10 health benefits of cardamom + 10 tips to use it

The pods of cardamom enclose a strong characteristic flavour and loads of goodness. Here are 10 health benefits of this amazing spice

Cardamom pods with cardamom powder on a table

Cardamom, considered the queen of spices, is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine. However, this little spice, also known as elaichi in India, has a lot more to offer than simply flavour.

For centuries, it has been used in traditional medicine to relieve a multitude of illnesses. Additionally, the regular consumption of this spice has proven to prevent disease. Here are 10 ways this wonder spice heals and protects you.

10 health benefits of cardamom

1. It improves digestion

It is a carminative herb, which means it aids in preventing and dispelling of abdominal gas. Studies have shown that cardamom pods are beneficial in treating digestive conditions like acidity, nausea, heartburn, constipation and stomach cramps.

Tip: Grind together 2 – 3 pods of cardamom, a small piece of ginger, 2 – 3 cloves and few coriander seeds. Add the powder into warm water and consume it for instant relief from indigestion, bloating, and gas. You can even chew on a pod of elaichi to get relief.

2. It aids detoxification

Cardamom is good for you since it helps the body eliminate toxins. Its seeds encourages the production of the body’s natural antioxidants, which aid in detoxification. It also cleanses the urinary tract, bladder and the kidneys.

Tip: Crush some cardamom seeds and add them to your bowl of breakfast cereal or your cup of morning chai.

3. It keeps your mouth fresh

It has antibacterial qualities that help combat bad breath and other oral problems.

Tip: Chew on a pod of elaichi after every meal.

4. It prevents and relieves respiratory distress

Studies have shown that the benefits of cardamom extend even to respiratory health. It can improve circulation of blood in the lungs, which makes it ideal to treat respiratory problems like asthma. Additionally, because it’s a heating spice, cardamom is used to relieve cough and cold.

Tip: Add a few drops of cardamom essential oil to a pot of boiling water for steam inhalation to relieve a stuffed nose or blocked sinuses.

5. It protects against cancer

It contains essential phytonutrients that are proven to hunt down and destroy free radicals. Research shows that consuming cardamom on a regular basis can prevent certain cancers.

Tip: Spice up your meals with a sprinkling of cardamom powder to avail its anti-carcinogenic benefits.

6. It improves blood pressure

Cardamom has benefits for the heart too. It contain essential minerals like potassium that help stabilise your heart rate and control your blood pressure.

Tip: Mix a teaspoonful of cardamom powder with a little honey and have it once or twice a day.

7. It reduces blood clots

Cardamom has qualities that prevent platelets from aggregation and sticking to arterial walls; this helps prevent blood clots.

Tip: Add the pods or powder to soups or teas.

8. It protects against harmful microbes

Cardamom has antimicrobial properties that help inhibit the growth of viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

Tip: Make an infusion using the powder or pods, fresh ginger, a cinnamon stick, few cloves, and a teaspoon or two of honey.

9. Cardamom relieves inflammation

It is widely known for its anti-inflammatory properties that relieve pain and reduce swelling in muscles and joints and mucus membranes.

Tip: Add a pinch or two of elaichi powder and turmeric to a glass of warm milk to ease inflammation.

10. It relieves cramps

It has antispasmodic properties that help relieve muscle spasms and cramps. It is especially effective in stopping involuntary spasms like hiccups.

Tip: Boil a few cardamom seeds in a glass of water and drink this infusion to get relief from hiccups.


This article first appeared in the September 2015 print edition of Complete Wellbeing magazine.

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