Yes, Her Royal Highness the cardamom pod is proclaimed by the spice-meisters as the aromatic ‘Queen of Spices’!
For starters the aroma is sublime and you would certainly be compelled to spontaneously bow or curtsey once you got a mere whiff of it. Sweet, warm, spicy, floral, rich, and exotic. It is good Ayurvedic medicine.
Cardamom is one of the spices in my kitchen that I cannot go without. As the main ingredient that turns an ordinary tea into a rich and authentic masala chai, it is indispensible and if you want the real thing, there are no substitutes.
And it is a most generous and sensual healer.
It is extremely rich and complex, containing 25 volatile oils – the magical plant compounds that
impart fragrance. The primary volatile aromatic oil in cardamom, and the most medicinally active of these is the antioxidant cineole. This gorgeous seed pod is legendary for its digestive properties and now this potent compound cineole is also deeply researched for all its therapeutic benefits. Many scientific studies show why tummy troubles and other ills are soothed and healed by this and other compounds in cardamom.
WHAT MAKES CARDAMOM SUCH A TUMMY HELPER?
It is anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory.
These two actions are miraculous for relieving the gut suffering from muscle spasms and other digestive disorders of the stomach, intestines and colon. Try a cardamom tea-tonic when you have bloating, gas, distention of the belly, tummy-aches from overeating, tension, and general stress.
Also amazingly, the volatile oils in cardamom can slow or stop the development of aspirin-induced and alcohol-induced stomach ulcers. Ditch the pink chalky drink and sip on a cardamom tummy elixir instead. Side effects may include peace, calm, and happiness. aka a yummy tummy.
More great research has shown that Cardamom can combat colon cancer in various ways by reducing the inflammation that stimulates cancer growth, stopping cancer cells from dividing, and killing cancer cells. Makes total sense as the body flourishes in a relaxed environment and cancer cells thrive in a tense, tight and stressed environment.
I want to share my all time fave spice book with you where I find some great research and studies on the healing power of the spices. Healing Spices by Bharat B. Agarwal, PhD. It is filled with fascinating facts, medical research, folklore stories, and recipes focusing on the healing uses of our beautiful spice family. An invaluable treasure trove of knowledge and practical wisdom.
I was inspired to make a cardamom tonic while writing this fragrant blog and I can attest that it feels lovely and soft in the belly. Although I don’t have any tummy troubles, I do feel very pleasantly relaxed and comfy after sipping this simple drink. You could also add other digestive spices such as fennel if you feel hot and acidic like Pitta, or Black pepper for a more Kapha-stimulating drink. For dry bloated Vata type digestion you could add fresh ginger.
QUICK AND SIMPLE AND SUPER-EFFECTIVE CARDAMOM TONIC
3 Cardamom pods
1/2 tsp cardamom seeds OR ground cardamom (better to grind your own fresh as the volatile oils release right after seeds are ground)
1 cup boiled water
HOW? Toast seeds and grind. Pour boiling water into a cup and add ground seeds. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain out sediment if desired for a smoother drink. Gently ‘crack’ the pods and add to drink for extra flavour. Sip while warm.
No sweetener needed.
Make and sip throughout the day as needed.
AROMATHERAPY BENEFITS OF CARDAMOM ESSENTIAL OIL
ANTISPASMODIC – reduces muscle cramping in digestive tract
ANTISEPTIC/ANTIMICROBIAL – add a drop to water as a mouthwash to remove bacteria and freshen breath. Chew on the seeds.
DIGESTIVE – aids in digestion and metabolic processes. Add to massage oil and work into abdominal area. Add a drop to one cup of the cardamom tonic as per above
STIMULANT – rejuvenates the system, relieves fatigue and depression. Add to diffuser, massage blend or steam.
APHRODISIAC – a rasayana (restorative) to the sexual organs. Add a couple drops to a massage oil or practice hand-palm inhalation by adding a drop to palms, rubbing vigorously and placing hands over nose and mouth to deeply inhale.
DECONGESTANT – a few drops in a diffuser or a steam-inhalation opens lungs and breaks up sticky mucous and congestion in the respiratory system.
If you don’t have any at home, go on out and buy yourself a supply of the green cardamom pods and desiccated seeds and start enjoying the exquisite benefits of being a loyal and very healthy subject of ‘The Queen.’
Please share your recipes and feel free to ask any question about cardamom right below in the comments section.
Fragrant and most Royal Blessings,
Glynn and Mel