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Cardamom, the "queen of spices," has 9 health benefits ranging from improved sex to fresher breath to weight loss.

For centuries, traditional Indian medicine has used cardamom to treat digestive issues, boost the immune system, and much more.

By T MANJUNATHAPublished 4 months ago 3 min read

Based on research, here are nine ways this spice may benefit your health, along with buying and using tips.

Cardamom is one of the oldest known spices, made from the seeds of a plant in the ginger family. Cardamom oil was used to mummify their dead and was used in medicine and as a breath freshener by the ancient Egyptians.

It has a strong aroma and flavour and is the world's third most expensive spice after saffron and vanilla. Cardamom, also known as ela, is known as the "queen of spices" because it, along with black pepper, the "king of spices," was an important part of the early spice trade.

Cardamom has been used extensively in Indian cuisine and tea brewing for centuries. It is also used in Ayurveda, which is a type of traditional Indian medicine.

Spices, according to Dixa Bhavsar, an Ayurvedic practitioner in Gujarat, India, "heat" the body and help to stimulate digestion. Cardamom, however, "helps in balancing thirst and hunger".

"Most of the time, when I consult patients with [an] hormonal imbalance and [a] compromised gut, they have excessive thirst. "My go-to spice for [treating] this is cardamom," she says.

Cardamom is a key ingredient in chyawanprash, a jam-like health supplement made primarily of gooseberries and spices that is a household staple in India. It has been shown to help with digestion, respiratory health, and immunity.

Cardamom tea is used to treat coughs and colds in India. According to the US Department of Agriculture, cardamom is high in minerals such as iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and manganese. It also contains calcium, potassium, vitamins B and C, as well as trace amounts of protein and fatty acids.

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"Ela is used in minute amounts but has far-reaching benefits," says Madhumitha Krishnan, an Ayurvedic practitioner in Chennai, India. "It is one of the few spices that has a 'cooling' effect, is 'tridoshic,' and balances all three doshas [energy types in Ayurveda] in our body - vatta, pitta, and kapha."

1. Good digestive health

Cardamom is an appetite stimulant that is commonly used to treat digestive problems. It is also effective for treating nausea, vomiting, bloating, heartburn, and stomach ulcers.

It was discovered to offer protection against Helicobacter pylori, a type of bacteria linked to stomach ulcers, according to a study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research.

2. Better oral health

Cardamom has been used to improve oral health and treat bad breath since ancient times. According to research, cardamom has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. One study discovered that cardamom is effective in fighting five types of bacteria that cause dental cavities, bad breath, and gum disease.

Cineole, the main active ingredient in cardamom oil, is also a powerful antiseptic.

3. Better lung function

According to a study published in the Journal of Health and Allied Sciences, cardamom may help to improve lung function by relaxing the airway to the lungs. Participants in the study who inhaled cardamom oil before a workout had higher levels of oxygen uptake after exercise than those who did not.

4. Reduce inflammatory and blood pressure symptoms

Cardamom, which is high in antioxidants, can help fight inflammation and regulate high blood pressure - the spice encourages more frequent urination, which helps expel excess water from the body.

In one study, 20 adults with high blood pressure were given three grammes of cardamom powder daily. After 12 weeks, their blood pressure levels had returned to normal.

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5. Detoxification of the body

Cardamom may aid in the removal of toxins from the body.

One study found that giving cardamom to overweight or obese people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease improved their liver function markers. Cardamom may help reduce liver congestion, according to another study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research.

6. Weight-loss supplement

Because cardamom contains melatonin, which increases metabolism, it may aid in fat burning and weight loss.

7. Heart health protection

Cardamom may also aid in the prevention of heart disease. It has been shown in animal studies to help protect against heart attacks, improve heart function, and lower cholesterol levels. More research is required to determine whether these effects would be observed in humans.

8. Aid in relaxation

Cardamom oil is used in aromatherapy and can help patients relax, according to a 2011 study.

9. Better sexual performance

Cardamom is listed in ancient medical texts as an aphrodisiac that can help with erectile dysfunction and impotence by improving blood circulation

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