Cardamom “The Aromatic Queen of Spices”


Recently my husband and I were on a road trip, we stopped in a couple of Arabic shops in Israel.  They both served, as a free beverage, a very strong coffee with cardamom.  Culturally, Arabic coffee is served during family gatherings or when receiving guests, which must have been why they served it as a free beverage. This is the reason for this month’s spice choice.

Spices were incentives for war, voyages, expeditions, and romance and in shaping the course of world events and history. Cardamon has been used as a medicine and in cooking since ancient times. Its long and fascinating history dates back to Vedic times, about 3000 years B.C.

Which is it?

  • The Queen of Spices
  • The Aromatic Queen of Spices
  • The Beauty Queen of Spices

What do you think?  Let me know.

Cardamom is also sometimes the Seeds of Paradise or Ela “golden grains of paradise” in Sanskrit because of its very pleasant aroma and taste.

Cardamom, often referred to as the queen of spices, second only to black pepper, the king of spices. In the company of the King of Spices, black pepper, cardamom was an important commodity of the early spice trade that also transported frankincense, myrrh and other resins and precious aromatics. Caravans with as many as 4,000 camels would carry treasures of the East in the form of spices to markets in Babylon, Carthage, Alexandria, and Rome.  Later traders would sail ships along the Indian Coast and through the Red Sea into Egypt and thus through the rest of the world. The Spice Route was second in importance only to the Silk Road and the spices it transported were often as valuable, or more so than gold or precious metals.  Cardamom was considered a minor forest procedure and was a secondary crop to coffee plantations.

Why is it known as the “Queen of Spices”?

Maybe it is its association with queens. The large-leaved plant with purple and white flowers had a place in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The terraced garden was built by King Nebuchadnezzar for his wife who was homesick. Cleopatra burnt cardamom incense whenever Mark Antony visited.

Here are a few other interesting facts about this spice.

  1. It is one of the most expensive spices from the beginning of time. Cardamom has always been able to hold its value due to its special medicinal and culinary value.
  2. Cardamom is considered more of a festive spice.  It is one of the most commonly used spices in the world – second only to black pepper – and valued only slightly lower than precious saffron and costly vanilla beans. Due to its high price. Cardamom ranks among the top three most expensive spices in the world.
  3. Spices were the symbols of royalty and luxury and cardamom was used in the manufacture of perfumes during the Greek and Roman times. (Prabhakaran Nair)
  4. Clears the mind from overthinking, creating a peaceful place to make decisions. (Green Cardamom)
  5. Cardamom plants are from the ginger family and are native to southern India. It takes about three years for the plant to mature and produce seeds.  Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic fragrance.  There are two types of cardamom both very valuable for health. With a taste that is both peppery and citrusy, cardamom has a bit of warmth to it, rating a 2 on the hotness scale.

Green cardamom is smaller than black cardamom.  It is one of the most expensive spices by weight and a little goes a long way because of its strong flavor.

    • Its aroma is much stronger and more refined than black cardamom.
    • It is used primarily in sweet dishes and drinks.
    • It is used in traditional both sweet and savory dishes such as treats, sweetbreads, sweet dishes, and traditional dishes.
    • Use as a flavoring in coffee and tea.
    • It brings its own qualities to a dish.
    • Cures piles (hemorrhoids) (Green Cardamom)

Black cardamom has a distinctly more smoky aroma, though not bitter, with a coolness some consider similar to mint. It is largely used in savory dishes ranging from curries, stews, and daals (lentil dishes) to pilafs and meat dishes.

  1. Antibacterial – properties of cardamom oil are extremely effective in combating skin diseases.
  2. Antioxidant – high content of vitamin C and manganese in the composition of the oil has a powerful antioxidant effect, removing toxins from the body.
  3. Is a diuretic and is a carminative (relieves flatulence)
  4. Large cardamom seeds cure disease and pains of the anus and poisonous bites.
  5. Large cardamom seeds are hard to find.

OIL Pour into the container 3-4 tablespoon olive or sesame oil, add a few seeds of the plant, let it brew for 24 hours. This oil can be used as an independent mask against wrinkles and oily skin gloss.


NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


TEA TIME – Cardamom oil is endowed with completely unique characteristics.

First and foremost – start applying cardamom in small doses and do not get carried away with spices unnecessarily.

 

    • Tea: 2-3 pods (remove seeds and steep in hot water, do not boil), 3 to 4 cups daily.
    • Traditionally, the typical dose of cardamom is 1.5 grams of the ground seeds per day.
    • As a digestive, a tea prepared from 1 teaspoon of freshly crushed cardamom seeds infused in 1 cup boiled water for 10-15 minutes has been used.
    • Tincture: 1 to 10ml of a 1:3@45% tincture (Pole)
    • Essential oil: Use in mixture with other oils or on its own at .5 to 15% dilution in a carrier

Soothing warm milk with cardamom

    • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds, powdered or just the seeds will do too!
    • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon powder
    • 1 to 2 cups milk (nut kinds of milk work too)

Warm in a saucepan. Once warm, let stand for a few minutes and then pour into cups. Enjoy. Good right before bedtime especially for little ones. In the winter months, if a cold is coming on, you can add 1/8 – 1/4 tsp turmeric powder.

The second rule is to check whether there is an individual intolerance or an allergy to spice.

See a YUMMY recipe at the end!


MEDICINAL USES

Cardamom is also considered for its medicinal uses in Ayurveda and Greek medicine and Chinese tradition. Owing to its rich nutritional profile, cardamom offers the properties of a digestive, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, antiseptic, antioxidant, and antispasmodic.

The beneficial effect on the nervous system and helps to improve mood. allows you to cope with neuroses and stress, cheer up and keep warm.  It helps to get rid of depression and apathy.


SUPERSTARS

PHYSIOLOGICAL BENEFITS

Promotes Dental Hygiene (C, Ca)

1. Improves Bad Breath (Green Cardamom)

    • It is common to see women as well as men popping cardamom pods to make their breath not minty fresh but “cardamom fresh”.  It is one of the only spices that can dissipate garlic breath.
    • An active compound in Cardamom is cineole.  It is a potent antiseptic known for killing the bacteria causing bad breath and other infections.
    • Effective against oral pathogenic bacteria like Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans.

2. Helps Treat Cavities

    • Chewing cardamom, a pungent spicy flavor promotes the flow of saliva.
    • It cures excessive salivation.
    • This encourages a cleansing saliva flow while the fibrous outer coating of the pod can provide a mechanical cleaning of your teeth. (effective antiseptic)

Anti-Carcinogenic (C)

  1. Two antioxidants named 3’-Diindolylmethane (DIM) and Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) in black cardamom, which combats breast, colon, prostate, and ovarian cancer. The anti-carcinogenic properties of the spice also raise the amount of glutathione (an antioxidant) in the body and prevent the generation and growth of cancerous cells.
  2. It can be used as a chemopreventive agent or something that’s used to inhibit, delay or reverse cancer formation. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food showed that it had a positive effect on skin health in animals. The study concludes that cardamom has potential as a chemopreventive agent against two-stage skin cancer.
  3. Phytochemicals, cineole, and limonene have shown an ability to take on a protective role against cancer progression.

Cardiovascular Health (B2, B3, C, Cu, K, Mg, Cu, Fe, P, Zn)

    • Your heart remains healthy with regular intake of black cardamom.
    • It reduces the probabilities of a blood clot.
    • It is very effective in protecting you from heatstroke or sunstroke during scorching summer.
    • A good remedy for the treatment of angina.
    • Its copper and iron content is important for cellular energy metabolism, accelerating the formation of red blood cells. Potassium is effective for maintaining the cardiovascular system.

Respiratory Health  (Zn)

1.  Asthma, whooping cough, lung congestions, bronchitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, etc. can be treated successfully with this little spice. (cineole property) (Green Cardamom – cough)

    • A substance in Cardamom helps make breathing easier by dilating the bronchi and bronchioles, decreasing resistance in the respiratory airway, and increasing airflow to the lungs.
    • Fights inflammation, and soothing mucous membranes. The warm nature of cardamom also promotes the expulsion of phlegm and relieves chest congestion.

To ease the symptoms of asthma, use daily chest massage, and reflex points of the feet with two drops of oil, inhale the fragrance deeply, apply a small amount of oil under the nose.

With bronchitis, use inhalation with a few drops of cardamom oil. When cooking, add a few drops of oil to flavor the food.

    • Vitamin C – helps in the treatment of colds, relief of a sore throat, and coughing. helps to control cough, asthmatic spasms, and abdominal pain.

2. It warms up your respiratory tract so that the air circulation through the lungs becomes easier.

3. Works as an expectorant and helps you stay away from cough, cold, sore throat, etc. by alleviating the mucous membrane and normalizing the flow of mucous through the respiratory tract. (cineole property)

Seeds are soaked in hot water and can be used to rinse the throat. They cure pharyngitis, dry throat, hoarseness, and soften the throat.

Anesthetic Properties (B1, B2, Mg)

    • Highly anesthetic and sedative
    • Curbs acute pain like headache like migraine and provide immediate relief
    • Eliminating stress and fatigue

Antiseptic and Antibacterial Properties (C, Zn)

  1. Destroy microbes of almost 14 different species
  2. Boosts your immunity
  3. Provides you protection against bacterial or viral infections (cineole property)

Helps Treat Diabetes (B1, B2, Mg, Zn)

The high manganese content in this spice makes it an excellent choice for diabetics and anyone struggling with blood sugar issues.

ANTI-Obesity

Cardamom contains anti-obesity properties.

  1. Clears Up The “Ama” Or Toxins – likened to a sticky substance that can block normal circulation and lower energy levels.
  2. Prevents Fat Deposition In The Abdomen
  3. Prevents Water Retention – Water retention and bloating can also result in weight gain. Dubbed a natural diuretic in Ayurveda, cardamom can help your body expel the extra water that’s being retained in the form of urine.
  4. Reduces Bad Cholesterol – its fat-busting properties help lower blood cholesterol levels. The anti-hyperlipidemic activity, in particular, is beneficial to those with cholesterol problems, a common complaint for those who are overweight or obese. Able to decrease the bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, thereby significantly lowering the total cholesterol levels. However, cardamom also lowered the good HDL cholesterol slightly.
  5. Reduces Bloating – Chronic indigestion can also lead to bloating, and cardamom is a popular treatment for gastrointestinal disorders. Has good antibacterial activity against infection-causing microbes like Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Bacillus pumilus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Staphylococcus aureus. With this activity against bad bacteria, cardamom can help the balance of gut flora to return to normal, enabling normal digestion. (Black Cardamom)
  6. It stimulates bile.

Quality Sleep

    • Tea with cardamom at night relieve anxiety and insomnia.
    • Improves the quality of sleep, promotes better tolerance of stress.
    • Regular use is useful for neuropsychic disorders.

Urinary Health (Green Cardamom)

  1. Cardamom is also a diuretic, so it detoxifies and stimulates kidney function
  2. Relieves urinary tract infections and inflammatory processes. (cineole property)
  3. It can facilitate urination and keeps your renal system healthy.

Mood (B2, B6, C)

    • Relieves depression, eliminates melancholy, lethargy, apathy, fears, headache.
    • It is also used when urinating is delayed.
    • Eliminate painful conditions before menstruation.

To raise the mood, with anger and depression, spray a few drops of oil in the room.

Heart

Cardamom is also an excellent tonic for the heart. It increases blood circulation and promotes the saturation of heart tissues with necessary oxygen. With the regular inclusion in food spices, the risk of developing a heart attack, and complications in the form of heart defects is reduced.  Peripheral circulation of the veins and arteries, not in the chest or abdomen

Flu Stages 

Promotes the healing of pharyngitis, dryness in the throat, hoarseness, softens the throat at the critical stage of the flu.

Strengthens and Stimulates Digestion (Black Cardamom)

Gastro-Intestinal Health: Black cardamom has a high positive impact on the gastrointestinal tract. It can stimulate the gastric and intestinal glands to secrete essential juices with the help of its stimulative properties.  This spice is better than many others and harmonizes and stimulates the digestive tract and spleen.

Take a look at all its helpful digestive benefits:

  • heartburn – It also helps in regulating and keeping stomach acids under control helping keep down gastric ulcers and digestive disorders significantly.
  • stomach cramps (Black Cardamom)
  • bloating
  • cleanse the gastrointestinal tract from harmful poisons and toxins acting as an antiseptic.
  • heaviness
  • flatulence
  • Indigestion (improves digestion)
  • binge eating
  • nausea
  • vomiting (Green Cardamom)
  • relieves Constipation
  • diarrhea
  • strengthens the musculature of the stomach
  • eases colic in children

Cardamom, rock salt, and ginger are taken in an equal amount and crushed into powder. Use the mixture in a dose of 1-2 grams (1.5 grams=4tsp) two or three times a day with warm water. This remedy calms the gases, bloating, and food poisoning.

Improves Appetite

  1. Cardamom works as a warm digestive tonic that can help you deal with indigestion, flatulence, and acidity, which can reduce your appetite.
  2. A little bit of powdered cardamom to your soup reactivates your appetite.

To increase appetite, apply a massage of the stomach area with two drops of oil.

Aids in Detoxification and Protects the Liver (VC)

It is capable of eliminating caffeine from the blood so that you can stay safe from the adverse effects of the alkaloid.

For Complexion (Black Cardamom)

1. Skin – it has the most optimal antiseptic properties and helps to get rid of acne.

        • Keeps your aging at bay, but it also helps you in getting a fairer skin complexion.
        • Natural remedy for ‘contact dermatitis’ or skin allergy.
        • A brighter, glowing complexion
        • Skin rashes (Green Cardamom)

2. Hair(Mg, K, Cu, Fe, ) – it has cell reinforcement properties that will give the hair all the vital supplements. From the roots to the finishes of the hair, everything will be reinforced. Anti-oxidative properties are helpful in providing nourishment to your scalp and hair strands.

        • As a result, you get strong, thick, and shiny tresses.
        • Dampness is retained in the hair.
        • Dry, dull, and coarsened hair will be a thing of the past.

3. Lips – It is additionally excellent for delicate, beautifully soft, attractive, lips

4. The high content of vitamin C and manganese in the composition of the oil has a powerful antioxidant effect, removing toxins from the body.

Vision

  1. Eating 4-5 black cardamom seeds every day with a teaspoon of honey will improve your vision, strengthen the nervous system, prevent the ingestion of harmful microbes.

            • sweet potato, peeled, chopped, and boiled (reserve the boiling water)
            • banana, ripe
            • apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
            • 1teaspoon cardamom
            • cup water (from the boiling sweet potato)
SWEET CARDAMOM SMOOTHIE by Food

If you have not included this spice into your cooking routine, maybe it is something to consider.

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by.  It shows your interest in health or at least your curiosity.  I am truly enjoying learning more about the powerful benefits of the Herbs and Spices we use in our kitchens and hope you are too.  If you enjoyed this post and learning about Cardamom, please press the follow button, like it, and share how it helped you.  If you know someone who could be helped by this information please pass it on.  People are destroyed from a lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)  I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread the word so that more people can live their best life now free and to the fullest.


Natural Food Facts

Style Craze

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Cure Joy

The Spice Pantry: Queen of the Spices, Cardamon

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