Elaichi as it is generally called in Hindi, is referred to as the “Queen of Spices”. Elaichi Known as cardamom in English, is the third most expensive spice worldwide, after saffron and vanilla. Elaichi plants can be easily spotted by their unique appearance, as tiny seed pods, triangular in shape, with a flimsy, papery outer shell encompassing a few black seeds.
Though the lime coloured seed is more preferred and available commercially, elaichi or cardamom is actually of two varieties, green cardamom and black cardamom.
• Green Cardamom is derived from the plant species called Elettaria cardamomum. It is widely distributed from India through Malaysia and has a distinguishing, strong taste with a perfumed, resinous odour.
• Black Cardamom is very common in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is procured from the Amomum subulatum plant that grows naturally in hilly terrains of Nepal, Bhutan and North-Eastern India, yielding a cooling, minty flavoured seed.
Both of these belongs to Zingiberaceae family.
Nutritional Components –
It is inherently rich in proteins and healthy fats, besides containing remarkable quantities of vitamin B6, vitamin B3, vitamin C, zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. Moreover, the potent antioxidants like flavonoids, plant esters and quercetin in elaichi confer useful anti-inflammatory traits, making it an effective natural remedy for curing a host of ailments. It possesses a treasure trove of anti-tumorigenic compounds such as indoles and cineole.
How to use it?
You can consume cardamom in many ways. You can eat it directly by chewing it as a mouth freshener. While making any dish or vegetable, you can consume it by adding its grains to it. Apart from this, cardamom powder can be consumed by adding it to any dish or milk.
According to Ayurvedic experts, it is appropriate to consume half to one gram of cardamom powder in a day . If you want to consume cardamom as a home remedy for any disease, then contact an Ayurvedic doctor for its proper dosage.
• Manages Anxiety and Depression
Elaichi powder and seeds are blessed with vitamin B6 as well as myriad neuroprotective and antioxidant phytonutrients, which safeguard the brain cells from harmful free radicals, toxins and prevent chronic illnesses like Alzheimer’s, dementia. Additionally, the invigorating aroma of elaichi is valuable in uplifting mood, memory, concentration and alleviating signs of anxiety and depression.
• Helps in treating Respiratory problems
Elaichi has the ability to warm the body and efficiently flush out any phlegm and irritable mucosal secretions clogging the lungs and nasal passage, simultaneously improving blood circulation in the respiratory organs.
• Good for Digestion
Elaichi (cardamom)is imbued with potent carminative properties, which aid in relieving pain, uneasiness in instances of bloating, diarrhoea, heartburn and avert nausea, vomiting, thus facilitate smooth digestion processes.
• Control Diabetes symptoms
It effectively lowers blood sugar levels in diabetics by significantly improving insulin production in the system.
• Good for Kidneys health
It cleanses the tubular pathways of the urinary tract and bladder, to prevent instances of kidney infection and other renal ailments.
• Enhances Liver functioning
Ingesting just tiny amounts of cardamom powder in daily diet works wonders, to flush out harmful toxins from the hepatic tissues and steer clear of disorders like cirrhosis, fatty liver disease etc.
• Reduces high blood pressure
Elaichi possesses noteworthy levels of potassium, which control blood pressure fluctuations in hypertension.
• Fights bad breath
Elaichi contains vast reserves of antibacterial compounds. These assist in combating the microbes causing a foul mouth odour and improve dental hygiene.
• Remedy for Anaemia
Drinking a glass of hot milk after meals, with some elaichi powder, is an ideal way to combat anaemia and fatigue because it is a powerhouse of vitamin C, which increases the absorption of iron by cells in the body.
• Natural Aphrodisiac
Elaichi is a powerful stimulant, that bolsters stamina for sexual activities. It also comprises valuable antioxidants that balance the reproductive hormones in the body, to effectively manage impotency and infertility.
• Lower down the risk of cancer
The beneficial antioxidant activity of cardamom ensures the reduced possibility of cancer in later years of life.
Side Effects –
Some people are so troubled by the bad odor of the mouth that they keep eating cardamom throughout the day to get rid of it. Let us tell you that consuming cardamom in excess quantity can also harm your health. Therefore, to avoid the harm of cardamom, always consume it in limited quantity or in the quantity prescribed by the doctor.
• It is okay to use cardamom as a spice or mouth freshener during pregnancy and lactation , but if you want to use it as a medicine, consult a doctor before use. It is believed that consuming large amounts of cardamom during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage.
• If you are suffering from gallstones, do not consume cardamom in large quantities. Consumption of cardamom in excess can increase the pain of stones. If it is necessary to consume, then ask your doctor at once.
• If your body is sensitive to cardamom, you may be allergic to cardamom or its strong smell. Such people should not use cardamom in any form (such as cardamom powder, cardamom oil, cardamom tea, etc.).
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