As well as being the namesake of one of my favourite Byron Bay Cafes, the cardamom pod houses one of my most favourite spices!
It’s also – I discovered – the source of great debate around it’s correct pronunciation – is it CardaMON or cardaMOM!
I guess it comes down to whether you’re Latin or Greek!
Given that I’ve been busting my butt to member all the Latin names of this seasons garden plantings…well.. I’ll stick to Latin.
But one thing that is common regardless of the spelling are all the health benefits this divinely aromatic spice brings.
Healthy Benefits of Cardamom
Good for Cardiovascular Health: Packed with minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium, it is a gold mine for essential electrolytes. Potassium can help keep your blood pressure under control and regulate heart rhythm. Drinking it in tea will help you reap the benefits.
Anti-Depressant: Cardamom is also believed to possess anti-depressant properties. The essential oil is one of the major oils used in aromatherapy. .
Treating Urinary Disorders: In Ayurveda, the spice has been used as a remedy for urinary tract diseases and infections such as cystitis, nephritis, and gonorrhea.
Protection Against Gastrointestinal Diseases: 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 it an ideal solution for a host of digestive problems, such as constipation, dysentery, acidity, indigestion and different types of stomach infections.
Good for Nausea and Vomiting: Traditionally, cardamom has been used as a remedy for nausea. It is an effective tonic and stimulant and is good for calming the sensations of nausea and vomiting.
Antimicrobial Properties: For many millennia, cardamom was thought to possess infection-fighting properties. For modern science, it means that cardamom contains antimicrobial properties. Studies have observed that the oils from cardamom were able to inhibit the growth and spread of some of the very dangerous microbes that regularly cause food poisoning.
Anti-Asthmatic Property: Cardamom can also be used as a remedy for asthma and other respiratory issues. One study has shown that the crude extracts were effective enough in opening up constricted wind pipes in lab animals. They were also effective in causing relaxation to the tracheal tissues. This preliminary study has been positive, and warrants further investigation.
Anti-Inflammatory Properties: According to Ayurveda, cardamon is good for muscle and joint pain. Recent experimental evidence suggests that cardamom possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Detoxification: This little super spice is also high in manganese, which helps produce an enzyme that destroys free radicals. It will help cleanse the body and detoxify.
Improved Blood Circulation: In traditional therapies such as aromatherapy, cardamon has been used to cure symptoms of asthma and bronchitis by improving blood circulation to the lungs. The essential oil extracted has been tested in groups of individuals with stress and has been found that cardamom is effective in promoting blood circulation in the body. The research was undertaken at the Nitte University in Mangalore, India.
Aphrodisiac Properties: Want to spice up your love life? Since cardamon gives out a sweet flavor, it was traditionally believed to possess aphrodisiac properties. Not only is the spice 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.
Hiccups: 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.
Breath Freshener: Cardamom is one of the most effective remedies against halitosis. Simply chewing on the seeds eliminates bad odors. The spice is even used in some chewing gums because of its effectiveness, billed as a surefire cure to the most offensive breath.