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The Nutritional and Health Benefits of Cardamom or Elaichi

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Green and black cardamom.

Green and black cardamom.

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 colour, size, flavour 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 coloured pods having thin skin with small black seeds. It has an aromatic taste and pungent flavour.

Elaichi Shrikhand/Dessert With Cardamom

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

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 flavour than quality.

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

Black cardamom is also used in preparing 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 odours.

Punjabi Garam Masala

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

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 flavouring bitters, liqueurs 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 diindolylmethane which fight hormone-related cancers, that of the breast, ovary and prostate.
  • It lowers blood pressure and also prevents the 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 inflamed nerves.

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 gonorrhoea, cystitis, nephritis and burning sensation while passing urine 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 every day and then drink milk after this. It benefits.

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

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

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly

Comments

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 11, 2015:

thanks poonam

poonam on September 30, 2015:

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

Sunita Rani on April 02, 2014:

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.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 21, 2013:

Thanks, Laurana. Good to know you love cardamom.

MrsBrownsParlour on March 19, 2013:

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

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 16, 2013:

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

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on March 16, 2013:

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 Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 12, 2013:

Thanks for reading Girish. Have a nice day.

Girish puri from NCR , INDIA on March 11, 2013:

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

Girish puri from NCR , INDIA on March 11, 2013:

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

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 11, 2013:

@ 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.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 11, 2013:

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

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on March 11, 2013:

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.

Radhika Sreekanth from Mumbai,India on March 10, 2013:

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.

Harsha Vardhana R from Bangalore on March 10, 2013:

Vote up!

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

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on March 10, 2013:

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

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 10, 2013:

@ 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.

livingsta from United Kingdom on March 10, 2013:

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!

carol stanley from Arizona on March 10, 2013:

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

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