The Benefits of Cardamom
What is native to India, Bhutan and Nepal, is spicy and warm, and has great health benefits? That would be our friend, Cardamom (elettaria cardamomum). Versatile and useful, Cardamom is used as a spice in food, used as a healing herb, and is used in perfume, soap, and creams.
Cardamom is referred to as the Queen of Spices, and features flavors of floral notes, mint, lemon, camphor, a hint of pepper, and has a rich aroma. It is a relative to ginger.
Healing Uses of Cardamom
Use it to flight inflammation. “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.” (source)
Use it as a digestive aid. “Cardamom is used for digestion problems including heartburn, intestinal spasms, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, constipation, liver and gallbladder complaints, and loss of appetite.” It can even help with ulcers. (source)
Use it to freshen your breath. “In some cultures, it’s common to freshen your breath by eating entire cardamom pods after a meal.” (source)
There are many more health benefits to Cardamom suggested by medical research, such as promoting healthy sugar levels, a potential benefit for hypertension, and it can be used to aid symptoms of asthma and bronchitis. Read more about these health benefits here and here.
Cardamom as Skin Care
Because it helps with blood circulation and contains antioxidants and infection fighting properties, Cardamom is known to help smooth the complexion and can increase recovery time of acne and blemishes.
Our friends at Bustle recommend using Cardamom as an ingredient in facial scrubs, cleansers, and in masks. They also recommend adding a “modest amount” of Cardamom essential oil to shampoos to help relieve dandruff or adding it to your favorite body scrub to control body acne.
Read more about Cardamom as used for skin and hair care here and here.