Aug 11, 2007
Most people are familiar with cardamom from fragrant Indian dishes, but this flavorful spice does more than lend flavor to curries and chai: It also has numerous health benefits, such as improving digestion and stimulating the metabolism. Readily available in markets, the precious pods are relatively pricey, as each one must be hand picked.
- Detoxifies the body of caffeine
- Cleanses kidneys and bladder
- Stimulates digestive system and reduces gas
- Expectorant action
- Improves circulation to the lungs and thus considered good for asthma and bronchitis
- Can counteract excess acidity in the stomach
- Stimulates appetite
- Remedy for tendency to infection
- Cures halitosis
To date there are very few scientific studies on cardamom seeds that provide scientific evidence for its traditional uses. Researchers have shown that extracts of cardamom have anti-inflammatory activity but the compounds in the extracts were not identified.
The oil from cardamom is usually rich in fatty acids such as palmitic, oleic and linoleic and in 1,8 cineole and alpha terpinyl acetate.
In traditional medicine
In South Asia, green cardamom called "Elaichi", in Hindi and Urdu, is broadly used to treat infections in teeth and gums, to prevent and treat throat troubles, congestion of the lungs and pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation of eyelids and also digestive disorders. It is also reportedly used as an antidote for both snake and scorpion venom.
Species in the genus Amomum are also used in traditional Indian medicine. Among other species, varieties and cultivars, Amomum villosum is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat stomach-aches, constipation, dysentery, and other digestion problems. "Tsaoko" cardamom is cultivated in Yunnan, China, both for medicinal purposes and as a spice.