Top 8 Benefits of Cardamom -Uses And Side Effects That You Should Know
Cardamom, also popularly known as elaichi, comes packed with plethora of health benefits. From reducing high blood pressure, to correcting digestive ailments, this aromatic spice stacked in your kitchen shelves comes handy for multiple purposes.
India is the land of spices. One of the spices that is known for its distinct aroma and taste is cardamom. Cardamom gives a magical transformation to your dish with its aroma and flavor. Cardamom is commonly known as elaichi. Many authentic Indian dishes, like pulao, biryanis, and gravy-based dishes, use this wonderful spice and can gain multiple health benefits of cardamom.
But is cardamom used widely only because it is flavorful? Of course, not!
There are many health benefits of cardamom that not many are aware of. The tiny, green pods of cardamom pack in a health punch worth knowing more about. Let us take you through these benefits of cardamom, and also the side effects and common uses of cardamom.
After reading this, we are sure you are going to include this spice in your regular diet.
Nutritional Values Of Cardamom
|Total fat||7 g|
|Total carbs||68 g|
Health Benefits Of Cardamom/Elaichi
1. Cardamom Helps To Reduce High Blood Pressure
One of the main health benefits of cardamom is that it plays a vital role in regulating your blood pressure. Elaichi is rich in antioxidants. It is also naturally blessed with a diuretic effect, which ensures that it improves your urination frequency by eliminating the wastewater accumulated around your vital organs.
Eating around 3 grams of cardamom powder per day can help to regulate your blood pressure to a great extent.
2. Cardamom Helps To Correct Digestive Ailments
Almost all the spices commonly used in Indian food are known for their potential to improve your digestive health, be it cumin, asafoetida or carom seeds. Elaichi is no exception to this rule. The medicinal properties of cardamom help you to get immense relief from problems such as stomach ulcers and gastric ulcers.
One important home remedy that you can follow at home is to boil some water with a few pieces of cardamom in it. Let it boil for a few minutes until the flavor of the cardamom has steeped well into it.
Switch off the flame after 10 minutes; strain the water and drink once it is lukewarm. You will have great relief for all digestion-related issues such as gas, stomach bloating, stomach pain, ulcers, gut infection, and more when you consume cardamom regularly.
3. Cardamom Helps To Fight Bad Bacteria
When you go to buy toothpaste from the supermarket, you might find many flavors to choose from. Most of them will have natural ingredients such as clove and elaichi in them. Why? This is because these spices help to protect you against problems such as mouth bacteria and foul odor. One of the major health benefits of cardamom is that it has the potential to fight mouth bacteria, thereby keeping you safe against problems such as dental cavities.
Studies have proved that cardamom extract can considerably reduce the production of bacteria in your saliva. This is why you can also many chewing gum manufacturers using cardamom as one of their main ingredients. Elaichi is very effective in fighting live bacteria, thereby improving your overall oral health.
No wonder people prefer to chew on a few pods after a meal in India to keep the onion-garlic-breath at bay!
Out of Cardamom? Here is the best possible substitute of cardamom.
4. Cardamom Keeps You Relaxed
Cardamom is one of the most important essential oils used in aromatherapy. The flavors and ingredients of cardamom make you relaxed, physically and mentally. It has antidepressant properties, which makes it great for people who experience a lot of stress in their everyday lives.
However, if you are choosing to use it during pregnancy, or for relief against a mental health issue, it is best to check this with your trusted doctor first.
5. Cardamom Helps You Recover After Surgery
More often than not, you may feel dizzy after surgery, because of the anesthesia given to you. You may feel nauseous immediately after surgery, sometimes. This is when cardamom comes to your rescue. Researches have shown that essential oil of ginger, elaichi, and tarragon when applied to your neck, can help reduce the symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
You can also breathe in a mixture of strong flavors that include cardamom, spearmint, ginger, and peppermint, to reduce the feeling of throwing up after surgery. However, the results may not be the same for everybody who tries this, because the improvement would depend on the intensity of the anesthesia medicines that were given during surgery and the individual’s own body constitution.
6. Cardamom Benefits in Improving Oxygen Uptake
One of the major uses of cardamom is that it improves the overall functioning of your lungs by helping you breathe easier, and improving your oxygen uptake. In a study that involved two groups of participants, one group was asked to inhale cardamom oil for a minute before they headed for their treadmill workout. The second group proceeded to workout directly without inhaling this oil.
When the oxygen uptake of both the groups was compared post-workout, it was found that the first group had more of it than the second group. This was clear proof that elaichi helped you to breathe easily.
7. Cardamom Helps To Fight Inflammation
Cardamom is rich in antioxidants, which help it to fight inflammation and prevent cells from further damage. Since inflammation is under control, it may give you relief against chronic diseases. This has been proved in animals, but further research is needed to prove this fact in humans as well. Nevertheless, you can still consume around 3mg of cardamom every day, because it is rich in antioxidants.
8. Cardamom Helps Provide Relief Against Respiratory Ailments
Cardamom can give you immense relief against respiratory ailments such as asthma and wheezing. It helps to relax the air passage in humans, thereby helping them less prone to stressful breathing.
Different Types Of Cardamom
There are 3 main varieties of cardamom which are available in the market.
1. Green Cardamom
Green cardamom is also called true cardamom. Green cardamom is commonly used in middle eastern and Nordic cuisines. It is the most commonly used cardamom in Indian cuisine. It can even be used in desserts to add flavor.
2. White Cardamom
This cardamom/elaichi is grown in tropical areas of India, Malaysia, and Costa Rica. White cardamom is simply green cardamom that is bleached to reduce the flavor.
White cardamom has less flavor than green cardamom.
3. Black Cardamom
Black cardamom grows in the eastern Himalayas region and is dark brown in color and has larger pods. It has a smoky and tangy flavor, which makes it an ideal choice for savory dishes. People in South India use black cardamom in desserts as well.
Benefits Of Cardamom For Skin
1. Clear Skin
Black cardamom flushes out all the toxins from the body which harm the skin and as a result, provides clearer skin by detoxifying it.
2. Lip Care
Essential oil of cardamom is added in cosmetics that are applied on lips such as lip balms, which ensures smoothness of the lips.
3. Therapeutic Benefits
Cardamom has therapeutic benefits as it works as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic for the skin. It calms and soothes down the skin. It can also be added in perfumes to stimulate senses.
4. Cure Skin Allergies
Black cardamom has antibacterial properties which help heal skin infections. You can simply make a mask by adding honey and apply it to the affected area.
5. Improved Blood Circulation & Complexion
Cardamom has vitamin C, which is an antioxidant and is responsible for circulating blood throughout the body. It can also improve the tone of the skin by removing blemishes and gives you a fairer complexion.
Benefits Of Cardamom For Hair
1. Improves Health Of Hair
Cardamom improves hair health by strengthening the hair roots. It also adds shine and luster to the hair, making them better looking and stronger.
2. Cardamom Water Nourishes Scalp
As mentioned earlier, black cardamom has anti-oxidants, which nourishes the scalp and strengthens your hair. You can wash your hair with elaichi water, which is responsible for nourishing the hair follicles as well. Cardamom also has anti-bacterial properties, which can cure scalp infections as well.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Cardamom?
You can include cardamom in your daily diet in any form–whole spices, powder, paste, essential oils, and the like. The cardamom that is usually found in our food is quite safe to be consumed by mouth when it is taken in the right quantities. Elaichi has many medicinal properties, which makes it a healthy ingredient to be included in your daily diet. However, you should be aware of the following potential side effects while using cardamom.
1. Side Effects For Pregnant Women Or Breastfeeding Mothers
- Pregnant women should exercise extreme care and precaution in their diet. All herbs and spices should be strictly consumed only as per the recommended levels.
- Cardamom, especially, if consumed in larger quantities, can cause miscarriage in some cases. You have to check with your doctor about the daily recommended levels of cardamom that you can consume, to be on the safe side.
- Also, if you are breastfeeding, you need to check with your doctor if it is safe to consume high-flavor foods such as cardamom as these could pass on to your baby as well, while nursing.
- Though there are no major risks or side effects reported of using elaichi while nursing, it is still better to check the same with your doctor first.
2. Side Effects Of Cardamom For People With Gallstones Issues
- You might have to check with your doctor before consuming cardamom, especially if you are prone to gallstone issues or if you have been already diagnosed with the same.
- Cardamom seeds can aggravate gallstone colic, which can be quite painful for you. Your doctor will guide you correctly if cardamom would be compatible with your health, depending on your medical history.
3. Side Effects Of Elaichi On Skin
If elaichi is consumed frequently for a long period of time, it may result in some unexplained skin allergies called dermatitis. The wrong intake of cardamom can lead to rashes on the skin as well.
4. Respiratory Allergic Reactions Due To Cardamom
If consumption of elaichi is giving you allergic reactions in the respiratory tract, you will see the following symptoms:
- Respiratory trouble
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Uncomfortable feeling
- Tightness in chest or throat
Uses Of Cardamom: Tips To Include Cardamom In Your Daily Diet
- Crush a few pieces of cardamom in your tea or plain milk, to drink a flavorful and refreshing cup every morning.
- To make your monotonous curries interesting, you can temper the dish with 2 or 3 crushed cardamom pods and a few bay leaves.
- During festivals and special occasions, you might prepare sweet dishes in your home. Add one or two spoons of powdered elaichi in these, for extra flavor and aroma.
- Boil a cup of water with a couple of cardamoms, few fennel seeds, and a piece of ginger in it. Drink this mixture the first thing every morning to get rid of your digestive ailments.
Tips To Use Cardamom In Cooking
Cardamom is a valued spice, as it can be used in either ground form or in the whole form in a number of dishes. Following are some tips to use cardamom in your cooking.
- Cardamom can be used to store lemons which can then be used in a number of dishes.
- You can make a fruit salad of citrus fruits and then use cardamom as a dressing on it.
- You can even use elaichi for the marination of chicken.
- Cardamom seeds in the ground form can be added to soups, stews, rice dishes, etc for flavor.
- Cardamom can also be added in desserts for flavor such as kheer, gulab jamun, firni, etc.
- Green cardamom is added to pulaos and curries for its refreshing aroma.
- Elaichi is commonly added to tea for that different flavor.
- Cardamom is a major ingredient of garam masala, which is added to multiple vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some interesting FAQs about cardamom.
1. Is cardamom a spice or herb?
Cardamom or elaichi is a spice that has a slightly sweet flavor and a nice and fresh aroma.
2. Is cardamom water good for weight loss?
In a way, yes, cardamom water helps in losing weight. Cardamom has active compounds that help reduce bloating and indigestion. It also helps in reducing water retention, which can help in weight loss. However, weight loss doesn’t happen overnight; it requires having a balanced diet and indulging in physical exercises.
3. Can I substitute black cardamom with green cardamom?
Ideally not. Black cardamom cannot replace green cardamom as both of them have different flavors. Green cardamom has an intense, slightly sweet flavor; while on the other hand, black cardamom has a hot and smoky flavor.
So what are you waiting for? Add the extra dash of flavor to your mundane foods, with the help of the magical spice called cardamom. You get a load of health benefits along with the lovely flavor and aroma. Don’t waste any more time including this in your diet right away.