As the third most expensive spice in the entire world (the first being saffron and the other being vanilla), cardamom is mainly used in Indian cuisine. You can buy cardamom in powder or as whole seeds coming from 2 different plants that belong to two genera, Elettaria and Amomum. We often use the powder in Indian-style dishes or add crushed whole cardamom pods to our tea.
While the spice or powder has a consistent look, the seeds where it is made from look very different from each other. Elettaria seeds come from pods that are light green while the pods of the Amomum plants are dark brown and larger.
The spice has been used for ages to treat mouth ulcers, depression, and problems with a person’s digestive system. Some have also stated that cardamom could be utilized as an aphrodisiac and could cure impotence. Since then, studies involving cardamom health benefits have increased. Many researchers have taken an interest in this expensive spice.
While Ayurvedic medicine was one of the firsts to use cardamom as a way of treating disorders, many have delved deeper into studying the spice. The following are some of the cardamom health benefits that researchers have discovered:
Many people are now looking for alternatives for chemotherapy as a cure for cancer. Researchers have found that while cardamom can’t cure cancer, it does possess anti-carcinogenic properties that help prevent cancer. Particularly colorectal cancer.
Some researchers at the Department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceuticals at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia have found that ingesting cardamom actually helps a person control hypertension. Also, cardamon lowers the heartbeat or makes the rhythm steadier.
As an anti-depressant
Not only is the spice itself useful when ingested, but some have also converted cardamom into an essential oil and used it in aromatherapy. It has been found to treat depression and other disorders such as stomach or respiratory problems.
Treatment of urinary problems
Ayurvedic medicine has listed cardamom as a cure for diseases that target a person’s urinary tract. These include gonorrhea, cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), and nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys).
Effective against infections
Some scientists have found that cardamom oil inhibits the growth of disease-inducing microbes. This means that cardamom can be used to fight potentially fatal diseases.
As a detoxing agent
Cardamom helps the body to flush out harmful toxins and free radicals that could cause deadly diseases. It is a very effective detoxifying agent both in powder and oil form. It can even fight the early stages of cancer by killing cancer cells.
Cure for halitosis
Chewing the seeds or pods of either Elettaria or Amomum can freshen up a person’s breath due to the natural oil found inside them. Some chewing gum manufacturers even use this spice as the main ingredient.