The cardamomo is a spice with an intense, pungent and sweetish flavor, which some people compare to mint; was born in India, but is currently spread all over the world and used in the kitchen for both savory and sweet recipes.
It's believed that the seeds and oils extracted from this spice have medicinal properties and have been used in traditional medicine for centuries; let's discover all its benefits together!
The plant belongs to the genus Amomum Elettaria, the most common cardamom species of which are:
- Black: it is the common one, with a typical pungent flavor similar to mint;
- Green: widespread in India and Malaysia, this species is rare and expensive and has a very intense flavor;
- Ceylon: is a species of cardamom widespread in Sri Lanka.
- Antioxidant: cardamom, with its antioxidant and diuretic properties, can be useful for people with high blood pressure;
- Antitumor compounds: compounds can help fight cancer cells and improve the ability of natural killer cells to attack tumors;
- Chronic disease protection: this spice is rich in compounds that help fight long-term inflammatory states, which can lead to chronic diseases. The antioxidants in cardamom protect cells from damage and prevent inflammation from occurring;
- Digestive problems: Blended with other spices and medicinal herbs, cardamom is used to relieve nausea and vomiting and to protect the stomach fromHelicobapter pylori, a bacterium linked to the development of stomach ulcers;
- Bad breath and tooth decay: in some cultures it is common to eat its pods after meals to freshen the breath, this is because cardamom helps fight common bacteria in the mouth, thus preventing the formation of cavities;
- Antibacterial effects: Cardamom extracts and oils contain compounds that fight various strains of common bacteria, including Candida fungus, Escherichia Coli, Staphylococcus and Salmonella, responsible for food poisoning;
- Oxygen: Cardamom compounds help increase airflow to the lungs, improving breathing. When used in aromatherapy, cardamom can provide an invigorating aroma that improves the body's ability to use oxygen during exercise;
- Blood sugar levels: this powdered spice helps to lower and control the glycemia.
Uses of cardamom
Cardamom is generally safe and usable by most people. The most common way to use it is in the kitchen; it is always added to typical Indian curries and stews and, often, they use gingerbread, bread and other baked goods in cookies.
The use of cardamom supplements, extracts and essential oils is becoming more and more popular, thanks to its multiple properties mentioned above; there is currently no recommended dosage yet and remember that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not regulate supplements, so it is always a good idea to consult a trusted health care practitioner before starting cardamom supplements.
The safest use of cardamom remains the addition to foods in the form of a spice and the preparation of infusions, herbal teas and teas.