Cardamom is known as elaichi in India. It is an ingredient in traditional Indian desserts and other dishes for the lovely aroma and strong flavor it imparts. It is not only taste but health benefits of cardamom that makes it a preferred spice.
Types of Cardamom
Green Cardamom / Choti Elaichi – It is green in color and small in size. It imparts a pleasing aroma and enhances flavors. It is primarily used in desserts and drinks.
Black cardamom / Badi Elaichi – This is black in color and bigger in size . It is used in spicy preparations with strong flavors, like rice, spicy stews, curries and garam masala.
Benefits of Cardamom
1] Improves Digestion – Cardamom helps in stimulation and regular excretion of gastric juices in the stomach. It helps in balancing these acids in cases of acidity, thus providing relief during heart burns. A good benefit of cardamom is chewing it after a meal. This helps those suffering from flatulence and gas. Cardamom is also beneficial in relieving stomach cramps and hiccups.
2] Anti spasmodic – Cardamom helps in relieving muscle spasms and tremors. It improves blood circulation to the lungs and can be helpful for those suffering from whooping cough, sore throat, asthma or bronchitis.
3] Detoxifying agent – Cardamom helps in cleansing of body. It is considered to be a refinement spice against caffeine. It also helps those who want to quit addictions like smoking, alcohol, tobacco chewing, and even those who have a sweet tooth. It eliminates urges.
4] Treats urinary infection – One of the lesser known benefits of cardamom is that it is a diuretic and helps in increasing urination. It has thus been found to be helpful in urinary tract infections.
5] Helps in oral problems – It helps in curing tooth and gum infections. The most common benefits of cardamom is that it can be used as a mouth freshener. It is a boon to a vocalist as it helps in improving voice.
6] Essential volatile oils – Cardamom oil is full of antiseptic, anti depressant, anti ageing and antioxidant properties. Avail benefits of cardamom by applying this oil when you have headaches. Adding Cardamom oil to bathing water helps in relieving depression, stress and in fighting common sicknesses and bodily strife.
7] Tonic – It enhances appetite. A well known benefit of cardamom includes decreasing nausea and vomiting. Cardamom helps in relieving mouth ulcers. It encourages the functioning of nervous system and helps in relieving weakness.
Cardamom contains phytochemicals like Indole -3- carbinol (IC3) and di –indolylmethane (DIM). These helps in fighting hormone responding cancers like prostate cancer, ovarian and breast cancers.
8] Good source of minerals – It contains potassium, calcium and magnesium. These minerals play a role in controlling heart rates, blood pressure and are important component of body fluids and cells.
It also contains copper, manganese and iron. These contribute to cardamom’s antioxidant and blood cell formation properties.
The benefits of cardamom have been known to mankind since ancient times. In Ayurveda, cardamom is referred to as “Tridoshic” and is used in balancing the three doshas of human body.
Image : Copyright (c) free digital photos