In this article we dive into another essential spice of Indian food: cardamom, a member of the ginger family.
Origins: Cardamom is often referred to as The Queen of Spices, and it is used extensively in Indian cuisine but it has also been adopted worldwide mostly in Scandinavian dishes. It originated in India but is available worldwide today and used in both sweet and savoury recipes. Today it also grows in Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Indo China and Tanzania.
History: It is quoted in Charaka Samhita, a Sanskrit text on Ayurveda, written between the 2nd century B.C. and the 2nd century A.D.. It was then quoted in the 4th century B.C. in a Sanskrit manuscript regarding political affairs. The ancient Egyptians chewed cardamom seeds as a tooth cleaner; the Greeks and Romans used it as a perfume.
Health benefits: Alongside its fascinating origins, it has many properties and health benefits which are worth exploring.
The seeds, oils and extracts of cardamom are thought to have impressive medicinal properties and have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Cardamom has a complex flavour. It’s citrusy, minty, spicy, and herbal all at the same time, and it’s highly fragrant, too. Due to this, it’s widely used in all sorts of dishes.
Here are some health benefits of cardamom, backed by science.
- Its diuretic properties can lower blood pressure which makes it a natural detoxifier and is good for skin.
- It is rich in antioxidant compounds that can fight inflammation.
- it is used to treat infections due to its antibacterial effects
- Compounds in cardamom can help increase airflow to your lungs and improve breathing.
- Cardamom extract can decrease elevated liver enzymes, triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
- It can be used to improve anxiety as it rebalances low blood levels of antioxidants, which have been linked to the development of anxiety and other mood disorders.
- It is believed that it helps with weight loss due to its diuretic properties.
- Its cooling effect and antibacterial properties improve digestion and work on gastrointestinal issues
- Some compounds contained in cardamom can help fight some types of cancer
Interesting facts: Cardamom offers an interesting twist to your usual cup of tea, with its refreshing aroma and minty notes. It can also be used by infusing the seeds or cardamom pods in hot water. The tea often features notes of apple and is consumed alongside sweet dishes. It is a great option as a winter warmer and keeps at bay all the bugs as its vitamins and minerals boost our immune system. Cardamom is also used in cakes, buns and sweets. Go ahead and enjoy!
Did you know? Cardamom features regularly in the Arabian Nights as the Arabs credited this spice with aphrodisiac properties and the ancient Indians regarded it as a cure for obesity. It has been used as a digestive since ancient times.
For more interesting facts about spices, see our post on Turmeric
Some of our sources :
Healthline,The Spruceeats, Web MD, Indian Mirror, The Epicentre, Spicely .
Disclaimer: The information provided has been well researched and written from many sources available online and the views provided is not of Namaste Delhi. Namaste Delhi do not take any responsibility for any technical error in the article. Moreover this article is purely informative and does not intend to replace and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. The information expressed in this article has no relation to those of any academic, hospital, health practice or other institution.