Cardamom, also spelled as cardamon, is a spice mix consisting of whole or ground dried fruits or seeds of Elettaria cardamomum. The seeds have a warm, slightly spicy flavor and highly aromatic flavor reminiscent of camphor. It is a popular seasoning in South Asian dishes like curries and Scandinavian pastries.
Besides being an excellent substance for adding taste to dishes, cardamom was helpful in traditional medicine because of its medicinal properties. The seeds, oils, and extracts of cardamom are known as solutions to various ailments in the human body.
Excellent Antioxidant, Diuretic, and Reduces Blood Pressure
One study proved the benefits of cardamom for newly diagnosed hypertensive patients. For 12 weeks, 20 people were administered with 3 grams of cardamom powder for three months. During the tests, their blood pressure was recorded initially with four weeks intervals from the initial recording.
After the trial period, it was revealed that administering 3 grams of cardamom powder decreased the systolic, diastolic, and mean blood pressure of all the participants. Meanwhile, their antioxidant status also increased by 90 percent. However, the fibrinogen and lipid levels remained the same.
The researchers concluded that small amounts of cardamom effectively reduces blood pressure, enhances fibrinolysis, and improves antioxidant status. They suspect that the spice lowered blood pressure due to its diuretic effect that promotes urination to remove water build-up in the body.
Reduces Risks Brought by Chronic Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s way to show it’s fighting against infection, illness, or injury. Once exposed to foreign substances, our body produces white blood cells, immune cells, and substances called cytokines to fight off the infection. However, long-term inflammation isn’t beneficial as it imposes added risk of developing illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, and cancer.
Cardamom is rich in compounds that may fight inflammation. Antioxidants abundant in the spice protects cells from danger and stop inflammation from occurring. In a study, a 50 to 100 milligram per kilogram dosage of cardamom extract effectively inhibited four different inflammatory compounds in rats. Although there are not as many studies on cardamom’s anti-inflammatory effects in humans, research shows that supplements may increase the antioxidant status by up to 90 percent.
Used for Treating Infections for its Antibacterial Effects
Research shows that cardamom extracts and essential oils have compounds that fight several common strains of bacteria. It also has antibacterial effects outside of the mouth and may treat infections. In past experiments, cardamom inhibited the growth of Candida, a drug-resistant type of yeast.
Meanwhile, other studies showed that cardamom is effective against E. coli, Staphylococcus, and Salmonella.
Generally Safe for Most People
Cardamom is widely used as a spice for sweet and savory dishes. It’s a versatile ingredient often added to Indian curries and stews, gingerbread cookies, bread, and other baked goods. However, it is also a beneficial spice for its medicinal properties.
As of writing, there isn’t a recommended dose for the seasoning. All studies were tested on animals, and there is a need for more studies in human application. The use of supplements should be monitored by health professionals for patient safety, but there is denying the fact that cardamom can be good for your health.
Cardamom is an ancient remedy, now used in cuisine. The spice can lower blood pressure, improve breathing, and aid weight loss. Other studies suggest that it’s effective in eliminating tumors, improving anxiety, and fighting bacteria while protecting the liver. Adding cardamom in small amounts may be an effective way to improve yourself.
Norweigian pastries are known for their use of cardamom. Ana’s Norweigian Bakeri specializes in baking pastries with wonder spice. Their bestseller, Boller, is a traditional cardamom-flavored bread best paired with butter spread or jelly. Experience Scandinavian pastries today by ordering through their website or by visiting a Norwegian bakery near you.