What are the Secret Benefits of Cardamom – Elakkai?

4 minute read
Secret Benefits of Cardamom - Elakkai
4 minute read

Cardamom is an herb often used as a food spice and commonly referred to as “the queen of spices” abundantly grown in western ghats of south India.

Cardamom has many benefits, but it is typically used in foods to flavor the dish. It is extremely aromatic. The rise of such distinctive aroma activates your sense of smell and strikes the brain cells making you feel hungry and preparing your stomach for digestion. Slightly sweet with a strong spicy taste, Elakkai makes the dish tasty and enjoyable. 

Green color elakkai is the most common one. As days pass by, the green color slowly fades off. Hence, fresh elakkai is always found in a leafy green color.

Try chewing one piece of cardamom. And feel the spicy taste running deep through your nerves making you exhale fresh air through your nostrils. After chewing recognize the unique sweetness left behind by the spice.

Tempted? Then taste one!

Healthy Benefits of Cardamom

Cardamom contains more fats and proteins. It is also rich in minerals and vitamins, especially vitamin C.

Promotes Digestion

cardamom promotes digestion

The presence of active volatile oils in elakkai aids in easy digestion by relieving gastrointestinal problems like bloating, indigestion, acidity, etc. In Ayurveda, the imbalance in vata, pitta, or kapha dosha disturbs the digestion process causing indigestion or even loss of appetite. Aggravated vata leads to gas formation as a result of low digestive fire. Cardamom is an excellent appetizer. The spicy cardamom flavor activates the salivary glands and stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes. It is also rich in fiber thereby acts as a good solution for constipation issues.

Immune Booster

cardamom boosts immune system

The seeds of elakkai are not only packed with essential oils but are also rich in antioxidants which promotes the immune system abundantly.  

Detoxifier

The word “detoxifier” itself means to remove the toxic substances present and cleanse the body. Cardamom acts as a natural diuretic. It flushes out the toxins present in the blood and improves the blood flow. 

Good for Cough

cardamom is good for cough

According to Ayurveda, mucus accumulation is due to Kapha imbalance which causes cough and cold. The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of elakkai reduce the production of mucus and expel the excess mucus from the respiratory tract. Also, the cold potency and rejuvenating properties of elakkai help reduce throat inflammation, irritation, and itchiness due to rough cough and cold.

Pain-reliever

Cardamom helps in pain relieving

Cardamom has anti-inflammatory properties; reduces swelling, soreness, stiffness, and other inflammatory pains in joints, etc. It is also an excellent remedy for headaches. Vata and pitta imbalance causes headaches. Headache caused due to vata imbalance triggers insomnia, constipation, depression, etc. Headaches caused due to pitta imbalance are usually felt on one side of the head. The cold potency of the ingredient helps in treating headaches. Probably a cup of elakkai tea works best for this.

Freshens Breath

Elakkai is widely used as a mouth freshener due to its strong aroma. Cineole is a major component of cardamom oil; the antimicrobial properties of this oil help eradicate the bad bacteria in the mouth and freshen the breath. It also treats other oral infections and supports oral health altogether. 

About Elakkai – Ayurvedic Perspective

Cardamom Effect on Doshas 

सूक्ष्मोपकुञ्चिका तुथ्था कोरङ्गी द्राविडी त्रुटिः । एला सूचमा कफश्वासकासार्शोमूत्र कृच्छ्रहृत् ।

रसे तु कटुका शीता लध्वी वातहरी मता ॥ ६३ ॥

According to Ayurveda, cardamom is used to pacify Vata, Pitta, and Kapha dosha. This herb has cold potency, pungent in taste, light and is used to cure cough, asthma, piles, and painful urination.
Ayurvedic benefits of cardamom

Which ground is more suitable for growing this ingredient?

Cardamom is a climate-sensitive crop. It is best grown in deep black loam soil with high humus content. It is also grown in clay loams, rich black soils, and laterite soil. Sandy soil is not suitable for it’s growth.

Where in India is cardamom abundantly cultivated?

It is abundantly cultivated in the Western Ghats of Kerela, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. Idukki district in Kerala is the largest cardamom producer. The climate and soil conditions of the western ghats are the most ideal conditions for it’s cultivation.

Is cardamom a winter spice?

Generally, spices have hot potency. During winter, spices like pepper, cardamom, ginger, and cloves are highly recommended to keep the body warm and free from cold and cough. Cardamom is a natural medicine to treat respiratory infections. Hence famously called by the name “winter spice”.

Aren’t these benefits enough to include this wonder spice in our diet?

Here’s something for you to ponder upon 🙂

What are the risks hidden behind consuming too much cardamom?

Comment your answers below. 

Related: How to Welcome Spring Season – In Ayurvedic Style

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