Cardamom is a highly fragrant spice from India which has gone on to become a must have ingredient in Indian cuisine and most sweets. Part of an ancient Indian heritage, choti elaichi as cardamom is commonly known as has to its list a plethora of health benefits it is capable of extending to the human body. Cardamom is widely known to help detoxify the body, aid in weight loss, fight depression, boost the immune system and alleviate hypertension among many other benefits.
Cardamom is a small seed pod, having a papery exterior with small black seeds on the inside. It is an expensive spice known the world over for its rich aromatic culinary properties. It is used as a flavoring ingredient in drink, food and sweets. It has a minty flavor when consumed raw and is thus attributed as an efficient way to tackle with bad breath. Earlier used in Ayurveda as an herb, cardamom was known to widely cure tuberculosis, gastrointestinal disorders and as an antidote to poison.
Cardamom is highly rich in manganese in addition to iron, fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, riboflavin, etc. Oils like pinene, sabinene, phellandrene, terpinene, linalool, myrcene, etc also form a major composition in cardamom. These oils though highly volatile are a major factor for various health benefits cardamom is attributed with. These oils render antioxidant properties, help improve digestion, stimulate metabolism and discourage tumor growth.
Cardamom has been in use in Ayurvedic, Unani and Chinese medicine to treat gastrointestinal problems like stomach cramps, acidity, etc. The oils cardamom is composed of help strengthen the mucus lining in the stomach and increases the rate of saliva generation. The strong stomach lining results in an increase in appetite and saliva generation helps cool the stomach that prevents acidity.
The toxins that the body releases as a result of the metabolic activities taking place throughout the day are required to be flushed out from the body. If any of these toxins stay in the body for a considerable amount of time, they give rise to problems like uric acid accumulation, premature aging, kidney stones, cancer, etc. Cardamom acts as a detoxifying agent helping in flushing out the toxins from the body keeping any medical disorders at bay.
A popular ingredient in chewing gums, cardamom owing to the presence of essential oils in its composition, has been popularly used as a breath freshener. The seeds are chewed on for the distinctive aroma the pods are characterized with.
Cardamom is believed to help improve blood circulation in the lungs. It has thus been commonly used in aromatherapy owing to its ability to help alleviate symptoms and cure bronchitis and asthma. Cardamom also relieves the human body of stress and depression by enhancing the flow of blood throughout the body.
Medical conditions of the urinary tract like gonorrhea, cystitis, nephritis etc have been cured by the use of cardamom in the diet. Cardamom’s unique essential oil composition helps in imparting a healthy blood flow and enhanced body detox which in turn enable the body to keep conditions arising out of abnormal functioning of the said systems at bay.
Cardamom owing to the characteristics endowed by the oil composition in its pod, boosts the body’s metabolism function apart from performing functions such as improving blood circulation and ridding the body of unnecessary toxins. All these factors combined result in a healthy fat burning rate causing the body to lose weight.
Inhaling the distinctive aroma of cardamom or applying a little amount of cardamom oil around the nasal area helps get sound sleep and reduces problems that result in little or no sleep and restlessness during the night. It has been highly efficient in treating conditions of insomnia and anxiety.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, cardamom is highly efficient in alleviating muscle and joint pain. Research has proved that cardamom plays a pivotal role in avoiding contraction and relaxation of muscles which results in spasms. The anti-carcinogenic properties help alleviate muscle and joint pain; especially in older adults.
Owing to its aphrodisiac properties, cardamom is believed to eliminate problems like premature ejaculation and impotency. The unique aromatic and substance composition of cardamom makes it an ideal, low-risk option to treat problems relating to sexual shortcomings.
Cardamom, since ancient time has been used to treat oral problems. Be it bad breath, tooth cavity, or a microbial infection, use of cardamom is a safe and highly effective method to achieve oral hygiene.
Cardamom has been widely used to treat sore throat, nausea and irritation in the throat. Cardamom should be boiled in water and the water to be used for gargling to treat sore throat and throat infections.
Cardamom is widely used to treat problems affecting the mouth and throat. It helps rid of oral infections, ensures dental hygiene and cures sore throat. It also helps in regulating the blood sugar levels of the body, helps in detoxification, enhances blood flow and improves body's sexual potency. It is essentially effective in losing weight, treating joint pain, muscle spasms and treats problems of the gastrointestinal tract and the urinary tract.
Though extending an array of health benefits, cardamom is advisable to not be consumed without consulting with a trained physician by people allergic to certain food types, breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women. People suffering from gallstones are advised to not consume cardamom in its raw whole form; it is however safe to consume in the form of grinded spice in any cuisine.
Cardamom is an ancient, highly aromatic spice native to India and sees large cultivations in the continent of Asia. It is a papery pod green or black in colour containing small black seeds within. Countries like Guatemala, Tanzania, Sri Lanka and Malaysia have also emerged as major cultivators of cardamom. It usually grows in mountainous regions and forests and are spindle-shaped plants with its outgrowing as pods.