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The Nutritional and Health Benefits of Cardamom or Elaichi

Green and black cardamom.
Green and black cardamom. | Source

About Cardamom

Cardamom is a spice native to India, Nepal and Bhutan and belongs to the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. Two genera in this family, Elettaria and Amomum, provide the cardamom pods that are different in color, size, flavor and taste.

  • Elettaria cardamomum provides the green cardamom, also called true cardamom, Ceylon cardamom etc.
  • Amomum subulatum provides the black cardamom, also called Bengal cardamom, hill cardamom, Indian cardamom, brown cardamom, winged cardamom etc.

In India, green cardamom is called "choti elaichi" while the black cardamom is called "badi elaichi" or "moti elaichi". The stem of the cardamom plant is an underground rhizome and the branches which bear the pods are borne on the surface of the soil.

The green cardamom is smaller with yellowish green to green colored pods having thin skin with small black seeds. It has an aromatic taste and pungent flavor.

The black cardamom is much bigger and has thicker dark skin that is brown colored. It has a smoky flavor and aroma.

Green cardamom is used in Indian and several other Asian cuisines as a cooking spice. It is also used to flavor beverages and is used in both Traditional and Western medicine. Traditional Indian sweets use cardamom in many preparations. It is also used to make masala chai or spiced tea.

Black cardamom is used in garam masala which is a type of 5 spice powder. Black cardamom is used meat stews, curries etc. Bakeries use it on a large scale since it is cheaper. Wrigley uses it to make its Eclipse Breeze Exotic Mint chewing gum as an aid to neutralize breath odors.

Green cardamom is much more expensive than the black cardamom as it is thought to be superior in quality but it is essentially because of its superior taste and flavor than quality.

Green cardamom is the third most expensive spice next to saffron and vanilla.


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cardamom plantcardamom flowers
cardamom plant
cardamom plant | Source
cardamom flowers
cardamom flowers | Source

Nutrition Facts

  • Cardamom is an excellent source of manganese, supplies about 1217% of the DV/100 grams, a very good source of iron, supplying 175% of the DV/100 grams and has good levels of other minerals like copper, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.
  • It also contains good amounts of Vitamin C and the B complex vitamins, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin and pyridoxine.
  • It is low in sodium and free of cholesterol.
  • Most importantly it contains a wealth of essential oils.

The lovely cardamom flower
The lovely cardamom flower | Source

Essential Oil

The essential oil is extracted from the seeds. It has a sweet and spicy aroma and is a clear oil. Cardamom essential oil is used in pharmaceuticals, perfumes, for flavoring bitters, liquers and preparation of tinctures.

The oil helps to ease cold, cough, congestion and warms the body. It is also an aphrodisiac and also helps in combating digestive issues including flatulence, indigestion and nausea.

Cardamom Nutrition Facts

 
Cardamom, Nutritional value per 100 g.
 
 
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
 
Principle
Nutrient Value
Percentage of RDA
Energy
311 Kcal
15.50%
Carbohydrates
68.47 g
52.50%
Protein
10.76 g
19%
Total Fat
6.7 g
23%
Cholesterol
0 mg
0%
Dietary Fiber
28 g
70%
Vitamins
 
 
Niacin
1.102 mg
7%
Pyridoxine
0.230 mg
18%
Riboflavin
0.182 mg
14%
Thiamin
0.198 mg
16.50%
Vitamin A
0 IU
0%
Vitamin C
21 mg
35%
Electrolytes
 
 
Sodium
18 mg
1%
Potassium
1119 mg
24%
Minerals
 
 
Calcium
383 mg
38%
Copper
0.383 mg
42.50%
Iron
13.97 mg
175%
Magnesium
229 mg
57%
Manganese
28 mg
1217%
Phosphorus
178 mg
25%
Zinc
7.47 mg
68%

Health Benefits

Following are some of the health benefits of cardamom :

  • It has stimulative, digestive and carminative properties and enhances appetite, relieves indigestion, gas, flatulence, constipation, acidity, nausea and colic and spasms, and dysentery.
  • It treats mouth ulcers, halitosis,teeth and gum infections as it has antibacterial action.
  • Cardamom has expectorant properties, therefore it helps to remove, reduce and soothe the mucus membranes. Thus it relieves sore throat, colds, coughs and various other respiratory allergies.
  • It benefits in urinary tract infections, has diuretic properties and detoxifies the body.
  • Cardamom balances the 3 doshas of the body; tri dosha as it is called in Ayurveda.
  • It works as an antidote to scorpion and snake bites.
  • Cardamom oil added to bathwater fights stress and relaxes.
  • Cardamom contains the phytochemicals indole-3-carbinol and di indolylmethane which fight hormone related cancers, that of the breast, ovary and prostrate.
  • It lowers blood pressure and also prevents formation of blood clots.
  • Cardamom increase the levels of the antioxidant glutathione which inhibits colon can cell reproduction and kills them.
  • Cardamom has meat protection properties as it acts as a natural preservative.
  • Cardamom has analgesic properties so it eases joint and muscle pains and inflammed nerves.

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardamom
http://www.kew.org/plant-cultures/plants/cardamom_landing.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20361714
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16106388
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16101317
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18037596
http://naturalremediesbase.com/herbal-remedies/health-benefits-cardamom.html
http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/d-limonene
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20653562
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20430533
"Prescription for Herbal Healing"; Phyllis A. Balch; 2002
http://www.slideshare.net/NUTRIHEALTH/health-benefits-of-cardamom-by-dr-shikha-sharma

Some Natural Remedies With Cardamom

  1. To relieve hiccups, make an infusion by boiling 5 mint leaves and 2 pounded cardamom pods in a cup of water and drink.
  2. To treat gonorrhea, cystitis, nephritis and burning sensation while passing urinem add some powdered cardamom seeds to 1 tsp banana leaf powder and 1 tsp amla juice and take 3 times a day.
  3. For instant relief in headache apply cardamom paste on the forehead.
  4. For aphrodisiac benefits, add a pinch of cardamom seeds to a glass of milk. Add a tsp of honey and drink daily.
  5. For protection against heat stroke, chew a cardamom pod before going out in the sun.
  6. In stomachache, crush 2 cardamoms and mix in a tsp honey and consume.
  7. In kidney failure grind cardamom and mix in milk and drink. It brings on urine and also stops burning sensation on urination.
  8. For blood in bile, on an empty stomach chew and eat 2 cardamom pods everyday and then drink milk after this. It benefits.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.

Cardamom Rose Water Almond Cookies Recipe

Mahamri (Coconut & cardamom doughnuts)

Ginger Cardamom Chai (Tea) Recipe

© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly

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Comments 19 comments

carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

You are a world of knowledge and I always appreciate having the research completed. Thanks again for the information. Great hub..Up and share.


livingsta profile image

livingsta 3 years ago from United Kingdom

I love the ginger cardamom chai, so refreshing to have one in the morning or evening! Thank you so much for this hub. I did not think or know that cardamom had medicinal benefits.

Votes up and sharing!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Carol - thanks for the compliments. I'm glad you like these hubs. Appreciate the vote and share.

@ livingsta - the ginger-cardamom chai is wonderful to have in the winter season. Really warms one up. Thanks for reading and appreciate the sharing.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 3 years ago from malang-indonesia

Brother, you always do the best here. Absolutely informative hub. I am glad to find this article this morning. The photos you included are the best. I also enjoy the video as well. Voted up!

Prasetio


Harsha Vardhana R profile image

Harsha Vardhana R 3 years ago from Bangalore

Vote up!

I was surprised that it has ability to balance the tridoshas. That is a great aid for health. Thank you very much


radhikasree profile image

radhikasree 3 years ago from Mumbai,India

In Kerala, cardamom is cultivated in a big scale. I've seen the method of growing it while I visited a hill station there. Elaichi is an important ingredient of my kitchen and I learned a lot about it through this hub.

Voted up, useful and interesting. SHARING across.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and interesting. Love your informative hubs. I knew about cardamom in baking but I didn't know it had so many other uses and benefits. Thanks for sharing and passing this on.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Spices I enjoy using and learned more of the benefits from you.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Prasetio - thank you my friend. I always hope the info is useful to readers. Always good to see you.

@ Harsha - yes it is a fact. Thanks for reading.

@ Radhika - that is wonderful. Of course we use Elaichi a lot in our kitchen. Thanks for visiting and of course the votes and sharing.

@ Rasma - this spice as many others are versatile in uses and benefits. Appreciate the visit and thanks for sharing.

@ Devika - Good to know you like using these spices. Thanks fro stopping by.


girishpuri profile image

girishpuri 3 years ago from NCR , INDIA

Elaichi has got so many benefits, i never knew before. Thank you Rajan for sharing a very useful hub. God bless.


girishpuri profile image

girishpuri 3 years ago from NCR , INDIA

Elaichi has got so many benefits, i never knew before. Thank you Rajan for sharing a very useful hub. God bless.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for reading Girish. Have a nice day.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 3 years ago from Orange County, CA

We use cardamom a lot because it adds a touch of India to any dish. Glad to hear it has all this healthful properties. Voting this Up and Useful.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Aurelio, since you use this spice you must be feeling good you read this hub. Lol! Thanks for stopping by.


MrsBrownsParlour profile image

MrsBrownsParlour 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

This was amazingly informative, thorough, and beautifully done. P.S. I love cardamom. :-)


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks, Laurana. Good to know you love cardamom.


Sunita Rani 2 years ago

I want to know that whether black elachi is harmful in summer. If not, now much quantity of bari elachi we can take daily. Please inform me on my email sunita_115@yahoo.com at the earliest.


poonam 14 months ago

I had visited munnar in kerala where I saw cultivated cardamom I was very excited about the cardamom plants but today I am very happy to know whether it has so many benefits


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 13 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

thanks poonam

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    Rajan Singh Jolly (rajan jolly)1,139 Followers
    310 Articles

    Rajan is a major in Botany and Chemistry. Has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years of his career breeding layer & broiler parents.



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