There are only two places off the top of my head that I can think about where cardamom would be used: in an essential oil and in cooking.
When it comes to food, It doesn’t seem as though cardamom is in a lot of recipes that are quite frequently made. In fact I can say that I have never used it while cooking, and if I bought the essential oil I wouldn’t know what it’s good for or how to use it. So there ya have it, the inspiration for this article. If you already know the benefits of cardamom, props to you because upon doing research I’m shocked at all that the little pod can do.
Until about 100 years ago, Cardamom was found only in India and parts of Southeast Asia, but now it is also grown commercially in Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia, New Guinea, and Guatemala, etc. where the climates are similar to what is necessary for this plant to grow and be healthy.
As a spice, it is ranked the third most expensive in the world right after the first and second, saffron and vanilla. “There are two main types or subspecies of cardamom. Their scientific names are Elettaria, which is called green or true cardamom, and Amomum, which stands for black, white, or red cardamom” (Organicfacts).
The differences in color depend on the region from which the pod was grown, but the inside remains the same as there are little black seeds to be discovered when opening the pod. The pods and little black seeds release an intense sweet-spicy flavor when utilized. Many indians use cardamom in masala and curry, and in other middle eastern cultures it is used in coffee and/or tea. In the west, it is often used in sausage to really intensify the flavor, or it is used within sweeter dishes and desserts which brings out the soft side of cardamom.
So what’s all the rave? What are the health benefits? And why is using it as an essential oil beneficial? And most importantly, why take the time to add just another thing to your daily/weekly routine when taking care of yourself?
Let me warn you again, I am shocked at just how many health benefits cardamom has. “Cardamom is rich in various vitamins and micronutrients as well. These include niacin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin A, vitamin C, sodium, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and zinc” (Organicfacts).
If that’s not enough reason to start incorporating cardamom in your lifestyle, don’t worry, I will give you plenty more. Whether you use it in the kitchen or as an essential oil that is up to you, but the benefits and uses of both are phenomenal, so fasten your seatbelt.
Antiseptic/Antimicrobial: Some use it as a natural alternative to mouthwash. By adding a couple drops of the essential oil to water and swishing it around in your mouth, the oil has properties that will help stop cavities, unwanted germs, and bad breath. Another option is to add the essential oil to the water when taking a bath, to help disinfect the skin and hair. It is also known to help mouth ulcers and throat and mouth infections.
Blood Clots and Blood Pressure: Because it’s a fiber rich source, cardamom significantly lowers blood pressure. Cardamom also prevents blood clots by preventing platelet irritation and aggregation, which also prevents them from sticking to the artery walls.
Cancer: Numerous animal studies have been shown to protect against, stop growth, and even kill various types of cancers.
Depression/Fatigue: The essential oil stimulates your entire body, which in turn boots each individual’s mood and zeal.
Digestive: Through using the essential oil, it boosts digestion by stimulating the digestive system. When taking it orally, the essential oil also helps promote a healthy stomach and gut by protecting it from various infections and promoting a healthy balance of acids and gastric juices.
Warmth: Do you tend to get colder easier and faster than normal? Cardamom naturally has a warming effect towards the body. When your body is warmer it will also help clear up the possibility or reality of coughs and congestion.
Respiratory Health Promoter: Cardamom has great effects on the respiratory system because of its high 1,8-cineol content, a compound also found in Eucalyptus essential oil. This promotes clear breathing and a healthy respiratory system.
A friendly reminder:
When choosing which brand to buy when purchasing essential oils make sure that it is high quality therapeutic grade. There is a lack of standards and regulations when it comes to essential oils, so when a brand declares that they’re “pure” or “natural” you have to be careful. Essential oils found at the drugstore are not therapeutic grade and may contain other unnecessary ingredients.
A good brand should follow these guidelines:
- Each plant grown indigenously for the healthiest plant
- Grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides, etc
- Harvested with precise timing to ensure peak properties
- Extracted with proper temp and pressure to preserve oil molecules
- Third-party testing of every batch
- Proper plant varities
- Stand behind the internal use of their oils
Feel free to message me on facebook by clicking here to get my personal recommendation for an essential oil brand that I use.
Different Ways To Use Essential Oils:
Aromatherapy Diffuser: You can use cardamom by itself or there are other oils that pair well with it for a sweet aroma. Some of these oils include: Cinnamon, Clove, Orange, Rose, Cedarwood, and Ylang Ylang. Search Amazon.com for an aromatherapy diffuser that fits your needs here.
Topically: Where perfume may be applied is always a good place to start, meaning on your throat and on your wrists are always safe and beneficial. Another good place is the back of your neck.
Internally: You can dilute the oil with water or put into a veggie cap and swallow the pill whole.
In foods/drinks: Breads, salads, smoothies, water, and meats are great places to start.
Cardamom added into a healthy lifestyle can dramatically have positive effect on your health. The benefits speak for themself, and it is so important to be ahead of the game when it comes to taking care of your body. I’m on a search to find cardamom recipes, and soon I want to get the essential oil so I can start seeing the benefits of that as well. I hope you’ll join me as I strive to take care of my health by taking full advantage of cardamom and all of its wonderful properties.
Works Cited: http://foodfacts.mercola.com/cardamom.html, https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-cardamom.html, https://sunwarrior.com/healthhub/15-health-benefits-of-cardamom, https://pixabay.com/en/cardamom-spices-food-ingredient-390599/, http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/cardamom-essential-oil.html