Cardamom or Elettaria Cardamomum is known as "queen of spices" second only to black paper, the "king Of Spice." It is one of the most valued spices in the world.
The dried cardamom fruits of the plant constitutes the medicinal properties. They have a pleasant aroma with the slightly pungent taste.
It is the seeds, taken out from the fruits, which produce the warm sensation in the mouth. The herb is grown in South India, Sri Lanka and Guatemala.
An analysis of the seeds shows it to consists of carbohydrates, moisture, protein, ether extract, fibre, calcium, phosphorus and iron. The seeds also contain a volatile oil.
The aroma and therapeutic properties of the cardamom are due to its volatile oil. Tinctures of cardamom is used chiefly in medicine to relieve flatulence and for strengthening digestion.
Cardamom increases appetite and soothes the mucous membrane. It relieves gas and heartburn caused by garlic and onion. Ground cardamom seeds mixed with ginger, cloves and coriander is a good remedy for indigestion. A tea made from cardamom is useful in headache caused by indigestion.
The aromatic flavour in cardamom is a breath freshener. A few seeds chewed for a brief period will remove foul smell.
Powdered seeds mixed with tablespoon of amla juice taken three times a day is an excellent diuretic and is also helpful in cystitis, burning micturition and scanty urination.
The tea made by powdered seeds of Cardamom boiled in water is useful for relieving depression. It gives a pleasant aroma to the tea.
The herb is useful in sexual dysfunction like impotence and premature ejaculation. A pinch of powdered cardamom seeds boiled in milk and sweetened with honey taken every night helps in the condition.
Gargling with the infusion of Cardamom and cinnamon helps in pharyngitis, sore throat and hoarseness caused during infective stage of infection. In a study it was found cardamom extracts are effective in oral bacteria like streptococcus mutans and candida albicans.
Cardamom powder is beneficial in lowering triglycerides, improves glucose intolerance, reduces inflammation and oxidative stress in liver.
An infusion made by boiling a couple of whole cardamom in a cup of water along with some mint leaves is useful in relieving hiccups.
It is used for flavouring curries, cakes breads and other purposes like flavouring coffee or confectionery. The essential oil of cardamom used for pharmaceutical purposes, perfumery, flavouring liqueurs, in the preparation of tincture and as a stimulant.
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