The benefits of cardamom have been documented for hundreds of years. However, it wasn’t until a short time ago that scientific research vouched for these claims. The use of cardamom as a spice is common since its lightly sweet flavor improves the flavor of numerous dishes. However, many prefer this plant (Elettaria cardamomum L) because of its medicinal properties.
According to an article published in the Journal Medicinal & Aromatic Plants, this ingredient comes from India. In fact, it’s been used in traditional medicine for centuries. What’s more, it’s one of the most popular aromatic agents both in culinary arts as well as in cosmetics.
Do you want to know more about the benefits of cardamom?
If so, keep reading!
Health Benefits of Cardamom
The seeds and oil of cardamom both have interesting medicinal applications. While they’re not at the front line when it comes to treatment in the case of illnesses, they can help to promote well-being. Of course, as long as their included in the context of a healthy diet.
According to a chapter in the book Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention, this spice has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties that explain its positive health effects. What’s more, it’s safe for most people to consume and include in a number of daily preparations.
So, what are the benefits of cardamom?
1. Helps to Regulate Blood Pressure
People with high blood pressure can benefit from consuming cardamom. According to a study revealed by the Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics, cardamom contributes to a decrease in high blood pressure in patients with primary hypertension. What’s more, it increases fibrinolysis and improves antioxidative status.
It’s not completely clear whey this spice has this effect on our health. However, researchers suspect that it has to do with its slight diuretic effect. In other words, it stimulates the elimination of liquids that the body retains, and which are a risk factor for hypertension.
2. Protects against Chronic Illnesses
Given its anti-inflammatory properties, cardamom reduces the risk of non-transmissible chronic illnesses, including those that fall into the category of metabolic syndrome. While the state of inflammation is necessary to a certain degree, over time, it can lead to serious health problems.
However, as a study in the medical journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy demonstrates, cardamom contains polyphenol compounds, flavonoids, and terpenoids, which help combat inflammation. To be specific, a dose of 50 to 100mg per kilo of weight can inhibit approximately four inflammatory compounds in rat studies.
3. Improves Digestive Health
One of the most noteworthy benefits of cardamom has to do with digestive health. Evidence suggests that combining it with other medicinal spices can calm common symptoms like nausea and vomiting. What’s more, experts also believe that it helps against ulcers.
In a study involving animals published by the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, cardamom extracts combined with other species helped to reduce the formation of ulcers. What’s more, test-tube studies suggest that cardamom can also protect against Helicobacter pylori, a principle cause in ulcers and digestive problems.
4. Cardamom helps care for oral health
One of the traditional uses of cardamom has to do with oral health. In fact, it’s an ingredient that helps combat bad breath and is a common ingredient in chewing gum for the same reason. A study published in Dental Research Journal points out that this spice is effective against pathogenic oral bacteria like Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans.
At the same time, a 2009 study exposed that, in test tube cases, cardamom extracts were useful in combating five cavity-causing bacterial. Indeed, they were effective in inhibiting their growth. However, more research is necessary in order to prove these effects on humans.
5. Other benefits of cardamom
- Cardamom used in aromatherapy can contribute to improved respiration and airflow toward the lungs during exercise.
- The extract obtained from this spice appears to help reduce elevated liver enzyme levels, triglycerides, and cholesterol, as several studies indicate.
- Thanks to their concentration of antioxidants, cardamom also has positive effects when it comes to controlling anxious behaviors.
Is it safe to consume cardamom?
To date, there are no data regarding the possible negative effects of consuming cardamom. Experts consider cardamom to be safe in healthy adults. However, they suggest consuming it in moderation.
Meanwhile, they warn against the medicinal use of cardamom when it comes to women that are pregnant or breastfeeding. The same is true when it comes to children, as there is no data available regarding its use in these cases.
The best way to take advantage of the benefits of this spice is to add it naturally to foods. While there are supplements available, they’re not regulated by the Food and Drug Association. Therefore, you should take them with caution.