12 Medicinal Benefits of Cardamom

Cardamom is a slightly sweet intense spice that originated in India. The cardamon plant is a 5- to 10-foot-tall tropical plant whose leaves may grow up to two feet long. The tiny flowers are pretty, white, yellow, and red. Another form of the plant may produce black, white, or red pods. In this post we will discuss 12 medicinal benefits of cardamom.

Cardamom is a perennial herb in the ginger family. It is native to South India, and grows across the Middle East, India, and Asia.

The smell of the seeds is warm, slightly pungent, and highly aromatic. Some say cardamom has a complex highly fragrant flavor – a combination of citrusy, minty, spicy, and herbal – all rolled together. Today many use cardamom in a wide variety of dishes and cuisines.

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How to Use Cardamom

Cardamom, also spelled cardamon, is a popular seasoning used in curries in South Asian cuisine, and in Scandinavian pastries.

Over time cardamom has become a staple in Scandinavian baking. Exporting it to Scandinavia has become a most significant export market of cardamom.

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It is available in the forms of whole or ground dried fruit or seeds, cardamom powder, cardamom essential oil, cardamom tea drinks and cardamom supplements.

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Ancient Egyptians used cardamom as a teeth cleaner. The Romans and the Greeks used cardamom as perfume.

Why Is Cardamom So Expensive?

Workers harvest cardamom by hand – a very labor-intensive process.  Green cardamom is one of the most expensive spices by weight, ranking a close second to others such as Saffron and Vanilla.

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How Exactly Does Cardamom Benefit the Body?

For centuries Ayurveda, Chinese, and Unani medicine has used cardamom. The seeds, oils, and extracts of cardamom have impressive benefits.

Cardamom has these health benefits:

  1. Reduces depression
  2. Protects your heart
  3. Lowers risk of diabetes
  4. Reduces high blood pressure
  5. Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial
  6. Reduces elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  7. Neutralizes dental bacteria – reduces bad breath and cavities

1. Antioxidant

Packed with antioxidants, cardamom neutralizes the toxic effects of pollutants. As a home remedy for sore throats, you can gargle with cardamom infused in water.

2. Heart Health

Animal research has linked cardamom with heart health. A study in rats, suggests that cardamom could help protect against heart attacks.

Another study in rats found that cardamom oil could help improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels in rats. It needs further study in humans.

3. A Diuretic

Cardamom detoxifies, in part, because of its properties as a diuretic. It combats infections and cleans the urinary tract, bladder, and kidneys to remove waste, salt, toxins, and excess water.

4. May Lower Blood Pressure 

Antioxidants help lower blood pressure. Cardamom is rich in antioxidants!

Researchers also believe that the spice can promote urination to remove water that builds up in your body, such as around your heart.

Enhance your morning cup of coffee by adding a dash of cardamom to it. Studies show that about 2 teaspoons of cardamom are effective in lowering blood pressure.

5. May Contain Cancer Fighting Compounds

People in India regard cardamom (elaichi) as the queen of spices. It is not just a flavoring agent but is a superb spice which promises therapeutic benefits. Cardamom contains natural phytochemicals that may assist in fighting some diseases.

New evidence shows that by adding cardamom to your diet, you may reduce your risk of cancer. It has a positive affect on tumor behavior.

6. Anti-Inflammatory Effects May Protect from Chronic Diseases

Cardamom is like ginger and turmeric in that they share powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Cardamom limits pain and swelling particularly in mucus membranes such as the mouth and throat.

One study found that compared to a placebo, cardamom significantly decreased oxidative stress and markers of inflammation in pre-diabetics.

7. Helps Digestive Problems

Cardamom is from the ginger family, and known for curing and preventing digestive issues. It helps with indigestion, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, gas, and constipation.

8. Treats Bad Breath and Prevents Cavities

In India people commonly freshen their breath by chewing entire cardamom pods after each meal. Eating cardamom after meals, leads to minty fresh breath and fights common mouth bacteria, causing cavities.

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9.  Antibacterial Effects to Treat Infections

The essential oils in cardamom inhibit virus, bacteria, and fungus.

Manuka honey also has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. Read more about it here. 

10.Improve Breathing and Airflow to Your Lungs

Cardamom increases blood circulation within your lungs. This helps relieve breathing problems like asthma, cold, and cough. Ayurveda elaichi know it as a warm spice. It heats the body internally, to help expel the phlegm and relieve chest congestion.

11.May Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Cardamom may improve diabetes because of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hypolipidemic activity. However further research is necessary.

12.Weight Loss

Cardamom is a digestive stimulant and diuretic. It boosts metabolism and helps your body burn fat efficiently. As an Ayurvedic staple, it can rev up your digestion system and reduce water retention.

Generally Safe – Used in Baking and Cooking

Indian, Arabic, Middle Eastern, and Swedish cuisine commonly use cardamom – often used in desserts, hot and spicy dishes, and aromatic beverages, such as tea and coffee. People around the world now use it to flavor their dishes.

Is Cardamom a Blood Thinner?

Cardamom can help improve blood circulation. It has blood thinning action. Use with caution and consult with your doctor if you are on blood thinners.

Things to Consider

There is some concern that large amounts of cardamom may cause miscarriage. Amounts greater than that found in food, may trigger gallstone colic (spasmodic pain) if you already have gallstones.

12 Medicinal Benefits of Cardamom

There are no reported risks of using cardamom in cooking. Using cardamom as a flavor agent and spice is safe for most people.

Cardamom is an ancient remedy to lower blood pressure, improve breathing, and as an aid to weight loss.

Animal and test-tube studies show it may fight tumors, improve anxiety, fight bacteria, and protect your liver. We need more research here.

Adding cardamom to your baking and cooking is a safe and effective way to improve your health.

As a supplement, cardamom has no established dosage. Use with caution, under your doctor’s supervision.

As you see, cardamom is more than a spice. There are medicinal benefits of cardamom as well!

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Please Leave a Comment!

How do you use cardamom? Have you cooked or baked with it?

Disclaimer: If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. No content on this site should be substituted for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioner. The information contained here is for informational purposes only. It is from my research and personal experience.

6 thoughts on “12 Medicinal Benefits of Cardamom”

  1. I am very familiar with cardamom as I descend from the Middle East. I usually use it with meat and chicken broth as it adds a great smell and completely erases any heavy taste or smell from meat fats. Thank you for the great information, specially those related to the health benefits of cardamom. Some people think that using a lot of it is bad for the heart, but I am not sure if this has any medical proof. People in the GCC and the Middle East use it a lot with coffee, and it tastes great.

    • Thanks Jeeda for your reply! Having your roots in the Middle East, you should know first hand of the many benefits of cardamom. As with many things, some is good, more is not always better. It is great to add cardamom to our daily food and be able to reap the benefits! 

  2. I have been reading a lot about cardamom and I would like to point out that it has many medicinal properties that focus, above all, on improving the digestive system and the assimilation of food. With an infusion of cardamom you can treat stomach pains, gastritis, heartburn, diarrhea and hemorrhoids.

    • Hi Abel, and thanks for your reply! Yes, being in the ginger family, cardamom is known for its benefit with digestive issues. It is amazing all the natural things available to keep us healthy.

  3. I sure did know that cardamon had so many medicinal benefits.
    Thank you very much for your research and interesting article.

    • Hi Lillian, thanks for your reply! It is amazing how many natural things in God’s world are good for us! I enjoy including spicy dishes in my diet, and they are healthy as well!


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