Carrot seed oil finds its best purpose in massage therapy and aromatherapy applications. Why? Because this essential oil is primarily valued for its skincare applications. This article provides the details of carrot seed oil’s origins, its various uses, its proven benefits, along with its warnings and potential interactions.
What Is Carrot Seed Oil?
Derived from the wild carrot plant’s seeds (botanical name: Daucus carota), carrot seed essential oil has a comforting, earthy scent that’s perfect for aromatherapy. Native to Europe and southwest Asia, it has since spread to Australia and North America, where the plant is commonly referred to as “bishop’s lace” and “Queen Anne’s lace” due to its lacy white flowers.
Carrot seed oil is also celebrated for its unique health benefits, including stress relief and skin care due to its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. When added to a cream or carrier oil such as avocado, cedarwood, or jojoba oil, it can be easily applied to skin, added into warm, soothing bath water, or used as a massage oil.
Carrot seed oil is not the same as carrot oil, which is made by crushing carrot roots and mixing that substance in with a carrier oil. Carrot seed oil is also not meant to be ingested, but instead used externally only. When used as directed, it is generally considered safe.
The Health Benefits and Uses of Carrot Seed Oil
Whether you come across carrot seed oil in a moisturizer or an essential oil blend, there are some health perks you may be getting along with it.
This study from 2016 found that carrot seed oil’s antibacterial abilities were effective against the growth of listeria, streptococcal, and staphylococcal bacteria without causing harm to the skin cells beneath. Another more general study illustrates that essential oils can strengthen their antimicrobial abilities when combined with other carrier oils.
Further research from 2016 indicates that carrot seed oil helps inhibit dermatophytes (skin fungus) and in lower concentrations is considered safe for different human cells, leading researchers to conclude that it has therapeutic potential for treating fungal infections.
Carrot seed oil contains carotene and vitamin A (retinol), two antioxidants commonly found in skincare products for good reason. While carotenoids help protect your skin from sunlight damage, vitamin A has been shown to help naturally aged skin withstand injury and ulcer formation, along with improving its appearance.
The other potential dermatological uses for carrot seed oil include aid for:
|Aged and dry complexions||Carbuncles|
|Inflammation||Oily skin types|
Studies investigating carrot seed oil specifically have discovered even more valuable contributions regarding mature skin health, like carrot seed oil’s added benefits to skin-rejuvenating preparations like anti-aging emulsions and sunscreens.
The benefits of carrot seed oil include the benefits brought by aromatherapy. While there is little clinical data on the uses of aromatherapy (and even less on carrot seed oil for aromatherapy), it’s nevertheless a practice designed to help improve both physical and mental well-being. Whether applied to the skin or inhaled with the aid of a diffuser, holistic health care professionals believe that carrot seed oil helps reduce feelings of anxiety and fatigue, and for that there is some scientific proof.
This study published in 2013 shows that aromatherapy improved both anxiety symptoms in 31 women and their metabolic functioning. Researchers believe aromatherapy increased levels of arginine, which then helped improve circulation, detoxification, and digestive system processes in their bodies. While this study did not feature carrot seed oil specifically, it nevertheless indicates that aromatherapy can bring verifiable health benefits and encourages more research be done in the area.
Potential Side Effects, Interactions, and Warnings
While carrot seed oil is considered safe for external use, undiluted carrot seed oil may be too strong and lead to rashes, redness, irritation, and burning sensations. Experts advise mixing carrot seed oil with a cold-pressed oil of your choice, for example coconut oil. This is because cold-pressed oils (like olive oil) are put through less processing and oxidation, and are better to cook with and to apply to your skin than heat-refined oils.
Wild carrot oil may cause an allergic reaction in those with an allergy to celery, mugwort, birch, or related plants and spices. Test carrot seed oil on a small patch of skin before doing a wider application, and let it sit overnight to make sure you don’t experience any adverse reactions.
Carrot seed oil is not recommended if you are taking:
- Antihypertensive drugs, as it can cause a drop in blood pressure
- Ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, or conjugated equine estrogen (Premarin), as it can have estrogen-like effects
- Photosensitizing drugs or ofloxacin eye drops due to its photosensitizing effects
Carrot seed oil should not be used by pregnant or nursing women, nor should it be used directly near the eyes, genitals, or other sensitive skin areas like the lips. If it is ever accidentally ingested, it could cause cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and in extreme cases, convulsions. It’s recommended you call poison control for professional medical advice in such a scenario.
The Safe Use of Carrot Seed Oil
Carrot seed oil is usually sold in small, tinted bottles. For aromatherapy use, apply a few drops to a tissue or cloth, or in any vaporizer or diffuser along with other essential oils like bergamot, geranium, sandalwood, frankincense, or lavender essential oils. For every ounce of carrier oil, cream, or lotion, use no more than 12 drops of carrot seed oil.
Essential Oils, Essential Care
You can and should use carrot seed oil carefully. As a moisturizing and aromatic entity it has real health benefits, but it’s also a substance not to be trifled with. If you have any questions about the DIY use of carrot seed oil, contact a health care professional or the manufacturer of any pure carrot seed oil product to ask about usage recommendations and best practices.