Cardamom is a spice belonging to the ginger family.
Some compare the flavor of this spice to mint, noting its mild sweetness, while others describe it as peppery, or even citrusy.
Both the seeds and pods of cardamom are used in a variety of dishes, from sweet to savory and even spicy.
But, its proven health benefits are what this spice is most noted for, having been used medicinally for centuries.
And those benefits aren’t just folklore.
Modern science has weighed in on this versatile spice and the verdict is highly beneficial, or at least cardamom itself is highly beneficial.
But, we’ll let you be the judge!
Check out the following 11 science-backed, tried and true benefits of this Southeast Asian wonder-spice…
Aiding both the liver and the kidneys, cardamom has been proven to aid in the body’s removal of waste and/or toxins.
It has even been used as a diuretic for its ability to help the body remove the buildup of excess fluid, waste, and toxins through the kidneys.
And, studies show that cardamom extracts have been successful at reducing toxicity in and damage to the liver.
The oils in cardamom can also work to help your body’s metabolism eliminate toxins, slowing the effects of aging seen in your skin.
2- Potential Cancer Fighter
So far we’re talking animal and test tube studies in regards to cancer, but the results are so very promising!
Check this out:
Studies regarding the effects of cardamom for cancer treatment in mice have shown a near 60% decrease in instances of cancer in those mice who’d been fed cardamom on a daily basis.
Regarding human cancer cells in test tubes, a specific compound in cardamom effectively stopped oral cancer from multiplying.
And, one human study did reveal a 50% reduction in colorectal cancer rates in patients using dietary cardamom.
3- Digestive Aid
It is widely known that ginger can offer relief when it comes to digestive distress, and this ginger family spice is no different.
Cardamom has been effectively used to treat “nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea…” And, yes, the use of the popular over the counter digestive aid commercial jingle was intentional there.
Some folks have been able to skip the chalky pink stuff, seeing the successful effects of cardamom when combating stomach issues.
Generally used in tea form or as an oil or powder mixed with hot water, cardamom is proven to help with these common digestive problems.
4- Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Cardamom contains compounds that are highly anti-inflammatory.
As long term or chronic inflammation in the body is a root cause of many life threatening diseases and illnesses, anti-inflammatory substances, particularly those rich in antioxidants, can provide needed protection from cellular damage.
Studies in rats have shown cardamom to be effective at suppressing inflammatory compounds.
And, other studies have seen similar results where cardamom powder was successful at decreasing inflammation in the liver.
Research has concluded cardamom as highly beneficial in reducing pain and inflammation in mucous membranes in the mouth and throat.
And, specific properties in cardamom have proven beneficial in reducing inflammation in instances where such inflammation is caused by obesity.
5- Boosts Heart Health
The fiber content and antioxidant properties of cardamom are known to lower cholesterol levels.
And, research shows these antioxidant levels combined with cardamom’s diuretic properties are beneficial in lowering blood pressure.
Studies in mice confirm these blood pressure regulating results, and other animal studies show the spice to be successful at protecting the heart from oxidation.
And, according to a Harvard Medical School report, heart experts seem to know something of the value of this spice as they claim to routinely use it as a key heart-health boosting ingredient in meals.
Traditional medicine has weighed in listing cardamom as a potent aphrodisiac that can aid in instances of impotence and erectile dysfunction.
And, ancient medicine cites cardamom as a natural way to support sexual health.
These attributes are thought to be due to cardamom’s ability to improve blood circulation, which can have other positive implications for overall health as well.
7- Fights Depression
Cardamom has been used as an essential oil in aromatherapy for its calming, anti-anxiety benefits for years.
And, drinking this spice as a tea has been a successful remedy for improving mood.
In animal studies, cardamom was found to be an effective treatment for PTSD, lowering anxiety symptoms.
And, while modern studies are lacking regarding its effectiveness at treating depression, Ayurvedic medicine has used cardamom tea as a tried and true treatment for depression for centuries.
8- Weight Loss
Possibly due to its anti-inflammatory properties, one study found a connection between cardamom and a reduction in waist circumference in women.
And, another study in 2017 revealed cardamom to be effective at reducing both weight gain and its subsequent metabolic damage caused by obesity due to a high carbohydrate diet.
9- Increases Airflow And Improves Breathing
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, cardamom has been known to naturally open airways and windpipes that were constricted.
It has been used to increase blood circulation in the lungs and relax inflamed mucous membranes and tracheal tissues.
And, its ability to relax airways, thereby increasing the body’s use of oxygen, has made it a helpful treatment for asthma patients.
One study involving cardamom’s use as an inhalant found that those participants who inhaled cardamom as an essential oil one minute before walking on a treadmill for 15 minute intervals had “significantly higher oxygen uptake compared to the control group.”
While this research is not yet conclusive, the use of green cardamom as a treatment for bronchitis also seems promising.
10- Bad Breath Relief And Cavity Prevention
Chewing cardamom leaves, pods, and seeds can freshen your breath, and these are even used in essential oil form as an ingredient in certain breath freshening chewing gums and plaque fighting mouthwashes.
Studies have revealed the antimicrobial properties of cardamom to be effective in fighting the type of bacteria commonly known to cause cavities.
And, some studies have shown cardamom extract to reduce the number of bacteria in samples of saliva by as much as 54%.
11- One Two Pathogen Punch
The essential oils in cardamom have been proven to suppress the growth of pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and molds).
Black cardamom helps to combat the symptoms of the common cold, and the oils from black cardamom are known for their antiseptic properties, offering sore throat relief.
Drinking cardamom tea has been proven to both soothe a sore throat and work as an effective cough suppressant.
Furthermore, research has shown cardamom extracts and oils to contain compounds successful at fighting multiple strains of bacteria.
And, test tube studies have found these oils and extracts to be as effective as standard drugs in treating E. coli and Staphylococcus.
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