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Significant Benefits of Cardamom

Sonia Nair
Known as the 'queen of spices', cardamom is popular for its unique flavor and aroma. This spice has various health benefits too.
Cardamom is among the most expensive spices in the world and is used for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Native to India, the spice is popular since 5000 years. Seed pods of these plants constitute the spice called cardamom.
There are mainly two types of cardamom - those with green seed pods (belong to the genus Elettaria) and those with dark brown seed pods (genus Amomum).
Cardamom has long since been used for medicinal purposes. Its use is mentioned in Vedic texts and ancient Ayurveda inscriptions of India. Even ancient Greeks, Romans and Arabs had used this spice for its aphrodisiac qualities and other health benefits.

Health Benefits

Most of us use cardamom as a spice and are unaware of its health benefits. It is one of the natural remedies for gum and tooth infections, digestive disorders, lung congestion and throat problems. As compared to brown cardamom, green ones are found to be commonly used for medicinal purposes. The following are the possible health benefits of this spice:

For Digestive Disorders

Cardamom is said to be beneficial for relieving heartburn, bloating, acidity, constipation and indigestion. It is also found to be good for improving appetite as well as metabolism and to prevent stomach infections. This spice is said to be useful for healing ulcers in the mouth as well as stomach.

For Kidney Health

Cardamom is said to be good for the kidneys, as it promotes urination and lowers blood pressure. It is also said to be useful for removing accumulated calcium and urea in the kidneys, along with other toxins. Cardamom is also used in the treatment of genital and urinary infections.

For Oral Health

Apart from fighting tooth and gum infections, cardamom is also effective in preventing bad breath (halitosis). With its antibacterial properties, the spice is believed to work as a disinfectant for the mouth. It may also relieve sore throat.

For Respiratory Health

Cardamom has long been used as a remedy for asthma and bronchitis. The spice has warming effects too. It is said to heat up the body, to expel cough and to relieve headache caused by extreme cold.

For Sexual Wellness

Cardamom is one of the age-old aphrodisiacs. It is used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, impotence, loss of libido, premature ejaculation and sexual weakness. It is said to promote blood circulation and stimulate the nervous system. Being rich in potassium, cardamom is believed to be good for control of blood pressure and heart rate.

Other Benefits

It has a detoxifying effect and is antiseptic and antimicrobial. Apart from that, it is used in treating muscular and respiratory spasms. Cardamom is also said to be a remedy for depression and stress.
It is also claimed that use of this spice prevents certain types of cancer, especially those linked to hormones (like breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer). Being an anti-inflammatory, cardamom may relieve muscle and joint pain. It is also said to be an effective antispasmodic, which can relieve hiccups, stomach cramps, vomiting and nausea.
Cardamom has medicinal properties and is a commonly-used natural cure. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove the health benefits of this spice. Though, cardamom is not said to cause any side effects or drug interactions, moderate use is advisable.
Even though, there are no serious cardamom side effects, over consumption may sometimes cause allergic reactions or stomach pain. Pregnant and nursing women must avoid use of cardamom oil. It is said that those with gallstones must avoid use of cardamom in large amounts, as it may cause pain.
Dosage of cardamom depends on factors like the age and health of the person. So, if you intend to use this spice for therapeutic purposes, do it as per the instructions of a doctor. Seek the opinion of your physician.
Disclaimer: This is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.