A spice that is a dried, ripe seed of Elettaria cardamomum, a biennial plant. It has a pungent aroma and is reddish-brown in color. The flavor is sweet and spicy with a camphoraceous note.
It is used in whole form to flavor hot fruit punches, pickles, and marinades. It is used in the ground form in bread, cookies, desserts, and meats.
It is the world's third most expensive spice
by weight, outstripped in market value only by saffron and vanilla.
Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance. Black cardamom has a distinctly more smokey, though not bitter, aroma, with a coolness some consider similar to mint.Nutritional Value:
The content of essential oil in the seeds is strongly dependent on storage conditions, but may be as high as 8%. In the oil were found a-terpineol 45%, myrcene 27%, limonene 8%, menthone 6%, ß-phellandrene 3%, 1,8-cineol 2%, sabinene 2% and heptane 2%. Other sources report 1,8-cineol, a-terpenylacetate, sabinene, limonene and borneol.
In the seeds of round cardamom from Jawa, the content of essential oil is lower, and the oil contains mainly 1,8 cineol plus ß-pinene; furthermore, a-pinene, a-terpineol and humulene were found.Health Benefits of Cardamom:
Cardamom is related to ginger and can be used in much the same way to counteract digestive problems. Use it to combat nausea, acidity, bloating, gas, heartburn, loss of appetite, constipation, and much more.
This spice helps the body eliminate waste through the kidneys.
In India they chew cardamom after meals or whenever they need to freshen their breath.
Part of the reason cardamom is such a good detoxifier is thanks to the diuretic properties. It helps clean out the urinary tract, bladder, and kidneys, removing waste, salt, excess water, toxins, and combating infections too.
The science behind the antidepressant qualities of cardamom hasn’t been studied yet, but Ayurvedic medicine swears by the tea as a means to fight depression.
Apart from helping with bad breath, cardamom is used for mouth ulcers and infections of the mouth and throat.
This pungent spice may help prevent and relieve cold and flu symptoms. It’s also used for bronchitis and coughs.
Animal studies are showing promise that cardamom protects against, inhibits growth, and even kills some cancers.
As a diuretic and fiber rich spice, cardamom significantly lowers blood pressure.
Cardamom prevents dangerous blood clots by preventing platelet aggregation and the sticking to the artery walls.
Many of the vitamins, phytonutrients, and essential oils in cardamom act as antioxidants, cleaning up free radicals and resisting cellular aging.
The volatile essential oils in cardamom inhibit the growth of viruses, bacteria, fungus, and mold.
Like ginger and turmeric, its relatives, cardamom has some anti-inflammatory properties that limit pain and swelling, especially in mucus membranes, the mouth, and throat.
Cardamom is an anti-spasmodic that can help get rid of hiccups. This also applies to other involuntary muscle spasms, like stomach and intestinal cramps.
Traditional medicine lists cardamom as a powerful aphrodisiac that can help with erectile dysfunction and impotence.
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