Apart from serving a role in Indian culinary, cardamom also acts as an antimicrobial agent, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents.
Small or large cardamom is a herbaceous perennial belonging to the Zingiberaceae family. Seeds have the special aroma and are used as a spice. Cardamom contains volatile oil. Fatty acids in the oil are caprylic, caproic, palmitic, oleic, linoleic acids. Other constituents are limonene, sabinene, terpineol etc.
Health Benefits Of Cardamom
Lower blood pressure
In one study, researchers provide 3 gm of cardamom powder to 20 hypertensive patients for 12 weeks. It reduces blood pressure, increases fibrinolytic activity and improves antioxidant status. (1) Antioxidants help to cure hypertension.
It also act as a chemo-preventive agent against two-stage skin cancer. (2) Cardamom constituents can be used as potential therapeutic tools to regulate inflammatory responses, promote a healthy immune system and prevent carcinogenesis. (3) Though the results are promising, these studies have only been conducted on mice or in test tubes. Human research is needed to validate these results.
Anti-inflammatory and Anti-oxidatant
Cardamom is rich in compounds that can exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants in cardamom can stop inflammation and can fight against free radicals and can reduce oxidative stress. (4)
A study suggests that cardamom powder supplementation can prevent dyslipidemia, oxidative stress, hepatic damage due to inflammation in high carbohydrate and high-fat diet fed rats. (5)
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, cardamom is highly efficient in reducing muscle and joint pain. Research has proved that cardamom plays a pivotal role in avoiding contraction and relaxation of muscles which results in spasms.
Digestion and Gastrointestinal Ulcers
It may help with digestion problem. It also helps to relieve discomfort, nausea and vomiting. Studies have shown that cardamom helps in relieving stomach issues, and its potent ability to heal ulcers.
Studies have shown that the combination of the herbal extracts of turmeric, cardamom pods and sembung leaf has potential gastro-protective effects against aspirin-induced gastric ulcer model in rats. (6)
Cardamom may help to protect against Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria which are associated with the development of gastric and peptic ulcer disease. (7)
Prevent Dental Cavities and Bad Breath
Cardamom helps to treat bad breath and improve oral health. Cardamom does have the ability to fight against common mouth bacteria.
It can fight against dental cavities causing microorganisms. (8)
Research shows that cardamom extracts can fight against several common strains of bacteria. Candida species is mainly responsible for fungal infections. Candida species can be inhibited by the ethanolic and acetonic extracts of cardamom. (9)
Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Cardamom may help to lower blood sugar level. One study has shown that cardamom extract may help to improve glucose intolerance in high carbohydrates and high fat-fed rats. (10)
Another study has shown that cardamom helps to improve blood sugar level, oxidative stress, combat insulin resistance and inflammation in Type 2 Diabetes. (11)
Promotes Weight Loss
Cardamom helps to promote weight loss by increasing the ability of the body to burn fat efficiently. One study has shown that the extracts may cause weight loss by boosting the metabolic rate in high carbohydrate and high fat fed rats. (12)
Improves Blood Circulation
Cardamom is believed to help improve blood circulation in the lungs, owing to its ability to help alleviate symptoms and cure bronchitis and asthma. Cardamom also relieves the body from stress and depression by enhancing the flow of blood throughout the body.
The toxins that the body releases as a result of the metabolic activities taking place throughout the day are required to be flushed out all the impurities from the body. Cardamom acts as a detoxifying agent that helps to flush out all the build up toxins from the body and protect the body from any medical disorders like – uric acid accumulation, kidney stones, premature ageing etc.