There are mainly two types of cardamom - those with green seed pods (belong to the genus Elettaria) and those with dark brown seed pods (genus Amomum).
Most of us use cardamom as a spice and are unaware of its health benefits. It is one of the natural remedies for gum and tooth infections, digestive disorders, lung congestion and throat problems. As compared to brown cardamom, green ones are found to be commonly used for medicinal purposes. The following are the possible health benefits of this spice:
For Digestive Disorders
Cardamom is said to be beneficial for relieving heartburn, bloating, acidity, constipation and indigestion. It is also found to be good for improving appetite as well as metabolism and to prevent stomach infections. This spice is said to be useful for healing ulcers in the mouth as well as stomach.
For Kidney Health
Cardamom is said to be good for the kidneys, as it promotes urination and lowers blood pressure. It is also said to be useful for removing accumulated calcium and urea in the kidneys, along with other toxins. Cardamom is also used in the treatment of genital and urinary infections.
For Oral Health
Apart from fighting tooth and gum infections, cardamom is also effective in preventing bad breath (halitosis). With its antibacterial properties, the spice is believed to work as a disinfectant for the mouth. It may also relieve sore throat.
For Respiratory Health
Cardamom has long been used as a remedy for asthma and bronchitis. The spice has warming effects too. It is said to heat up the body, to expel cough and to relieve headache caused by extreme cold.
For Sexual Wellness
Cardamom is one of the age-old aphrodisiacs. It is used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, impotence, loss of libido, premature ejaculation and sexual weakness. It is said to promote blood circulation and stimulate the nervous system. Being rich in potassium, cardamom is believed to be good for control of blood pressure and heart rate.
It is also claimed that use of this spice prevents certain types of cancer, especially those linked to hormones (like breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer). Being an anti-inflammatory, cardamom may relieve muscle and joint pain. It is also said to be an effective antispasmodic, which can relieve hiccups, stomach cramps, vomiting and nausea.
Even though, there are no serious cardamom side effects, over consumption may sometimes cause allergic reactions or stomach pain. Pregnant and nursing women must avoid use of cardamom oil. It is said that those with gallstones must avoid use of cardamom in large amounts, as it may cause pain.
Disclaimer: This is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.