The benefits of cardamom have been documented for hundreds of years. However, only recently have they been endorsed by some scientific research. It is often used as a seasoning, as its light and sweet touch improves the flavor of dishes. However, there are those who prefer to use it in medicinal applications.
As an article published in the Journal Medicinal & Aromatic Plants details , this ingredient originated in India and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It is one of the most popular flavoring agents in both cooking and cosmetics. Do you want to know more about him? Below, we will detail its benefits.
Key Benefits of Cardamom
Cardamom seeds and essential oil have interesting medicinal applications. Although they are not the first-choice treatments for illnesses, they appear to promote well-being as long as they are included in the context of a healthy diet.
According to a chapter in the book Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention , this spice has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that explain its health effects. Furthermore, it is safe for most people and can be included in many daily preparations. How exactly can he help us?
Helps regulate blood pressure
Patients with high blood pressure may benefit from consuming cardamom. According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics, cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum L) helps to reduce high blood pressure in patients with primary hypertension. It also increases fibrillation and improves antioxidant status.
It’s not entirely clear why this spice might have such an effect on health. However, researchers suspect that it is due to its mild diuretic effect, which encourages the removal of fluids that are retained in the body and are a risk factor for hypertension.
Protects against chronic diseases
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, cardamom decreases the risk of chronic non-communicable diseases, such as those grouped under the category of metabolic syndrome. Although the state of inflammation is necessary to some extent, in the long run it can trigger serious health problems.
However, as research in the medical journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy details, cardamom contains polyphenols, flavonoids and terpenoids that help deal with inflammation. Specifically, a dose of 50 to 100 mg per kg of weight was able to inhibit about four inflammatory compounds in studies performed in rats.
Contributes to digestive health
One of cardamom’s most prominent benefits has to do with digestive health. There is evidence to suggest that their combination with other medicinal spices can alleviate common symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. In addition, it is believed to also help relieve ulcers.
In an animal study, published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, cardamom extracts combined with other spices helped to reduce ulcer formation. Furthermore, other studies suggest that it may protect against Helicobacter pylori , a major cause of ulcers and digestive problems.
Helps to take care of oral health
One of the traditional uses of cardamom has to do with oral health. In fact, it is an ingredient that is still used to combat bad breath and in the manufacture of chewing gum for the same purpose. A study published in the Dental Research Journa 1 highlights that this spice is effective against oral pathogenic bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans.
In addition, a 2009 study stated that cardamom extracts were helpful in fighting five bacteria that cause oral cavities. Specifically, they have been shown to be effective in inhibiting its growth. However, more research is still needed to verify these effects in humans.
Other benefits of cardamom
- Cardamom used in aromatherapy may contribute to improved breathing and airflow to the lungs during exercise, based on the results of a study published in the Journal of Health and Allied Science.
- The extract obtained from this spice appears to help reduce elevated levels of liver enzymes, triglycerides and cholesterol, as some studies point out.
- Thanks to its antioxidant concentration, cardamom also has positive effects in controlling anxious behavior.
Is cardamom consumption safe?
So far, there is no data on possible negative effects of cardamom consumption. In healthy adults it is considered safe, although it is advisable to moderate its intake. On the other hand, it is not recommended for children, pregnant or lactating women, as there is no data on its safety at these stages of life.
The best way to enjoy the benefits of this spice is to add it naturally to meals. Although there are supplements, they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, they must be taken with caution.