Cardamom is well known as a cooking spice with rich aroma and flavor. What many people don’t know is that cardamom has many health benefits too.
Cardamom is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, sulfur, and magnesium along with iron and manganese. Further, it is rich in many vital vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C.
The medicinal benefits of cardamom, also known as elaichi, come from its antiseptic, antioxidant, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic and tonic properties.
Due to its disease-preventing, health-promoting and healing capabilities, cardamom can improve your health in numerous ways.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of cardamom.
1. Improves Digestion
Cardamom has carminative properties that help in the digestion process. It reduces flatulence and bloating and helps treat colic and stomach cramping. Plus, it increases bile flow, which in turn improves digestion of fats as well as other nutrients.
All this makes cardamom an ideal solution for a host of digestive problems, such as constipation, dysentery, acidity, indigestion and different types of stomach infections.
To use cardamom for digestive problems, you can consume the seeds plain, sprinkle ground cardamom on your food or go for a healthy cup of cardamom tea. As cardamom seeds have a pungent, sweet flavor most people like it, including children.
2. Beats Bad Breath
Packed with antibacterial properties, cardamom can easily fight the germs that cause bad breath. Plus, it has a strong flavor and a pleasant smell that can beat bad breath. Also, oil extracted from cardamom seeds contains compounds that kill the bacteria causing bad breath and other infections.
Simply chew on a pod of cardamom after every meal or whenever you need to freshen up your breath. Also, you can drink some cardamom tea or rinse your mouth with lukewarm cardamom tea twice daily. It will work as an effective antiseptic mouth rinse.
3. Improves Appetite
Cardamom works as a warm digestive tonic that can deal with indigestion, flatulence and acidity that can reduce your appetite. Plus, it stimulates the secretion of digestive juices, which in turn improves appetite.
If you have lost your appetite, add a little bit of powdered cardamom to your soup or chew some of its seeds to reactivate your appetite.
4. Detoxifies the Body
Being rich in antioxidants, cardamom also aids detoxification by removing toxins from the body. It is a great source of manganese, which helps produce enzymes that scavenge for and destroy free radicals. A detoxified body paves the way for more energy and better immunity and metabolism.
A cup of cardamom tea daily will go a long way in keeping your body healthy and clean.
5. Improves Kidney Health
Cardamom is said to be good for the kidneys as it promotes urination and lowers blood pressure as well as removes calcium and urea accumulated in the kidneys.
Regular use of cardamom can help treat a wide variety of kidney, bladder, and urinary problems like kidney stones, nephritis, burning or painful urination, and frequent urges to urinate. It is also often used in the treatment of urinary tract infections.
Both whole and ground cardamom can be used to improve kidney functioning.
6. Regularizes Heart Rate
Packed with minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium, cardamom is good for your heart. Potassium is one of the main components of your blood, body fluids and cells.
Adequate potassium is required to regularize your heart rate and keep your blood pressure under control. Plus, cardamom can prevent platelet aggregation and inflammation, in turn reducing the risk of blood clots and strokes.
Drink two cups of cardamom tea daily to enjoy its heart-healthy benefits.
7. Lowers Blood Pressure
Including cardamom in your diet can also help regulate high blood pressure.
It has antioxidant properties that help reduce the excess platelet aggregation that occurs in sticky, clot-forming blood. This, is turn, lowers blood pressure.
In addition, cardamom contains potassium and magnesium, two important heart-friendly minerals with blood pressure lowering properties.
A 2009 study published in the Indian Journal of Biochemistry & Biophysics found that participants who were given powdered cardamom daily for several months saw significant reductions in their blood pressure. Cardamom also enhances fibrinolysis and improves antioxidant status, without significantly altering blood lipids and fibrinogen levels in stage 1 hypertensive individuals.
Drink cardamom tea as well as include cardamom in seeds or powder form in your cooking as well as baking.
8. Fights Anemia
Cardamom has powerful antioxidants that help replenish vitamins lost during an anemic condition. It also has copper, iron, manganese and essential vitamins like riboflavin, vitamin C and niacin, which are good for fighting symptoms of anemia like fatigue and weakness. All these nutrients help in the production of red blood cells and cellular metabolism.
Those who are anemic can add a pinch of cardamom powder and one teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm milk and drink it every night to help relieve weakness and other symptoms of anemia.
9. Alleviates Asthma
Asthma sufferers can use cardamom to get relief from symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness.
Cardamom helps make breathing easier by increasing blood circulation within the lungs, fighting inflammation, and soothing mucous membranes. The warm nature of cardamom also helps promote expulsion of phlegm and relieves chest congestion.
Regular use of cardamom in small quantities is highly beneficial for those suffering from asthma or bronchitis. Simply add cardamom powder to food or drink cardamom tea.
10. Combats Cancer
Cardamom contains IC3 and DIM, the phytochemicals that are well-known cancer fighters. It inhibits the growth of hormones responsible for breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer, among others. Consuming cardamom regularly may help prevent these forms of cancer.
Also, studies have found that the powerful antioxidants in cardamom are very beneficial for those suffering from colon cancer.
Eat one-half teaspoon of cardamom powder daily to combat and ward off cancer.