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Carrot Oil

Scientific Name(s): Daucus carota L., Sativus (Hoffm.) Archang.
Common Name(s): Carrot (seed, root, leaf), Oil of carrot, pastinocello, Queen Anne's lace, Wild carrot

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jan 1, 2019.

Clinical Overview

Use

Carrot seed oil has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. However, clinical trial support is lacking for usage recommendations.

Dosing

Clinical trials do not support dosage guidance.

Contraindications

Contraindications have not yet been identified.

Pregnancy/Lactation

Avoid use. Emmenagogue and abortifacient effects have been reported. Avoid excessive consumption of carrot roots or juice.

Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

A case report describes carotenemia appearing as jaundice due to excessive consumption of carrot roots. Allergy and phototoxicity are possible.

Toxicology

Carrot oil is listed as exempt from certification for food use as a colorant. Antifertility effects of the seed oil have been demonstrated in rats.

Scientific Family

  • Apiaceae [carrots]

Botany

The carrot is an annual or biennial herb with an erect, multibranched stem and growing up to 1.5 m (4 ft) in height. The wild carrot is commonly seen in fields and along roadsides throughout most of temperate North America and has an intricately patterned flat flower cluster (Queen Anne's lace). The main cluster is made up of about 500 flowers, with a single small, red-to-purplish flower at the center. The wild carrot has an inedible tough white root. It is native to Asia and Europe and was brought to America from England. The common cultivated carrot (D. carota L. subspecies sativus [Hoffm.] Archang.) possesses an edible, fleshy, orange taproot. Purple and black cultivars are also produced. The parts that are used pharmaceutically are the dried seed, which yields carrot seed oil upon steam distillation, and the orange carrot root, which yields root oil by solvent extraction. The leaves are also eaten for traditional medicinal benefit.Khan 2009, USDA 2014

History

The name "Queen Anne's lace" is attributed to a challenge to produce lace as dainty as the plant's flowers. According to a wide range of older references carrot seed oil has been used as an aromatic, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, aphrodisiac, and nerve tonic, and as a treatment for dysentery, worms, uterine pain, cancer, diabetes, gout, heart disease, indigestion, and various kidney ailments.Duke 2003, Khan 2009

Carrot seed oil continues to be used primarily as a fragrance in detergents, soaps, creams, lotions, and perfumes (which contain 0.4%, the highest concentration), and as a flavoring in many food products (eg, liqueurs, nonalcoholic beverages, frozen dairy desserts, candy, baked goods, gelatins, puddings, meat products, condiments, relishes, soups), usually in concentrations below 0.003%. The root oil is used in sunscreen preparations, as a yellow food color (because of its high carotene content), and as a good source of beta-carotene and vitamin A.Khan 2009

Chemistry

Carrot seed oil is made up of alpha-pinene (up to 13%), beta-pinene, carotol (up to 18%), daucol, limonene, beta-bisabolene, beta-elemene, cis-beta-bergamotene, gamma-decalactone, beta-farnesene, geraniol, geranyl acetate (up to 10%), caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, methyl eugenol, nerolidol, eugenol, trans-asarone, vanillin, asarone, alpha-terpineol, terpinene-4-ol, gamma-decanolactone, coumarin, beta-selinene, palmitic acid, and butyric acid, among other constituents. Composition of the oil is considered to be species specific.Jasicka-Misiak 2004, Khan 2009, Rokbeni 2013

The edible carrot root has a chemical composition of 86% water, 0.9% protein, 0.1% fat, 10.7% carbohydrate, 1.2% fiber, trace elements, and vitamin A (2,000 to 4,300 international units per 100 g). The root yields an essential oil, the major constituents of which are geranyl acetate, alpha-pinene, geraniol, myrcene, bisabolol, sabinene, and limonene. Similarly, flower oil is also derived, with varying chemical composition. Several tissue culture studies of D. carota identify new ingredients in the vegetative tissue (eg, anthocyanins, chlorogenic acid, flavonoids, apigenin, and a soluble beta-fructofuranosidase).Duke 2003, Flamini 2014

Uses and Pharmacology

Antimicrobial

Animal data

In vitro antifungal activity has been demonstrated by carrot seed oil and specifically the chemical constituent caratol.Guérin 1985, Jasicka-Misiak 2004, Khan 2009, Rokbeni 2013 Activity of the seed oil and carrot root juice against common human pathogens, including Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, and Staphylococcus aureus, has also been shown.Degirmenci 2012, Khan 2009, Rokbeni 2013

Clinical data

There are no clinical data regarding the use of carrot seed oil for antimicrobial effects.

Antioxidant

Animal data

An extract of D. carota has demonstrated hepatoprotective activity against carbon tetrachloride–induced intoxication in mouse liver.Bishayee 1995 Protection against renal ischemia reperfusion injury in rats has also been demonstrated with an extract of carrot roots.Afzal 2013

Clinical data

There are no clinical data regarding the use of carrot oil for antioxidant activity; however, carrot is recognized as a source of dietary antioxidant vitamin A.

Cardiovascular

Animal data

Carrot seed oil exhibits both smooth muscle relaxant, vasodilatory, and cardio-suppressant activity in isolated animal organ studies.Khan 2009

An ethanol extract produced a dose-dependent decrease in blood pressure in anesthetized normotensive rodents and rabbits, possibly via calcium channel inhibition.Gilani 1994

Clinical data

Research reveals no clinical data regarding the use of carrot oil as a cardiovascular agent.

Dietary

Animal data

Data from animal studies is unwarranted because carrot roots and leaves are commonly consumed in the human diet.

Clinical data

Juiced carrot root has been shown to contain the carotenoid beta-carotene; however, studies show that the effect on concentrations of plasma retinol and the active vitamin A metabolite is limited, regardless of the carrot cultivar.Rühl 2008, Stracke 2009 Plasma concentrations of total carotenoids increase with consumption of carrot rootArscott 2010; however in the Australian QUENCH trial, no effect was demonstrated on body mass or composition, lipid profile, blood pressure, or C-reactive protein at 4 weeks following consumption of anthocyanins 118.5 mg/day and phenolic acids 259.2 mg/day from dried purple carrot.Butalla 2012

Other uses

Carrot root juice has been investigated for its effect on biomarkers of colon cancer and showed limited impact.Wright 2013

Dosing

Clinical trials do not support dosage guidance.

Beta-carotene content is highest when raw carrot roots are consumed; steaming or boiling for less than 15 minutes limits loss of potency.Imsic 2010, Schnäbele 2008 As a source of vitamin A, bioavailability of carrot root juice is higher than cooked and raw spinach.Bongoni 2014

Pregnancy / Lactation

Avoid use. Emmenagogue and abortifacient effects have been reported.Courraud 2013, Khan 2009, Rokbeni 2013 Antifertility effects have been demonstrated in rats.Khan 2009, Duke 2003 Avoid excessive consumption of carrot roots.

Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

A case report describes carotenemia appearing as jaundice due to excessive consumption of carrot roots.Ernst 2002 Because myristicin, a known psychoactive agent, occurs in carrot seed, ingestion of large amounts of D. carota may cause neurological effects. Allergy and phototoxicity are possible.Duke 2003

Toxicology

Carrot root has generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status, while carrot oil is listed as permanently exempt from certification for food use as a colorant.Bulathsinghala 2010 Antifertility effects of the seed oil have been demonstrated in rats.Khan 2009

References

Afzal M, Kazmi I, Kaur R, Ahmad A, Pravez M, Anwar F. Comparison of protective and curative potential of Daucus carota root extract on renal ischemia reperfusion injury in rats. Pharm Biol. 2013;51(7):856-862.23627465
Arscott SA, Simon PW, Tanumihardjo SA. Anthocyanins in purple-orange carrots (Daucus carota L.) do not influence the bioavailability of beta-carotene in young women. J Agric Food Chem. 2010;58(5):2877-2881.20131807
Bishayee A, Sarkar A, Chatterjee M. Hepatoprotective activity of carrot (Daucus carota L.) against carbon tetrachloride intoxication in mouse liver. J Ethnopharmacol. 1995;47(2):69-74.7500638
Bongoni R, Stieger M, Dekker M, Steenbekkers B, Verkerk R. Sensory and health properties of steamed and boiled carrots (Daucus carota ssp. sativus). Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2014;65(7):809-815.
Bulathsinghala PC, Gevorgyan A, Gotlieb V, Saif MW. An unusual case of "jaundice." Cutan Ocul Toxicol. 2010;29(1):74-75.20148737
Butalla AC, Crane TE, Patil B, Wertheim BC, Thompson P, Thomson CA. Effects of a carrot juice intervention on plasma carotenoids, oxidative stress, and inflammation in overweight breast cancer survivors. Nutr Cancer. 2012;64(2):331-341.22292424
Courraud J, Berger J, Cristol JP, Avallone S. Stability and bioaccessibility of different forms of carotenoids and vitamin A during in vitro digestion. Food Chem. 2013;136(2):871-877.
Daucus carota. USDA, NRCS. 2014. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 6 August 2014). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. Accessed December 9, 2014.
Degirmenci H, Karapinar M, Karabiyikli S. The survival of E. coli O157:H7, S. Typhimurium and L. monocytogenes in black carrot (Daucus carota) juice. Int J Food Microbiol. 2012;153(1-2):212-215.22153385
Duke JA. Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. 2nd ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2003.
Ernst E. Herbal medicinal products during pregnancy: are they safe? BJOG. 2002;109(3):227–235.11950176
Flamini G, Cosimi E, Cioni PL, Molfetta I, Braca A. Essential-oil composition of Daucus carota ssp. major (Pastinocello Carrot) and nine different commercial varieties of Daucus carota ssp. sativus fruits. Chem Biodivers. 2014;11(7):1022-1033.25044588
Gilani AH, Shaheen F, Saeed SA. Cardiovascular actions of Daucus carota. Arch Pharmacal Res. 1994;17(3):150-153.
Guérin JC, Réveillére HP. Antifungal activity of plant extracts used therapeutically. II. Study of 40 extracts on 9 fungal strains [in French]. Ann Pharm Fr. 1985;43(1):77-81.4062186
Imsic M, Winkler S, Tomkins B, Jones R. Effect of storage and cooking on beta-carotene isomers in carrots (Daucus carota L. cv. 'Stefano'). J Agric Food Chem. 2010;58(8):5109-5113.20359248
Jasicka-Misiak I, Lipok J, Nowakowska EM, Wieczorek PP, Mlynarz P, Kafarski P. Antifungal activity of the carrot seed oil and its major sesquiterpene compounds. Z Naturforsch C. 2004;59(11-12):791-796.15666536
Khan IA, Abourashed EA. Leung's Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics. 3rd ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley; 2009.
Rokbeni N, M'rabet Y, Dziri S, et al. Variation of the chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of the essential oils of natural populations of Tunisian Daucus carota L. (Apiaceae). Chem Biodivers. 2013;10(12):2278-2290.24327447
Rühl R, Bub A, Watzl B. Modulation of plasma all-trans retinoic acid concentrations by the consumption of carotenoid-rich vegetables. Nutrition. 2008;24(11-12):1224-1226.18653315
Schnäbele K, Briviba K, Bub A, Roser S, Pool-Zobel BL, Rechkemmer G. Effects of carrot and tomato juice consumption on faecal markers relevant to colon carcinogenesis in humans. Br J Nutr. 2008;99(3):606-613.18254985
Stracke BA, Rüfer CE, Bub A, et al. Bioavailability and nutritional effects of carotenoids from organically and conventionally produced carrots in healthy men. Br J Nutr. 2009;101(11):1664-1672.19021920
US Food and Drug Administration. Color Additive Status List. http://www.fda.gov/ForIndustry/ColorAdditives/ColorAdditiveInventories/ucm106626.htm. Published December 2009. Accessed November 22, 2014.
Wright OR, Netzel GA, Sakzewski AR. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the effect of dried purple carrot on body mass, lipids, blood pressure, body composition, and inflammatory markers in overweight and obese adults: the QUENCH trial. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2013;91(6):480-488.23746205

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This product may adversely interact with certain health and medical conditions, other prescription and over-the-counter drugs, foods, or other dietary supplements. This product may be unsafe when used before surgery or other medical procedures. It is important to fully inform your doctor about the herbal, vitamins, mineral or any other supplements you are taking before any kind of surgery or medical procedure. With the exception of certain products that are generally recognized as safe in normal quantities, including use of folic acid and prenatal vitamins during pregnancy, this product has not been sufficiently studied to determine whether it is safe to use during pregnancy or nursing or by persons younger than 2 years of age.

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