Health Benefits of Cardamom
Mohsin Masud Jan
Cardamom is a spice with an intense, slightly sweet flavor that some people compare to mint. It originated in India and is now used across the globe for both sweet and savoury recipes. Called the queen of spices, it is the world’s third most expensive spice – surpassed only by saffron and vanilla.
According to a few studies, cardamom is helpful for people with high blood pressure. In one study, researchers gave three grams of cardamom powder a day to 20 adults who were newly diagnosed with high blood pressure. After 12 weeks, blood pressure levels had significantly decreased to the normal range.
The promising results of this study are related to the high levels of antioxidants in cardamom. In fact, the participants’ antioxidant status had increased by 90% by the end of the study. Antioxidants have been linked to lower blood pressure. Researchers also suspect that the spice may lower blood pressure due to its diuretic effect, meaning it can promote urination to remove water that builds up in your body, for example around your heart.
The compounds in cardamom help fight cancer cells. Studies in mice have shown that cardamom power can increase the activity of certain enzymes that help fight cancer. The spice may also enhance the ability of natural killer cells to attack tumours. In one study, researchers exposed two groups of mice to a compound that causes skin cancer and led one group 500 mg of weight per day. After 12 weeks, only 29% of the group who ate the cardamom developed cancer, compared to over 90% of the control group.
Research on human cancer cells and cardamom indicate similar results. One study showed that a certain compound in a spice stopped oral cancer cells in test tubes from multiplying. Even though the results are promising, these studies have only been conducted on mice or in test tubes. Human research is needed before stronger claims can be made.
According to a study, cardamom can be used in a cuisines not just for flavor, but also for enhancing digestion. The spice also stimulates metabolism, given its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Cardamom is also known to stimulate the secretion of bile acid in the stomach, further aiding in digestion and proper for metabolism. The spice also prevents other gastrointestinal ailments like acid reflux, heartburn, diarrhea, etc.
Its antioxidant properties can promote heart health. Cardamom 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 cariondor and a pinch of cardamom along with a cup of freshly squeezed peach juice.
According to a health report, cardamom can indeed help people cope with depression. Just powder a few seeds of cardamom and boil them in water along with your everyday tea. Take the tea regularly for better results.
Cardamom 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 b y soothing the mucus membranes.
Cardamom is extremely rich in manganese – a mineral that can lower the risk of diabetes.
Cardamom also has some skin and hair benefits because of its antibacterial and antioxidant properties. The spice helps heat skin allergies and improves skin complexion.
Cardamom is an ancient remedy that has many medicinal properties. Although, not a lot of human research exists for a number of health claims associated with the spice.