Cardamom or Elaichi:
‘Elaichi’ or Cardamom is one of the most expensive spices of the world which have a strong, unique taste, and aromatic fragrance. Green cardamom or chhoti elaichi is a most important part of Indian sweet dishes. It is used in traditional natural remedies to treat some health problems also. Cardamom plant is an herbal plant which is native to southern India. India was the largest producer of cardamom until the late 20th century. But by 2000 Gautemala country had become the biggest producer and exporter of cardamom (elaichi) in the world. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia and Nepal also produce cardamom. At present, Laos, Vietnam and Sri Lanka also started production of cardamom. Cardamom (elaichi) grows in a small seed pod and has two species.
Types of Cardamom:
There are two main types of cardamom- green cardamom (chhoti elaichi) and black cardamom (badi elaichi). You can recognize them by their small seed pod. Green cardamom has a thin papery outer shell of green color whereas black cardamom has a thin papery outer shell of dark brown color. Both forms of cardamom have seeds in pod and these seeds are used for flavoring of food and drink. Generally, green cardamom seeds (chhoti elaichi dana) are used in Ayurvedic medicines and also in traditional natural remedies. Use of black cardamom (badi elaichi) is also popular in traditional and Ayurvedic medicines for some extent.
Properties of Cardamom:
Cardamom (elaichi) is a good source of potassium, magnesium and vitamin-C. It is excellent in anti-oxidants properties. The seeds of the cardamom contain a variety of important minerals such as calcium, sulfur, and phosphorus. They also contain dietary fiber, protein and carbohydrates. Other important property of cardamom is its volatile oil composed of acetic and formic acids. This oil has aromatic and medicinal properties. Because of these properties, cardamom is helpful to cure many diseases.
In South Asia, Green cardamom (chhoti elaichi) used to treat infections of the teeth and gums. In Ayurvedic medicines, it is used for the treatment of mouth ulcers, digestive problems and depression. Use of cardamom is most common for the natural treatment of throat infection, lungs congestion and digestive disorders.
Health Benefits of Elaichi or Cardamom:
1. Cures Throat Infection:
Elaichi or Cardamom is a well-known traditional remedy of sore throat. Eat 1-2 green cardamom empty stomach in morning and at night and drink lukewarm water. It clears sore throat.
Cardamom has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce throat inflammation. You can use the paste of green cardamom (chhoti elaichi) with some radish (mooli) juice to cure swelling of throat glands. (For detailed information, refer to ‘Remedies for swollen throat glands‘).
2. Cures Teeth, Gum, and Oral Disorders:
Elaichi or Cardamom is widely used for teeth and gum problems; especially in South Asia, it is a common natural treatment of teeth and gum. It has been used in Ayurveda for dental problems since ancient era. In China, it is also used as traditional medicine for treating with dental problems for many centuries.
Green cardamom (chhoti elaichi) is good for teeth and gums infection as it has anti-microbial properties. It is a good source of calcium and magnesium which are essential for dental health. Its anti-inflammatory properties help to prevent gums swelling due to oral infection.
Therefore eat one cardamom daily after meal daily to prevent tooth decay because when you chew a green cardamom pod, it increases saliva flow that helps to cleanse the teeth. It also helps to control acid reflux which can harm to teeth. Its powerful anti-oxidants help to protect from oral cancer.
3. Cures Cough & Cold:
Cardamom is a supportive natural medicine of curing cough and cold. Take one cardamom, one small piece of ginger (adrak) one clove (laung) and five Basil (Tulsi) leaves and eat them with betel (Pan) leaf. It is a good natural remedy to control cough and cold immediately.
4. Cardamom Controls Vomiting:
Badi elaichi or black cardamom seeds are useful to control vomiting (ulti) naturally. For controlling vomiting, take some black cardamom seeds and boil them into 500 ml water till it remains half. Then drink it lukewarm. Vomiting is stopped within few minutes with the use of this natural home remedy.
5. Good for Mouth Ulcers (Munh ke Chhale):
Elaichi or Cardamom is a best natural remedy to cure oral infection. It can cure mouth ulcers without medicine. For mouth ulcers, use of black cardamom seeds (badi elaichi) and mishri works well (for details, refer ‘Remedies for mouth ulcers‘).
6. Cures Indigestion (Badhajmi):
Green cardamom is an ideal solution to treat digestive problems. It helps to prevent gastric problem, acidity and indigestion effectively.
- Take green cardamom, dry ginger and cloves in equal quantity.
- Grind all the three ingredients to make fine powder and store this powder into a jar.
- Ingest 1 tsp powder with lukewarm water whenever you feel indigestion or flatulence.
7. Chhoti Elaichi or Green Cardamom for Motion Sickness:
Some people feel nausea or vomiting and convulsions (chakkar) during travelling by car, taxi or bus; it is motion sickness. Green Cardamom is also good to control motion sickness while travelling in bus or taxi. It also effectively treats spasms and convulsions. Therefore chew one pod of green cardamom while travelling by car, taxi or bus. It has no harm and you can use it whenever you need.
8. Urinary Tract Infections:
Elaichi or cardamom has diuretic properties and helps to detoxify the toxins from the body. Therefore chew one cardamom with one clove daily after meal. It is good for curing urinary tract infections (mutra rog)
In South Asia, it is a common traditional medicine of urinary problems. They use cardamom with banana leaf and amla juice to remove kidney stones also. Its diuretic properties help to break down stone into very small pieces and remove through urine.
9. Cardio Vascular Diseases:
Cardamom is rich in minerals like- potassium, magnesium and calcium. It is a supportive natural remedy for controlling cardiovascular diseases like- hypertension and regularizing heartbeat. Therefore, include it in your daily diet plan; chew a pod of cardamom after every meal or whenever you need regularly.
10. Controls Bad Breath:
Use of green cardamom (chhoti elaichi) is a very popular natural remedy for the treatment of the most common problem of bad breath. Its seeds have an aromatic and sweet flavour. Simply by chewing the seeds of cardamom, you can control bad breath. Its anti-microbial effects kill the oral bacteria and remove bad breath. Therefore, chew a pod of cardamom after every meal or whenever you need to control bad breath.
Cardamom (elaichi) is a type of spice; you can purchase both green cardamom (chhoti elaichi) and black cardamom (badi elaichi) from grocery shop or super market like big bazar or D-Mart etc or even on line from food market. Similarly other required ingredients like clove, dry ginger and mishri are also available for sale at grocery shop or super market. Basil leaves, banana, amla and radish are easily available.
All the above health benefits and natural remedies are quite safe and has no side effect. But if it doesn’t suit you, stop it and try some other way.