Green cardamom is an aromatic spice with a very wide range of uses. The plant has underground stems with leafy roots, large white or pale green leaves, pale green fruits and black seeds. The spice has a very warm aroma and pungent taste which it can retain for a very long time. Apart from using the entire pod as a flavouring, its black seeds powdered and the outer covering is also used. Green cardamom is one of the most expensive spices by weight but little is needed to impart flavour. It is best stored in the pod, as exposed or ground seeds quickly lose their flavour.
Cardamom, also spelt cardamon, spice consisting of whole or ground dried fruits, or seeds, of Elettaria cardamomum, a herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). The seeds have a warm, slightly pungent, and highly aromatic flavour somewhat reminiscent of camphor. They are a popular seasoning in South Asian dishes, particularly curries, and in Scandinavian pastries.
Species used for cardamom are native throughout tropical and subtropical Asia. The first references to cardamom are found in Sumer, and in the Ayurvedic literature of India. Nowadays it is also cultivated in Guatemala, Malaysia, and Tanzania.
Benefit of green cardamom:
- Antioxidant and Diuretic Properties May Lower Blood Pressure -Cardamom may be helpful for people with high blood pressure. Researchers also suspect that the spice may lower blood pressure due to its diuretic effect, meaning it can promote urination to remove water that builds up in your body, for example around your heart. Cardamom extract has been shown to increase urination and decrease blood pressure in rats.
- May Contain Cancer-Fighting Compounds- Research on human cancer cells and cardamom indicate similar results. One study showed that a certain compound in the spice stopped oral cancer cells in test tubes from multiplying. The spice may also enhance the ability of natural killer cells to attack tumours.
- May Protect from Chronic Diseases Thanks to Anti-Inflammatory Effects- Cardamom is rich in compounds that may fight inflammation.
Inflammation occurs when your body is exposed to foreign substances. Acute inflammation is necessary and beneficial, but long-term inflammation can lead to chronic diseases.
- May Help with Digestive Problems, Including Ulcers- It’s often mixed with other medicinal spices to relieve discomfort, nausea and vomiting The most researched property of cardamom, as it pertains to relieving stomach issues, is its possible ability to heal ulcers.
- May Treat Bad Breath and Prevent Cavities- The use of cardamom to treat bad breath and improve oral health is an ancient remedy.
In some cultures, it’s common to freshen your breath by eating entire cardamom pods after a meal.
- May Have Antibacterial Effects and Treat Infections- Cardamom also has antibacterial effects outside of the mouth and may treat infections. Existing studies on the antibacterial effects of cardamom have only looked at isolated strains of bacteria in labs. Therefore, the evidence is currently not strong enough to make claims that the spice would have the same effect on humans.
- May Improve Breathing and Oxygen Use- Compounds in cardamom may help increase airflow to your lungs and improve breathing.
When used in aromatherapy, cardamom can provide an invigorating odour that enhances your body’s ability to use oxygen during exercise.
- May Lower Blood Sugar Levels- When taken in powder form, cardamom may lower blood sugar. One study found that feeding rats a high-fat, high-carb (HFHC) diet caused their blood sugar levels to remain elevated longer than if they were fed a normal diet.
The side effect of green cardamom
There are no reported risks of using cardamom in cooking or any known adverse side effects. Using cardamom as a spice and flavour agent is safe for most people.
There is no established dosage for taking cardamom as a supplement. Many cardamom capsules or tablets list dosages of 400–500 mg of dried herb per pill. Before taking cardamom pills or any other natural supplements, a person should talk to a healthcare professional.
Keep cardamom in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark place. Whole pods will last about a year this way and will begin to lose their flavour thereafter. Ground cardamom seeds have a shelf life of only a few months because the essential oils begin to dissipate as soon as the seeds are ground.