Pubescent plant, erect, biennial, 0.5-1 m high; spindle-like and
reddish root. Leaves are pinnated and tomentose. The second year an angular and
branched stem is produced with alternate leaves that end up in compact umbels
of white flowers. Depending on its location at the flowered stems, the umbels
may be terminal or primary, secondary, tertiary or even up to fourths,
gradually reducing its size. Each umbel has plenty of white, small epigynous
flowers, most of them hermaphrodites, with 5 small sepals and 5 either white or
purple petals, 5 protandric stamens and a bicarpellate ovary provided with some
nectaries. The fruit grows after the entomophilous crossed-pollination; it is a
schizocarp formed by two prickly mericarps (achenia) that, when mature, are
ventrally divided. Each of them holds one seed inside.
Practically, the root is considered the
consuming part of the carrot; however, it is important to make clear that the
product includes a part of the hypocotyl. This part widens and develops similar
to the primary root, and form, this way an organic unit. The primary root
rapidly elongates post-germination, reaching the typical cultivating length
(variable between 3-30 cm)
in less than a month. After that, comes the widening stage, which results from
the cortex cambial zone; from secondary phloem outwards and secondary xylem
inwards. In both tissues, parechymatous cells proliferate, and there is where
the sucrose and other sugars are stored waiting for the next season to re-start
their development and growth. At the same time, these cells contain pigments
such as chlorophyll, carotenoids (alpha and beta), anthocyanine and lycopene, whose
presence and relative concentration determine the color of the roots. The color
goes from white to purple, prevailing orange in most of the cultivations.
Carrot is original from the
Mediterranean eastern zone and Asia southeastern zone. Afghanistan would be the exact center of its origin due
to the many different wild varieties found in there. The other zones mentioned
would be merely secondary diversity centers. Even though, the species had been
used by ancient Romans and Greeks with medicinal purposes, the first evidence
of its cultivation was in Asia Minor. Only
between the centuries XIV and XVII it became popular in Europe and Asia, being
Netherlands the first country registered to cultivate orange carrots.
Mainly the root. Sometimes the fruits, too.
> Promotes sun
tanning, protects skin from the sun rays and improves the general conditions of
> Skin disorders:
dermatosis, ichthyosis, psoriasis, etc.
> Prevents premature
skin aging. Excessive dry and rough skin.
> Dry and damage hair.
> Visual acuteness
reduction. Night blindness. Corneal dryness.
> Excellent dietary
supplement for children, elderly people, sportspeople and recovering patients.
> Children growth and
bones and teeth weakness.
> Digestive disorders:
gastritis and gastroduodenal ulcer, gastrointestinal infections.
> Diabetic patients.
> Malnutrition and
> To reinforce and
improve body immune system.
> Respiratory system
infectious diseases: sinusitis, tonsillitis, etc.
> Male infertility.
> Pregnancy, menstrual
> Antioxidant action
due to its Vitamin A content. Antioxidants protect healthy cells in the body
from free radicals damage preventing future diseases.
> Eczema, burns, skin
ulcers, furuncles, chilblains, etc.
> It also has cosmetic
uses: The juice or fresh pulp is used to make a face mask, as carrot has a
relaxing and invigorating effect on the skin.