Cardamom (Ellataria cardamomum)

One of the questions I get asked most frequently by people who are tasting my product for the first time is why cardamom?

Anybody who has made an Indian curry from scratch will have used cardamom and will attest to it lifting their spirits as soon as they begin to dry fry it to release its pungency.

I know on the days I blend my Naturespharm Green Tea, that I look forward to the aroma of the cardamom and hibiscus the most.

While there is also a beautiful aroma from the powedered lemon that goes into our tea, the other two just have something a bit more special and if I were forced to pick between the cardamom and hibiscus, the cardamom would come out on top every time.

While cardamom grows in most tropical climates, its origins are in the evergreen forests of India. It is not surprising then that the use of cardamom as a medical herb started through its use in traditional  Ayurvedic medicine.

Western herbal medicine followed in time and is now used regularly for the treatment of digestive  problems including heartburn, something that regular black tea drinkers complain of regularly as well as help with intestinal spasms.

I’m a huge believer in empowering patients to take control of their health back rather than handing it over to somebody and even something as simple as popping some cardamom pods into boiled water to have as a tea can have a  positive effect on your health.

I’ve also used it on patients who suffer from constipation and it is truly amazing what work it can do with constipation brought about by liver and gall bladder complaints.

Its mixture of  peppery and citrus flavours has come under the spotlight more and more.

Studies are currently underway to assess how it aids the treatment of depression.

While anybody who has tried this fabulous herb in cooking will most likely love its aroma, maybe if they took a look at some of its other benefits from a herbal perspective they would be keen to try to find more ways of using it.

The great thing about cardamom is that you don’t have to use a lot of it to get desired results.

In India they chew cardamom pods  after meals or just as a natural breath freshener and it has the added advantage – due to its antiseptic and antiviral properties – of keeping any sort of oral problems in check.

Another area of research that is currently being undertaken is in cancer prevention, particularly those hormone-responding one  such as breast, ovarian, prostate and testicular cancers.

Cardamom contains IC3 (indole-3-carbinol) and DIM(diindolylmethane  and the research is trying to assert if whey they help  ward off those hormone-responding cancers or not.

Not bad for something that’s in your kitchen cupboard.