Cardamom is one of the valuable spices in the universe. It is an ancient species from Southern Asia and India; it comes under the ginger (Zingiberaceae) family. With its aromatic flavor and culinary magic, this warming spice has been widely used to prepare savoury and sweet dishes. Egyptian use cardamoms to make rich aromatic perfumes. Cardamom earned the name 'Queen of spices' through its unique flavor and amazing health benefits. Also, adding cardamom to your regular diet gives tremendous benefits.
Types of Cardamom
There are two types of cardamom, namely Green and Black.
- Green cardamom is a common variety, and it slightly has a sweet and floral aroma. This type is highly popular and is used to prepare both savoury and sweet dishes. It also gives a rich taste when added to curries and milk-based desserts. It is widely used in tea or coffee making.
- On the other hand, Black cardamom is highly known for its medicinal properties. It is cultivated in Eastern Nepal, Sikkim and some other areas of West Bengal. It slightly has a smoky aroma and serves as an essential ingredient in the preparation of Garam masala. Notably, it is used in savoury dishes.
Health Benefits of Cardamom
1. Enhances Oral Health
Cardamom has antimicrobial properties which fight oral pathogens such as Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans. It helps in treating mouth ulcers and infections in the throat and mouth. Also, it enhances salivary secretion and kills the bacteria in mouth. The pungent aroma in cardamom improves salivary flow and thus reduces the formation of dental caries.
2. Eliminates Bad Breath
Traditional culture has shown that cardamoms are one of the natural mouth fresheners. Cardamoms have some antibacterial properties that may help cleanse your breath. It treats halitosis (bad breath) which is a serious problem nowadays. Likewise, its strong and delightful smell provides pleasant breathing. Regular chewing of a cardamom pod eliminates bad breath and postulates mouth freshness.
3. Improves Appetite
Cardamom improves appetite, and thus it treats histoplasmosis- a condition due to lack of appetite. The taste of cardamom enhances the secretion of digestive juices and helps in better digestion. Thereby it acts as an appetite stimulant. Lower in hunger, higher in health diseases such as dementia, hypothyroidism, kidney failure, chronic liver syndrome, etc. Adding a little cardamom to your regular diet is necessary to improve your appetite.
4. Aids in Digestion
Cardamom has an intense aroma and helps our taste buds to secrete digestive enzymes more effective. Despite being a spice, cardamom helps in relieving acidity and digestive issues. Its cooling effect on the intestine may settle the stomach from gastrointestinal problems like nausea, vomiting, constipation and indigestion. Consuming elachi after a heavy meal gives a relieving effect.
5. Prompts Heart Health
Cardamoms are a rich source of potassium and magnesium. Potassium regulates blood pressure and body fluids, whereas magnesium prevents calcium deposition in the artery walls, which later converts into plaques, leading to severe coronary illnesses such as stroke and heart attack. Regular intake of cardamom may keep you away from life-threatening heart diseases.
6. Prevents Cancer
Cardamom has natural phytochemicals which battle severe diseases like cancer. It inhibits the development of tumors and thus reduces the chance of cancer. Studies have shown that cardamom has been in the treatment of forestomach cancer.
7. Lowers Depression
People who suffer from depression and anxiety are stressed and tense over some situations in life. They are advised to drink cardamom tea regularly to overcome that situation. It detoxifies your body, revitalizes your cell and helps you overcome a depressive moment in your life. Those going through mental stress, depression and other mental issues should take cardamom tea regularly.
8. Reduces Hypertension
Cardamoms effectively lower blood pressure, thereby giving relief from hypertension. It relieves hypertension by decreasing blood pressure and increasing fibrinolytic activities. Thus, people who suffer from hypertension should add cardamom to their daily intakes to get relief. Additionally, the regular consumption of cardamom keeps your blood pressure under check.
9. Lightens Skin Complexion
Cardamom's antioxidant and antibacterial properties are attributed to improving skin complexion. Its essential oil aids in removing blemishes and dark spots, thus helping you achieve glowing skin. The phytochemical property reduces the sign of ageing. Applying the correct proportion of honey and cardamom powder as a mask gives you radiant skin.
10. Treats Impotence
Cardamom was a proven aphrodisiac. It has cineole, which is a natural stimulant and treats impotence. Only fewer know that cardamom can act as a potent tonic and stimulant. It comprises antioxidants that balance the body's reproductive hormones and effectively treat impotence and infertility.
Cardamom is the "queen of species" and every Indian's favorite ingredient. It gives a rich taste to both sweet and savoury dishes. The presence of potassium and magnesium helps in preventing coronary illness. It treats bad breath and promotes oral health. Having a cup of cardamom tea lowers blood pressure and depression. It gives you relief from mental stress.