India is a country of spices. This is the land where a variety of spices bloom and add the necessary flavor to the wide range of dishes we consume daily. India is a major producer and exporter of spices for centuries now. The sweet, sour, spicy, and titillating flavors you enjoy in your meal is because of the spices that go into the process of preparing the dishes. These spices are grown by farmers in various places in India, depending on the productivity of the soil, the area of growth is rather sporadic. Ranging from West Bengal to Gujrat, from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, India is blessed with highly fruitful soil. Coming from a family of spices, we have the ‘cardamom’. Cardamom is the kind of spice that has an intense, slightly sweet flavor which some people compare to mint.
Cardamom originated in India but is now available in every corner of the world today and is used in both sweet and savory dishes.
It is not just the wood-like cardamom pieces that are used and are beneficial, even the seeds, oils, and extracts of cardamom are believed to have exceptional medicinal properties in them and are used extensively in traditional medicines for centuries now. Some of the known drugs are futile in front of cardamom’s effect as a herb. No known side effects have ever come up and the spice continues to serve mankind for its various uses in various forms. Given below is a list of 10 health benefits of cardamom that is also supported by science.
#10 Health Benefits Tips for Cardamom!
1. Helps with digestive issues
Cardamom has been used for years now to tackle the issues related to digestion. The spice is often mixed with other medicinal spices to create a mixture of medicinal paste for people to consume for discomfort, vomiting, or nausea. The spice is known to have a calming effect on the body.
The most known characteristic of cardamom, concerning relieving stomach issues, is its special ability to cure stomach ulcers. People diagnosed with stomach ulcers are sometimes advised to introduce cardamom in their meal, or simply have the seeds.
A study in rats discovered that cardamom extracts can solely entirely prevent or reduce the expansion of gastric ulcers in your stomach by a minimum of 50%. In fact, if the dosage was raised to 12.5 mg per kg (5.7 mg per pound) of the person’s body weight, cardamom extracts were found to be more effective than an average anti-ulcer medication. Lab test results also suggest that cardamom may act as a shield against Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria associated with the formation of most stomach ulcers.
2. May help in fighting chronic diseases
Cardamom is known to have compounds that prevent inflammation. How does inflammation occur? It happens when your body is suddenly vulnerable to foreign substances short term inflammation is perhaps beneficial but if the inflammation is prolonged, it can certainly cause chronic diseases that can hamper your organs and mess up your digestive system. Antioxidants are found in abundance in cardamoms which tend to protect cells from any kind of foreign invasion and prevent the advent of inflammation itself.
A study revealed that cardamom extracts in doses of 50–100 mg per kg (23–46 mg per pound) of body weight were found to be helpful in stopping a minimum of four kinds of inflammatory compounds present in rats. Another study proved that consumption of cardamom powder can help decrease liver inflammation which happens due to eating a diet rich in carbs and fat producing substances.
Although a lot has not been researched in the field of anti-inflammatory effects of Cardamom in the human body, studies show that consumption of supplements might help in increasing anti-oxidant in the body by 90%.
3. May Contain Cancer-Fighting Compounds
The constituents of cardamom may help in fighting cancer cells. Experiments conducted on mice have proved that cardamom powder tends to elevate the activity of enzymes that are associated with fighting cancer cells. Cardamom may also act as a catalyst and trigger the ability of cancer-killing cells to attack tumors or initial cancer-producing cells.
In one study, researchers exposed two species of mice to a substance that is known to cause skin cancer and gave another mice 500 mg of ground cardamom per kg of their total body weight, per day. 12 weeks later, only 29% of the group of mice who consumed the cardamom could develop cancer cells, in comparison with over 90% of the other group.
Research-based on cancer cells and cardamom show likewise result. One study read that there exists a kind of compound in the spice which stops cancer cells present in test tubes from expanding.
Although the results appear to be promising, these tests have only been experimented on mice or in samples in test tubes or Petri dishes. Human research is direly needed before one can formulate stronger affirmations on the same.
4. Helps in lowering blood pressure
Cardamom may prove to work wonders for people suffering from high blood pressure.
In a recent study, researchers gave 3 grams of fine cardamom powder to 20 adults a day who was recently diagnosed to have high blood pressure.12 weeks later, the blood pressure levels of the patients had considerably decreased to the normal level. The good outcome of the results of this study can be associated with a huge amount of antioxidants present in cardamom. The patients’ antioxidant status was found to be high by 90% after the study happened. Since then, Antioxidants have been in use to lower blood pressure.
Researchers also guessed that perhaps it is the diuretic effect that is causing the spice to lower blood pressure, which means it can also help in initiating urination to remove toxins through water; for example around your heart.
Cardamom extract has been proven to increase the flow of urine and decrease blood pressure when tested on rats.
5. Works as mint
This is the most common and known use of Cardamom seeds, they are generally used as mint by a lot of people across the globe. The seeds have a distinct taste and aroma which rapidly transforms the taste of your mouth to a fresh and blooming breath of air. It is the pleasantness of the seeds which make it an easy mint to use for people of all ages. The Mint has no known side effect therefore it is widely used daily, even certain restaurants and hotels serve cardamom seeds or cardamom leaves as mint post-meal. Certain mints are also prepared from cardamom seeds or they are put in different kinds of mint preparation to enhance their flavor.
It is primarily used to treat bad breath and improve oral hygiene. This is an ancient remedy and has been passed down for ages.
Even the chewing gum manufacturer “Wrigley” uses Cardamom extracts in their products to enhance the gum’s flavor.
The reason why the spice can transform stale breath into minty fresh breath might have to do with the ability of seeds to kill common mouth bacteria.
Studies also suggest that cardamom extract can fight up to five different kinds of bacteria which can cause a dental cavity in our teeth. In the Petri dishes experiment, it was found that the extract effectively stopped the growth of bacteria by .8 inches. Further research proved that cardamom extracts also possess the ability to decrease the bacteria in our saliva by approximately 54%.
However, it is important to note that all of these readings and experiments have been conducted in the lab in test tubes and Petri dishes and none of which has been applied to human beings, yet
6. Might help with infections
Cardamom is not only known to cure bacterial invasion inside your mouth, but it also has the ability to minimize bacteria in infections.
Studies suggest that cardamom extracts and the components of certain essential oils contain compounds that can kill certain strains of bacteria found in fungal infections. The extracts were able to stop the multiplication of a few strains of bacteria by 0.39 to 0.59 inches.
Additional lab tests discovered that certain essential oils and extracts of Cardamom were as useful and effective as any standard drug used for staphylococcus bacteria that is known to cause food poisoning. Studies also suggest that cardamom extracts kill the bacteria “Salmonella” which is known to initiate food poisoning and other bacteria “campylobacter” which is known to cause inflammation to the stomach walls.
Already existing studies on cardamom concerning bacterial fungus have only focused on localized strains of bacteria in the lab. Therefore, this is not proof enough that it will have similar effects on the bacteria present in our body.
7. Helps in reducing blood sugar
If used in its powdered form, cardamom can effectively lower the blood sugar level of a person.
When lab rats were tested with a carb-rich diet mixed with cardamom powder in the meal, it was noticed that their blood sugar level did not rise for long compared to their diets minus cardamom powder. We can safely assume that mixing cardamom powder in our meals might help in keeping our blood sugar level in a normal range. But blood sugar patients must note that this effect will be useless for patients suffering from type 2 diabetes.
When a similar experiment was conducted on about 200 adults where they were given plain black tea and the other half was given black tea mixed with Cinnamon or Ginger or cardamom powder, it was found that the tea containing cinnamon powder seemed to balance the blood sugar level and not the tea containing ginger and cardamom powder. Therefore, in different substituents, cardamom acts differently. This also goes for different bodies consuming cardamom. It can have different effects on different people concerning their body type.
8. Improves breathing
Components in cardamom are found two improve the passage of airflow to the lungs. It helps people to breathe without difficulty and helps in maintaining the oxygen level in the lungs. When this ability of Cardamom is practiced in aromatherapy, it creates a certain kind of odor that enables your body to take in a good quantity of oxygen while exercising. It is a common problem amongst people to lose breathing while working out, running, or doing something laborious. Cardamom tends to balance the oxygen level in your body while doing anything strenuous.
Cardamom essential oils are also available in the market, one sniff of the essential oil before starting your workout or walking on the treadmill might prove to be sufficient to prevent the loss of oxygen from your body even while the exercise is on. Your oxygen level will be considerably maintained. Cardamom extracts are also known to be beneficial for asthma patients, helping them in maintaining their breathing pace.
Experiments conducted on rats suggest that if cardamom extracts are injected into the throat passage, it clears off the passage for air to pass through. This might be helpful for people suffering from asthma. However, there is no conformity to this experiment since it has not been exercised on humans.
You can invest in a good face mask and respirators that will help you in breathing fresh air and keep you away from germs.
9. General health benefits
Adding to the list of benefits of cardamom, cardamom also prevents your body in other ways. Again, tests conducted on rats have proved that the high antioxidant level in cardamom helps in preventing liver expansion, anxiety and also assists in losing weight.
Extracts from cardamom might help in decreasing liver elevation, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels. In addition to preventing liver enlargement, cardamom also helps in reducing the threat of all kinds of fatty liver diseases. Keep in mind that your hands carry the maximum amount of germs, therefore make sure that you wear safety gloves while touching surfaces.
Cardamom extracts also help with anxious behavior. This happens because the lowering of the blood level of antioxidants might be related to the initial stage of anxiety development. Cardamom helps in increasing the antioxidant level in your body. The seeds of cardamom if used regularly as mint might help in reducing your waistline.
10. Widely available to all
Cardamom can be assumed to be one of the safest spices for consumption. The spice does not really have any side effects.
Cardamom is primarily used in cooking. It is essentially used to add flavor to the dishes the aroma which cardamom carries elevates the taste of the dish served. Sometimes it is added to Indian curries and stews or sometimes it is added in sweets, sweet dishes, baked stuff, or cookies.
Cardamom extracts and their essential oils are widely used in various situations and various ways. The essential oils are very effective for medicinal purposes.
However, Cardamom supplements are not advised to be fed to children of breastfeeding mothers.
For those who use Cardamom powder or plan on using it, it is advised not to use more than 500 milligrams per day.
If you are thinking of trying cardamom regularly know that cardamom is the safest spice used to flavor your meal.
To conclude on the benefits of cardamom, let’s just understand that the consumption of cardamom is beneficial to the human body in every possible way and to date, no one has complained of any side effects whatsoever. Adding to this benefit, the spice adds a certain aroma and taste to the meal prepared, enhancing the flavor. It is widely used as a mint or by mint-making brands to add that sweetened flavor to the chewing gums or mints they make.
Cardamom increasingly helps in balancing blood sugar and blood pressure level and helps the body in producing antioxidants too. Helps in breathing issues, weight loss, asthma, and keeping your organs such as liver and heart-healthy. Listed above is everything you need to know before thinking of consuming cardamom regularly. You can safely add cardamom to your life because the spice does not have any known side effects. It is time to spice up your life!