Cardamom is a perennial plant that grows in the tropical climate of India, Asia and other southern countries. Immature fruits - seed pods - are used as a fragrant seasoning. Spice has healing properties, is used in traditional medicine and cosmetology. Relieves stress, increases the body's defenses, a positive effect on the brain and gastrointestinal tract. It is considered an aphrodisiac.
Cardamom is a constant ingredient in many Asian dishes. Original spice with a unique aroma gives a piquant touch to appetizers, desserts, main dishes and soups. In addition to the special smell, cardamom has healing power. What are the beneficial properties of cardamom? What diseases they treat?
In the wild, spice is common in the tropical forests of India. Now it is cultivated by several more southern countries. Cardamom is of two kinds - green and black. Green - real, belongs to the genus Eletaria. On an industrial scale it is grown mainly in India. Black cardamom - seeds of several species of plants belonging to the same genus Amomum. It is cultivated in Asia and in Australia.
Both varieties of spices belong to the same ginger family. Cardamom is a tall perennial. Its roots are fleshy, the leaves are large, lanceolate. The flowers are white, purple, purple or green. The fruit is a short pod with fragrant dark seeds. Black cardamom is distinguished by larger pods.
Selection and storage rules
To achieve a good therapeutic effect, you need to choose the right cardamom. It is sold in the hammer and in solid form. Ground quickly loses its flavor, partially loses its medicinal properties. Therefore, it is better to give preference to spices in the pods. When buying, you need to pay attention to two parameters.
- Integrity The pods must be whole, intact. Even small cracks lead to a partial loss of flavor and beneficial properties.
- Colour . The most common color of spices is green. Black pods have similar qualities, but are rare. The white color of the box indicates chemical treatment.
Store cardamom in a glass, hermetically sealed jar, in a dry, well-ventilated place. If storage conditions are observed, the spice does not lose its properties for three years.
Composition and calorie
The versatile effect of cardamom on the body is due to its rich chemical composition. Calories - about 200 kcal per 100 g. The seeds contain many essential oils - up to 8%. The structure includes the whole complex of vitamins and mineral substances.
Each vitamin has a specific function in the human body. In the complex, they affect the strengthening of immunity, improving overall health. Cardamom contains four important vitamins.
- IN 1 . Improves metabolism, favorably affects brain activity.
- AT 2 . Essential for maintaining visual acuity. Improves the condition of hair and skin.
- IN 3 . Contributes to the normalization of pressure, prevents the development of cancer, is involved in the production of hemoglobin.
- WITH . It is considered a powerful natural antioxidant - helps to increase the protective functions of the body, the assimilation of other essential substances.
Trace elements and macronutrients perform equally important functions. They are involved in most of the processes occurring in the human body. Especially valuable are the eight compounds that make up cardamom.
- Iron Participates in the production of hemoglobin, helps normalize the functions of the thyroid gland.
- Potassium. An important element for heart health. With regular admission to the body normalizes blood pressure, heart rhythm, strengthens the heart muscle.
- Calcium. Participates in building bone tissue, prevents the development of osteoporosis, teeth fragility. Participates in metabolic processes, reduces susceptibility to allergens.
- Magnesium. Improves heart and brain function. Normalizes the emotional background.
- Manganese Promotes adjustment of insulin metabolism, has a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract and heart.
- Sodium. Strengthens blood vessels, triggers metabolic processes in the body, prevents dehydration.
- Phosphorus. Participates in the structure and functioning of cells. Strengthens bone tissue.
- Zinc Participates in the functions of the central nervous system, brain, in the synthesis of prostate hormone.
Cardamom essential oil is extracted from the seeds. It is considered a valuable medicinal substance, as it contains the maximum concentration of beneficial substances. The greatest benefits to the body are four compounds.
- Amidon. It acts as a mild sedative, relieves a painful symptom.
- Borneol. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial effect, has a local anesthetic effect.
- Camphor. Relieves pain, inflammation.
- Zineol. It has an expectorant effect, is considered a powerful antiseptic.
Useful properties of cardamom and its contraindications
Due to its rich composition, spice is used as an effective natural medicine. The substances contained in it give spices the following properties:
- is an antiseptic,
- eliminates bloating during flatulence,
- relieves spasms
- promotes sputum discharge,
- removes excess fluid from the body,
- stimulates, tones,
- strengthens the immune system.
The benefits of cardamom is a complex effect on all organs. With regular seasoning, the following effect is achieved.
- Improves the functioning of the digestive organs. Powder stimulates the production of gastric juice, increases appetite, eliminates indigestion. Normalizes the work of all organs of the digestive tract - the gallbladder, pancreas and liver. Effectively removes toxins and wastes from the body.
- Increases the protective functions of the body. Cardamom strengthens the immune system, helps with angina, inflammation, accelerates wound healing. Useful for colds and coughs.
- It adds strength. It has a stimulating effect on the nervous system, eases depressive states, relieves lethargy, apathy, improves mood.
- Improves brain activity. It is added to meals and drinks during periods of increased mental and physical stress. Efficiency increases, concentration improves, constant drowsiness passes.
- Eliminates headaches. Tea with cardamom relieves the condition during attacks of migraine, joint and toothache.
As a spice, cardamom is added to food in small quantities, so the powder is absolutely safe. But the treatment must take into account the contraindications of cardamom.
- Cholelithiasis . Spice has a pronounced choleretic effect, stimulates the movement of stones, causing spasms and pain.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding. Pregnant women and nursing mothers are allowed to use cardamom only as a seasoning. Treatment is contraindicated.
- A stomach ulcer. Harm of cardamom in this case is irritation of the gastric mucosa.
To fully disclose the healing properties of cardamom seeds, they must be properly used. For each disease has its own prescription drugs.
- Hiccups In 200 ml of boiling water put two crushed grains of spices and a little mint. Insist ten minutes, drink warm.
- Migraine In the ground grain add a little water to obtain a thick paste, wrap the mass in a tissue napkin, applied to the sore spot.
- Stomach problems . In a spoonful of honey, add two crushed spice grains. Take twice a day. The same tool is used for general improvement of immunity, restoration of vision.
- Angina Prepare a decoction of seeds, gargle every five hours. Additionally, put mint or sage in the broth.
- Cleansing the body. Pour a glass of boiled water with a teaspoon of ground spices. Take 50 ml in the morning.
- Flatulence. Mix cardamom and dill seed in the same proportions. A teaspoon of the mixture is brewed with a glass of boiling water. The first time they drink one tablespoon, gradually the dosage is increased, adjusted to 50 ml.
- Stress, insomnia. In a warm bath add a few drops of cardamom essential oil. They lie in the water for at least ten minutes.
- Cough Mix honey and ghee. Add a little salt and a pinch of ground spices. Take half a spoon up to three times a day.
- Hoarseness. Mix ground cinnamon and cardamom. Two teaspoons of the mixture pour 200 ml of boiling water. Do gargle several times a day.
- Ischemic disease Mix the same amount of cardamom and nutmeg powder. Two tablespoons of spices combined with a teaspoon of liquid honey. Take half an hour before meals, up to three times a day.
- Motion sickness in transport. At the beginning of the trip, two – three grains of spices are chewed.
- Parasites. To get rid of worms and other parasites, chew on several cardamom seeds three times a day, drinking plenty of them with milk.
Inclusion in the diet menu
Cardamom is recommended to take for obesity, it acts as a natural metabolic stimulator. Powder seasoned food, brewed tea with it. Spice must be fresh, whole - from the ground will not be pronounced action. Due to the use of spices accelerates the process of metabolism and burning fat.
Cardamom increases appetite. To avoid the opposite effect, you need to strictly monitor the calorie content of products. The menu should include only dietary, low-calorie dishes. To enhance the effect of the spice used simultaneously with cinnamon and red pepper.
Application in cosmetology
Essential oil of cardamom is used mainly for skin and hair care. It has more pronounced properties, is easy to use. Five properties are most appreciated.
- Improves complexion. Spice brightens the skin a little, heals it.
- Caring for lips. It has a pronounced moisturizing effect. A few drops of oil are added to any lip balm.
- Flavors. Often added to cosmetics, perfumes, creams to give them a delicate flavor and additional benefits.
- Relieves inflammation. Oil has established itself as a good antibacterial agent for problematic skin.
- Strengthens hair. It nourishes the skin, strengthens hair follicles, gives shine.
Examples of the use of masks
Prior to the first use, an allergic reaction test is performed. A drop of oil is applied to the back of the wrist or to the place of the bend of the elbow, ground, watch the reaction. If there is no irritation, redness, oil can be applied. Below are three examples of using spices at home for the beauty of skin and hair.
- For face . Mix milk, honey and some sea salt. Enter three to four drops of essential oil. Keep on face up to 20 minutes.
- For hands . In any hand cream add a few drops of oil. In the evening, apply on the skin with light massaging movements, put on cotton gloves, leave overnight.
- For hair . On a comb with frequent teeth put a few drops of cardamom essential oil. Comb strands, do not wash off. Do this twice a week. Hair gradually gain shine and silkiness.
Role in cooking
Cardamom seasoned salads and second courses: meat, fish. This is a frequent component of Asian plov, many soups. In industry, cardamom is included in sausages and ground beef.
Common use for flavoring sweet dishes. The powder is good in baking, fruit salads, cottage cheese desserts, puddings. But the most common addition of spices to drinks is tea, coffee.
There are a lot of recipes for drinks with cardamom - the amount and set of spices differ. The basic are two ways of cooking.
- Coffee Gourmets add cardamom to coffee - it turns out to be an aromatic, healthy and unusual drink. For a glass of water take two pods of cardamom. They are added before cooking or in the finished hot coffee. In addition to the spicy aroma, this drink has beneficial properties - it soothes, neutralizes the negative effect of caffeine, improves mood.
- Tea Brewing tea with cardamom is recommended for anyone who wants to improve their health, memory. Drink tones with elevated mental loads, increases efficiency. Tea is brewed in any way, add two crushed boxes of seeds. If desired, add honey or milk.
Useful properties for women
Cardamom is also useful for women. Drinks based on it can be used to alleviate the unpleasant symptoms of PMS and to normalize the menstrual cycle.
And also the essential oil of this spice is used in cosmetology for the treatment of acne and wound healing.
A little bit about getting seasoning
The source of the spice is a ginger herb. Under natural conditions, it is found in India and Ceylon, and today it is cultivated in many southern countries, so Guatemala has become the leader in the production of the product.
The bulk of the crop, which is a box of seeds, ripen in autumn from October to December. It was then that the slightly immature, green pods are collected and recycled.
In the photo most often you can see brown powder, but cardamom comes in sale in several modifications: boxes with grains, seeds directly or the same ground composition. The first option lasts the longest flavor and taste, while the latter has the lowest shelf life.
Appearance may vary slightly depending on the proposed variety, for example, there are green, black, tall, narrow-leaved and other types of cardamom. Only the specific smell and unique qualities remain unchanged.Ginger plant (cardamom)
Useful properties and contraindications
It is not for nothing that the plant gained popularity, despite its own “exclusivity”, because this seasoning is quite rare and expensive. But even in ancient times they knew that a small amount of ground seeds carries a beneficial effect for the whole organism.
The impact of the plant is complex and occurs in several directions at once. Firstly, the spices are high and rich in nutrients. Among them are trace elements (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium), vitamins (A, group B, C), fiber, which are effectively absorbed by the body.
The smell of the box is unique, it can be described as a thin, warm, with a light citrus note. The Egyptians made the fruit a component of perfume and smoking compounds. Surprisingly, they do not lose their unique flavor even with prolonged heating.More green seeds are harvested in India from October to December
Secondly, fruits contain a high content of essential oil (up to 8%), which causes a characteristic odor and includes other valuable compounds (limonel, borneol, amidone, terpineol, etc.).
They also plant several properties at once to the plant:
- Antibacterial. Chewing a little grain, you can get rid of bad breath.
- Expectorant. Use as part of inhalation with bronchitis is effective and safe.
- Normalizing the work of the digestive tract. Spice is useful for bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, vomiting, and nausea.
- Neurological. The substance relieves fatigue and apathy, treats depression, improves tone and mood, and every night infusion of seeds helps to cope with insomnia.
- Cosmetic. Volatile oil is used for relaxing baths, with its help solve skin problems (acne, flabbiness), it also stimulates hair growth and improves their condition.
- For weight loss. Although the caloric content of cardamom is large enough (about 311 kcal per 100 grams), regular consumption increases the body's own metabolism, helping the body to burn fat.
- Almost legendary are the exciting properties of spices. It is used in the treatment of impotence in men and PMS in women. One smell of oil or fruit can make a date unforgettable.
Seasoning at all times was valued very highly, and in African countries they even used boxes in the form of peculiar money. Today, the cost of 50 grams of seeds is about 330 p.
But, as is often the case, the benefits and harm to health go hand in hand. Cardamom has a narrow list of contraindications, in which it is better not only to avoid targeted use, but also to abandon dishes with its content:
- propensity for allergies,
- duodenal diseases, gastric ulcer, gastritis,
- pregnancy and the feeding period when experiments are in principle undesirable:
- Care should be taken when taking people with hypertension.
In different nations of the world, cardamom is used as an additive to the whole variety of dishes. Spicy, sweetish, spicy taste is combined with almost any product, be it cereal or dessert. You can often find spice in ready-made seasoning mixtures, because it gives the whole composition a distinctive aroma and flavor.
The only precaution of using boxes or powder in the kitchen is the following: spice up dairy products or dishes with one bright component, the taste of which cannot be obscured, should be in very small doses.Fragrant treasure can speed up the metabolism and contributes to natural weight loss.
So, to which recipes add spice cardamom:
- meat products, fish and seafood,
- vegetables and cereal dishes,
- homemade sausages, pates,
- brines for winter preparations,
- bean, legumes, lentil soups,
- sauces, a prime example of this is Indian chutney,
- All kinds of sweets: halva, baklava, pies, pancakes, custards, biscuits, and in Russia they find spiciness even in Easter cakes.
Cardamom can be grown even at home. Although in the apartment the plant will not bloom and bear fruit, the leaves also have a scent and can be added to your favorite drinks.Cardamom milk tea
Seasoning is also irreplaceable in liquids, whether it is alcoholic mulled wine and punch or harmless jelly, milk and compote. But coffee and tea with cardamom became a real classic. These recipes have long been traditional in China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and many other countries. Nor could we pass by such a popular use of spice.
Tea. Ready-made packaging (most often it is black varieties) is on sale, but you can also brew it yourself. Boil 1.2 liters of water, add 8 boxes of spices and keep on low heat for 10 minutes. Pour 4 spoons of tea, add orange skin, boil and turn off. Insist 5 minutes, if desired, add milk and sugar and can be served.
Drinks and decoctions with cardamom - a great way to use these seasonings in food, because the resulting liquid takes over all the benefits of spices. True, the harm (i.e. contraindications) remains the same.
Coffee. Turku must be preheated, then pour 2 spoons of ground coffee, 8-10 grains of spice, pour filtered water. As soon as the foam appears, it must be removed and put away in a cup, and the drink brought to a boil. Before serving, strain through a strainer.
An interesting fact is that the fruits of the plant neutralize the effect of caffeine, making the drink acceptable for those who fear for their health. And in the reviews about the miraculous spices and drinks with his participation, you can find the following words: “incredible flavor”, “small miracle in the grain”, “became a discovery for me”.Coffee with spice will be the beginning of a vigorous and happy day.
Cardamom is one of the oldest spices on earth. He didn’t deserve any epithets for many years of man’s use: "Eastern Dream", "Spice King", "Paradise Grain". And all these words express one thing - the seeds are unique and rightfully deserve their leading position among the seasonings around the world.