Cardamom is a spice consisting of whole or ground pods and seeds. The seeds have a strong aroma that resembles camphor. Cardamom is used in Asian and European cuisine, it is added to bread, mixed with coffee and tea.
Cardamom's homeland is the tropics of southern India, but it is also grown in other countries. India is the largest producer of cardamom in the world with a 54% share in world production. It is followed by Nepal - 33%, and Bhutan - 13%.
There are two types of cardamom: black and green. Black cardamom used in the preparation of daily meals, and green - festive. It is sent for export.
Cardamom has been known since antiquity:
- the romans they took it to calm the stomach when they abused the meal;
- Egyptians used for the manufacture of perfumes and incense;
- Arabs loved to mix it with coffee to enhance the flavor.
To date, cardamom has established itself as a medicinal and culinary tool, which is used in the preparation of sweets and confectionery.
Composition and calorie cardamom
Cardamom contains minerals - sulfur, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. It contains 5% oils, which are responsible for the aroma and usefulness.1
100 gr. Cardamom includes:
- flavonoids. Powerful antioxidants.
- terpenoids. Possess antibacterial and antifungal effects.2
- potassium - 1.1 gr. Normalizes the heart.
- cellulose - 28 gr. Improves digestion.3
- essential oils. They kill bacteria and infections.4
Cardamom calories - 311 kcal per 100 grams.
The seeds and fruits of cardamom used in dry form. Another of them produce medicinal oil. The beneficial properties of cardamom are manifested in antimicrobial, antiseptic and diuretic effects. This is a natural aphrodisiac.5
Cardamom extract is used to treat muscle spasms and cramps.6
For the heart and blood vessels
Great is the use of cardamom for the treatment of cardiovascular pathologies. 20 patients suffering from hypertension were prescribed a three-month course of taking cardamom powder. He increased the amount of antioxidants in the body by 90% and lowered blood pressure.
In the same 20 patients who took supplements of green cardamom, the dissolution of blood clots improved. This reduced the risk of developing heart disease, especially stroke. Taking black cardamom helped maintain the level of glutathione, which protects against free radicals and improves metabolism.
Other benefits of taking cardamom are improved blood clotting and normalization of well-being in patients with first-stage hypertension.7
Cardamom seed extract is used to treat dementia in Alzheimer's disease.
Cardamom is used in combination with other herbs to treat anxiety, tension and insomnia.8
A small daily dose of cardamom improves health and improves eyesight.9
For respiratory organs
Cardamom seed oil dilutes the accumulation of sputum, suppresses cough, relieves cramps and promotes perspiration. It relieves cold symptoms.10
There are studies according to which taking cardamom inhibits the progression of pulmonary tuberculosis.11
For the digestive tract
The use of cardamom stimulates the entire digestive system, supports the secretion of gastric juice, bile and acids. Research confirms that cardamom improves liver function and is a reliable remedy against nausea and vomiting.12
Studies involving 80 prediabetic women have shown that supplements of green cardamom improve pancreatic function and also prevent cell destruction.13
Effective use of cardamom for glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.14
Cardamom stimulates urination and output of calcium and urea from the kidneys.15
For the reproductive system
Cardamom is traditionally used as an aphrodisiac.16
Spice in moderation is useful during pregnancy. Cardamom has a positive effect on the development, behavior and biochemical parameters of the fetus.17
For skin and hair
Cardamom oil disinfects the skin and gives it a healthy look. It helps in the fight against signs of aging.
Cardamom can be used to enhance hair growth, fight against infections of the scalp and dandruff.18
Cardamom helps prevent cancer of the skin and stomach - it protects cells from damage.
Another study noted the ability of cardamom to increase immunity and remove inflammation in the body.19
Cardamom seed oil is anticarcinogenic.20
The benefits of cardamom is to reduce the craving for nicotine. Chewing gum with cardamom helps to get rid of nicotine addiction in people trying to quit smoking.21
Harm and contraindications of cardamom
Cardamom damage is negligible if used reasonably.
- Pregnancy and feeding - Do not use cardamom without a doctor's recommendation, as the oil from it can cause irritation and harm the child.
- Peptic ulcer or colitis.
Symptoms of Cardamom Overdose - indigestion and itching.22
Cardamom with personal intolerance can cause severe allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock.23
How to choose cardamom
- For maximum flavor, buy cardamom in the pods. Crush seeds just before use.
- Cardamom essential oil is a clear, oily yellow liquid with a characteristic odor. To distinguish the types of cardamom by smell can only be specialists, so be guided by the composition indicated on the package
Keep track of the shelf life of dry cardamom.
How to store cardamom
For long-term storage, fresh capsules should be dried immediately after harvest to reduce the moisture content. Immediately after harvest, cardamom contains 84% moisture, and after drying only 10% remains.24
At home, store the cardamom in an airtight container and do not allow the spice to become damp or dry when exposed to sunlight.
Cardamom essential oil store in a cool dark place up to two years.
Cardamom - spice, which is more expensive than only saffron and vanilla. Finely ground seeds are used to make coffee or tea and are popular in Scandinavia for flavoring baked goods. Cardamom is used for cooking masala and curry, added to sausages in Asian cuisine.25
In medicine, the plant is used in India to treat depression, heart disease, dysentery and diarrhea, to combat vomiting and nausea. Seeds with essential oils are used as an antimicrobial, antibacterial and antioxidant agent.26
Seed extract is added to cosmetic preparations to whiten the skin, get rid of dandruff and make hair shine.27
Cardamom is used in dentistry. The indigenous peoples of Asia soaked the seeds in boiling water to obtain an infusion and chewed for the freshness of breath. Until now, Indian women and men often chew cardamom pods.28
Cardamom essential oil is taken orally, used for massage and in aromatherapy.
Cardamom is a spice that with moderate use will strengthen the body. Learn how 10 wholesome spices and spices can improve your health.