With so many carrot seed oil benefits, you’d be surprised that you don’t use it more often – not only as a carrier oil, but in your DIY sunscreen! With so many great “staple” essential and carrier oils, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut with the same things all the time.
Would you like to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new?
The benefits of carrot seed oil carry a versatility to experiment and fall in love with as a brand new-to-you oil.
Why Use Carrot Seed Oil?
Not one to make it to top 10 essential oil lists or find its way into popular blends as a carrier oil, carrot seed oil is a quiet underdog in the aromatherapy world.
With that said, the book Aromatherapy Science: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals, the author notes several uses for carrot essential oil, with a caution:
Note: the seed essential oil differs entirely from carrot root expressed oil, which is rich in the vitamin A precursor carotene and does not have any essential oil. This is often misquoted in aromatherapy books. (1)
Carrot oil, the expressed carrier or base oil, has benefits all its own, while the essential oil has very different properties. All in all, carrots have a wide range of things to offer us – from the starchy root vegetable to the pressed oil to the essential oil.
We’ll talk a bit about the pressed oil here because the essential oil hasn’t been studied as much. This article, therefore, is a collection of fatty pressed carrot oil and carrot essential oil tidbits.
5 Benefits of Carrot Seed Oil
Carrot seed oil might not be your first pick for a floral scent or familiar citrus tone, but it can find its way into more common blends to help boost efficacy and tackle these five areas of wellness.
Did you know that it has a natural SPF of 35-40? Yep! That is, carrot seed oil is an ingredient that is so useful in sunscreen formulaitons due to the antioxidant benefits is can provide to the skin when it’s been exposed to sun. That’s why it is used in natural long-wear sunscreen bar recipes and other DIY sunscreens. Note, I’m not referring to the essential oil, but the rich-in-antioxidants vegetable oil.
1. Antifungal Actions
Essential oils are thought to help the plant in some way – attracting beneficial bugs, sending off a warning to steer others away and protect the plant, protecting against infection and disease – and we often see that reflected in the way we use the oils.
Carrot seed oil may be one such oil, demonstrating antifungal benefits. While not the strongest of our antifungal options, carrots are susceptible to fungi, as Polish researchers recognized in 2004.
Their in vitro study evaluated carrot seed essential oil for its compounds and the effects various isolates had on fungi given the natural problems the plant can have with these infestations. They were not disappointed, finding significant growth inhibition of the fungi tested. (2)
2. Liver Benefits
Carrot seed oil is associated with liver, kidney, and gall bladder health and traditionally used as such. As one of the less popular essential oils, however, research has yet to catch up to confirm any of its actions.
We’re getting close, though, with carrot seed extracts being studied for their liver protective benefits. These extracts are from the seed, creating a product that’s not quite an essential oil and certainly not the cold pressed oil of the root used in skin care. Active components are then in the extract and tested for their potential abilities.
For carrot seed, the extracts in these rat studies have shown antioxidant activity and liver protection. (3)
Application: Until further studies are conducted, especially on the essential oil specifically, we only have traditional use to go by. Continue diffusing, applying topically, and using in culinary preparations to enjoy whole body benefits!
3. Vision Protection
Carrots have long been known to boost vision thanks to high levels of carotenoids, the vitamin A precursor. Including plenty of carrots and other carotenoid rich vegetables, especially ones that are yellow and orange, in the diet is important for eye health (among many other benefits).
The essential oil of carrot seed seems to carry similar protective benefits, though not via beta-carotene. One source I enjoy for a breakdown of nutritional benefits has this to say:
Intake of geranyl acetate – one of the phytonutrients that is present in carrot seeds (and sometimes extracted from purified carrot seed oil) has also been repeatedly associated with reduced risk of cataracts in animal studies. (4)
They go on to note that we don’t yet have ideal dosing or usage guidelines for efficacy. Still, isn’t it incredible how a whole plant can work together toward similar benefits, from the seed to the mature fruit?
Application: Science doesn’t quite know how to maximize these benefits, so enjoying carrot seed essential oil in your normal inhalation methods or culinary preparations should simply give you peace of mind that you’re contributing to vision health among other wellness efforts! For safety, don’t use essential oils as eyedrops.
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4. Skin Health Support
Books and resources that include the more obscure essential oils frequently list carrot seed oil as beneficial for skin health and lymph stimulation (which is often the goal of dry brushing and treating the skin well). (5)
Anything with antioxidant properties will certainly carry benefits for the skin, so there’s good cause to include it in your preparations. However, it’s the carotenoid-rich, cold pressed root oil to really focus on incorporating.
Application: Use expressed carrot oil as part of your base or carrier formula to double-down on antioxidants and add nutrients. Antioxidant levels in carrot seed essential oil make it a great addition to topical formulas and blends, as well.
5. Digestive Assistance
Sharing a plant family with digestive greats dill and fennel, carrot seed is certainly not an outlier in this herbal category. The antimicrobial benefits come full circle here, mitigating bacteria in the stomach – H. pylori – that cause ulcers and other upsets. (6)
Nutritional approaches are a first stop in resolving digestive issues. Adding carrot seed essential oil into your rotation of culinary preparations may help to keep digestion issues at bay.
Application: Include a couple of drops of carrot seed essential oil in culinary preparations, making sure to stir it into a lipid before adding it to the full recipe.
DIY Carrot Seed Oil Tips
Carrot seed oil is not a typical pleasant aroma, nor is it one of the strongest of the oils in any category. Instead of making it the main show, go easy with it and allow its benefits to amplify the others in your blend.
- Go slow – add just a drop or two at a time
- Use more powerful scents like citrus to balance it out
- Make the most of synergy – oils are better together
- Be sure to dilute well and mind your total consumption – with essential oils, less really is more!