Cardamom | Queen of Spices | Health Benefits | Culinary Uses | NatureLoC
Cardamom is a spice made from the seeds of several plants in the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the family Zingiberaceae. It is originated in India, Nepal, and Bhutan. Today, it is available in most tropical places in, including India, China, Bhutan, , Malaysia, , and Japan. It is regarded as the of spices and is one of the most expensive , ranking third, the first and second being saffron and vanilla, respectively.
They are used as flavoring agents in Indian. Its use is just not just limited to hot and spicy dishes; the seeds are also added to and beverages to complement the flavor. Cardamom tea is a very famous , along with ginger , in India.
Cardamom was traditionally considered as anand was one of the ingredients in and traditional medicine. It was believed to be a remedy for and gum infections, throat problems etc.
Cardamom Health Benefits
Improves Digestive Health
It can be used in cuisines not just for flavor, but also for enhancing digestion. The spice also stimulates metabolism, given its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Also known to stimulate the secretion of bile acid in the stomach, further aiding in digestion. The spice also prevents other gastrointestinal ailments like acid reflux, heartburn, diarrhea, etc.
Promotes Heart Health
Its antioxidant properties can promote heart health. Also contains fiber, the nutrient that can help lower cholesterol levels and enhance heart health. The spice also can lower blood pressure levels – and this benefits the heart. Simply have a concoction of a teaspoon of coriander and a pinch of cardamom along with a cup of freshly squeezed peach juice.
It plays a role in fighting asthma symptoms like wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest. The spice makes breathing easier by enhancing blood circulation within the lungs. It also fights related inflammation by soothing the mucus membranes. It can be used to treat asthma, bronchitis, and numerous other respiratory issues.
Improves Oral Health
It possesses antimicrobial properties that enhance oral health. Cardamom can protect against oral pathogens like Streptococci mutans. The pungent taste of cardamom even stimulates the salivary flow – and this can help prevent dental caries.
It can also work well in treating bad breath. Especially when you take a mixture of spices, including the seeds of anise, cardamom, and fennel – bad breath wouldn’t be a problem anymore.
Helps Treat Sore Throat
A mixture of cardamom, cinnamon, and black pepper can work wonders for treating a sore throat. While cardamom soothes the sore throat and reduces irritation, cinnamon offers antibacterial protection. And black pepper improves the bioavailability of the two ingredients. You can take 1 gram each of cardamom and cinnamon powders, 125 mg of black pepper, along with 1 teaspoon of honey. Mix all ingredients and consume the mixture thrice a day. Cardamom also has been found to reduce nausea and prevent vomiting.
Cardamom Culinary Uses
It can be used in the whole as well as ground form in a variety of dishes ranging from curry powders, dals, and masalas to desserts and drinks. While cooking the seeds, they should be bruised with the back of a knife or ground with other spices before frying. Given below are the tips for the usage of cardamom as an ingredient.
- In India, cardamom is one of the main constituents of garam masala, a combination of spices used in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. It is also an important ingredient in the preparation of curry powder commonly used in Indian cooking.
- Cardamom can be added to tea or coffee to impart its pleasant and refreshing aroma. You can add some cardamom to your ground coffee before brewing and then sweeten and top with cream.
- Whole green cardamom pods are added to pulaos, curries, and hot dishes. As the shell integrates while cooking, it infuses the dish with its essence and refreshing aroma. Thus, it is often used to impart aroma to biryanis, pulaos, and kebabs.
- Besides the savory dishes, cardamom can be used in desserts like kheer and firni as well as sweets like gulab jamun, gajar ka halwa, etc. to impart its distinctive flavor.
- Chicken can be marinated in honey, cardamom, and pepper. It can then be roasted on the stove top and baked to prepare the delicious cardamom honey chicken.