Cardamom is a spice native to India and belongs to the genera “Elettaria” and “Amomum“, and family “Zingiberaceae“.
It’s Scientific Name is “Elettaria Cardamom“, and botanical name is “Amomum Cardamom“.
It is known as green cardamom in English, Cardamome in French, Kardamom in German, Elaichi in Hindi, Hima or Ela in sanskrit, Sukumel in Nepali, Enasal in sinhala and Alachi in urdu.
It’s fruits are greenish yellow in color and when dried turn brown and contain about 20 aromatic seeds that are used.
The seeds have strong flavor and fragrance. The cardamom pod can be used either whole or crushed.
The spice is mainly grown in India, Pakistan, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. Guatemala is the largest producer in the world followed by India.
Cardamom Contains plenty of minerals like Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Copper and Iron. It also contains Vitamins niacin, Vitamin C, Riboflavin and oils.
Types of Cardamom
Originally there were three varieties of cardamom. But now only two are available, of which Green Cardamom ( Elettaria Cardamomum ) is most popular. The other is Amomum Costatum widely used in Asia and Australia and known by names Brown, Red, Black, White, and Siamese Cardamom.
Cardamom has lot of medical applications due to the presence of minerals and vitamins in it. In India it has been used as medicine as part of Ayurveda.
Health benefits of Cardamom
A Good anti depressant, improves cardiovascular health, controls cholesterol, anti-carcinogenic. It also treats urinary disorder, gastrointestinal disease. It has antispasmodic and anti microbial properties. It also has anti asthmatic, anti inflammatory properties.
It improves blood circulation, has aphrodisiac properties and is an excellent mouth freshener.
Medical applications of Cardamom
For Memory and physical strength : Take equal quantities of Cardamom, Coriander seeds, Candy sugar, Fennel seeds and Chopped Almonds. Grind them together to get fine powder and preserve in air tight container.
Mix 5 grams of this powder in milk and drink regularly one hour after dinner. This improves memory and physical strength.
For Digestion : Take equal quantities of Cardamom, Cinnamon and fried pepper seeds. Grind this mix to fine powder. Consume 3 grams of this powder along with jaggery, twice a day. This improves digestion.
For Body Fragrance and Beauty : Take equal quantities of Heavy musthalu(Nut grass), Cardamom, Sandal wood, Camphor, Kaempferia, Iron-wood of assam (celon Iron wood), Spikenard and mix them well. Add little water and grind into a paste.
Apply the paste all over the body and head, wait for some time and take bath.
This gives body fragrance and beauty.
For Herbal tooth powder : Take 20 grams of cardamom, 30 grams of Himalayan pink salt, and 60 grams of Limestone and grind them together into powder.
Brush teeth twice a day regularly. This cures all dental diseases and gives shining teeth.
For Over Heat in Body : Take equal quantities of Cardamom, Cloves, Heavy musthalu(Nut grass),Sandal wood powder, Iron-wood of Assam (Ceylon Iron wood), Cumin seeds, Bark of Indian Gooseberry, and Puffed paddy.
Grind them together to get fine powder and store cool and dry place. Add 2 grams of this powder to warm jaggery syrup and consume twice a day. It cures all kinds of over heat related ailments in body.
To improve Breast Milk for Mothers : To improve milk for lactating mothers, Cardamom can be a good friend.
Mix 24 grams of cardamom, 12 grams cumin seeds, and 24 grams of himalayan pink salt. Grind them together into fine powder. Add 6 grams of this mix to cow milk and consuming twice a day improves lactation.
Side effects of Cardamom
Excessive consumption of cardamom may cause respiratory troubles, uncomfortable feeling, shortness of breath and sometimes chest pain.
It can also cause gall bladder stones in normal people and bleeding in patients suffering from gall stones.
Patients consuming medicines for HIV, Liver problems, Depression, gallstone, irritable bowel syndrome diseases should avoid using cardamom.