9 Health Benefits Of Cardamom: Spice Up Your Health

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Health Benefits Of Cardamom

Cardamom, the third most expensive spice in the world, has been used for ages as a spice for its fragrance and flavor. Additionally, it has numerous medicinal and therapeutic properties that help in the treatment of several ailments. Cardamom provides protective effects against infections and helps improve immunity. It also aids digestion, helps fight depression, protects the heart, and promotes oral hygiene.

Native to southern India, cardamom is the unripe seed of the perennially growing plant Elettaria cardamomum. One of the popular and most in-demand spices today, cardamom is known for its intense taste and unique flavor.

Chaucer hailed cardamom  as “the spice of paradise” in Canterbury Tales.

Used all over the world in as varied food types as tea and sausage, savory meat, and fish, it carries a string of health benefits:

1. Prevents Skin Cancer

A potent antioxidant, cardamom has the potential to protect your skin from non-melanoma cancer.1 It activates the body’s killer cells and enhances their activity, which then eliminate cancer cells. Cardamom also has anti-inflammatory properties that play an important role in treating cancer and reducing its symptoms.2

2. Treats Asthma

Cardamom is popularly used in traditional forms of medicine as a cure for asthma and other respiratory diseases. By dilating the bronchi, a part of your airway, cardamom increases the oxygen flow to your lungs and eases the process of respiration. Researchers feel that this bronchodilatory effect of cardamom might prove helpful in the mainstream treatment of asthma as well.3

3. Boosts Immunity

If you’re frequently affected by infections and other health conditions, your poor immunity could be to blame. The antioxidant properties of cardamom can protect your cells from the damage caused due to oxidization. By reducing this oxidative damage, cardamom can boost your immunity and keep diseases at bay.4

4. Manages Obesity

Living with obesity can be difficult. To manage obesity better, include cardamom in your diet. Studies observe that cardamom can both reduce the abnormal levels of cholesterol (or lipids) in your blood and prevent cholesterol from building up in your liver (a major cause of fatty liver). This way cardamom can lower your risk of obesity and visceral fat too.5

5. Improves Digestion

 Home remedy for a bad stomach

  • Split open a cardamom pod and remove the seeds.
  • Crush and grind the seeds into a powder.
  • Add the powder to your food.
  • Don’t consume more than 1 – 1.5 tbsp cardamom powder in a day.

If you’re constantly disturbed by digestive disorders, listen up. Cardamom can improve digestion and decrease instances of constipation, indigestion, and gastric inflammation. According to the Unani and ayurvedic system of medication, large cardamom is highly beneficial in the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. In fact, studies show that by consuming large cardamom, you could inhibit gastric lesions induced by medications like aspirin.6

6. Protects The Heart

With heart disease being one of the topmost causes of mortality across the world, it’s important that you take measures to reduce your risk. Cardamom not only increases your heart function but also prevents heart attack. Several studies state that cardamom could be useful in reducing your risk of heart diseases and delaying its progression.7

7. Elevates Mood

Cardamom oil is known for its antidepressant properties. The active components of the oil –  steroids, oil, fats, and carbohydrate – are believed to enhance mood and have the potential to treat depression. Some experts also claim that drinking a glass of warm milk mixed with cardamom oil can help reduce insomnia and ensure a good night’s sleep.

8. Promotes Oral Hygiene

Craving a cigarette after you quit smoking? Chew on a cardamom pod or a cardamom-flavored chewing gum.

A lesser-known benefit of cardamom is its positive role in dental hygiene. Cardamom possesses certain antimicrobial properties that eliminate pathogenic oral bacteria and prevent the formation and growth of cavities. Cineole, an active component of cardamom oil, can also kill the odor-causing bacteria in the mouth and improve bad breath. Furthermore, the flavor of cardamom (cardamom-flavored gum, to be precise) is also observed to reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms in individuals who have recently quit smoking.8

9. Keeps The Skin And Hair Healthy

By applying cardamom face masks, you can improve your skin tone and health. Owing to its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, cardamom can effectively treat pimples, acne, and skin warts. Powdered cardamom is also an excellent exfoliant. Also, adding some cardamom oil to your shampoo can help prevent dandruff. It can also condition your hair naturally.

Types Of Cardamom

Green cardamom: A highly prized spice, green cardamom is preferred by culinary experts around the world for its aromatic minty flavor. It is popularly used as an ingredient in tea and spicy-sweet foods.

Brown cardamom: Brown cardamom has a smoky and intense flavor that is stronger than that of green cardamom. The seeds of this spice are often used as flavoring agents in meat and savory dishes.

Side-Effects Of Cardamom

  • Cardamom allergy: If you are sensitive to cardamom, eating it can result in skin rashes, and temporary respiratory issues like difficulty in breathing and tightness in the chest.
  • Gallstone: Eating excess cardamom can lead to gallstones. Additionally, if you are affected by gallstones, it’s best to avoid cardamom.
  • Drug interactions: If you’re on medication for a particular illness or infection, consult your doctor before eating cardamom, as it can interact with your prescribed drug and cause medical complications.

You can either use cardamom in your coffee or tea or use it as an ingredient to spice up your favorite dishes.

References   [ + ]

1.Das, Ila, Asha Acharya, Deborah L. Berry, Supti Sen, Elizabeth Williams, Eva Permaul, Archana Sengupta, Sudin Bhattacharya, and Tapas Saha. “Antioxidative effects of the spice cardamom against non-melanoma skin cancer by modulating nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 and NF-κB signalling pathways.” British Journal of Nutrition108, no. 6 (2012): 984-997.
2.Kaefer, Christine M., and John A. Milner. “17 Herbs and Spices in Cancer Prevention and Treatment.” Lester Packer, Ph. D. (2011): 361.
3.ullah Khan, Arif, Qaiser Jabeen Khan, and Anwar Hassan Gilani. “Pharmacological basis for the medicinal use of cardamom in asthma.” Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology 6, no. 1 (2011): 34-37.
4.Benzie, I.F. and Wachtel-Galor, S. eds., 2011. Herbal medicine: biomolecular and clinical aspects. CRC Press.
5.Rahman, Md Mizanur, Mohammad Nazmul Alam, Anayt Ulla, Farzana Akther Sumi, Nusrat Subhan, Trisha Khan, Bishwajit Sikder, Hemayet Hossain, Hasan Mahmud Reza, and Md Ashraful Alam. “Cardamom powder supplementation prevents obesity, improves glucose intolerance, inflammation and oxidative stress in liver of high carbohydrate high fat diet induced obese rats.” Lipids in health and disease 16, no. 1 (2017): 151.
6.Jafri, M. A., Kalim Javed, and Surender Singh. “Evaluation of the gastric antiulcerogenic effect of large cardamom (fruits of Amomum subulatum Roxb).” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 75, no. 2 (2001): 89-94.
7.Goyal, Sameer N., Charu Sharma, Umesh B. Mahajan, Chandragouda R. Patil, Yogeeta O. Agrawal, Santosh Kumari, Dharamvir Singh Arya, and Shreesh Ojha. “Protective effects of cardamom in isoproterenol-induced myocardial infarction in rats.” International journal of molecular sciences 16, no. 11 (2015): 27457-27469.
8.Sharma, R., 2012. Cardamom comfort. Dental research journal, 9(2).

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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