Cardamon is most commonly known for its use in both traditional Indian cooking as well as traditional Swedish baking. It is also absolutely delicious when substituted for cinnamon in homemade apple pie! However, cardamom’s vast array of health benefits don’t get enough credit. Like many other spices, cardamom has powerful, health-promoting effects on the body. Here are a few scientifically-backed reasons you should consider adding it into your spice arsenal:
Halitosis. Got bad breath? Cardamom may help. The simple act of chewing on a few cardamom seeds can help to eliminate unpleasant mouth odors, due in part to the antimicrobial qualities inherent to cardamom. Additionally, cineole, a major component of cardamom oil, is powerfully antiseptic with the power to kill bad breath bacteria. Cineole can also kill bacteria which may cause tooth and gum decay, like Streptococcus mutans.
Digestive benefits. If you dabble in Ayurvedic medicine, you may already be familiar with cardamom. That is because it’s often used to treat stomach ailments like stomachaches in Ayurvedic tradition. In fact, the spice is uniquely powerful when it comes to assisting digestion and promoting digestive balance. What’s interesting is that cardamom is actually a member of the ginger family—another digestive powerhouse.
Blood pressure. Cardamom has huge potential in assisting those with high blood pressure. According to a published study, participants (with stage 1 hypertension) who took 3 grams of cardamom powder over 12 weeks, experienced a significant reduction in mean, systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Cancer research. Cardamom has exhibited the potential to treat cancer in studies. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food showed cardamom to be a potential chemopreventive agent against stage 2 skin cancer. Cardamom is hugely anti-inflammatory and has been shown to act as a deterrent to cancer by encouraging a healthy immune response in numerous studies.
Diabetes. For those with diabetes, the disease is often accompanied by low levels of the mineral manganese. Cardamom has an incredibly high level of manganese, making it a smart choice for anyone worried about their blood sugar levels. Pairing it with cinnamon, a hugely diabetic-friendly spice, in an unsweetened chai tea is practically a healthy blood sugar tonic.