A History of Cardamom
Cardamom, also known as Elettaria cardamomum, is often called the Queen of Spices. It is one of the most sought after spices, and one of the most expensive exported herbs on earth. Most people are familiar with its use in creating the wonderful aromatic flavor of chai spice tea.
Cardamom has been used for centuries in foods such as curries, meat dishes, and decadent desserts. But not as many are familiar with its medicinal uses, and the positive balancing effects it has on the body. In fact, it has been used in ancient Indian traditional medicine for promoting gastrointestinal health, heart health, and other areas. But modern science is just beginning to untap the secrets and potential for using cardamom in everyday health.1
In this article, we’ll discover the benefits of cardamom, how to implement it into a supplemental regime, and answer some common questions about this flavorful and powerful spice.
Research on Cardamom
With traditional medicine relying on many spices to promote overall health, it stands to reason that cardamom, the Queen of Spices, would rank high on the list. While it has been used for centuries to support various areas of health, research shows just how useful cardamom can be in today’s busy and often unbalanced society.
Cardamom has antimicrobial abilities, which help promote oral health, digestive health, and more. Research shows that cardamom extracts and oils contain compounds that are beneficial in fighting bacteria. These compounds can also be taken as an oral supplement for the same purpose.
It also has helpful properties to aid in weight loss as well as detoxification, by supporting the liver.2,3
Obesity and Diabetes
Many studies have been done to test cardamom’s effect on metabolism and aiding in weight loss. There is evidence that supplementing with cardamom supports healthy cholesterol levels and weight. Furthermore, a study on overweight women with type 2 diabetes showed that those who took a green cardamom supplement experienced more benefits than those who received the placebo.
The reason for the positive effect on those with obesity or diabetes is unclear. Cardamom has properties that support a balanced metabolism and it is a natural diuretic. It has been used as a diet aid for centuries.3,4
Cardamom and Oral Health
Mint and cinnamon are most commonly associated as herbs and spices that promote fresh breath, but cardamom also is an aromatic spice that can help in this area. People have used cardamom for centuries to freshen their breath, but as research is showing, it can do even more than leave a pleasant scent in the air.
It is the bacteria in the mouth that cause bad breath. These bacteria can also cause cavities and gingivitis, or gum disease. Since cardamom helps in fighting bacteria as an antimicrobial, this property helps with oral health as well. Chewing the seeds of cardamom proved to balance the pH in the mouth, which is helpful in preventing cavities.
What’s more, gum disease and oral health are linked to cardiovascular health. So, caring for the mouth and getting rid of bad breath bacteria does more good than breathing confidently. It can promote a healthy heart as well.5,6
Detoxifying Potential of Cardamom
Providing support to the liver is important for removing toxins and producing bile for digestive health. Another way the body removes toxins is through proper breathing. Slow, deep breaths into the diaphragm brings in oxygen, and slow exhales remove toxins and carbon dioxide. Cardamom helps with both of these aspects: It supports the liver, and also assists in breathing to bolster detoxification and overall lung health.
Studies on the effects of cardamom on the liver demonstrate how beneficial it can be. In a study with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, those who took green cardamom supplements showed it promoted a positive impact on their liver health and on their overall health. Supporting the liver is a primary way to bolster detoxification.
Another study showed how inhaling cardamom essential oil before aerobic cardiovascular exercise provided an increase in oxygen uptake. Cardamom may aid in breathing and bolster oxygen uptake by relaxing the airway and allowing it to open more. Along with promoting healthier breathing in non-symptomatic adults, cardamom may also provide assistance to those with asthma.7,8,9
Supplementing With Cardamom
With so many promising benefits to our health, it is no wonder cardamom is known as the Queen of Spices. Adding this to a supplemental routine will provide support to many areas of the body and promote overall health.
One way to include cardamom in your routine is with ecoNugenics Integrative Digestive Formula. This powerful digestive promoting solution blends cardamom with other aromatic herbs including cinnamon, galangal, and ginger, as well as functional mushrooms and plant-based enzymes, to support optimal digestive function and help relieve occasional gas, nausea, heartburn, and bloating.*
Frequently Asked Questions About Cardamom
Q: Is Cardamom Safe?
A: Cardamom has been used for centuries in cooking and flavoring food. It is considered very safe for most people. However, as with any herbal therapy, it is important to check with your doctor to make sure your supplement is right for you.
There are no reported risks or adverse side effects in using cardamom in cooking, nor have any been reported by taking moderate quantities of it as a supplement. Women who are pregnant or nursing should use caution, though.
Q: Which method of consuming cardamom is best?
A: Cardamom can be used as aromatherapy in essential oils and extracts. It can be added to food as a flavoring spice, crushed and added to your tea, or even by chewing cardamom pods without ingesting it. The most convenient way to add cardamom into your diet and health routine is through supplementation. However, speak with your healthcare provider to see which one would work best for you.
- Sengottuvelu S. Cardamom. (Elettaria cardamomum Linn. Maton) Seeds in Health. Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention. Elsevier; 2011:285-291.
- Noumi E, Snoussi M, Alreshidi MM, Rekha PD, Saptami K, Caputo L, De Martino L, Souza LF, Msaada K, Mancini E, Flamini G, Al-Sieni A, De Feo V. Chemical and biological evaluation of essential oils from cardamom species. Molecules, 2018; 23 (11): 2818.
- Rahman MM, Alam MN, Ulla A, et al. Cardamom powder supplementation prevents obesity, improves glucose intolerance, inflammation and oxidative stress in liver of high carbohydrate high fat diet induced obese rats. Lipids Health Dis. 2017; 16 (1): 151.
- Fatemeh Y, Siassi F, Rahimi A, et al. The effect of cardamom supplementation on serum lipids, glycemic indices and blood pressure in overweight and obese pre-diabetic women: a randomized controlled trial. J Diabetes Metab Disord. 2017; 16:40
- Swathi V., R. Rekha, Abhishek Jha, G. Radha, S. K. Pallavi, et al. Effect of chewing fennel and cardamom seeds on dental plaque and salivary pH- A randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research. 2017.
- Shmerling, R.H., MD. Gum disease and the connection to heart disease. Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard.edu. April, 2018.
- McKeown, Patrick. The Oxygen Advantage. Piatkus Publishing, United Kingdom, 2015.
- Daneshi-Maskooni M, Keshavarz SA, Qorbani M, et al. Green cardamom increases Sirtuin-1 and reduces inflammation in overweight or obese patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2018;15(1):63.
- Patil, S, Sreekumaran e, Krishna A.P. Evaluation of the efficacy of cardamom aromatherapy on aerobic fitness and autonomic functions among students. Nitte University Journal of Health Sciences. 2011; 1-3