Scientific name: Elettaria cardamomum
Family name: Zingiberaceae
Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance. Black cardamom has a distinctly smokey, though not bitter, aroma, with a coolness some consider similar to mint. Green cardamom is one of the most expensive spices by weight, but little is needed to impart the flavor. It is best stored in pod form because once the seeds are exposed or ground, they quickly lose their flavor. However, high-quality ground cardamom seed is often more readily (and cheaply) available and is an acceptable substitute. Large cardamom is the dried fruit of a perennial herbaceous plant. Its quality characteristics are different from that of small cardamom. Cardamom is a perennial bushy herb. The tuberous underground rhizome is its real stem and the aerial shoot is a pseudostem and formed by the encircling leaf sheaths. The leaves are distichous, long, alternate and lanceolate acuminate in shape. It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking and is often used in baking in Nordic countries, such as in the Finnish sweet bread pulla or in the Scandinavian bread Julekake. In the Middle East, green cardamom powder is used as a spice for sweet dishes, as well as traditional flavoring in coffee and tea.
Cardamom health benefits
It is known to stimulate the digestive system. Cardamom helps in relieving flatulence and indigestion. It enhances appetite and provides relief from acidity in the stomach. Cardamom fights against gas. It helps to relieve gas and heart burn.
Cardamom helps to improve lung circulation. It soothes mucus membranes. Cardamom warms the respiratory tract and by doing this, it increases the circulation to the lungs. Its antispasmodic property facilitates better blood flow to the lungs and decreases the occurrence of pain, spasms, and convulsions.
Tea containing cardamom may help in reducing sore throats. The usage of cardamom is very beneficial for the treatment of pharynx and mouth inflammation.
This multiple utility herb is also known to detoxify the system by facilitating the flush-out of waste products and toxic substances from the body. Cardamom also helps in cleansing the body as it has detoxifying properties. Cardamom supports the detoxification process of the body and helps to filter the entire body. Cardamom is used in Indian medicine for treating bladder disorders, urinary tract, disorders and the kidney. It also treats other complications such as nephritis and cystitis.
It is effective in inhibiting cell growth and proliferation, and even caused cell death, in human colon cancer cells.
Aromatic cardamom acts as breath freshener because of its fragrance. Chewing a cardamom kills bacteria in the oral cavity and keeps bad breath away. Along with some other medicines, it can be used for treating mouth ulcers.
This medicinal spice is also valued for its aphrodisiac property and can be used for sexual weakness in men. It is beneficial for improving erectile function and sexual power in men. Studies have shown that cardamom enhances libido and improves sexual stamina by boosting the body’s energy levels.
It also acts as a general tonic, producing a good and positive mood. Its essential oils are said to decrease metal stress and reduce tension. A massage with cardamom oil provides immediate relief from joint pains and leaves one feeling fresh and active. Cardamom tea can also be very beneficial for reducing stress.
Cardamom is an herb often used to treat stomach and intestinal problems such as upset stomach, intestinal spasms, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Generally it is used to treat cold and flu. But some people are allergic to a particular group of herbs. So you must consult your doctor or physician before adding any new food item to your meal. Patients with medical conditions that involve the gallbladder should contact a doctor for further guidance before beginning treatment with cardamom. Side effects of an allergic reaction are serious and can include breathing difficulties, chest discomfort, hives or swelling of the skin. Except this, cardamom is a natural herb that can treat and prevent many diseases. You can add cardamom to your food items. From now onwards do not forget to pour at least one cardamom to your cup of tea or coffee. Now enjoy your favorite cup of coffee and stay healthy!