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Daucus carota generally known as carrot is a root vegetable. It belongs to family Apiaceae and genus Daucus. Daucus carota is native to Europe and southwestern Asia. It is a biennial plant which grows a rosette of leaves in the spring and summer, while building up the stout taproot, which stores large amounts of sugars for the plant to flower in the second year. The most commonly eaten part of a carrot is a taproot.

Listing Details

Botanical Names
Daucus carota
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Shika- Mula, Garijira Hindi : Gajar Marathi : Gajar Bengali : Gujar Gujarati : Gajar Tamil : Carrot Telugu : Gajjara-Gadda Kannada : Gajjari
Chemical Constituents
The taproot of Daucus carota contains number of different chemical constituents such as crystallizable and un crystallizable sugar, a little starch, extractine gluten, albumen, volatile oil, pectin, malic acid and carotin. Carotene is a very important component of carrot. Carrots also contain up to 90 percent of water. Compare to all the vegetables, carrots are the best source of the important pro-vitamin A, β-carotene. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, also acts as an antioxidant compound that fights free radicals. It also contains some key minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium, manganese, phosphorous and a trace of iodine. Carrot is a good source of number of vitamins as vitamin A, vitamin B thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, and vitamin C (1). Carrot seed oil is the source of the carotene sesquiterpenes carotol, daucol and caryophyllene (2).
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritating to the skin as well as to the internal organs, hence it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the active ingredient or marker substances. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract, irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastrointestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Carrot is diuretic, and stimulant in action. An infusion of the whole herb is considered as an active and valuable remedy in the treatment of dropsy, chronic kidney diseases and affections of the bladder. Carrot is also effective in the treatment of gravel, stone and flatulence. The seeds of carrot are carminative, stimulant and very useful in dysentery, chronic coughs, etc. They are very effective in obstructions of the viscera, in jaundice and in the beginnings of dropsies, Roots have been found to mitigate the pain of cancerous ulcers. An infusion of the root was also used as an aperient. The leaves are also have medicinal properties and can be used to cleanse running sores and ulcers (3).
Health Benefits
Carotenes, is one of the important ingredients in carrots, is an anti-oxidant that has powerful healing virtues for many diseases. The carrot’s content of potassium salts accounts for its diuretic action, and it contains an essential oil that is effective against roundworms. Carrot juice is also beneficial for stomach acidity and heartburn. Carrots are good for the eyes; specifically, their carotene content provides the material for the body to make vitamin A, which is important for proper vision. The vitamin A forms a purple pigment called rhodopsin, the eye needs to see in dim light. Rhodopsin production is spurred by vitamin A, raising the effectiveness of the light-sensitive area of the retina (4). The beta-carotene in carrots is an anti-oxident combating the free radicals that contribute to conditions like cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration. B- Carotene and vitamin C found in carrot lowers the risk of cancer. Carrots also contain another anti-oxident called alpha-carotene. Consumption of high amounts of alpha carotene has a lower incidence of lung cancer (5). .
Application in Cosmetics
A carrot is very effective for facial skin restoration and aids feel fresh, firm and revives the skin immediately after use. This is due to the carotene contained in carrots. It also functions to prevent further skin problems by forming skin protective films to maintain balance for the skin. Carotenoids, when either topically applied or ingested, directly reduce the damaging effects of UV radiations. Specifically, carotenoids have been found to enhance the body's immune response to UV radiations, decreasing skin damage from ultraviolet exposure. The antioxidants present in carrots play a vital role in preventing the body and skin from signs and symptoms of aging. Topical application of carrot juice is also effective to remove blemishes from the skin. Drinking carrot juice regularly can help to get a naturally radiant, healthy and a glowing skin.
Research References
1. K.L BAJAJ, G. KAUR, and B.S. SUKHIJA. Chemical composition and some plant characteristics in relation to quality of some promising cultivars of carrot (Daucus carota L.)Qual Plant Plant Foods Hum Nutr 1980, 30:97-107 2. Mehmet M. Ö. and Jean C. C. Chemical composition of carrot seeds (Daucus carota L.) cultivated in Turkey: characterization of the seed oil and essential oil. GRASAS Y ACEITES, 2007, 58 (4):359-365, 2007, 3. Livny O., Reifen R., Levy I., Madar Z., Faulks R., Southon S., Schwartz B. Beta-carotene bioavailability from differently processed carrot meals in human ileostomy volunteers. Eur J Nutr. 2003, 42(6):338-45. 4. Ravindra PV, Narayan MS Antioxidant activity of the anthocyanin from carrot (Daucus carota) callus culture. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2003, 54(5):349-55. 5. Mohammad N., Arash K., Fatemeh F., Hassan R., Homayun D., Amir M. V. Antioxidant Effect of Carrot Seed and It's Protective Role in Gentamicin Receiving Rats. Medical Journal of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences. 2009, 31 (1):1-1 6. Izabela J. M., Jacek L., Ewa M. Nowakowskaa, Piotr P.W., Piotr M., and Paweł K. Antifungal Activity of the Carrot Seed Oil and its Major Sesquiterpene Compounds Z. Naturforsch. 2004, 59: 791-796