Be it a rainy day or a cold winter evening, sipping a steaming cup of cardamom flavoured tea rejuvenates one’s body and soul. Originally, from the rain forests of Western Ghats of Southern India, cardamoms have been prized for centuries for their beautifully fragrant flavour and aroma as well as for their therapeutic use. Cardamom is one of the spices used widely to flavour our sweet dishes, hot and cold beverages and confectioneries etc. But most of us are unaware of its medicinal use. In Ayurveda, it had been effectively used to cure many minor ailments.
India, China and many other countries used them in their medicines. Cardamom had been used to treat snake and scorpion bite in ancient Chinese medicine. It is said that ancient Egyptians chewed cardamoms to whiten their teeth and sweeten their breath. As early as 4 BC, Indian Ayurvedic texts used the spice to remove fat and a cure for urinary and skin complaints.
Even today, they are still highly valued for their ability to relieve tension and anxiety, to dispel lethargy and nervous exhaustion, to lift spirits and improve memory and concentration. It is common in our households to drink cardamom tea (elaichi chai) at the slightest sign of cold, headache or tiredness.
It is anti-spasmodic which makes it handy for any type of stomach cramps caused by indigestion. Just one pod to chew after meal does wonderful job to your digestion. It is a great source of phyto-chemical called cineole, second only to lemon which calms your nerves and clears your head. It gives entire nervous system a boost. It reduces pain in case of inflammation of the nerves. Cardamom contains certain chemical agents that appear to treat stomach and intestinal spasm and increase the movement of food through the intestine.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CARDAMOM
- Cardamom helps in proper kidney function as it promotes urination and lowers blood pressure. It removes all the accumulated toxins in the kidneys and is also used in the treatment of urinary infections.
- With its anti-bacterial properties cardamom works as a disinfectant for the mouth. It is used to prevent as well as treat throat troubles. It also helps fight gum infections. In many toothpowders, cardamom is used for its germicidal and flavouring properties.
- The cardamom powder taken with ghee and sugar is useful for certain ailments of the eye and the dose of the powder is 10 to 20 grains.
- Cardamom enhances appetite and provides relief from acidity as the essential oils in cardamom sooths the mucus lining of the stomach and help ward-off the effects of excess acids produced in the stomach. Due to its sweet taste and slight cooling effect, it also relieves the burning sensation associated with acidity. Crush two pods of cardamom add it to a cup of water and bring it to boil. After cooling drink the water for instant relief from acidity. You can even chew the cardamom pod after every meal.
- It is used to cure common cold, cough, sore throat, and congestion of lungs, pulmonary tuberculosis and other minor infections.
- Cardamom helps increase blood circulation within your lungs which helps relieve breathing problems like asthma, cold and cough. It helps in expulsion of phlegm and relieves chest congestion.
- Cardamom is also known to have some detoxifying properties and is known to be a good cure for general weakness.
- Cardamom is known to stimulate digestion and relieve people of stomach spasms.
- Cardamom contains potassium, magnesium, calcium and essential electrolytes. Potassium, one of the main components of the blood and body fluid, helps regularize heart rate and blood pressure under control.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna
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