Cardamom Health Benefits-Ayurveda
Reducing InflammationCardamom seeds (the part that is eaten) contain a number of compounds that are known to help ward off inflammation. In small amounts, inflammation can be beneficial, encouraging your body to direct healing resources to an affected area. In the case of chronic inflammation, however, the body is essentially attacking an area that doesn't need to be touched. Cardamom contains a number of anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. Chronic inflammation is linked to a number of diseases and health issues. Therefore, managing inflammation is an important part of building and maintaining optimal health.
Regulating Blood SugarFurthermore, cardamom is also helpful in regulating blood sugar levels. Studies have mostly been done on rats, but it was shown that cardamom can help to prevent blood sugar from remaining elevated. Also, have a sweet tooth? Try sucking on a couple of cardamom seed pods to quell your sweet cravings! This is a great trick among Ayurvedic practitioners. Cardamom also helps freshen the breath, so chewing on a few seeds after your meal can boost your digestion, refresh your mouth, and satisfy your sweet tooth! Plus, cardamom helps you digest heavy foods such as milk and ice cream. Its warming, digestion-boosting properties help balance foods that are cool, damp, and mucus-forming.
Fighting CancerMany studies have indicated that cardamom seeds may help fight cancer. It can do this in a number of ways: by encouraging the body to produce cancer-fighting enzymes, enhancing the ability of natural cells to kill cancer, and discouraging tumor growth. Furthermore, in Ayurveda, cardamom is believed to help eliminate the buildup of ama, or toxic material, in the body. In doing this, it can help to reduce the onset of sickness.
Essential Facts about Wild CardamomNames
- Botanical: Elettaria cardamomum
- Sanskrit: Ela
- Hindi: Elaichi
- English: Wild Cardamom
- Other: Queen of Spices
- Rasa (taste): Pungent, sweet
- Guna (qualities): Light, dry
- Virya (action): Cooling
- Vipaka (post-digestive effects): Pungent
- Dosha (constitution): Cardamom is considered tridoshic. This means that it balances, and does not aggravate, all three doshas. However, cardamom can aggravate Pitta dosha if used in excess. This is because the spice is slightly warming. In addition, cardamom can reduce the influence of Kapha in the stomach, which is useful in cases of sluggish or slow digestion. Furthermore, cardamom is carminative, meaning that it helps to dispel gas in the GI tract. For this reason, Vata types, who are prone to bloating and gas, will likely benefit from adding cardamom to their food and beverages on a regular basis.