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What exactly is cardamom?
Cardamom or should we say cardamom is an exotic spice from India.
At the same time warm, fragrant and mysterious, it gives off a unique and pleasant scent. It is a strong spice used in Indian dishes, especially in the preparation of Indian sweets.
It occupies a central role in Indian cuisine.
Is cardamom just a spice, a common plant with a scent without substance?
Or does it distill a plethora of subtle fragrances, aromas and health benefits?
What exactly is cardamom?
Why is it so important for Indians and in Ayurveda?
At the same time aromatic herb, powdered spice and simple medicinal, this formidable plant, or rather its fruits come from a unique ancient heritage and millennia.
Its medicinal properties are simply impressive and endless.
Cardamom, a staple ingredient in Indian cuisine, has also now found its place in many dishes of world cuisine.
Belonging to the ginger family, this spice is used to prepare desserts, tea, coffee and many other delicious dishes.
In Indian cuisine, it is one of the main ingredients of the unmissable Garam Masala.
However, in addition to the subtle and delicious flavors brought to dishes, often to help relieve digestive problems caused by garlic and onion, it is also very stimulating for the stomach; this spice is also widely used in Ayurvedic medicine to relieve, treat and cure many ailments such as mouth ulcers, digestive problems and even depression.
Some of the health benefits of these delicately tangy and lemony spices are now being relayed and confirmed by science and modern studies.
Cardamom is expensive because of its aromatic and healing properties
It is definitely worth adding cardamom to your food for the flavor of course, but also for the wide range of active ingredients, and therefore of the benefits it will bring to your overall health day after day.
Origin and Description:
Cardamom is from Indian forest. Many kinds of cardamom exist, but there are two of the most widely used varieties, is mainly found in India. Different name and type of Cardamom is brown cardamom, Java cardamom, Bengal cardamom, Kravan, white cardamom, Siamese cardamom, and red cardamom.
Ellataria and Amomum are part of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae).
These 2 main types of cardamom come in different colors, and also differ in their distinct flavor.
Cardamom Pods Green (Elachi)7oz- Indian Grocery,spice
Mainly cultivated in southern India, this variety features green pods, representing the top quality of the available cardamom. It comes either in the form of seeds or in the form of powder. It can be stored for a long time without losing the aroma and the virtues of the seeds.
This fragrant spice is added to curries and milk-based preparations.
Tea and coffee are also spiced with cardamom.
It is even used in cakes and spicy breads.
It is also used in tasty dishes like biryani and curry.
It is also an essential ingredient in garam masala (spice blend).
The dark brown seeds are known for their medicinal value, especially due to the presence of carbohydrates, protein, moisture, volatile oil, crude fiber, phosphorus, calcium and iron.
The volatile oil includes cineol, terpinene, limonene, sabinene, and terpineol as formic and acetic acid.
Cardamom is grown in a few places around the world; it is found in Sri Lanka, China, Laos, Nepal, Vietnam, parts of India and Guatemala.
It grows spontaneously more rarely, on the rich and dense soils of certain South Asian forests.
Despite these geographic limitations of cardamom crops, cardamom seeds, seed powder as well as the seeds of intact pods are widely available in the market.
A member of the ginger family, cardamom grows perennially and produces extensive, hinged root structures known as rhizomes.
It develops large leaves, green and white flowers, edible but slightly bitter fruits, and large seed pods.
Cardamom seeds contain important minerals such as calcium, sulfur and phosphorus.
They also contain acetic and formic acid oils.
Cardamom History And Highlights:
Cardamom is mentioned in Sanskrit texts from the 4th century BC. J.C.
Around the same time, a few varieties of the spice, called amomon and kardamomon, were imported into Greece. In the 11th century, cardamom was included in India's five fragrance ingredient list, Manasollasa, and the Book of Splendours.
Cardamom infused recipes and rice dishes were savored at the court of the Sultan of Mandu from around 1500.
One tablespoon of cardamom, or about 6 grams, contains 18 calories, 0 mg of cholesterol, 1 gram of protein, and 4 grams of carbohydrate.
The proportion of daily values provided by basic nutrients such as calcium, iron and vitamin C are 2%, 4% and 2% respectively.
The dietary fiber content is about 4 grams in this amount of cardamom.
The fat content provides about 3 calories.
Nutrients other than carbohydrates, some fat, and protein are found in cardamom, such as minerals, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.
Percent Daily Values are based on a benchmark consumption diet of 2000 calories.
Cardamom should be consumed daily, as it provides a good amount of dietary fiber, iron and manganese.
Nutritionally, cardamom has a high manganese content, nearly 80 percent of the recommended daily allowance in a single tablespoon.
It also contains smaller amounts of fiber and iron, as well as lots of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin A and zinc.
The volatile oils in this spice are also important, limonene being the most present, others like pinene, sabinene, myrcene, phellandrene, terpinene, terpinolene, linalool, terpinene-4, terpineol, terpineol acetate, citronellol, nerol, geraniol and methyl eugenol are also included in its composition.
Scientific studies show that these oils are the main reason for its effectiveness in treating gastrointestinal disorders.
Cardamom Traditional Virtues:
Cardamom is also a medicinal plant. Its seeds powdered or in the form of extracts, are used to make food supplements.
Cardamom is used to treat digestive problems, including heartburn. irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal gas, constipation, liver and gallbladder complaints, and loss of blood appetite. It is also often used to treat colds, coughs, bronchitis, inflammation of the mouth and throat, and the tendency to infection. Some natural medicines use cardamom as a stimulant and to relieve and treat urinary problems.
In cooking and in food, cardamom is used as a delicious beneficial spice in many parts of the world.
Cardamom Properties & Benefits:
Cardamom contains active ingredients that appear to treat spasms and intestinal gas with great success, and increase intestinal motility, the movement of food through the intestine.
Cardamom is commonly used to relieve the following medical problems:
In ancient medicinal traditions, cardamom has always been used to treat and cure infections of the throat, teeth and gums, congestion, tuberculosis, diseases of the stomach, kidneys and lungs, and even sees use as an antidote to spider and snake bites.
Indian medicines have known it for a long time, and it has now been confirmed recently by laboratory studies, that cardamom successfully treats urinary tract infections and even gonorrhea.
For centuries, cardamom has been praised for its aphrodisiac properties and for its ability to cure impotence.
In early and modern medicine, cardamom is believed to have mood-uplifting properties, so it is used both as an antidepressant and in aromatherapy, the essential oil for relieving anxiety and depression.
Cardamom seeds also relieve muscle spasm problems, and according to studies from the Central Food Technology Research Institute of India, this wonderful simple contains several anti-blood clot components.
Recent studies show that the large reservoir of phytonutrients present in cardamom provides increased protection against cancer and improved blood circulation, thereby protecting the heart and cardiovascular system as a whole.
Cardamom Detailed Properties:
Cardamom Bad Breath:
Cardamom is one of the most effective remedies for halitosis. You just need to chew on the seeds to get rid of bad odors. Cardamom is used in some chewing gum because of its effectiveness. This is a sure cure for shortness of breath.
Cardamom Tooth, Oral Disorders, Chewing gum:
In India, cardamom is commonly chewed after meals or whenever you need to freshen your breath. Cardamom is also widely used in South Asia to fight tooth disease, prevent cavities and tooth decay; in these countries, it is not uncommon to find natural chewing gums enriched with cardamom. This wonderful seed can also be used to help soothe a sore throat and relieve hoarseness in the voice. Besides helping to eradicate bad breath, cardamom is used to treat canker sores and infections of the mouth, throat.
Cardamom is related to ginger and can be used in the same way to counter digestive issues. Use it to fight nausea, stomach acid, bloating, gas, heartburn, loss of appetite, constipation, and more.
To know: The volatile oils contained in cardamom soothe the stomach and intestines, making cardamom an ideal solution for a host of digestive problems, such as constipation, dysentery and indigestion.
Cardamom can be used aromatically to increase or encourage appetite, and also helps soothe gas and heartburn.
Generally, cardamom relieves the most "sore" stomachs.
To use cardamom to treat digestive problems, simply chew on the seeds, sprinkle the food with seeds, or better with cardamom powder, or prepare an infusion of cardamom, or even add a pinch of powder to it Tea.
This spice helps the body eliminate waste products in the kidneys.
Cardamoms are known to detoxify the body. Cardamom is rich in minerals and vitamins such as vitamins A, B, C, niacin, riboflavin, etc. It is an excellent blood purifier that removes excess urea, calcium and other toxins from the kidney.
One of the reasons why cardamom is a good detoxifier is due to its very good diuretic properties. It helps cleanse the urinary tract, bladder and kidneys, removing waste, salt, excess water, toxins and also effectively fights infections.
Although real science has yet to study the antidepressant qualities of this spice, Ayurvedic practitioners firmly believe that cardamom tea is an ideal way to fight depression. It has active ingredients that tend to detoxify the body and rejuvenate cells, helping to fight depression.
Cardamom essential oil, although little studied at the present time, is widely used for its therapeutic properties by Asian and Indian cultures, which have used it reliably for years as a remedy for anxiety and depression.
Cardamom essential oil can be added to baths as a form of aromatherapy that fights depression and reduces stress. Ground cardamom seeds can be used in the preparation of tea and infusions for similar benefits.
Spice Jungle Black Cardamom (Coarse Ground) - 4 oz.
Cardamom Cancer Prevention:
Cardamom contains IC3 (indole-3-carbinol) and DIM (diindolylmethane). These active phytochemicals are strong cancer fighters, helping to specifically treat hormone-reacting cancers such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. Recent scientific research suggests that regular consumption of cardamom can help prevent these forms of cancer.
Note: recent animal studies show that cardamom protects, inhibits growth and even kills certain cancers.
In addition to these specific medical uses, cardamom contains an abundance of antioxidants, which protect the body against aging and oxidative stress, and fight common diseases and bodily disorders. In studies on rats, cardamom has been shown to increase glutathione, an antioxidant enzyme found naturally in our bodies.
Cardamom Cold and Flu:
This pungent spice can help prevent and relieve cold and flu symptoms. It is also used successfully against bronchitis and coughs.
Cardamom therefore tends to help, prevent and relieve symptoms of colds and flu. Cardamom is a good home remedy for colds and flu.
Just brew some cardamom tea, consume and your headache and the cold snap will be a distant memory.
Cardamom Blood Pressure:
As a diuretic and high fiber spice, cardamom dramatically lowers blood pressure.
Many of the vitamins, phytonutrients, and essential oils in cardamom act as antioxidants, scavenging free radicals and thus preventing cell aging.
Traditional Indian medicine lists cardamom as a potent aphrodisiac that can help with erectile dysfunction and impotence.
In Ayurveda cardamom is considered to be very beneficial for asthma patients. It is also an effective natural remedy to treat coughs and bronchitis.
Cardamom Improves Appetite:
Add cardamom to your curry or chew a few seeds to improve your appetite.
Cardamom to Reduce Digestive Problems:
Cardamom seeds are the best solution for indigestion, belching and gas problems. Cardamom helps improve your digestion of food.
Cardamom High Blood Pressure:
For those of you with high blood pressure, now is the time to consume cardamom regularly, as this spice has the ability to improve blood flow to the lungs. It helps lower your blood pressure.
Benefits of Cardamom on the Skin:
Besides its use to prepare excellent cooking recipes and sumptuous drinks, this aromatic spice is also used in cosmetics partly for its fragrance, because the cardamom oil, extracted from cardamom seeds, in addition to diffusing a warm smell and spicy, offers great therapeutic effects for the epidermis.
The Properties of Cardamom for Skin Care are as Follows:
Improves the Appearance and Tone of the Skin:
One of the properties of cardamom is that it can refresh the complexion and bring healthy, clear skin. Cardamom essential oil helps remove dark spots, giving the wearer a more even skin tone.
Improves Blood Circulation:
Cardamom contains vitamin C, which as we have already seen is a powerful antioxidant. It improves blood circulation throughout the body, which also improves skin tone.
Cardamom and Cosmetics:
Cardamom is often used in cosmetics for its sweet scent.
For their distinct, spicy and sweet scent, and of course their virtues, cardamom and its oil represent a precious component of natural perfumes, soaps and shower gels, exfoliation powders and other cosmetic products.
Oriental-style perfumes and other scent preparations often use cardamom as an ingredient in addition to other essential oils to formulate excellent cosmetic treatments.
Cardamom Therapeutic Skin Care:
Facial soaps can be formulated with cardamom to give a warming feeling to the skin. These cosmetics using cardamom for therapeutic reasons are often produced at the same time as very good aromatherapy products.
Cardamom Masking Agent:
The strong and compelling scent of cardamom can dispel unpleasant odors.
This makes it an excellent natural additive to cosmetic products such as toners, serving a specific function but often with an unappealing odor due to their formulation.
Cardamom is added to these products to mask their unpleasant odor while preserving and intensifying the benefits of the cosmetic.
Cardamom Lip Care:
Cardamom essential oil is often added to cosmetics specifically formulated for the lips, such as lip balms. In addition to its virtues for the skin, it gives them a pleasant taste and allows unparalleled smoothness of the lip balm.
Cardamom Clear and Radiant Skin:
Cardamom helps eliminate toxins, free radicals and harmful fluids that harm the body, including the skin, one of the emunctories. Therefore, chewing on cardamom detoxifies the body, resulting in healthy, clear and clearer skin.
Benefits of Cardamom for Hair:
Women in general often desire long, strong, supple and shiny hair.
Just like our entire body, our hair follicles require sufficient nutrients for their growth and optimal health.
Cardamom can be beneficial for the hair, below find the properties of cardamom for a resplendent hair.
Cardamom Nourishes the Scalp:
Cardamom distills anti-oxidant properties that nourish the scalp and hair follicles.
Cardamom Treatment of Scalp Infections:
Cardamoms have antibacterial properties that prevent and neutralize infections and irritation of the scalp.
Cardamom Hair Health:
Cardamom helps strengthen the roots, helping to show healthy and strong hair.
You finally know the secret of Indian women to display such hair, healthy, strong, beautiful and shiny.
Cardamom Scientific Studies:
Cardamom powder has been tested on 20 people newly diagnosed with primary hypertension to study its effect on cardiovascular risk factors. Each subject received three grams of cardamom powder for 12 weeks. Blood pressure was taken initially and then at four week intervals for three months.
The results showed that cardamom powder can significantly lower systolic, diastolic and mean blood pressure, and at the same time significantly increase fibrinolytic activity (blood clot inhibition).
In the same study, the total antioxidant status of people supplemented with cardamom also increased by 90% after three months, without side effects.
Known to have the ability to improve digestion, stimulate metabolism and inhibit tumor growth, cardamom has been investigated for other properties in another study. Researchers found that it increased the activity of glutathione, glutathione reeducates, superoxide dismutase, and catalane, leading scientists to suggest its potential as a pivotal chemopreventive agent to prevent papillomagenesis on the skin.
Studies have also been done on a number of spices to discover their phenolic and antioxidant properties. Cardamom has been found to contain high levels of flavonoids and significantly improve antioxidant enzyme activities, as well as inhibit the growth and proliferation of colon cancer cells. The content of Eugenol in cardamom has also been found to be responsible for significantly inhibiting tobacco-induced mutagen city, among other positive health outcomes.
It is made by crushing cardamom with a mortar and pestle to form cardamom powder. It gives off a little less flavor than whole cardamom seeds and is readily available in grocery stores. This cardamom powder is also used for making pastries, and also enhances herbal teas and infusions.
How to select and store cardamom?
Buying cardamom? Cardamom seeds and powder (spice) are available in the spice aisle of supermarkets; the only catch is that they are not necessarily organic; while whole pods are easily found in specialty stores.
When buying cardamom, always prefer green, as it diffuses a complex flavor suitable for both sweet and savory dishes.
Also, whole cardamom pods should be chosen carefully. Look for small balloon-shaped pods with a green tint. They should develop a combined fragrance of pine and flowers.
If for a recipe you need powdered cardamom, it is advisable to grind the seeds of a whole pod with a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. However, the very good powdered green cardamom exists, its flavor is very well preserved and the spice remains "powerful" and can unfold all of its virtues for a year and even longer.
Please note that very good (organic) quality cardamom is a more or less expensive spice and, in some cases, other spices are often added to powdered cardamom to reduce the cost.
So make sure you buy 100% pure cardamom powder to be sure you get the full range of its aromas and benefits.
After opening a sachet of seed or powdered cardamom, always expel the air and close the sachet tightly to avoid the loss of flavor and aroma, and of course the benefits of cardamom and its precious essential oils. Store cardamom in a dry place and protect from light.
Particular attention therefore to the appropriate storage of cardamom, essential to preserve its taste, its aroma, its properties, and to extend its shelf life.
Tips for using Cardamom in the Kitchen:
It can be used as a seed or powder in a variety of dishes ranging from curry powders, dals and masalas, to desserts and Indian drinks.
When cooking the seeds, for them to unfold their full aroma, a small incision should be made at the back of the seed, or more conveniently crushed with other spices before preparation.
Here are some guidelines and tips for using cardamom as an ingredient in cooking.
In India, cardamom is one of the main constituents of garam masala, a combination of spices used in vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. It is also an important ingredient in the preparation of curry powder commonly used in Indian cuisine.
Cardamom can be added to tea or coffee to provide its pleasant and refreshing aroma. You can add cardamom to your ground coffee before straining it, then sweeten with whole sugar, with a dash of cream: really tasty.
Whole green cardamom pods are added to pulaos (pilau rice), curry, and hot dishes. When the shell integrates during cooking, it infuses the dish with its essence and refreshing aroma. Thus, the whole pod is often used to impart an incredible aroma to biryanis, pulaos and kebabs.
Besides tasty dishes, cardamom can be used in desserts like kheer and firni, as well as sweets like Gulab jamun, Gajar ka Halwa etc. In Scandinavian countries, this famous spice is used to flavor all types of sweet pastries and bread instead of cinnamon.
Ground cardamom seeds can be used to flavor foods like soups, potatoes, stews, and mash and rice dishes.
You can prepare a citrus salad made with citrus fruits such as grapefruit and oranges, sweeten with honey and marinate it with lemon juice and cardamom.
One of the best Swedish breads, very soft bread, is usually flavored with cardamom, braided or made into a crown shape.
Lemons can be preserved in cardamom. These can then be used in a virtually endless variety of dishes.
To Do This:
Cut the lemons lengthwise into quarters, leaving the stems attached.
Rub their flesh on coarse salt and put a tablespoon of coarse salt in the bottom of a glass jar.
Place these lemon wedges in a glass jar alternating with salt, cardamom pods and bay leaves sauce.
Pour in a little juice, enough to cover the lemons and close the jar. Let the mixture sit for about 3 weeks
Remember to shake the pot every day to mix in the salt. These preserved lemons can be refrigerated for up to 6 months covered in lemon juice
Lassi is a rather popular refreshing drink in India. You can prepare it by combining sour milk, whole milk, whole powdered sugar and cardamom powder, and mix these ingredients in a blender for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve it in glasses, garnishing the lassi with cardamom powder and chopped dried fruit.
Indian version basmati rice is a tasty dish flavored with whole spices, including cardamom.
All you need to do is put some rice in a container, adding enough water to cover it.
Then heat some oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves and cumin seeds.
After mixing for about a minute, add chopped onion.
Drain the water from the rice; cook it, stirring constantly in the pot for a few minutes. Add salt and water. Simmer for about 15 minutes over low heat until all the water has been absorbed
Cardamom Teas Two Recipes:
Cardamom Herbal Tea, Infusion, Decoction
Cardamom Tea for the Digestive Sphere
Ingredients for a cup:
1 tablespoon of cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon of honey or whole cane sugar
Boil the cardamom seeds in water for 5 minutes. After this time, turn off the heat and let infuse covered container for 5 minutes. Filter, sweeten and drink the herbal tea.
Cardamom Infusion Against Colds:
Place 1 teaspoon of cardamom seeds in a cup of water, previously brought to a boil, and let steep, covered, for 10 minutes. After this time, use the infusion to gargle.
By increasing the doses, it is possible to use the same infusion to carry out fumigation, taking care to filter the liquid to remove any residual seeds.
Uses and medicinal uses Cardamom:
Nausea and vomiting which may occur after surgery. Early research suggests that applying an essential oil blend of ginger, cardamom, and tarragon to the neck after anesthesia and surgery may help relieve nausea and prevent vomiting for 30 minutes in some people.
However, the effect appears to vary depending on the number of drugs that cause vomiting that has been given during anesthesia or as pain relievers during and / or after surgery.
- Intestinal spasms.
- Stomach pains.
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Pain in the mouth and throat.
- Liver problems.
- Gallbladder problems.
- Urinary problems.
- Loss of appetite.
- Intestinal gas.
- Prevent infections.
Special Precautions and Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, there is not much reliable information for cardamom. So avoid consuming it during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Dosage, Dosage Cardamom:
The proper dose of cardamom to use as a treatment depends on a number of factors such as the age of the user, health, and many other conditions. Keep in mind that natural products must be used knowingly and of course respecting the reasonable and commonly used doses.
Be sure to follow the relevant instructions on the product labels and consult your pharmacist or doctor or other healthcare professional before using.
Note all the same that green cardamom has been used for millennia in Indian cuisine and Ayurveda, without noticeable side effects, except allergies.
A small amount of quality cardamom develops intense aromas and scents, so you don't need to add large amounts to make tasty dishes.
Cardamom Expert Reviews:
Studies have shown it to be a cancer prevention and heart protection system that can improve blood circulation and kill harmful bacteria like H. Pylori. It is used to treat dental disease, urinary tract infections, relieve gastrointestinal complaints, cure gonorrhea and impotence.
As a spice, cardamom is extremely versatile and is used all over the world, in tea, coffee, pasta dishes, rice, potatoes, sausages, and savory meat and fish recipes.
You can buy it in pods in some delicatessens, in seeds on the markets, however the most common and certainly the most practical way to benefit from all of its aromas, perfumes and virtues, would be to buy it in powder. .
An online store distributing high quality natural products and food supplements sells organic and premium green cardamom powder.
© 2021 Faiz Karim