Daucus carota L.

Last updated: 05 Aug 2016

Scientific Name

Daucus carota L.


Carota sylvestris (Mill.) Rupr., Caucalis carnosa Roth, Caucalis carota (L.) Crantz, Caucalis daucus Crantz, Daucus alatus Poir., Daucus allionii Link, Daucus australis Kotov [Illigitimate], Daucus blanchei Reut., Daucus brevicaulis Raf., Daucus carota var. brachycaulos Reduron, Daucus carota var. brachycentrus Maire, Daucus carota f. carota, Daucus carota var. carota, Daucus carota subsp. dentatus (Bertol.) Fiori, Daucus carota f. epurpuratus Farw., Daucus carota var. excelsus Maire, Daucus carota f. fischeri Moldenke, Daucus carota subsp. hispidus Masclef, Daucus carota var. linearis Reduron, Daucus carota var. pseudocarota (Rouy & E.G.Camus) Reduron, Daucus carota f. roseus Millsp., Daucus carota f. roseus Farw., Daucus communis Rouy & E.G.Camus, Daucus communis var. pseudocarota Rouy & E.G.Camus, Daucus dentatus Bertol., Daucus esculentus Salisb., Daucus exiguous Steud., Daucus gingidium Georgi, Daucus glaber Opiz ex Čelak., Daucus heterophylus Raf., Daucus kotovii M.Hiroe, Daucus levis Raf., Daucus marcidus Timb.-Lagr., Daucus maritimus With. [Illegitimate], Daucus montanus Schmidt ex Nyman, Daucus neglectus Lowe, Daucus nudicaulis Raf., Daucus officinallis Gueldenst. ex Ledeb., Daucus polygamus Jacq. ex Nyman [Invalid], Daucus scariosus Raf., Daucus sciadophylus Raf., Daucus stigosus Raf., Daucus sylvestris Mill., Daucus vulgaris Garsault [Invalid], Daucus vulgaris Neck., Platyspermum elatum Schult., Tiricta daucoides Raf. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Lobak [2]
English Bees’s nest [2], bird’s nest, carrot, devil’s plague, Queen Anne’s lace, wild carrot [3]
China Hua luo bo, hong luo bo, hu lu fu, ding xian luo bo, jin sun [2]; he shi feng, hu lo po, huang lo po, ye hu luo bo, yeh lo po [3]
India Bazrul-jazar, beej gaajar, bulmuj, daqu, dindiramo-daka, doqu, fazar, gaajar, gaajara gedde, gagar, gajar, gajar beej, gajar kaddu kash ki hui, gajar ke beej, gajar-ke-binj, gajara, gajara gedde, gajarbeej, gajida, gajjagada beejada poppu, gajjara-gedda, gajjara-kilangu, gajjaragadda, gajjaragedda, gajjarakkilamgu, gajjarakkilangu, gajjari, gaj-jari gedde, gajor, gajra, garijara, garjara, garjarah, garjaram, garjari, gazar, gazara, granthimula, grinjana, grnjana, grn-janakah, grunjana, grunh=janakam, jangli gazir, jazar, kaccara-kkilanku, kanda, karattu, karattukkilanku, karottukkilanku, kartkilanku, karttukkilangu, kattu-kizhangu, kattu-kizhangu virai, kempu kyaarattu, kempu moolangi, kyaret, mancal mullanki, mancalmullanki, manjal mulangi, manjal-mul-langi, manjalmullangi, mannamullanki, mormuj, naranga, narangavaraneshta, narangavarnakah, narankam, pach-cha-mullangi, pachhamoollangi, pachchamullangi, peethankanda, petaigagar, pindamula, pindika, pita-kanda, pita-kande, pitai gajar, pitakanda, pitamulaka, sarakhturman, shekhamulama, shikha-mulam, shikha-mulamu, shikhakanda, shikhamool-amu, shikhamulam, shikhamulamu, shikhimula, sumulaka, supita, svadumula, tukhm gazar, tukhm-i-gajar, tukhme gazar, tukhme-zardak, varttula, zadrak, zardak [3]
Japan No-ninjin [3]
Arabic Sfinnaria, sinnaria [3]
South Africa Geelwotel, wilde geelwortel, wortel [3]
Mexico Coo naxiñaa castilla, guu xñaa xtilla [3]
Tanzania Karat, karoti [3].

Geographical Distributions

Daucus carota is usually cultivated for its fleshy roots. It is believe to be native from Europe, northern Africa, and Asia and has been introduced in Philippines [4]. This plant grows best at high elevation, such as mountain slopes, up to 2000-3000 m of sea level, particularly in Baguio area, Anhui, Guizhou, Hubei, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan and Zhejiang [4][5]. In Peninsular Malaysia, the quick-maturing variety has been successfully planted in Penang Hill. It is not difficult to grow but needs protection from the rain [2]. The essential oil of D. carota is produced in France and Hungary [6].

Botanical Description

D. carota is a member of Apiaceae family [4]. It is an annual or biennial erect herb that can grow up to 30-60 cm tall at the mature vegetative stage and can reach up to 120-150 cm tall when flowering [7].

Its taproot is fleshy, straight, conical to cylindrical, measures 5-50 cm long and measuring 2-5 cm in diametre at the top, orange (most common), reddish-violet, yellow or white. [7]

The core (xylem) of mature roots is usually somewhat lighter in colour than the phloem and the top of the root is often green. [7]

There are 8-12 leaves, growing in a rosette, hairless, green and with a long petiole that often sheathed at its base. The leaf-blade is 2-3-pinnate while the segments are divided into often linear ultimate lobes. [7]

The flowering stalks are few to several branches where each branch ends in a compound umbel (inflorescence). Each umbel comprises of 50 or more umbellets, where each has up to about 50 flowers. The involucral bracts are more or less pinnatipartite. The primary rays are 2-25 cm long while the secondary rays are 1-6 cm long. The pedicels are 0.5-1.5 cm long. [7]

The flowers are mainly bisexual in the primary umbels. In the umbels of higher order an increasing number of male flowers may occur in addition to bisexual flowers. A few purple-red sterile flowers may be present in the central umbellets especially in wild plants. The flower is small, measuring 2 mm in diametre, epigynous, white, 5-merous but with 2 carpels and 2 styles. [7]

The fruit is an oblong-ovoid schizocarp, measures 2-4 mm long and splits into 2 mericarps at maturity. The primary ridges are ciliate while the secondary ridges are with hooked spines. [7]

The seed (inside the mericarp) is with a long embryo that embedded in endosperm. The seedling is long, with a thin taproot, cordate cotyledons and pinnate for the first true leaves. [7]


In their adaptation to the northern latitudes of Europe, D. carota became biennial and tolerant to long days (non-bolting) during the vegetative phase. It requires subsequent vernalisation at low temperatures to induce flowering. D. carota adapted to tropical and subtropical latitudes respond to long days by bolting even before the roots have properly thickened. D. carota is mostly cultivated as a cool season crop. The high soil temperatures, in excess of 25°C, induce slow growth rates, fibrous roots and low carotene content. For economic yields, D. carota should be grown in tropical regions at altitudes above 700 m. The early-maturing, D. carota cultivars may grow in the lowlands, but yields will be low and roots will have a poor colour. The optimum air temperatures are 16-24°C. Soils should be well-drained, fertile and with sandy texture. Heavy clay soils may induce malformed and twisted roots and harvesting will be difficult. The optimum pH is 6.0-6.5. A regular supply of water is essential to obtain smooth and even roots. Flowering and seed set are successful only in climates with mean day temperatures below 20°C. [7]

Chemical Constituent

Seeds (fruits) of D. carota have been reported to contain sabinene (28.2-37.5%), α-pinene (16.0-24.5%), terpinen-4-ol (4.6-7.5%), γ-terpinene (2.9-6.0%) and limonene (2.3-4.0%). [8]

D. carota seed oil has been reported to contain main active ingredient known as carotol (36.1-73.1%), α-pinene (0.9-11.2%), dauca-4,8-diene (1.6-5.9%), β-caryophyllene (0.7-5.6%), (E)-dauc-8-en-4ß-ol (1.7-4.1%), sabinene (0-3.9%), geranyl acetate (0-3.7%), β-bisabolene (1.5-3.1%), caryophyllene oxide (0.3-2.8%), (E)-ß-fernesene (1.6-2.5%), geraniol (0-2.2%), (E)-α-bergamotene (0.9-1.9%), daucol (1.2-1.7%), (-)-limonene (0.4-1.5%), β-pinene (0.3-1.5%), β-myrcene (0.4-1.3%), (Z)-α-bergamotene (0-1.1%), β-selinene (0-1.1%). [9][10]

Plant Part Used

Seed [10]

Traditional Use

The D. carota is an aromatic herb which has been claimed to be a diuretic, deobstruent and stimulant. The entire plant is ingested to treat renal and bladder disorders. The D. carota juice is recommended as a treatment for visual problems and complexion problems such as acne, whiteheads and blackheads. [2]

The root of D. carota is rich with beta-carotene, which improves eyesight and skin health, and has been claimed to possess anticancer effect. In Mexico, the roots boiled in milk are believed to treat coughs and chest complaints. In Europe, a decoction of the root is a popular remedy for jaundice. [2]

The seed can be used as a carminative agent for the relief of flatulence, indigestion and colic. In India, the decoction of the leaves and seeds is used as a stimulant to the uterus during parturition and can be used to induce abortion. [2]

The fruit is recommended in the treatment of chronic diarrhoea, malnutrition and indigestion. It is also used to treat whooping cough in children. [2]

An infusion of the leaves has been used to counter cystitis and renal calculi formation. The leaves when applied with honey, cleanses dirty ulcers. [2]

Preclinical Data


Antibacterial activities

D. carota was examined along with 95 other essential oils for their antibacterial properties against Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica. D. carota essential oil showed strong antibacterial effects against C. jejuni. [11]

The essential oil from the seed of D. carota also showed that when exposed to UV, the antibacterial activity increased against certain pathogens. [12]

An additional study tested the antibacterial properties of this oil against C. jejuniCampylobacter coli, and Campylobacter lari strains, including one multidrug resistant C. jejuni. All strains tested were effective. The molecules identified as responsible for this activity were identified as identified as (E)-methylisoeugenol and elemicin. [13]

Antifungal activity

D. carota was evaluated for its antifungal activity against yeasts, dermatophyte and Aspergillus strains. While the various oils used demonstrated different levels of antifungal activity, the researchers noted that the oils containing higher amounts of elemicin showed the strongest activity. [14]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing



Figure 1: The line drawing of D. carota. [15]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Daucus carota L. [homepage on teh Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mac 23; cited 2016 Aug 05]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2757936.
  2. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR, 2002; p.253-254.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume II C-D. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p.639-640.
  4. Philippines Medicinal Plants. Daucus carota L. [homepage on the Internet]. No date [updated 2012 Jan, cited 2016 Aug 05]. Available from: http://www.stuartxchange.com/Karot.html.
  5. Flora of China. Daucus carota Linnaeus. [homepage on the Internet]. No date [cited 2016 Aug 05]. Available from: http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200015518.
  6. Lis-Balchan M. Aromatherapy science: A guide for healthcare professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press, 2006; p.138-140.
  7. Invasive Species Compendium. Daucus carota (carrot). [homepage on the Internet]. c2016 [updated 2015 Sept 28, cited 2016 Aug 05]. Available from: http://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/18018.
  8. Mockute D, Nivinskiene O. The sabinene chemotype of essential oil of seeds of Daucus carota L. ssp. carota growing wild in Lithuania. J Essen Oil Res. 2004;16(4):277-281.
  9. Surburg H, Panten J. Common fragrance and flavour materials: Preparation, properties and uses. Germany: John Wiley & Son; 2016.
  10. Tisserand R, Young R. Essential oil safety: A guide for health care professionals. Scotland: Churchill Livingston, 1995.
  11. Friendman M, Philip RH, Mandrell RE. Bactericidal activities of plant essential oils and some of their isolated constituents against Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica. J Food Ptotect. 2002;65(10):1545-1560.
  12. Gupta R, Rath C, Dash S, Mishra RK. In vitro antibacterial potential assessment of Carrot (Daucus carota) and Celery (Apium graveolens) seed essential oils against twenty one bacteria. J Essent Oil Bear Plant. 2013;7(1):79-86.
  13. Rossi PG, Bao L, Luciani A, et al. (E)-methylisoeugenol and elemicin: antibacterial components of Daucus carota L. essential oil against Campylobacter jejuni. J Agric Food Chem. 2007;55(18):7332-7336.
  14. Tavares AC, Goncalves MJ, Cavaleiro C. Essential oil of Daucus carota subsp. halophilus: composition, antifungal activity and cytotoxicity. J Ethopharmacol. 2008;119(1):129-134.
  15. Siemonsma JS, Piluek K, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 8. Vegetables. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publishers; 1993.