Cardamom is considered to be the “queen of spices”. Beside the aroma and flavor used for culinary purpose, the magical health benefits make cardamom its worth. Botanically, the spice cardamom is related to ginger family. Cardamom has its origin in India and Sri Lanka. It grows in hot and humid climate where the rainfall is between 150 and 500cms.
The plant requires lateritic soil which is deep red and full of humus and leaf molds. For its cultivation cardamom requires high altitude area and shade. There are two varieties of cardamom, green and black.Both varieties add flavor to food and are equally beneficial for health, however green variety is commonly used.
The spice cardamom has digestive, antispasmodic and carminative properties. It is used since ancient times in treating belching, vomiting and nausea. It increases perspiration and improves circulation. Though added in tea, coffee, and milk to enhance the flavor, it is found to counteract the bad effects, such as caffeine toxicity and phlegm formation.
Research has revealed that cardamom contains rich amount of a chemical compound called limonene. This compound is believed to work as an antioxidant.Antioxidants protect cellular degeneration and inhibit development of cancer cells due to their anti inflammatory activity.
Medicinal Properties And Uses Of Cardamom
- Constipation: The husk of cardamom is made up of fiber. Cardamom when chewed along with the husk is believed to prevent food putrefaction and constipation. Eat ripe banana along with cardamom before going to sleep as it facilitates easy bowel movement if you are constipated.
- Bronchitis and cough: Cardamom is considered to be the most suitable home remedy for children suffering from cough, especially night cough which keeps them awake. Crush few cardamom seeds and roast them on a heating pan. Allow the powder to cool. Mix it with one teaspoon of honey and give to your child before he sleeps. It prevents night cough as well as reduces excessive phlegm.
- Digestion: Since cardamom is of the same ginger family, it has many benefits as that of ginger. It has curative properties that may alleviate nausea, vomiting, bloating, loss of appetite, and indigestion. Cardamom seeds can be chewed when you have nausea and vomiting.
Health Benefits Of Green Cardamom
Mostly green cardamom is used in culinary dishes. It has several health benefits aside from the pungent taste and an aromatic flavor.
Bad breath and sore throat: An infusion prepared from green cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaves help to relieve bad breath. Drink one to two teaspoon of this infusion to combat bad breath.
Diuretic: Green cardamom is also beneficial in flushing out small kidney stones due to its diuretic properties. It is therefore beneficial for removing wastes from renal system. Since it is a natural diuretic, green cardamom is also beneficial in removing bacteria that remain adhered to the bladder wall.
High blood pressure: If you are feeling giddy due to hypertension, take half teaspoon of powder, prepared by mixing following ingredients. Cardamom seeds, dried ginger, licorice, and long pepper and sugar, with water.
Anti cancer properties: Research suggests that antioxidants present in cardamom helps to slow down the growth of tumor. The anti inflammatory property of cardamom leads to cancer cell death it thus proves beneficial preventing and diminishing further progression of cancer.