– Cardamom (/ˈkɑːrdəməm/), sometimes Cardamon or Cardamum, is a spice made from the seeds of several plants in the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the family Zingiberaceae.
– Cardamom is the world’s third-most expensive spice, surpassed in price per weight only by vanilla and saffron.
– Both genera are native to India (the largest producer until the late 20th century), Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia and Nepal.
Elettaria Cardamomum/ Amomum subulatum (chin. : 小豆蔻)
– green cardamom (or, when bleached, white cardamom) comes from the species Elettaria cardamomum and is distributed from India to Malaysia.
– Black cardamom, also known as brown, greater, large, longer, or Nepal cardamom, comes from species Amomum subulatum and is native to the eastern Himalayas and
– mostly cultivated in Eastern Nepal, Sikkim and parts of Darjeeling district in West Bengal of India, and Southern Bhutan.
– They are recognised by their small seed pods: triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped, with a thin papery outer shell and small black seeds;
– Elettaria pods are light green and smaller, while Amomum pods are larger and dark brown.
– The German coffee planter Oscar Majus Kloeffer introduced Indian cardamom to cultivation in Guatemala before World War I; by 2000 that country had become the biggest producer and exporter of cardamom in the world, followed by India.
– Some other countries, such as Sri Lanka, have also begun to cultivate it.
– Cardamom is an antispasmodic spice which can help you in getting rid of hiccups. It provides relief from involuntary muscle spasms, like intestinal and stomach cramps.
– Detoxification:Cardamoms are known to detoxify the body. They are rich in minerals and vitamins like Vitamin A, B, C, niacin, riboflavin etc.
– It is a great blood purifier and removes excess urea, calcium and other toxins from the kidney. This is specially a home remedy used post delivery
– Antioxidants:Many of the phytonutrients, vitamins and essential oils which are present in cardamom act as antioxidants. This magical spice helps in cleaning up the free radicals and tends to resist cellular aging.
– Anti-Carcinogenic Properties: Cancer, particularly colorectal cancer, is one of the leading causes of death around the world. Studies conducted by Sengupta et al. at Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute in Kolkata have shown that dietary cardamom had a positive result in counteracting colorectal cancer to an extent of 48%.
– Anti-Inflammatory Properties: According to Ayurveda, cardamom is good for muscle and joint pain. Recent experimental evidence suggests that cardamom possesses anti-inflammatory properties.
– Depression:Though the real science behind the anti-depressant qualities of this spice has not been studied yet, Ayurvedic practitioners firmly believe that the cardamom tea is a perfect way to fight depression. It has a natural ingredient which tends to detoxify the body and rejuvenate the cells which altogether help in fighting depression (6).
– Cold and Flu:Cardamom is a pungent spice which tends to help in preventing and relieving cold and flu symptoms. Cardamom is a good home remedy for cold and flu. Just make cardamom tea, consume and your headache and cold will be gone in a jiffy.
– Pathogens:People having infections are suggested to consume cardamom which is known to prevent infections due to its therapeutic properties. The various essential oils in cardamom inhibit the growth of bacteria, viruses, mold and fungus.
– Bad breath/Oral Health:Cardamom is a cure for bad breath. Apart from its trait that helps in curing bad breath, cardamom is also used for mouth ulcers and mouth infection. Chew a couple of cardamom seeds and it solves your breath problem (halitosis)
– Asthma:Cardamom is considered to be highly beneficial for asthma patients. It also acts as a natural remedy for whooping cough and bronchitis (10).
– Improves Appetite:Add some ground cardamom to your curry or chew some of its seeds to improve your appetite.
– Alleviates Digestive Issues:
Cardamom seeds are the best solution for indigestion, belching and flatulence problems. Cardamom helps improve your digestion of food.
– Hypertension:For those of you who suffer from hypertension, its time you consume cardamom on a regular basis as this spice has the capability of improving blood circulation to the lungs. This helps in reducing your blood pressure.
– Blood Clots:Cardamom prevents dangerous blood clots by preventing platelet aggregation and the sticking to the artery walls.
– Skin Benefits
1. Improves Complexion:
One of the benefits of cardamom is that it can provide you with fair skin. Cardamom essential oil helps in removing blemishes, thus giving you a fairer complexion.
2. Improves Blood Circulation:
Cardamom contains vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant. It improves blood circulation throughout the body, thus improving skin complexion as well.
3. Clear Skin:
Black cardamoms help in flushing out the toxins, free radicals and dangerous fluids those are harmful to the body including your skin. Therefore, chewing on some black cardamom detoxifies your body, thus providing you with a clearer skin.
4. Treatment of Skin Allergy:
Black cardamom has antibacterial properties. It can be used as an antiseptic to treat skin allergies.
– Imparts Fragrance:Cardamom is often used in cosmetics to impart fragrance. Due to their distinct spicy, sweet scent, both cardamom and cardamom oil are used in perfumes, soaps, body wash, powders and other cosmetics. Oriental style perfumes and other scented products often use /cardamom as an ingredient in addition to other essential oils
– Therapeutic Properties:Cardamom can be mixed into skincare products for antiseptic and anti-inflammatory purposes to calm and soothe the skin, thanks to its therapeutic effects. When added to perfumes, it can stimulate the senses. Facial soaps use cardamom to impart a warming sensation on the skin.These cosmetics using cardamom for therapeutic reasons are known as aromatherapy products.
– Great Masking Agent:The strong scent of cardamom can ward off unpleasant smells. This makes it a great addition to cosmetic products such as toners which serve a specific function but smell unappealing due to the inclusion of certain ingredients. Cardamom is added to these products to mask the unpleasant scent while retaining the benefit of the cosmetic.
– Lip Care:Cardamom essential oil is often added to cosmetics that are applied to the lips such as lip balms to impart the taste of the oil and make them smooth.
– Hair Benefits
1. Nourishes The Scalp:
Black cardamoms have anti-oxidative properties that provide nourishment to the scalp and hair follicles.
2. Treatment of Scalp Infections:
Cardamoms possess antibacterial properties which prevent the scalp from infections and irritation.
3. Hair Health:
Cardamom helps in strengthening the roots, thereby helping you gain strong hair. It is also known to provide shine and lustre to your hair
– Good for Nausea and Vomiting: Traditionally, cardamom has been used as a remedy for nausea. Cardamom is an effective tonic and stimulant and is good for calming the sensations of nausea and vomiting.
– Control of Cholesterol: The micronutrients found in cardamom can counteract the surge of lipids in the body. In experiments conducted at the Pharmacology and Toxicology Division at Hindustan Antibiotics Limited in Pune, India by Dhuley, hepatic and cardiac antioxidant enzymes from cardamom were administered to mice, which were fed a high-fat diet. The antioxidant enzymes had an influence on the cholesterol levels and helped in significantly controlling them.
– Treating Urinary Disorders: In Ayurveda, cardamom has been used as a remedy for urinary tract diseases and infections such as cystitis, nephritis, and gonorrhea
– Aphrodisiac Properties: Since cardamom gives out a sweet flavor, it was traditionally believed to possess aphrodisiac properties. Not only is cardamom regarded as an aphrodisiac, but it is also believed to possess the cure for impotency and premature ejaculation.
– Sore Throat: For sore throats, cardamom acts as a good remedy. Cardamom and cinnamon can both be boiled in water and can be used to gargle every morning to control painful sore throats