Cardamon has been produced by mankind since ancient times! It’s one of the oldest spices used in the world. It is native to forests in southern India. So, what is cardamom powder? It is ground seeds from the cardamom plant.
Remove the seeds out of the pods (as seen above) and dry roast them for 3 to 5 minutes. When they are roasted long enough, put them in a coffee grinder to turn them into powder.
Cardamom is related to ginger root. It is part of the ginger family. Cardamom pods contain a number of seeds. Sometimes the whole pod is used without grinding. Pods differ in size and color… depending on the species… but the seeds are small and have a blackish color.
Cardamom was recorded in Sanskrit (ancient Indian writing), so it has been regarded by Indian culture for millennia. Babylonians and Assyrians were enthralled by the health benefits and opened up the trade routes for cardamom during the Bronze Age. This enabled cardamom to reach the Mediterranean.
Ancient Greeks were enraptured by cardamom, and the father of western medicine Hippocrates wrote about its therapeutic properties and clarifying it as a digestive aid. Many became wealthy in the cardamom trade. It also hit it big within Chinese society. Today, cardamom is the third most expensive spice sold in the world market… saffron and vanilla have it beat.
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE DIFFERENT KINDS!
There are two main types. Green is the most popular and the one most often found in the marketplace. It is also known as the true cardamom. It is often used in Nordic and Middle Eastern cuisine. It works quite well in sweet or savory dishes. Sometimes you may come across a bleached version (it turns the cardamom white) The bleaching process produces a milder flavor of cardamom.
So… what can you expect when it comes to taste? It has a strong and penetrating flavor.. a little sweet and spicy at the same time. You may notice a hint of lemon and mint in its taste.
Black cardamom pods are larger and colored a dark brown. So, technically brown cardamom is not true cardamom but a close relative. It has a smoky and more earthy flavor and odor. Black cardamom does not work well in sweet flavored dishes. It does, however, add a unique flavor to savory recipes. You can substitute green cardamom for black if needed. They are commercially grown in northeastern India, Bhutan, and Nepal… the Himalayan region.
What’s Better… Whole or Ground?
Black cardamom recipes usually call for using the whole pod. Once your meal is finished cooking… discard the pods. You don’t want to chew on a whole pod… you won’t like it!
Green cardamom recipes also recommend using the whole pod. If by chance you decide on using powder cardamom, your dish may not reach its full flavor potential. The essential oils in the cardamom will rapidly lose their flavor once the seeds are ground.
If you are supplementing your diet for health benefits, then by all means add some powdered cardamom to your diet. You can sprinkle some on your fruit, add to it to a herbal tea, or smoothy. I personally add it to tea. Look for an energy drink recipe down below…
SHOW ME THE BENEFITS!!!
SNAP INTO A MOOD BOOSTER BRO!
Let me tell you what I have found to be true in my life. Certain foods can change your disposition. I Swear on a stack of the good book about blue-green algae and its ability to enhance your mood. Dark chocolate is another mood-boosting food.
Life truly sucks if you feel awful inside… I know, at times I used to feel out of sync with life. I constantly was searching for something to make me feel better emotionally. By this time in my life, I had already figured out that alcohol and its sideshows lead to a darker path.
I began to read books looking for answers. This was before the world wide web. There just had to be a way to get a handle on my emotions. I began using psychological tools like NLP to change my state. I would get awesome results, and I would find myself jumping up and down. The problem was sometimes it wouldn’t work.
Certain nutrients fire up your brain and release neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. This is what anti-depressants are called to do. Is there a reason so many people are off their rocker nowadays? Could it be that so many people avoid eating home-cooked meals with whole foods?
It’s not only just a lack of nutrients plaguing society today. STRESS! Especially during a pandemic. Our modern way of life has disconnected us from nature and we have become addicted to BUSYNESS! Employers expect you to be on the job all day long. Your boss would probably invade your dreams to get you back to work… I’m only slightly exaggerating for some careers.
Compounded stress has boosted pharmaceutical sales BIG TIME. People suffer from migraines, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, drug and alcohol abuse, and self-destructive behaviors like never before.
So, why cardamom? It can be used both internally and with aromatherapy to lighten your mood. Ayurvedic medicine has used cardamom tea for centuries for treating depression. Studies have also shown that it can help lessen anxiety. It also is useful for treating headaches.
IT’S TIME TO TALK ABOUT DIGESTIVE ISSUES!
Cardamom has been sought after, since ancient times, to help with digestion. It may help control stomach acidity and help wipe out harmful bacteria violating your digestive tract (like H. pylori). It also helps encourage healthy stomach flora and improve your bowel movements.
Look for it to help reduce indigestion, gas, and bloating. It may help stimulate the secretion of your digestive enzymes.
Cardamom has been heavily researched in its treatment for ulcers. There are many causes of ulcers: excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, too many anti-inflammatory medications, or bacterial infections. A study showed cardamom outperforming a common anti-ulcer medication.
IT HELPS KEEP THE STORK IN BUSINESS!
Impotency hampers many couples from starting a family. And storks need to keep busy. Numerous factors get in the way of starting a family. Obesity, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes can lead to impotency.
Cardamom can be used to treat impotency and it has been known to be an aphrodisiac. Its mood-enhancing effects may help relieve stress and anxiety (which can cause impotency).
Cardamom is choked-full of the mineral manganese. Why is this important? Without this vital mineral, your body will be unable to operate at peak performance. Being deficient in manganese may diminish your reproductive capabilities. It is as simple as that.
One tablespoon of cardamom contributes 80% of your recommended daily. WOW. Manganese also makes its home in green leafy vegetables, nuts, legumes, and slimy oysters.
BLOOD SUGAR, YOU ARE MY CANDY GIRL!
I just love the song I ripped that from. Catchy tune. But, seriously… blood sugar is a BIG THING these days. I have added cardamom to my daily routine to help control my sugars. It is also suggested by the good folks at MASTERINGDIABETES.ORG. (I am not affiliated with them… just a huge fan).
Research has shown cardamom significantly dropping blood sugar levels. The mineral manganese is also useful in controlling blood sugar. Manganese helps regulate blood sugar by helping the enzyme that is responsible for glucose metabolism. It may also help increase your pancreatic function and aid in fat metabolism. Fat smothering pancreatic beta cells are the primary reason for type II diabetes.
Want to hear more good news? Manganese also helps regulate normal nerve function and help keep neuropathy at bay. It also is a friend to your kidneys and helps them function better.
HEART FOR A BETTER FUTURE!
I hope you love your heart as much as I love mine. For years I just ate whatever I desired and lo and behold… I kept getting warned about high blood pressure at my semi-annual checkups at the local Veterans Administration. I was in such denial… and I thought I was eating healthy too since I ate limited amounts of processed and fried foods.
Around the same time, I developed costochondritis. This is inflammation in the cartilage connecting your ribs to your sternum. It creates chest pain that can mimic an oncoming heart attack. One day I was freaking out about my chest pain, so I went to the VA in a state of panic and had numerous tests done. Nothing came about after a series of different tests. The doctors were probably thinking I was a wack job… maybe I am… lol.
I asked the doctor a series of questions because I wanted to know why I was experiencing this problem. Many things can go wrong inside the human body and doctors can not always find out the source of the problem. I was becoming increasingly concerned about my health.
I was well aware of my high blood pressure and had already developed type II diabetes. I needed some answers fast. I truly believe the food we eat determines how healthy we are. People like to play the victim and blame it on genetics. There are times when genetics comes into play, but it is not the majority of the time. If someone wants to downplay the situation and blame it on genetics then that person may very well continue living life the same way and saying what’s the point.
I’m not a quitter… except when it comes to drinking, but that’s a completely different story. The bottom line is I discovered the reason for my chest pain and addressed it. (costochondritis) It doesn’t go away forever; I have to recondition it every now and then with solo physical therapy.
I used this same approach for chronic back pain years before (even though I felt the pain in my legs). Doctors weren’t able to pinpoint the reason for my debilitating pain… and it knocked me off my feet (literally). I had developed sciatica and thanks to the internet I was able to find this out and apply self physical therapy. Ironically a lot of the techniques are from yoga and learning yoga from a book may have caused the injury in the first place. (don’t teach yourself yoga out of a book… at least get a DVD course or stream it if you choose not to go to a live class).
But seriously, it is up to you to take charge of your health. If you want to live long and prosper and feel totally alive and vibrant, take some action. Learn about whole foods and your health. Add a workout routine to your life and find out what food causes YOU harm in the long term. And by the way… do you really know how bad oil (any kind) is for your health?
I decided to go on a whole food plant-based diet and I eliminated oil from my diet. My blood pressure is now normal and my cholesterol is in good shape. I continue to lose weight no matter how much I eat. I have also added certain foods to my diet to build a strong immune system. I do not live in fear of any virus and no longer suffer from hay fever (I used to be plagued by it).
The diuretic effects of cardamom may help reduce your blood pressure. It can promote more frequent urination that removes excess water built up in your body… especially around your HEART. There are studies to back this up… check for the study at the bottom of the post.
Cardamom can also help lower your cholesterol because it may help you burn fat. This may also help lower triglycerides and help you maintain healthy body weight. Cardamom is known to increase your metabolism, and it may help fat deposits from forming on your abs. Fat causes so many problems and triggers inflammation which is behind many chronic diseases.
DON’T LET CANCER BE THE DEATH OF YOU!
I just went to a funeral yesterday for a family member who died of cancer. This is a tough thing for families to go through…, especially in a pandemic. This was his second bout with cancer.
Cellular health is so vital. You can limit your chances of sub combing to cancer by eating natural whole foods. Cancer can latch on to you in many ways. It could come from the water supply if it became tainted with toxic chemicals. You could be exposed to it with polluted air. Airborn toxins like asbestos are often to blame. Recently baby powder has been the focus of some greedy law firms.
Supplying your body with free-radical fighting nutrients is one way to fight back. It is hard to escape free radical scavengers in today’s world, but you should be aware of certain things that may help protect your cells from being attacked.
The compounds within cardamom can help fight back at these cancerous cells. No, it is not a CURE! It is just another weapon to help protect your health. Cardamom and black pepper may boost natural killer cell activity. Natural killer cells are part of your body’s defense mechanism and attack free-radicals. They help keep your immune system strong.
Now I am not a fan of exposing animals to cancer-causing toxins to find cures. Maybe this is necessary for finding cures, I just don’t want to know about it. Anyway, a study was done with mice to test the effectiveness of cardamom in preventing cancer. 90% of the mice who did not receive cardamom (12 week period) got cancer. 29% of the mice fed cardamom got cancer. That is a significant difference. It shows that it won’t cure cancer, but it makes a strong case to use it on a daily basis.
Research with human cancer cells has proved to be similar. More research is needed to build a stronger case.
Natural Killer Cells are like the killer whales of the cellular world!
ANTIOXIDANTS… ALWAYS THE RIGHT CHOICE!
Most chronic diseases can be traced back to inflammation. Acute inflammation is necessary for your body. It helps fight infections. Problems occur when you have too much inflammation.
Antioxidants help deter cell damage due to oxidation. Oxidative stress occurs when your cells are overwhelmed by free-radicals. Antioxidants are plentiful in Cardamom. A three-month study demonstrated cardamom increasing antioxidant activity by 90%
ANTI-BACTERIAL… KEEP IT COMING!
A study showed that cardamom has a remarkable effect in combating E. Coli. Some E.Coli strains are dangerous indeed, so you need to seriously fight back if you have E. Coli poisoning. Even vegetables can become tainted with E. Coli (most recently romaine lettuce).
Salmonella poisoning can also be treated with cardamom. One time I was camping out and grilling chicken in the dark. I failed to cook the chicken long enough and shortly after eating the bird… I knew something was drastically wrong… I immediately packed up my tent and gear and headed home. I laid on the couch for 3 days sick as all get out. I am grateful that the man I offered some of my vittles to declined. I only wish I knew of something that could have lessened my misery.
Cardamom is also used in alternative dental care. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years. Some cultures chew on entire cardamom pods after eating to freshen their breath. Do a quick internet search and you’ll find cardamom in chewing gum.
Cardamom will not only help combat mouth bacteria, as an added bonus, but it can also relieve nicotine withdrawal. You could try cardamom gum to help you stop smoking. Keeping your mouth busy chewing would also work side to side with the cardamom’s nutrients. The research is located at the bottom of this post under Oral Health.
Cardamom has been shown effective in deterring cavity-causing bacteria. So far only test-tube studies have been performed, but more research is needed… it seems like they always say this about everything. Hey, it has been eaten since the dawn of mankind, it won’t KILL you to try some!
SOME OTHER POSSIBLE BENEFITS!
- May boost your metabolism
- Support your respiratory health
- Help flush toxins from your bladder and kidneys
- Immune booster
- Sleep tonic
- Better athletic performance
- Possible antispasmodic
- Liver protection
- May aid in weight loss
WHAT NUTRIENTS ARE IN CARDAMOM?
IS CARDAMOM SAFE FOR EVERYONE?
Cardamom is safe to consume by most. There are no reported risks of using cardamom in cooking. There is also no established dosage for cardamom.
There is some precautionary advice for using while pregnant. It is possibly unsafe to take orally while pregnant. It could lead to a miscarriage. More data is required to determine if it is safe while breastfeeding. As usual, there is always a concern when dealing with pregnancy.
Proceed with caution if you have gallstones. Cardamom seed may trigger spasmodic pain.
Hey… some people are just allergic to certain things. You just don’t know until you cross paths. You could invest in food tests if you’re that concerned with food allergies. You would probably need to splurge on a more expensive one that covers a wide range of possibilities.
If you break out in hives… guess what, you are probably allergic. Once upon a time, I was working in a fine dining restaurant as a server. We were sampling a wide range of dishes to be used during Derby (Kentucky Derby). I broke out in hives and ended up in the hospital, and I was on the way down to smash into the floor when they caught me and gave me a shot. Talk about timing.
I have no idea what caused it. I tried to blame it on lobster, but that wasn’t it. I have since eaten seafood and have suffered no complications. We did try some Middle Eastern style food that night as well. There were some spices I was not accustomed to and maybe that caused a reaction. To this day I haven’t a clue. The doc said allergy tests weren’t covered, so I didn’t go that route. Sometimes, things just happen.
Various medications may also interact with cardamom: H.I.V. drugs, aspirin, liver medication, gallstone meds, antidepressants, anticoagulants, and anti-platelet drugs… proceed with caution if taking any of these.
It is best to store cardamom as whole pods in a sealed container in a cool, dry place. Ground cardamom can be stored similarly, but will quickly lose potency and should be used as soon as possible.
Want a healthy energy drink
Energy drinks have become engrained within society. They are not going anywhere anytime soon. I personally can’t handle coffee anymore so I am on the lookout for substitutes. Try this noncaffeinated quick pick me up.
If you’ve read this far you have learned a little about cardamom.
Ginger helps boost your metabolism and increases circulation.
Turmeric is related to ginger and also helps amp energy levels.
Raw honey is Nature’s energy shot and is one of the healthiest sugars for your body.
You can use a garlic press for the ginger if you like. The best way is to toss it all in a magic bullet like a Ninja and blend it up real quick.
If you are using green cardamom for hot drinks such as coffee, simply grind three to four cardamom seeds along with your coffee beans and pour your hot water over as usual. Some traditions grind the whole pod, but it’s fine to use the seeds only.
Cardamom has a lot of health benefits. Some people like to sprinkle cardamom powder on their food. I find the taste a little too strong for my liking. I mix it with some other powders in tea. Indian cuisine uses the spice in certain dishes like Garam masala. I have never tried to use it in cooking.
If you are looking for something to boost up your health, cardamom is a good one to add to your diet.
Thanks for reading, many blessings… Brian
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The information on this website is not intended to diagnose health problems or prescribe medications.