Elaichi, also known as the Queen of Spices, is a versatile, fragrant and slightly sweet-tasting spice that originated in India, but is now beloved across the world for its varied uses in both sweet and savory dishes. Cardamom also has a lot of medicinal properties with its seeds, oils and extracts being used for medicinal reasons. Some of the health benefits of cardamom are as follows:
- Antioxidant and Diuretic Properties: Cardamom has high levels of antioxidants as well as diuretic properties which in turn help to lower blood pressure. This is achieved by cardamom tendency to promote urination to remove water that builds up in the body.
- Fights Cancer: Cardamom contains compounds that may help to fight cancer cells by increasing the activity of certain enzymes as well as improve the ability of the body’s natural killer cells to attack tumor cells. Though research indicates that cardamom can help fight cancer and stop tumor growth, more human research is needed to validate these results.
- Anti-inflammatory Properties: When the body is exposed to foreign substances, it causes inflammation. Though inflammation is necessary and beneficial, long term inflammation results in chronic diseases. Antioxidants in cardamom slow down and stop inflammation from occurring as well as protect cells from damage.
- Aids with digestion and ulcers: Cardamom has been used to help with digestion for centuries. Compounds in cardamom help to relieve stomach discomfort, nausea and vomiting. Researchers also speculate that it can help to protect against digestive issues and help with stomach ulcers.
- Prevents Bad Breath and Cavities: Eating cardamom to freshen one’s breath is common to many Asian, Middle –Eastern and African countries and is an old remedy to treat bad breath. This is because compounds in cardamom are effective in fighting common mouth bacteria as well as five types of bacteria that cause dental cavities while also reducing the number of bacteria in saliva.