Is ‘Cardamom’ good for health?

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Cardamom, recognized for its potent and sweet taste, is a versatile spice widely used in a variety of culinary preparations such as curries, desserts, meat dishes, and beverages like coffee and chai tea. Beyond its culinary applications, cardamom is valued for its potential health benefits, often used as a supplement in various forms. The status of green cardamom seeds as the third most expensive spice globally, following saffron and vanilla, can be attributed to several factors, with one of the main reasons being its labor-intensive harvesting process.

Unlike many other spices, cardamom pods require careful handpicking, making the harvesting procedure both time-consuming and challenging. Moreover, it is cultivated in only a few select regions worldwide. Thriving in environments with temperatures ranging from 18 to 24 degrees, each cardamom pod needs to be harvested at approximately 34% ripeness, highlighting the necessity for patience and meticulous care. On average, one acre of cardamom plantation yields around 50–150 pounds of cardamom spice.

The production of cardamom primarily occurs in India’s highlands, notably in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka. Kerala stands as the leading producer, mainly concentrated in the Cardamom Hills situated in central Kerala, predominantly within the high-range district of Idukki.

Cardamom is celebrated for its array of health benefits and healing properties:

  1. Cold and Cough Relief: Rich in antioxidants, cardamom aids in alleviating cold, cough, and various respiratory issues while providing warmth to the body.
  2. Digestive Aid: Cardamom promotes the secretion of digestive enzymes, particularly beneficial post-heavy meals. It assists in addressing stomach concerns like indigestion and constipation, facilitating faster food passage through the intestine.
  3. Oral Health Support: Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, cardamom contributes to enhancing dental health by disrupting bacteria responsible for gum diseases and infections. It is used for treating mouth ulcers, sore throats, and oral infections.