The cardamom is an Indian spice traditionally used in cooking and in traditional Asian medicine. Cardamom is sourced from the forests of southern India and is now cultivated in Nepal, Thailand and Central America.
Made from the seeds of Elettaria cardamomum , cardamom is a plant that has a peculiar flavor, a little burning, large leaves, white flower and dry fruits of green or white color with black seeds that have antiseptic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant and laxative properties .
Little known in Brazil, cardamom is widely used in Korea, Vietnam and Thailand and is excellent for treating digestive problems. Since ancient times, some of its benefits were already known where cardamom was chewed by the Egyptians to freshen the breath and clean the teeth. Over time, other benefits of cardamom were discovered and true cardamom became part of the natural products used in traditional oriental medicine to combat and treat various health problems.
Belonging to the same family as ginger, it is a condiment widely used in Indian cuisine in sweet and savory dishes, mainly as a flavoring. The seeds are usually crushed and used in foods to improve the taste of some medicines, tea, tinctures and oil making.
One of the main medicinal uses of cardamom is for digestive and intestinal discomfort, gas, abdomen dilation. It also improves mouth breath, treats gum problems and has a stimulating power. Its oil is used in massages and compressions and lightly heats in the treated area, it is considered a balancing agent of the 3 main doshas.
Every 100 grams of cardamom has 300 calories of carbohydrates, dietary fiber, fat, minerals such as sodium, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium and vitamins A, B and C. Among the properties of cardamom, its diuretic, expectorant, laxative effect stand out , antiseptic and decongestant.
In addition, cardamom can be considered an antidepressant, it relieves stress, its oil is massaged and heats the treated region. Its oil can be applied to the lips and used as a natural moisturizer. Below we will see its main uses in traditional medicine:
1.Benefici for the digestive system
The main use of cardamom in traditional Chinese medicine is to combat digestive tract problems such as pain, vomiting, indigestion and nausea. This spice increases saliva production which helps in the proper disintegration of food particles.
Rich in fiber, cardamom consumption regulates intestinal transit, cleans the intestine, regulates nutrient absorption and prevents constipation. It also contains volatile oils that help prevent gas and bloating, including cineol, an oil that treats stomach ulcers. Its relaxing properties relieve pain caused by gastritis and its antibacterial properties contain substances that kill the H. Pylori bacteria, the main reason for stomach ulcers.
2.Beneficial for oral hygiene
Since ancient times, cardamom was used by the Egyptians to freshen breath and clean teeth. Cardamom seeds are really beneficial for oral hygiene and can help against halitosis, for they chew their seeds that inhibit the bad smell. Due to its antibacterial properties, this spice also helps prevent toothache, its oil can be used to keep gums and teeth healthy.
3. Beneficial for the skin
Cardamom is a source of antioxidant substances, volatile oils and vitamins that help maintain healthy skin. It fights free radicals that are one of the causes of premature aging and prevents the appearance of wrinkles. Its anti-inflammatory properties improve the appearance of acne and blemishes, leaving the skin smoother and healthier. The antibacterial properties of cardamom can even prevent skin allergies.
4. Beneficial for hair
Cardamom nourishes the scalp and hair roots keeping it hydrated. Helps in the treatment and prevention of dandruff and leaves hair shinier.
5.Help with weight loss
The consumption of cardamom loses weight due to the fibers present in the seed. They increase the feeling of satiety, thus avoiding the excessive consumption of extra calories. Fibers also regulate intestinal transit and act to control the absorption of fats.
6.Beneficial for the respiratory system
Cardamom has a decongestant action and is an ally in cases of colds and flu and other discomforts in the respiratory system, as it facilitates the excretion of mucus, helps against stuffy nose and throat. Cardamom tea with honey can be consumed in these cases and it even helps to relieve headaches. As this condiment has a warm and calming effect, it also helps in cases of bronchitis, asthma and coughing.
7. Natural aphrodisiac
Cardamom can be beneficial in combating erectile dysfunction and loss of libido, as it contains substances such as borneol, camphor and cardamom eucalyptol that dilate blood vessels and increase blood circulation in the body.
8. Helps prevent some types of cancer
Cardamom has anticancer substances, such as IC3 (indol-3-carbinol) and DIM (diindolylmethane), which can be effective against breast, prostate and ovarian cancer, in addition to other antioxidant agents and stimulate the production of glutathione, an antioxidant in the body.
9. Helps control blood pressure
Cardamom is rich in potassium, a mineral that controls the heartbeat and helps balance the effects of sodium. Along with fibers, these associated elements help control blood pressure.
CARDAMOM HOW TO CONSUME
Cardamom is a seasoning widely used in Asian cuisine to flavor and flavor in many cardamom recipes such as roasted apples, poached pears, marinated, pickled, pickled herring. It is also used to flavor breads, meats, pastries, puddings, fruit salad, ice cream, sausages and liqueurs.
In Arab countries, cardamom seeds are consumed in coffee, the so-called “Arabian coffee” which, at the same time as aromatizing, improves digestibility. If you are interested and want to know where to buy cardamom, this spice can be found in natural and imported food stores.
Cardamom, in addition to being used as a spice, can be made into tea. Usually it is advisable to use 3 dried cardamom seeds, crushed, to a cup of water. For tea, boil water with cardamom for 10 minutes and smother. It is recommended to be taken after meals for its digestive effect.
Although still unpopular in Brazil, cardamom is widely used in Asian cuisine and is perfectly flavored with savory dishes, sweets and beverages such as tea or hot chocolate.
Some options for recipes with cardamom are: fish curry with cardamom, risotto with cardamom, meat sandwich, ham, meatballs, soup, they are great options.
Sweet recipes such as pear cake, sweet bread, pistachio cake, red fruit pie, banana cake, cornmeal biscuit, pumpkin cream, among others.
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