The health benefits of cardamom are numerous and have been around for centuries from ancient India to Greece and Egypt. With its delicious aromatic flavor, it’s often used in pumpkin pies and other holiday foods. And it’s commonly used in Scandanavian dishes too, sometimes instead of cinnamon.
Long used in Indian foods and Ayurvedic wellness, it has recently become one of my favorite spices. I even add it to my morning smoothie in the winter because it’s so warming and delish. And Kirk just made a great stir-fry with lots of cardamom. So what are some of the health benefits of cardamom?
7 Health Benefits of Cardamom
- Cardamom has been used to stimulate digestion, ease stomach cramps and gas, and aid nervous stomach distress.
- It’s a warming spice, like ginger, and helps to warm the whole body when taken as a tea in winter (see recipe below), or to burn out a fever.
- Cardamom has been shown to relieve tension and anxiety, calm nerves, improve lethargy and boost the spirits, and has also been shown to improve concentration and memory.
- Its contains phytonutrients that help fight cancer, protect against heart disease, improve blood circulation, and even act as an aphrodisiac.
- Studies from Saudi Arabia indicate that essential oil of cardamom is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial.
- Cardamom tea (see recipe below) has been used for thousands of years in India as a treatment for hiccups, as well as balancing the immune system to keep colds and flu at bays.
- Cardamom stimulates bile secretion for healthy liver function and fat metabolism. (Note: Because cardamom stimulates bile secretion, it’s not recommended for people with gallstone or gallbladder issues.)
From herbalist Anne McIntyre
4 cardamom pods
4 black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
A few slices of fresh ginger
Place all ingredients in 1 pint of water, heat to nearly boiling, covered, for 20-30 minutes. Strain. Add a little coconut milk or honey if desired. Drink a cupful hot twice a day.
Enjoy! Please post a comment to let us know your favorite uses for cardamom.