Welcome to the spice world! The queen of spice. How can one ingredient be beneficial to health? This article especially targets green dried spice. The small amount of cardamom is incorporated in many uses, such as in coffee, fragrance, dessert, and tea. So, curious enough? So grab your cardamom tea, and let’s dig in for more health benefits purposes.
What is cardamom?
Cardamom is one of the spice ingredients that we use for the smell, for instance, in cooking. It has a warm aroma, and there are different types of cardamom which also come from different regions in South Asia. To decipher, the green cardamom comes from a fruit that is common in Sri Lanka and Central America: Guatemala. The stems of this fruit are picked and left to dry under the sun. One fruit one by one, cardamom is removed from the fruit as a cardamom pod containing cardamom seeds.1
The fruit plant is about 5 feet tall. The plant secretes the cardamom essential oil in parenchyma cells inside cardamom seeds (a large cell). Cardamom agriculture is found on a hill between Tamil Nadu and Kerala.2
The appearance of cardamom can be green and black. The difference in taste is that black cardamom is smokier than green cardamom.1
Black cardamom comes from different regions in Asia: Malaysia to the Middle East, Eastern Nepal, and West Bengal.2
It was then later introduced in the 16th century in the West via colonisation. Cardamom spice is classified in the ginger family.1
Health benefits of cardamom
The queen of spice?
‘Elakkai’, another word referring to cardamom, has multiple uses. Cardamom tea is one of them. It is to simply get a cardamom pod and let it fuse with hot water. A little bit of information about the ball and green is that green elakkai is retrieved from ‘Elettaria Cardamomum’, and the black cardamom tea is ‘Amomum Subalatum’. So, the fragrance is different when making Elakkai tea. The green cardamom smell is a little sweet with a strong spicy aroma.3
Coincidentally, cardamom spice can be used to cook meals, and the use is quite frequent in South Asian dishes. The cardamon seed, as discussed above, produces essential cardamom oil, which is selected to add to curry dishes. Elakkai pod is also used in Scandinavian pastries and coffee.1
Cardamom is the favourite flavour of spice because of its fragrance in Indian cuisine. Bored with cardamom? Try the Cardamom power! Ground cardamom is half of the elakkai pod. In short, cardamom seeds, the pod and power can be used according to what result we need. Isn't that amazing?4
Want more tricks? If you have bad breath, no problem; Elakkai is here to help. Cardamom, in general, has a great antimicrobial property, meaning the spice induces oral health against Streptococci (oral pathogen). Cardamom (elakkai) stimulates saliva and further prevents tooth decay.2
How exactly does cardamom, a.k.k.a elakkai, do more on the potential health benefits?
Now that we have seen the health benefits of having cardamom, whether by tea, cooking food or as a pod, we definitely should learn to highlight its nutritional facts to further consolidate and maybe encourage cardamom (elakkai) to be in your diet and even to learn something new.
If you have a packet of cardamom in your drawers, under the nutritional facts, you will be surprised to find that cardamom tops all the best and the main vitamins, minerals and electrolytes that a human system necessitates.
What is on the nutritional facts table?
The packet shows no detection of saturated fat and is unlikely to have unsaturated fat, either. Both Elettaria Cardamomum and Amomum Subulatum have excellent health benefits in improving our cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular activity may incline in the ageing process, and maintaining blood pressure and blood sugar levels is primordial.
For instance, iron (Fe) shows 2% of DV (daily value), which is an important component for promoting rich blood and levels of iron. Potassium and Sodium also benefit blood flow and balance blood cell fluids2.
In addition to that, another element also appears on the nutritional facts table displaying Zinc (Zn), which influences the growth of cells and distributes appropriate proteins to cells. Last but not least, magnesium from green and black cardamom assists in the balance of blood sugar levels.2
Let’s look at the vitamins that cardamom and similar can be beneficial to our health. Vitamin C is to keep the blood vessels and the skin cells healthy with cardamom and its many versions: extracts, supplements, seed/pods, tea and powder.2
Riboflavin (B2) vitamins can fight free radicals that are damaging the cells and develop oxidative stresses. Riboflavin helps to convert into B6 and folate, which are related to red blood cells to induce. Niacin vitamin is associated with digestive health, where it encourages LDH (good cholesterol).2
Benefits of cardamom in digestive health
So, we did resume what we are getting from green or black cardamom; cardamom shows its best work in the digestive health system. Cardamom consumption or its supplements includes vitamins C, and A, Riboflavin, and Niacin. Elakkai provides sodium and potassium, those two electrolytes found in the blood.2
Now, we have to talk about how cardamom (elakkai) can reinforce our digestive system. The South Asian cuisine culture trusts cardamom to aid in digestive health. Consuming cardamom stimulates more bile acid production, which is released into the stomach to process fat metabolism. The elakkai spice precisely reduces acid reflux, heartburn, and diarrhoea; it smooths the inner lining of the stomach. plus, drinking tea or coffee encourages too much acidity, whereas drinking spices such as cardamom in tea can diminish the acid.4
Aid with appetite:
Elettaria Cardamomum can surprisingly enhance appetite with cardamom essential oil. The essential oil triggers digestion and is ready to absorb the nutrients the body is receiving.6
A condition like Histoplasmosis symptoms with lack of appetite is a good example of cardamom being a home remedy treatment 2.
Benefits of cardamom in cardiovascular health
Of course, cardamom (elakkai) also does wonders for cardiovascular health, as cardamom is the queen of spice. Cardamom’s minerals, like magnesium and iron, benefit cardiovascular health and better blood circulation within the nutrient profile. Furthermore, cardamom has fibre to aid in lowering blood pressure. Amomum Subulatum (black cardamom)works best with ischemic heart disease and prevents blood clots (fibrinolysis).2
The consumption of cardamom can regulate your blood pressure with diuretic properties. Cardamom lowers blood pressure. A study showed that consuming cardamom powder reduces systolic and diastolic pressure and enhances fibrinolysis (preventing blood clots).5
Potassium can also aim to reduce and maintain blood pressure.2
Cardamom (elakkai) can be used when people have asthma. The queen spice stimulates blood circulation by improving lung function by battling infections in the lung and preventing irritable mucus lining2.
Cardamom (elakkai) specifically targets the cardiovascular benefits of heart health. In the nutrient spectrum, cardamom is guaranteed to decrease saturated fat, which is a great way to manage our cholesterol level.10
Anti inflammatory effects of cardamom
Cardamom tea has good anti-inflammatory properties; it reduces inflammation that might be present in the blood vessels and, at the same time, promotes blood cardiovascular circulation. Cardamom prevents any blockages in the cardiovascular arteries. Potassium from consuming cardamom does vasodilate (relaxing the blood walls) when the high blood pressure is eased off.7
A sore throat can be cleared by the anti-inflammatory properties of cardamom consumption.7
A study on cardamom shows that it is an anti-bacterial spice cardamom extract. The fruit and the seed demonstrate anti-bacterial for instance in gingivalis; its membrane was penetrable by the cardamom extract and allowed phagocytosis (eating away) of the bacteria.12
Antioxidant effects of cardamom
Free radicals are known to damage our health; this is when Ceylon cardamom comes in! The cells are destroyed by oxidative stress. Antioxidant factors in Ceylon cardamom are cineole, camphor, and, lastly, limonene to maintain a healthy immune system.2
Vitamin C is one of the vitamins present in the nutrient profile table. It is also known as an antioxidant that also improves blood circulation within the cardiovascular system. Cardamom is considered a phytonutrient; it has medicinal properties. Phytonutrients play an important part in regulating blood pressure and diabetes and controlling blood sugar.8
Being an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant does benefit blood sugar control. The best thing about cardamom (elakkai) is that you can crave sweets while it produces no changes in the level of blood sugar. Just take one spoonful of cardamom powder. It is that simple!9
Polyphenol and flavonoid function:
Polyphenols and flavonoids are components considered anti-inflammatory; cardamon prevents cardiovascular diseases. Flavonoids are derived from plants/tea, as cardamom is from. Flavonoids in the human system are going to search for enzymes (that are triggering heart diseases) and attack them. Cardiovascular diseases such as Atherosclerosis cause the narrowing of the arteries and initiate an inflammatory response. To reverse this issue, a clean diet is suggested to incorporate anti-inflammatory properties, and cardamom intake does the work.11
Polyphenol is found in plants, and it can enhance and induce platelet aggregation (making sure platelets are adherent) and limit the chances of getting Ischemic disease.2
Side effects and other concerns
Unfortunately, the Queen of spice, like its ups, had its downs. There is such a thing as too much cardamom intake causing stomach irritation like loose faeces, painful gas, and nausea. However, there are some severe complications.
Consuming too much cardamom can lead to developing gallstones, more precisely, colic gallstones. This means that our digestive system cannot absorb the cardamom, leaving the seed stuck. The seed accumulates, which results in gallstones, and even bleeding can occur. The best solution to solve this issue is to stop consuming cardamom and prevent the seed from inducing gallstone.13
It is advised for pregnant women not to digest cardamom.2
Contact dermatitis can also be the outcome of cardamom side effects. A skin allergic reaction presents bumps and rashes due to the intake of cardamom, which is a hypersensitive allergy. The side effects can, at the same time, impact the respiratory system, causing trouble breathing properly:13
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Drug medication with cardamom can be problematic. Some drug medications can be mixed with cardamom and followed up with severe conditions. Medical drugs that need attention are:13
- Liver medicine
- Gallstone medicine
So, the queen of spice, we can admit that the title is well deserved. First of all, cardamom is a dominant spice that provides detox and the right electrolytes, minerals, and vitamins to sustain both digestive health in initiating appetite and cardiovascular health, such as blood pressure, elevating blood sugar, and maintaining cholesterol. Both systems are detrimental to better health, and elakkai can do that.
In this article, there is so much cardamom can do. Tasting the spice and making your life a healthy process can be rewarding. There is a little science into South Asian cuisine like Sri Lanka, Guatemala, the Middle East and Tamil Nadu.
It is a good idea to involve cardamom and follow a recipe containing cardamom spice. However, consuming too much of it can set off colic gallstone.
Cardamom is a complete set of anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidants. Ayurvedic medicine (organic medicine) is a form of herbal medicine used to lower blood pressure.
Wow! A lot of information is coming our way, which makes cardamom more interesting in other ways of taking care of yourself, like impacting the hair follicle, depression, and inducing sleep. Do you sometimes need time to process this? Try some South Indian cuisine and relax as your body detoxifies.
- Cardamom | Origins, taste, use, & benefits | Britannica [Internet]. 2023 [cited 2023 Mar 24]. Available from: https://www.britannica.com/plant/cardamom
- 24 amazing benefits of cardamom for skin, hair, and health [Internet]. STYLECRAZE. 2013 [cited 2023 Mar 24]. Available from: https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/health-benefits-of-cardamom/
- Spice up your routine with cardamom tea [Internet]. Sencha Tea Bar. [cited 2023 Mar 24]. Available from: https://senchateabar.com/blogs/blog/cardamom-tea
- Horticulture : Plant protection [Internet]. [cited 2023 Mar 24]. Available from: https://agritech.tnau.ac.in/horticulture/horti_spice%20crops_cardamom.html
- Verma SK, Jain V, Katewa SS. Blood pressure lowering, fibrinolysis enhancing, and antioxidant activities of cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum). Indian J Biochem Biophys. 2009 Dec;46(6):503–6.
- What are the health and emotional benefits of cardamom essential oils? - Blog - Serenis [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2023 Mar 24]. Available from: https://candles.org.uk/blog/what-are-the-health-and-emotional-benefits-of-cardamom-essential-oils/
- Cardamom tea benefits: 5 ways this herbal is good for you [Internet]. Sencha Tea Bar. [cited 2023 Mar 24]. Available from: https://senchateabar.com/blogs/blog/cardamom-tea-benefits
- Monjotin N, Amiot MJ, Fleurentin J, Morel JM, Raynal S. Clinical evidence of the benefits of phytonutrients in human healthcare. Nutrients [Internet]. 2022 Apr 20 [cited 2023 Mar 24];14(9):1712. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9102588/
- Drinking cardamom tea can control blood sugar, here’s how this tea helps in diabetes management [Internet]. Onlymyhealth. 2020 [cited 2023 Mar 24]. Available from: https://www.onlymyhealth.com/drinking-cardamom-tea-can-control-blood-sugar-1601955927
- Benefits of cardamom - faq on Ceylon spices - edb Srilanka [Internet]. [cited 2023 Mar 24]. Available from: https://www.srilankabusiness.com/faq/ceylon-spices/cardamom-benefits.html
- Ciumărnean L, Milaciu MV, Runcan O, Vesa Ștefan C, Răchișan AL, Negrean V, et al. The effects of flavonoids in cardiovascular diseases. Molecules [Internet]. 2020 Sep 21 [cited 2023 Mar 24];25(18):4320. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7571023/
- Souissi M, Azelmat J, Chaieb K, Grenier D. Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities of cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) extracts: Potential therapeutic benefits for periodontal infections. Anaerobe. 2020 Feb;61:102089.
- 3 cardamom side effects you should be aware of [Internet]. STYLECRAZE. 2013 [cited 2023 Mar 24]. Available from: https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/cardamom-side-effects/