If we ever decided to start spices contest, and I were the jury at this contest, cardamom would be my first choice. I can’t resist the intoxicating aroma of cardamom when I’m around this spice. No wonder this cardamom is called “The Queen of Spices” in the south of India. Being one of the oldest known spices in the world, it has remained one of the most expensive ones, second only to saffron. Cardamom has two main varieties, brown cardamom and green cardamom. Green cardamom is great in desserts and drinks like chai, and brown cardamom, having strong camphor like and smoky flavor is excellent in savory dishes and soups.
Aside from giving an incredible fragrance and flavor to tons of dishes, it has multiple health benefits.
Let’s start with one of the most important properties of cardamom for modern day world - it reduces mucus. While mucus is really important for the lining of respiratory system, like lungs and sinuses, digestive organs, like stomach and intestines, and reproductive organs, as it protects them from bacteria, viruses and foreign particles, too much of mucus can be a sign of infection and inflammation in the body. Having too much mucus forming food, like milk, simple carbs, carbonated drinks, desserts, etc. creates serious imbalance and causes severe inflammation in many organs. Added to milk, cardamom will neutralize mucus forming properties, and drunk as tea it will dramatically decrease the amount of mucus in the body.
Another wonderful property of cardamom is caffeine detoxification. As we know too much caffeine dehydrates the body, and may cause nervousness, irritability, fast heartbeat and stomach upset among other things. Adding cardamom to your coffee would make your coffee taste delicious and reduce the negative properties of it. If you decide to drink your coffee with milk, you’d reduce mucus forming properties and caffeine side effects.
Cardamom has another wonderful characteristic, it can gently stimulate digestive system. It is probably the safest and most gentle spice to use for nervous digestive upset in children. Combined with fennel it gives the best results in a short amount of time. Whether you add it in a powdered form to your favorite coffee drink or add crushed cardamom pods into your homemade chai masala, you will appreciate the best of both worlds, multiple health benefits and delicious drinks.
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