Cardamom, a.k.a elaichi in Hindi, is a common spice used in Indian cuisine.
But did you know that this spice pod is also known as the queen of spices around the world? Or that Guatemala, a country in Central America, is the largest producer of cardamom in the world, even though the spice originated from the Indian subcontinent?
That's exactly what we are going to discuss in today's episode of Fact vs. Fiction - mind-blowing facts and health benefits of cardamom!
And if you missed the last episode where we explored the amazing benefits of eating curd every day, then don't worry. You can read it right here.
Fact #1: Cardamom is the 3rd most-expensive spice in the world!
The pods may look tiny. But they are diamonds of the spice world, and beat only by saffron and vanilla in price.
Fact #2: There are 2 types of cardamom – black and green.
Green cardamom is the most common variety of this spice pod and is also known as true cardamom. It is used in both sweet and savory food preparations, like kheer and biryani, and is extremely fragrant.
Black cardamom, on the other hand, is not as fragrant and used primarily in savory dishes. In fact, it is one of the spices used to prepare garam masala.
Out of these two types, black cardamom is more famous for its medicinal properties.
Fact #3: It’s one of the oldest spices in the world!
You read that right!
Human civilizations have used cardamom for more than 4000 years now. In fact, it was ritualistically used in ancient Egypt and was a common spice used by the Romans and Greeks, before it was introduced in the Scandinavian countries by the Vikings.
Fact #4: Guatemala is the largest producer of cardamom in the world.
It might have originated in the Indian subcontinent, but Guatemala, a country in Central America, is the largest producer of this spice in the world!
Fact #5: It is known for its excellent digestive properties.
Cardamom is an exceptional medicinal spice and is known to stimulate our body's metabolism and increase bile secretion, which improves digestion, prevents acid reflux, and gastric disorders.
Fact #6: It is good for your heart’s health.
Cardamom is known to reduce the cholesterol level in your blood and also reduce blood pressure in hypertensive individuals.
In fact, a study found that having cardamom regularly can improve your lipid profile, decrease the free radicals circulating in your body, and also enhance the clot destructive properties of your blood (which can prevent stroke).
Just remember: Black cardamom is better than the green pods when it comes to these properties.
Fact #7: It can help you fight depression.
If you are suffering from depression, mix powdered cardamom with tea leaves before you brew your daily cup of tea. This is known to ease the signs of depression.
Fact #8: It can reduce the frequency of asthma attacks.
Green cardamom is known for improving the health of your respiratory system, which includes reduced wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and other symptoms of asthma.
Fact #9: It reduces the risk of diabetes.
Cardamom is rich in manganese and is known to reduce the risk of diabetes. But this property is still being studied and is, therefore, not conclusive.
Fact #10: It improves your oral health.
Cardamom is very effective against the harmful bacteria known to colonize our mouth, like Streptococcus mutans. Plus, it enhances our salivary secretion, which helps flush out plaque and prevents the growth of bacteria.
And it can help you get rid of bad breath too!
Fact #11: It is good for people suffering from loss of appetite.
Loss of appetite is a common symptom of most diseases and disorders, including cancer and anorexia.
So if you have been suffering from this, you should definitely add cardamom to your diet.
Fact #12: It is a potent aphrodisiac.
Cardamom pods contain a compound called cineole in them, which is a potent nerve stimulant and libido enhancer.
Fact #13: It can treat hiccups.
If you have unceasing bouts of hiccups, just brew a warm cup of cardamom tea and sip on it. This will get rid of your hiccups through the spice's muscle-relaxing properties.
Fact #14: It is excellent for sore throat.
1g cardamom + 1g cinnamom + 125mg black pepper + 1 tsp honey = Sore throat candy!
Just lick this mixture three times a day, and your sore throat (and cough) will ease up quickly.
Fact #15: Improves the health of your skin.
Cardamom contains vitamin C in it, which is a potent antioxidant. Plus, it also contains many phytonutrients in it that improve the blood circulation of your skin and removes fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.
Fact #16: It can improve the complexion of your skin.
If you want afair complexion, just mix cardamom powder in 1 teaspoon of honey and apply this over your face as a mask regularly. This is known to lighten the tone of your skin and also get rid of marks and blemishes.
Fact #17: It can prevent cancer.
Numerous animal studies have shown that cardamom is capable of delaying the onset of cancer (through its antioxidant properties) and also reverse tumors by destroying cancer cells.
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Read the next episode - 19 Phenomenal Health Benefits of Drinking Cumin Water Every Day