Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) is a spice which is used globally. It belongs to zinziberaceae family. It is also known as lesser cardamom for its small size. It’s a shrub with lots of leaves. The plant of cardamom is a perennial herb containing reed like structure. It is 3-4 meters in height and three to four years old plant bears fruits. Various Sanskrit names have been coined which represent its features and origin. They are as follows
- Triputa – It has three faces
- Draavidi – it is available in dravida region or south India
- Sookshma ela – small cardamom.
Ayurvedic Pharmacology: Cardamom is light to digest and reduces moistness of tissues. It tastes little hot and little sweet. Ela has cold potency .
Health benefits of cardamom as explained in Ayurveda
It pacifies all three doshas. Hence used in diseases which arise due to vitiation of all three doshas.
It beats bad odour of mouth and helps to clear taste buds. It reduces nausea, vomiting, indigestion, flatulence and bloating of stomach. Hence it is very useful in digestive system related problems.
As a spice it helps to reduce cholesterol level and keeps heart healthy.
It acts as a good expectorant and helps to remove excess phlem from respiratory system. It can be used as best remedy in cough and cold.
It acts as diuretic and increases urine output.
It boosts body energy and strengthens the body tissues.
Uses of Cardamom:
- Cardamom is used as “mukhashuddhi dravya” the one which is used after meals to keep the digestion healthy. It is mixed with dry coconut, betel nuts and sugar to be chewed together to avoid foul odour of mouth.
- It is used in ayurvedic preparations which are recommended in cold and cough.
- Cardamom helps in weight loss. Since it normalises digestion, mitigates kapha, increases urine output and helps to reduce cholesterol, it acts as a potent fat burner. It has been used in NILOBESE ayurvedic weight Loss Tea as an important ingredient.
- Cardamom is regularly used in Indian desert preparations as it enhances flavour.
- This spice can be added to tea to enhance its health benefits .