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Cardamom : Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

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By NS Desk 06-Nov-2020

Cardamom

Cardamom is one of the oldest spices. The written use of the same dates back to over 4,000 years ago.

The spice is made up of dried fruits and seeds of the plant Elettariacardamomum. The Elettariacardamomum comes from the ginger family of the herbs. The plant and the spice are native to the Indian sub-continent and is commonly known as "Elaichi." Used in various savory and sweet dishes, cardamom is rightly named "The Queen of Spices," being one of the most valued spices all over the world. Apart from being a flavoring agent, it also acts as a mouth freshener after meals.

With a strong aromatic zest, cardamom is also antimicrobial, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory. The spice is used for several home remedies for ages in the country.

This article will give you a description of cardamom spice and all you should know about it, e.g., uses, benefits, types, etc.

Nutritional Values of Cardamom

Cardamom is a spice that is packed with essential nutrients. It is rich in manganese, potassium, magnesium, and riboflavin. It contains a good amount of iron, fiber, calcium, Vitamins C and A, Zinc, etc. Essential edible oils are abundant in even one seed of cardamom. It is composed of sabinene, phellandrene, terpinene, linalool, myrcene, etc. A combination of all this is nothing less than what is good for your health.

The nutritionalcomponent of cardamom gives it the properties that are even discussed further in the article, e.g., anti-oxidant.

Per 100 grams of cardamom is said to have the following nutritional value:

  1. 311 Calories
  2. 7 grams of Fat
  3. 11 gram of Protein
  4. 68 gram of Carbohydrates
  5. 18 milligrams of Sodium
  6.  1,119 milligrams of Potassium
  7. 0.38% Calcium
  8. 10% Vitamin B-6
  9. 35% Vitamin C
  10. 57% Magnesium, and
  11.  77% Iron

As a result of all these, we can see a huge list of health benefits of cardamom.

How did the word Cardamom originate?

There is a series of history while knowing the origin of the name. The first mention of the spice was in the syllabic script of the Mycenaean Greek era. The name mentioned in the script read “κάρδαμον." From which came the name of the Indian spice plant“ἄμωμον” (amomon). The Latin word “cardamomum” was derived from the Greek “καρδάμωμον” (kardamomon).

Altogether, in turn, giving us the now commonly used word, cardamom, or cardamom.

History of Cardamom Use

The use of cardamom dates back to 4,000 years ago in Ancient Egypt in 1300 B.C. They used it for medicinal purposes. The use of cardamom in rituals in the Bronze Age was prominent.

Then came the discovery of the spice as a perfumery ingredient by the Greeks and Romans. They also used them in the aromatic oils.

The seeds were first found in the wild plants that were located in the Western Ghats. The plant was found as a fortune in this region.

Historical use of Cardamom

In ancient times, cardamom was used mainly in rituals. It has been used as a medicine, and the similar use is continued even today. Egyptians have used the seed of cardamom as a teeth cleaner and a substitute for mint.

The use of cardamom as an aromatic agent in perfumes and oils has also been recognized to a greater extent.

Apart from all the above, the spice is used as a flavor in both savory and sweet dishes.

Due to its medicinal properties, cardamom has been used to treat blood pressure, cough, infection, etc.

Types of Cardamom

There are two types of cardamom. They are:

  1. Green Cardamom
    • Small pods
    • Green in color
    • Sukshma Ela
    • Chotielaichi
  2. Black Cardamom
    • Large pods
    • Black in color
    • Bhrat Ela
    • Badielaichi

Components of Cardamom

Cardamom has several active components that make it anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial. It contains:

  1. Limonene – it is an extract of fruit oil, the type of which is usually found in citrus fruit
  2. 1,8-cineole – This is majorly found in eucalyptus oil
  3. Linalool – The linalool known for its pleasant smell
  4. Linalyl acetate – a terpene derived from linalool
  5. Alpha-terpinyl acetate – it is found in pine oil.

Benefits of Using Cardamom in Ayurvedic Treatment

Originated more than 5,000 years ago, Ayurveda is the Science of Life. There have been prominent use of cardamom in the Ayurvedic healing system. For ages, it has been used as an anti-oxidant to cure cough and cold and respiratory problems.

It has been used to help in the proper circulation of blood and digestion. Cardamom being rich in sweet aroma, it is used as a natural mouth freshener. Morden day nutritionists encourage the use of Elaichi in food preparations for vigor.

Treating diseases/health problems using Cardamom

Since the early times, the spice has been used as a catalyst in medicines to cure several problems. Here are a few, along with scientific support.

  • Cardamom for Cough
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Cardamom is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory. The use of it removes mucus from the respiratory tract and clears it easily. It is also recommended by doctors to clear cough.

Kashahara - Cough is caused by the accumulation of mucus in the respiratory tract. This is related to the Kapha Dosha. Cardamom helps in balancing the Dosha and clear the mucus.

  • Cardamom for Gas Formation
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Gas is formed due to bad digestion. Cardamom is a digestive and is used to clear your digestive track and ease up the gas formation.

The formation of gas is related to Vata and Pita Dosha. Due to Vata Dosha, you might suffer from indigestion. This results in the formation of gas in the body. Cardamom helps in curing the Dosha as a result of which the indigestion is cured.

  • Cardamom in Heartburn
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Heartburn occurs due to hyperacidity. Cardamom is good for gastroprotection. It helps incuring digestion problems and, thus, prevents heartburn.

Hrudya - As a result of Pita Dosha, the stomach's acid level increases, which results in improper digestion and, thus, heartburn. Cardamom powder being Sita (cold) in nature, reduces heartburn by neutralizing excessive gastric acid.

  • Cardamom for Sore throat
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Cardamom is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. It can be used to cure sore throat easily at home

Cardamom relieves the throat's inflammation with its Sita (cold) and Rasayana (rejuvenating) properties. It reduces the Kapha Dosha and stops the irritation in the neck.

  • Cardamom for Headache
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There is no scientific evidence of cardamom curing headaches. However, cardamom essence has been used to reduce headaches for ages.

Headache is generally caused due to Vata and Pitta Imbalance. In Vata Dosha, you might have insomnia, depression, and constipation with headaches. Migraine headache is caused due to Pita Dosha. Cardamom helps in balancing these, and cardamom tea help in reducing headaches.

  • Cardamom for Hypertension
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Cardamom is an anti-oxidant due to which it has the properties to reduce high blood pressure. It prevents blood clot by acting as a thinning agent and reduce the risks of a heart attack.

RaktaGata Vata means elevated blood pressure. Cardamom has Hrudaya properties. It can regulate blood pressure to avoid cardiac diseases.

  • Cardamom for bronchitis
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Cardamom is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. It helps to clear up the mucus from the lungs to give relief in bronchitis.

Kasroga (bronchitis) is caused by poor digestion. As already discussed above, cardamom is a good digestive agent. Studies have also shown that it clears up the mucus, thus comforting bronchitis. This balances the Kapha Dosha.

Forms of Cardamom in Ayurveda with Recommended Dosage

Cardamom in the Ayurvedic treatment is used in tablets, powder, and even in capsule form. With a specific dosage, each form is used in a specific way while taking medicinal purposes or cooking.

  • Cardamom Powder

It is to be taken with 250 mg twice a day or as prescribed by the doctor.

  • Cardamom Tablet

It is advised to take 1 tablet two times a day or as prescribed by the doctor.

  • Cardamom Capsule

It is advised to take 1 capsule twice a day or as prescribed by the doctor.

Types of Ayurvedic Care with Cardamom

  1. Cardamom Pods

The green cardamom pods can be chewed as and when required by you. It helps in curing indigestion and freshens the breath.

You can simply put two to three cardamom pods in between your teeth and chew it for some time.

  1. Cardamom Powder

Cardamom is available in the market in the powder form. It is known as Churna in Hindi.

You can mix 250 mg of cardamom powder with honey or milk and take it twice a day after a light meal.

  1. Cardamom Tablets

Cardamom Tablets, also known is EladiVati, is sometimes even prescribed by doctors for the digestive system and blood pressure.

You can take 1 tablet twice a day. Just swallow it with water after your meal.

  1. Cardamom Capsule

You can find a cardamom capsule in any pharmacy. The capsules work just like tablets.

Take one capsule with warm water after a light meal. Use twice a day or as prescribed by your doctor.

  1. Cardamom Tea

Cardamom tea is often prepared in Indian households and has an elevated taste. The elaichi infused in chai given a delicious and fresh flavor.

How to use it in a tea:

  1. While making your regular cup of tea, add 1-2 crushed Cardamom pods to it or 1/2 teaspoon Cardamom powder.
  2.  Bring it to a boil.
  3.  Strain and enjoy your tea

Please keep it in mind not to use more than what is generally prescribed or prescribed by your doctor. Excess of cannot can cause harm to your body function and system.

Side effects of Cardamom

Not everything suits everyone. Cardamombeing natural and often organic, is safe and healthy with negligible side effects. This does not mean that it cannot have any side effects at all. There are guidelines on how to use it in every form. Often people forget to use the guidelines, or underdose, or overdose. All these can have side effects on the person.

While cardamom has several health benefits and has healing properties, it cannot be used with a pregnant lady and can harm the children. A few studies also show that overdosage of cardamom or excessive use of it can cause infertility. The same has also been written down in the Ayurvedic texts.

There have not been any reported risks of using cardamom while cooking. It can be said to be the safest in the natural form as a flavoring agent.

A few people can also suffer from allergies from cardamom. The allergy may result in skin rashes or even respiratory trouble. A few of the symptoms of allergic reaction from cardamom are:

  • Chest or throat tightness
  • Uncomfortable feeling
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Respiratory trouble

Recent studies have revealed that excessive use of cardamom can result in gallstones. This happens as a result of our digestive system, failing to absorb the cardamom seed completely. It is also not advised to eat cardamom while you are already suffering from gallstones because it might increase the risks.

Doctors also discourage the use of cardamom in the form of powder, tablets, capsules, and in some cases, even natural pods while taking the following medicines:

  1. HIV drugs
  2. Anticoagulants
  3. Liver medicines
  4. Antidepressants
  5. Aspirin
  6. Anti-platelet drugs
  7. Gallstone medicines
  8. Irritable bowel syndrome medicines 

Both Ayurveda and Science recommend to immediately consult a doctor if any of the situations mentioned above occur.

Precautionary guide while using Cardamom

  1. For people with gallstones

Cardamom might not be absorbed by your body, leaving it in the stomach for a long time. This can result in a gallstone easily. Moreover, if a person is already suffering from gallstone, it can cause even more problems.

  1. Cardamom in Pregnancy

Cardamom is said to be unsafe to be eaten while a woman is pregnant. There can be possibilities of miscarriage when a pregnant lady eats cardamom even in its pure form.

  1. For mothers who are breastfeeding

The effects of cardamom are not tested on breastfeeding ladies. To be on the safe side, you must not try to test it at home. It can be unsafe for your child.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the flavor of cardamom?
    • Cardamom has a fresh and aroma filled flavor. It has a pleasant smell and is used as a flavoring agent. Due to its fresh essence, it is chewed as a mouth freshener. Cardamom seeds blend well with all other spices to make the amazing flavor. It can be used in a savory as well as a sweet dish to enhance the flavor. The spice can be used in normal preparations of both veg and non-veg to complicated recipes like Biryani. 
  1. What is the difference between the green cardamom and the black cardamom?
    • Sukshma Ela or Chotielaichihas green pods. It is small in size as compared to Bhrat Ela or Badielaichi, which has black pods. The green cardamom is said to infuse an even richer flavor as compared to the black one.
  1. Can Cardamom oil be used for skin problems?
    • Yes, cardamom oil can be used to treat skin problems. It has a cooling effect that can stop the burning sensation and work as a solution to the marks left behind with the wound when applied as a paste to rashes or wounds.
  1. Is cardamom good for your teeth and oral hygiene?
    • Cardamom has anti-bacterial properties that can kill the bacterial growth in your mouth. For ages, it has been used as a substitute for the modern-day toothpaste and has worked well. Even today, you can get cardamom flavored toothpaste. It is also scientifically proven that cardamom is good for oral hygiene.
  1. Can cardamom be used for weight loss?
    • Cardamom powder can help you maintain the fat growth in your body. It makes you crave less and thus maintains weight. Even the Ayurvedic texts promote the use of cardamom powder mixed in honey to control your eating habits and, in turn, reduce weight.
  1. What is the effect of cardamom on diabetes?
    • Cardamom is an anti-oxidant that prevents damage to your cells. It can help in controlling diabetes by regulating the blood sugar level.

According to Ayurveda, diabetes is caused due to Vata Dosha. Cardamom helps in reducing the Vata while also improving the digestive system. It regulates the sugar level and helps with diabetes.

  1. Does Cardamom work as an aphrodisiac?
    • Cardamom is a powerful aphrodisiac. It can improve the sexual health of both males and females. It also helps in libido.
  1. Does cardamom increase eyesight?
    • Yes, cardamom helps in improving eyesight. It is one of the best natural remedies for impaired eyesight.
  1. What are the common uses of cardamom?
    • Ayurveda has prescribed Cardamom for several problems, and it also works wonders. Some of them that are not already mentioned above are:
      1. Mutrakrichrahara – for urinary tract infection.
      2. Arshahara – for piles
      3. Shwasahara–for asthma
      4. Hrudya – for cardiac problems
      5. Rochana – to improve the taste
      6. Pittartihara – for burning sensation
  1. Can cardamom be taken while on Homeopathic Medicines?
    • Cardamom is a natural agent. It is safe to consume Cardamom with your homeopathic medicines. However, there are some restrictions with Allopathic medicines and some health conditions that do not facilitate cardamom along.

 

  1. Can cardamom be consumed with multivitamins and other supplements?
    • Cardamom generally goes along with all the supplements. However, it is advised to consult a doctor before taking it; if you find any reaction to eating cardamom while on supplements, consult a doctor immediately.

 

  1. Are there Ayurvedic medicines that use cardamom?
    • Yes, there are several Ayurvedic medicines available in the market, of which different medicines are of different use. Some of the medicines are:
      1. ElakanadiKashayam – used for chronic respiratory disorder and asthma
      2. EladiGhrita – to treat bloating, weakness, anemia, diabetes, etc.
      3. EladiThailam – oil used for treating allergic dermatitis, urticaria, etc.
      4. ChaturjataChurna – a powder used for treating skin disorders.

There are many more medicines available. It is best to have a look at the usages of the same before buying and using them.

  1. Can Cardamom cause allergies?
    • Even though cardamom has several benefits and is usable by almost all, some people can be allergic to it. People with very sensitive skin can suffer from skin allergies due to the richness of the spice.

Anything taken in high dosage can be harmful, and so is the case with cardamom. More than the prescribed dosage can cause many problems for people who are/are not already allergic to it.

 

  1. What is the dosage of cardamom oil to be used?
    • Cardamom oil has a strong essence, just as the seeds have a strong flavor. It is recommended to use just about 2 to a maximum of 5 drops of cardamom oil.

 

  1. How does cardamom stimulate appetite?
    • Cardamom can regulate your appetite and, thus, also your weight. When you have cardamom, it makes you feel full and improves your digestive system. Since it makes you feel full and packed with nutrients, it reduces your extra cravings of food that is not particularly under your balanced diet. This, in turn, helps you to reduce the weight as well.

 

  1. Are there any benefits of Cardamom for Irritable bowel syndrome?
    • According to the Ayurvedic texts, irritable bowel syndrome is caused due to Pachak Agni. This also results in stress, indigestion, and diarrhea. Eating cardamom balances the Pachak Agni reducing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. However, no scientific study supports the effect of the same as to what the Ayurveda claims, but the method has been used for centuries by our ancestors to give a calming effect to the stomach.

( Disclaimer : The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or ayurvedic doctor. )

consult with ayurveda doctor.
Disclaimer - The aim of the article is just to convey information to you. Use any medicine, therapy, herb or fruit please do it under the guidance of a qualified Ayurveda doctor.
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