- Scrub gently to exfoliate the skin.
- Wash off with tap water.
- Apply this scrub 2 or 3 times a week for clear and bright skin.
b) Carrot Face Cleanser
For making a DIY face cleanser using carrot seed oil:
- Take 4 or 5 drops of carrot seed oil and mix with lavender oil.
- Dip a cotton pad into the mix.
- Wipe your face gently and thoroughly with cleanser.
- Apply this once a day before going to bed or after waking up.
- Use regularly for better results for clear and glowing skin.
c) Carrot Powder Face Pack
For making a DIY Carrot powder face pack:
- Take half a teaspoon of carrot powder.
- Mix with few drops of honey.
- Apply evenly on the skin and leave for 1-2 hours.
- Use this face pack 2-3 times per week for clear and glowing skin.
Side effects of Carrots
● Even though carrots are a great healthy source of food, they can have few side effects. According to science experts, overconsumption of carrots can lead to yellowing of the skin or tooth decay.
● Carotenoderma- Having too many carrots may result in a skin condition known as Carotenoderma. According to science experts, excessive carrots' excessive intake can lead to discoloration of areas with sebaceous glands like palms and soles. However, it can be treated easily with a diet change, including the recommended intake of carrots. Even with dietary care, the condition will naturally subside within days.
Precautionary Guide for Consuming Carrots
● Patients with Diarrhea
According to science experts, people experiencing diarrhea should avoid or limit their carrots intake as it can aggravate the problem.
● Patients with Diabetes
According to science experts, carrots can reduce blood sugar levels, thereby imposing a risk on health. Thus it is advised to consult a doctor beforehand. They will tell you if it's fine to eat carrots while you are on anti-diabetic drugs.
● Patients undergoing Hormonal therapy
They also advise not to take carrots in any form if one is on any kind of hormonal therapy.
● Patients on Laxatives
People consuming laxatives should also avoid carrots as it may increase the effects of laxatives, causing more harm than benefit. So you should consult your doctor beforehand regarding the intake of carrots along with laxatives.
FAQ’s about Carrots
What are the benefits of eating raw carrots?
Eating carrots in the raw form is beneficial in many different ways. Carrots are rich in nutrients and therefore work wonders in improving one’s health. They contain rich amounts of fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin K, antioxidants as well. Beta-carotene is responsible for giving the carrot its orange color and is a useful antioxidant. When consumed, these beta-carotene compounds get converted to vitamin A inside the body of the person.
Is it okay to eat Carrots every day?
Yes, they can be consumed every day if taken in a limited amount. In Ayurveda, carrots are regarded as one of the healthiest food items that can be consumed for better health and life. They are helpful in maintaining a good digestive system due to their healing Pachan (digestion) and Deepan (appetizer) properties. Carrots can be taken regularly in the form of salad or juice.
Can I eat carrots on an empty stomach?
Yes. You can eat carrots on an empty stomach. According to science experts, you should try to eat them at least 30 minutes before or after any meal. In fact, eating carrots on an empty stomach is much more beneficial since carrots can prevent minerals' absorption when taken with other food items. Eat carrots as a snack or 30 minutes before lunch or dinner.
Is Carrot oil good for use?
Yes, it is. The oil that has been enriched with carrot extracts can be useful for many reasons. It is good for maintaining healthy skin and hair. According to science experts, It can be used to save the skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation as it contains antioxidants and properties that keep the UV-radiation at bay. It also reduces the pigmentation of skin because of the presence of Beta-carotene and vitamin A compounds. Due to its antitumor/anticancer properties, carrot oil has also been used to manage skin cancer.
How does Carrot seed oil act as a sunscreen?
Carrot seed oil acts as a natural sunscreen by blocking the harmful UV-radiation away from the skin. The carrot seed oil has an SPF between 38 and 40, and this acts as a potent sunscreen naturally.
How can I prepare Carrot-based oil at home?
Yes. One can easily prepare carrot-based oil at home. Carrot oil is infused with magical properties that can work wonders for your hair and skin. Infusing oil with carrot extracts makes the oil more nutrient-rich than before. According to science experts, you can follow these steps to make one at home:
Step 1: Wash 2-3 carrots with tap water and peel the skin of the carrots.
Step 2: Using a hand grater or a processor, carefully grate the carrots in a bowl.
Step 3: Place a pan on a stove, and add the grated mixture.
Step 4: Add oil of your choice (coconut, almond, or castor oil) to it.
Step 5: Heat the pan for a few minutes and let the mixture sit for at least 1-3 days. This will help in infusing the oil with the richness of carrots.
Step 6: After 3 days, the oil will change the color and become orange.
Step 7: Strain the oil-carrot mixture through a fine-mesh.
Step 8: Store the prepared carrot oil in a glass or plastic bottle in the refrigerator.
Step 9: You can use this oil for as long as 6-8 months if taken care of.
Can carrots manage cholesterol levels?
Yes. According to science experts, carrots can help in managing cholesterol levels quite well. They are rich in soluble fibers, which are seen to help in bringing down cholesterol levels. When these fiber-rich carrots are consumed, the bile acids in the body bind themselves with the fiber. Cholesterol in the body is stored in these bile acids. These fibers attached to bile acids are then excreted out of the person's body from the digestive tract.
Can carrots help in improving eyesight?
Yes, carrots can be helpful. According to science experts, carrots are a good source of maintaining a healthy life, including good eyesight. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which gets transformed into vitamin A inside the body after eating. Vitamin A is then responsible for reducing any eyesight problems and greatly restores the vision as well.
Can Carrots also help in reducing acne?
There is no scientific evidence to prove if carrots prevent or cause acne.
But in Ayurveda, carrots are seen as a great source of maintaining healthy skin, including preventing acne. To prevent or reduce acne effects, carrots can be of help as they contain Sita (cold) property. The Sita property imparts a cooling effect on the skin and makes it healthier than before.
( Disclaimer : The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or ayurvedic doctor. )