Cardamom is one of the ancient spices originating from Indian subcontinent. Its native to India and grows in wild in Western Ghats of Southern India. It belongs to Zingiberaceae family which includes ginger and turmeric. Cardamom pods are used as culinary, herbal and mouth refreshing agent.
Though it is native to Indian subcontinent, it is widely used across the world. Due to its flavour and aroma it is considered as delicacy in several part of the world.
Cardamom has been commonly used as spice and flavouring agents in several parts of the world. The most common use of cardamom pods is in beverages such as tea and coffee due to its aroma and flavour. Though it has uses in culinary and flouring beverages, its medicinal contributions can’t be ruled out.
Cardamom is rich source of essential minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin C and vitamin B6. In ancient Egypt it has been used as mouth freshener.
There are several varieties of cardamom but the most popular one is Malabar and Mysore Cardamom. Mysore cardamom contains high concentration of cineol and limonene which means it is more aromatic than other varieties.
Benefits of Cardamom
Cardamom have been proven helpful against varieties of ailments however, some have strong medical research validation, and some may require more research.
Some of the benefits of Cardamom consumption are illustrated below:
Studies suggests that the antioxidants and diuretics properties present in cardamom helps in lowering blood pressure.
In a research 20 participants with high blood pressure symptoms were given cardamom pods for 12 weeks and the results were miraculous. Their blood pressure came to normal level.
The diuretics properties of cardamom control the urination process and helps in get rid of excess water build up and results in normal blood pressure.
The cardamom intake has been reported to be the rich source of antioxidants. In a research it is observed that the regular intake of cardamom can increase the antioxidants by 90%.
The ingredients present in cardamom may help in prevention against cancer how ever very limited research have been carried out in this field. Initial studies on laboratory animals suggest it might have some use against cancer causing cells.
The research on effects of cardamom on human cells are similar to what have been observed on animals. It helps in preventing growth of cancer-causing tumour cells in human body. However, more studies need to be carried out to see the applicability of results on human cells without any side effects.
Through the ancient period’s cardamom has been used as remedies against inflammation. Its strains can also be found in the ancient medicinal practices carried out in Ancient India. The antioxidants compound present in cardamom helps in reliving inflammation.
Though, it is the tested remedies against inflammation as per the ancient medicinal uses however, its medicinal validation in contemporary environment is required to proof its claim. Preliminary studies on laboratory mice is encouraging but detail research is required in this field.
Ancient Egyptians used cardamom as mouth freshener which is even true today. Cardamom is essential ingredient of almost all the mouth fresheners. It is also known to prevent dental caries and provide healthy teeth.
The anti-microbial properties of cardamom help in removing unnecessary bacteria from our mouth and saliva and prevents bad breath. Several chewing gums manufactures also uses this spice which provides mint like refreshing breath.
The preliminary studies on laboratory animals shows that cardamom may help in reducing risk of heart diseases however, more studies need to be carried out in order to better understand the effect of cardamom against prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
The studies carried out on laboratory rats suggests that cardamom intake can prevent heart attacks. In addition to this the antioxidants properties of cardamom may improve the heart functions. Though, it is the preliminary report however, major results are very encouraging which seeks further studies in this field.
Traditionally Cardamom have been used as remedies against liver ailments. It helps in detoxifying the lever and improves its functioning. In Ayurveda it has been regarded as important agents in expelling toxicity from the liver. In addition to this, the antioxidants properties help in removing free radicals from the body.
Though, there are not any concrete laboratory evidence of these on human body however, some preliminary studies on rats indicates that it may be effective improving the functioning of the liver and removing liver toxicity.
In one study a group of people used green cardamom pods and it is observed that there is miraculous improvement in markers of liver health.
It has already been observed the effect of cardamom in improving the liver health moreover, the essential compounds of the cardamom help in preventing ulcers. In traditional remedies cardamom and other members of this family is uses as ingredients to the stomach soothing tea.
In a study carried on lab rats to see the affects of cardamom on ulcers it was found that the rats with cardamom supplements have lesser ulcer than the placebo. However, these studies haven’t been carried out on humans or it is in very preliminary stage.
One study suggest that cardamom can help in improving the metabolism syndromes such as obesity, hyper-tension, high blood sugar, high cholesterol which leads to life-threatening diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
The anti-inflammatory properties of cardamom help in improvement of metabolism functions. A study carried out on group of obese women in which one group of women given cardamom extracts reported drastic decrease in markers of metabolic health than the other group without cardamom supplements.
Laboratory studies on rats also suggests that the cardamom intake helps in decreasing the metabolic syndromes and protects against heart diseases and diabetes.
Although it helps against number of ailments it may have some side effects which we need to be aware of. It always better to have medical experts’ opinion before using of Cardamom against such ailments.
Though there are not any known side effects of cardamom and its extracts however, it may have some adverse effects on pregnant and lactating mothers, it may result in miscarriages in severe cases.
The key takeaway here from this is Cardamom might help in some of the disorders however it may have some severe side effects. It always advisable to take medical opinion before inclusion of Cardamom in our daily diet. “Eat Healthy Stay Healthy”.