Cardamom, also known as elaichi in India, is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine. However, this little spice 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.
It improves digestion
It is a carminative herb, which means it aids in preventing and dispelling of abdominal gas. Studies have shown that cardamom is effective 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.
It aids detoxification
Packed with antioxidants, it helps the body eliminate toxins. It 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.
Cardamom 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.
It prevents and relieves respiratory distress
Studies have shown that cardamom improves 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.
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.
It improves blood pressure
It contains 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.
It reduces blood clots
It has qualities that prevent platelets from aggregation and sticking to arterial walls. This helps prevent blood clots.
Tip: Add cardamom pods or powder to soups or teas.
It protects against harmful microbes
It has antimicrobial properties that help inhibit the growth of viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
Tip: Make an infusion using cardamom powder or pods, fresh ginger, a cinnamon stick, few cloves, and a teaspoon or two of honey.
It 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.
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 was first published in the September 2015 issue of Complete Wellbeing.
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