Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Health Benefits of Cardamom

Cardamom, the queen of the spices, is widely used in pungent and sweet dishes to provide a strong aroma and flavor. In Ayurvedic medicine, this aromatic spice is considered as a very useful and effective medicine. Cardamom is a dried fruit of a plant and is indigenous to the Middle East, Scandinavia, and North Africa. Cardamom is grown in only few tropical countries including Sri Lanka, India and Guatemala. The spice does more than just providing flavor to foods; it offers numerous health benefits ranging from being a digestive system tonic to its use as an essential oil in aroma therapy. Read on to know more about the health benefits of cardamom.

Health Benefits of Cardamom

Scientifically, cardamom is known as Elettaria cardamomum and it belongs to the family of "zingiberaceae". Two varieties of the cardamom are available in the market: the green cardamom and the black cardamom. Both varieties feature three sided pods containing small black seeds which are arranged in vertical rows alongside a thin papery outer cover. The green cardamom has very strong flavor as well as it is more expensive than the black cardamom. Commonly, the seeds of the spice are used as additives in beverages like tea and coffee as they impart unique flavor and taste to these beverages.

Common Names and Synonyms

Elachi, Elaichi, Cardamom, Green cardamom, Aelam, Elakkai

Nutrients of Cardamom

  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Crude fiber
  • Vitamins like vitamin C, niacin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and thiamin
  • Minerals such as phosphorus, copper, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese and zinc
  • Essential oil (volatile oil) contains sabinene, cineol, limonene and terpineol in the form of formic and acetic acids

Cardamom - Health Benefits

Digestive Benefits

People, who suffer from digestive problems, are recommended to add cardamom in their diet as this spice acts as a digestive system tonic and offers so many digestive benefits.

  • Appetizer
    • Cardamom is an appetite stimulant. It enhances the appetite in the same way as it provides flavor to the dishes.
  • Carminative
    • Cardamom is an effective remedy for flatulence. It decreases the air and water elements in the body and thereby it helps to relieve gas caused by garlic and onion.
  • Acidity and heartburn
    • This spice has also ability to counteract excessive stomach acid. It stimulates the production of bile and reduces the gastric juices. Ground cardamom seeds also help to get rid of stomach cramps.
A tea prepared with the use of cardamom seeds help to get rid of the digestive problems.

Urinary Disorders

In ayurveda, cardamom is used to treat the urinary tract disorders such as cystitis, nephritis, gonorrhea, etc. A powdered mixture of Cardamom, Banana leaf and Amla provides an excellent diuretic property and treats diseases like bladder infections, burning micturition or urination, nephritis and scanty urination.


The spice is also helpful to cure sexual dysfunctions such as impotency and premature ejaculation. A pinch of powdered cardamom seeds dissolved in boiled milk is a superb remedy for impotency. You can also add saffron to this milk as it has similar properties. Remember that extreme use of cardamom can also produce adverse effects.


For treating depression, the cardamom use has not been confirmed. However, some herbalists assert that tea prepared from cardamom helps to alleviate depression. The pleasant aroma emitting from a cardamom tea helps in an instant pick up.

Inhibit Pathogen Growth

This spice has ability to inhibit the growth and development of viruses, fungi and bacteria. Its capacity to fight against disease may help to those individuals who have little resistance to diseases and infections.


Heart burn, eating of spicy or rich foods and aerated drinks are the main reasons behind the developing hiccups. An infusion of powdered cardamom seeds and mint not only helps to ease the hiccups, but also helps in indigestion.

Bad Breath

Cardamom is widely used as a mouth freshener due to its aromatic flavor. Chew few seeds of cardamom for a brief period to remove foul smell from the mouth.

Bone Health

For proper and normal growth of bone, an essential mineral is manganese as it aids in raising bone mineral density. It is especially essential for women during menopause as risk for osteoporosis increases during menopause. As well, cardamom is a good source of vitamin C, which helps in the absorption of calcium.

Improves Circulation

Cardamom improves the blood flow to the heart and organs by improving the blood circulation. It is a popular herbal remedy for chest complaints such as bronchitis and asthma as it can also improve blood circulation to the lung area.


According to Indian medicine and traditional ayurvedic medicine, cardamom has an analgesic property which helps to relieve joint and muscle pain. Cardamom oil is used in the treatment of inflamed nerves, joints and back muscles that are swollen. It is also used to treat mouth and pharynx inflammation.

Additional health benefits:
  • Detoxifies the body of caffeine
  • Relieves stomach cramps
  • Provides cooling effect
  • Has an expectorant action
  • Cardamom infusion alleviates colic pain in children
  • Gives a soothing effect to sore throat
  • Helpful in balancing kapha, vata and pitta
  • Acts as a general tonic and reduces general weakness
  • Supplementary treatment in neuralgia
  • Treat respiratory tract infections due to allergy like cough, colds, bronchitis and asthma
  • Acts as an anti-spasmodic: relieves pain that caused due to involuntary muscle contractions


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