Cardamom indeed is the Czarina of spices with an enticing hue, tantalizing aroma and honeyed gusto. It has also been an important trade commodity that has shaped the course of Indian history.
Cardamom/Elaichi is a reservoir of minerals like potassium, which is a salient component of cells and body fluids that help control heart rate and blood pressure. It is a rich source of calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese. The micro nutrients that ensure good health are also present in abundance in this wholesome spice.
It also contains calcium, magnesium, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin-C. It is used as an antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant and tonic.
Flavoured milk is always refreshing on a hot day. Cardamom milk is healthier than having chocolate flavoured milk. Just immerse two or three pods of cardamom in your milk and heat. Have it chilled.
In ayurveda, cardamom is used in treating stomach cramps, flatulence and gastro issues. It also helps in digestion by combating intestinal spasms, irritable bowels syndrome and constipation. Besides fortifying the liver and gall bladder, cardamom relieves acidity and increases appetite. It is believed to be the most effective remedy against bad breath.
In India, both green and black cardamom is used. Green cardamom is usually used as a flavoring agent of sweets and teas. It is also used as a garnish in rice and pulaos. Black cardamom has a distinctly smokey, though not bitter, aroma, with a coolness some consider similar to mint. It is also used as a flavoring spice in Indian cuisine.
It is effective against respirative allergies, nausea and mouth ulcers. Cardamom is also used in treating infection of urinary tract, depression and detoxification. Studies show that oral intake of this spice can fight colon cancer.
The oil extracted from freshly dried cardamom, composed of acetic and formic acids is known to be used for various purposes. It has numerous benefits for our health, skin and hair and is extensively admired for its use in aromatherapy.