We all love the soothing aroma of “elaichi wali chai”, don’t we? The flavour of Cardamom is so soothing that it gets along with almost every food that we cook daily. Be it biryani, chicken, boiled milk, or even desserts. Although it is one of the most expensive spices today, Cardamom could be found in every household (Because of elaichi ke fayde).
Ayurveda considers cardamom its main herb. Besides, elaichi is used in making dishes health & finger licking. This can cure mouth infections, throat problems, congestion of the chest, gastrointestinal disorders, and work as an antidote for poison and venom.
Cardamom is a member of the ginger family. It originated in India but is widely available throughout the world. It is also available in the form of whole seed pods having few seeds inside, an essential oil, cardamom powder, or even in the form of a capsule.
These are spindle in shape with a triangular cross-section, which contains few seeds. The seeds are small and black, while the pods can vary in colour and size.
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What does 100 grams of Cardamom contain?
Calorific value- 311 kcal
8 Health Benefits of Cardamom (Elaichi Ke Fayde)
Cardamom is widely used for both culinary as well as medicinal purposes. It contains vitamin A, C, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and a few other micronutrients. These give cardamom plenty of health benefits.
Reduces Blood Pressure
Cardamom can be of utmost benefit for people having high blood pressure. In a study, 20 adults diagnosed recently with high blood pressure were given 3 grams of cardamom powder everyday by researchers. It was observed that after 12 weeks, their blood pressure decreased significantly, and they were back to normal. Their return was possible due to the presence of antioxidants in Cardamom.
In another study, researchers observed that when Cardamom was used as a spice, it lowers blood pressure due to its diuretic effect. It can promote urination, which removes water that builds up in the body, for instance, around the heart. This study also worked in the case of rats.
Contains Cancer-Fighting Compounds
In a study conducted on mice, it was deduced that cardamom powder could increase the functioning of certain enzymes that can help in fighting cancer. Also, it can enhance the ability of natural killer cells that can attack tumour.
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In another study, researchers took two groups of mice exposed to a compound that causes skin cancer; while one group was fed with 500 mg of ground compound per kg of weight a day, the other was left exposed.
After 12 weeks, it was noted that only 29% of the group that does not eat Cardamom developed cancer compared to the 90% of the control group. Similar results were noted in the case of human cancer cells.
Protection From Chronic Diseases
Cardamom helps to fight against inflammation. Inflammation takes place when the body is exposed to any foreign substance. While acute inflammation is necessary and beneficial, long-term inflammation can lead to chronic diseases.
Cardamom is rich in a few antioxidants that protect the cells from damage and also prevent inflammation.
In one study on rats, consumption of cardamom powder decreased liver inflammation induced by eating a diet high in carbohydrates and fat.
Helps with Digestive Problems– Elaichi Ke Fayde
Cardamom has been used to help people with digestion for centuries now. It is mixed with other medicinal spices to provide relief with discomfort, nausea as well as vomiting. The most researched property of Cardamom is that it prevents stomach problems and heals ulcers.
In one study performed on rats, they were fed with the extracts of Cardamom, turmeric, and sembung leaf in hot water before giving them high doses of aspirin to induce stomach ulcers.
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Thus, fewer rats developed ulcers who consumed Cardamom compared to the rats that only received aspirin. It was also observed that prevention or 50% reduction in the size of gastric ulcers is possible only with the extraction of Cardamom.
In a test tube research, it was found that Cardamom protects against helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that is linked to the development of most stomach ulcers.
Prevents Bad Breath and Cavities
Cardamom is used to prevent bad breath. It is believed that eating entire cardamom pods freshen up your mouth after a meal; even Cardamom is used by Wrigley, a chewing gum manufacturer, in one of its products. This property is also responsible for fighting common mouth bacteria.
In one study, it was found that cardamom extracts were effective in fighting the bacteria that cause cavities in humans. Also, it can reduce the number of bacteria in the saliva by 54%.
Lower Blood Sugar Levels
When consumed in powdered form, Cardamom lowers blood sugar levels. A study found that feeding rats with high fat and high carb diet raised their blood sugar level compared to the normal diet.
When rats with a high-fat diet were given Cardamom in powdered form, their blood sugar level did not increase. However, this powdered form of Cardamom does not have the same effect on humans with type 2 diabetes.
In another study conducted on over 200 adults, they were divided into two groups, one who took only black tea and the other who consumed black tea with 3 grams of either cinnamon, Cardamom, or ginger every day for about eight weeks.
It was observed that cinnamon and not Cardamom or ginger improved blood sugar levels. Hence, more studies are required to prove the effect of Cardamom on sugar levels.
Improved Breathing and Oxygen Use– Elaichi Ke Fayde
Referring to the current scenario, where people struggle for oxygen, cardamom compounds may help increase the airflow to the lungs and improve breathing. In addition, when Cardamom is used in aromatherapy, it gives a refreshing odour that improves the body’s ability to use more oxygen during exercise.
In a study, a group of participants was asked to inhale cardamom essential oil for a minute before walking on the treadmill for a break of 15 minutes. It was noted that this group had higher uptake of oxygen as compared to the other group. It also relaxes the airway, which in turn helps in treating asthma.
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Other Potential Benefits of Cardamom
Liver Protection– Cardamom prevents liver enlargement and liver weight, in turn, lowers the risk of fatty liver disease.
Anxiety– cardamom extract prevent anxious behaviours, a study on rats revealed. It prevents other mood swings also.
Weight loss– a study conducted on 80 overweight and obese women noted that regular intake of Cardamom has a link with reduced waist size.
The Bottom Line
Cardamom is safe for people to consume. It is mostly used in cooking or baking food. Additionally, the use of Cardamom should be avoided by children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Though cardamom extracts and supplements are beneficial, they should be taken with caution and the supervision of a doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions (Elaichi Ke Fayde)
One can take 2-3 cardamom in a day for fresh breath and good digestion. 250mg cardamom powder can also be consumed.
Cardamom treats sleep trouble. All you can do is inhale the sweet aroma of Cardamom essential oil.
It purifies skin & clears out blemishes because of anti-bacterial properties of Cardamom.