Cardamom is an exquisite classic oriental spice native to India and Sri Lanka. In ancient times, the fruits of cardamom were called the paradise seed. Grains were considered an expensive pleasure that only rich people could afford. And today, cardamom is one of the three most expensive spices in the world, in addition to saffron and vanilla. In this case, we are not talking about ground spices, but about quality cardamom fruits in seed boxes. Spice has a spicy taste due to notes of eucalyptus and camphor, combining something from white pepper, something from ginger, and something from nutmeg. Cardamom, according to an ancient legend, was grown in the Babylonian Hanging Gardens of Babylon. This tropical plant of the Ginger family began to spread in ancient India. India is still one of the largest spice exporting countries along with Guatemala.
In the Middle Ages, spice was used as a medicine, but it was always preserved in the category of elite and expensive spices. Only in the 19th century did the spice begin to be cultivated for use in cooking and for medicinal purposes. Today, cardamom is the subject of study by physicians, culinary specialists, aromatherapists, perfumers and nutritionists because of its amazing ability to maintain the body's defenses, arouse not only appetite, but also sensuality.
Cardamom belongs to the herbaceous plants of the Elitaria cardamomum species, and grows wild in a forest area in southern India. Spice takes the second place in the Indian market in terms of sales, second only to black pepper. Malabar cardamom with small fruits and Mysore cardamom with larger fruits are highly valued in the world. Researchers believe that Arab merchants introduced the ancient Greeks and Romans to this "queen of spices." Even the writings of Dioscorides and Pliny contain references to this spice as an expensive and delicate spice with great healing power.
Spice fruits are boxes with three compartments, which are collected barely ripe. They are dried in the sun, grind and used for treatment and cooking. Green boxes are popular in India, and specially bleached boxes are in northern Europe, where it is not popular to use bright spices. The grains are bleached with sulfur dioxide, which as a result gives the spices a sweet note and muffles its burning. It is worth noting that in Europe, the Scandinavians most prefer spice. In these countries with a cold climate, cardamom is added to sausages, meat and fish dishes, fish marinades, liquors, hot gloggs and punches. Natural green plant seeds are very popular in eastern countries, where they are used to prepare different dishes. The "black cardamom" of the Ginger family (tree of the genus Atotit) is a brown box with black seeds. Their size is 2-5 cm. Fruits grow in Nepal, North Vietnam and China. In India, black spice is added to simple spicy dishes, considering only green cardamom a great heritage of ancient cuisine.
A plant can be grown from seeds, but it is best propagated by pieces of rhizomes. Begins to bear fruit in the third year of life. Approximately from one hectare receive up to 100 kilograms of fruit. Harvest can be harvested for about 10 years. The plant does not tolerate winter freezing temperatures. It can be grown in greenhouses, conservatories or homes.
Chemical composition and nutritional value
The seeds of the plant contain 3-8% of essential oil containing fatty oil, cineole, protein, terpineol and terpinyl acetate. The seeds also include dietary fiber, vitamins, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, manganese and zinc. The energy value of the spice is 311 kcal per 100 grams.
|Nutrient||amount||Average daily rate for an adult|
|Squirrels||10.8 g||76 g|
|Fats||6.7 g||60 g|
|Carbohydrates||40.5 g||211 g|
|Alimentary fiber||28 g||20 g|
|Water||8.3 g||2400 g|
|Vitamin B1||0.2 mg||1.5 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.18 mg||1.8 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.23 mg||2 mg|
|Vitamin C||21 mg||90 mg|
|Vitamin PP||1.1 mg||20 mg|
|Potassium||1120 mg||2500 mg|
|Calcium||380 mg||1000 mg|
|Magnesium||230 mg||400 mg|
|Sodium||18 mg||1300 mg|
|Phosphorus||180 mg||800 mg|
|Iron||14 mg||18 mg|
|Manganese||28 mg||2 mg|
|Copper||383 mcg||1000 mcg|
|Zinc||7.5 mg||12 mg|
|Omega 3||0.12 g||0.9-3.7 g|
|Omega 6||0.31 g||4.7-16.8 g|
Most spices of eastern origin, including cardamom, oriental healers have been used since ancient times to treat various diseases. Plant seeds have always been known for their healing and aromatic properties. Today it is known and scientifically proven that the substances contained in spices can stimulate appetite, restore favorable microflora in the body and improve digestive processes.
In modern medicine, spice is used to lower body temperature as an antiseptic, for bronchitis, pneumonia and laryngitis.
The spices contain vitamins:
- B1, which is part of the enzymes of carbohydrate and energy metabolism for the proper functioning of the nervous, digestive and cardiovascular systems;
- B6, which is involved in the system of inhibition and excitation in the central nervous system, in the metabolism and transformation of amino acids to stimulate appetite, normal skin condition and prevent anemia;
- A, which acts as an antioxidant;
- C, participating in redox processes, the absorption of iron and the functioning of the immune system.
Spice grains have a tonic effect. The ancient Ayurvedic literature says that cardamom gives a feeling of calm and tranquility, gives clarity and activity of the mind.
Seed essential oil is useful for colic in the stomach and vomiting. Ground cardamom, ginger and clove tea eliminates indigestion and stimulates bowel function. It is also useful to use it before the onset of "women's days" to relieve pain and discomfort. In addition, spice essential oil eliminates headache, apathy, depression and fears. From a feeling of heaviness in the body, a drink from a mixture of cardamom, cumin and coriander will help. Helps with cough, asthma and bronchitis.
Cardamom stimulates the metabolism in the body, the production of gastric juice and removes toxic substances and toxins. Spice helps with constipation (used in complex treatment). The grains of the plant perfectly refresh the breath and eliminate inflammation in the mouth. Spice helps with insomnia.
Cardamom has an exciting effect. It was used in the ancient art of love as an aphrodisiac. The smell of grains attracts partners to each other and increases sexual desire.
Spice has powerful antioxidant properties and prevents the aging of the body. Also, the spice breaks down fats and promotes weight loss.
In general, the main therapeutic goals for which cardamom can be used are as follows:
- antiseptic for colds, viral infections;
- expectorant when coughing;
- as a diuretic;
- with high cholesterol in the blood;
- with flatulence;
- with vomiting and nausea;
- with insomnia and depression;
- with heart rhythm failures;
- with fatigue and low blood pressure;
- with an irregular menstrual cycle;
- with intestinal disorders.
Contraindications and side effects
Spice is contraindicated for people suffering from acute gastritis and peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum. It is also not recommended to use the spice for pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under 12 years old.
Cardamom can cause an allergic reaction, so before you take it for food, you need to try whether it will cause individual intolerance.
Excessive use of spices can lead to diarrhea and dehydration.
Selection rules and storage conditions
Correctly choose cardamom in grains in boxes. Ground spice quickly loses its essential oils. If necessary, it is best to grind the right amount of beans in a coffee grinder. Natural cardamom should be a pleasant light green color.
It is best to store the spice in grains in a sealed glass jar with a tight lid or ceramic container. Spice should be kept in a dry place at room temperature. Avoid direct sunlight, moisture or air.
For the treatment of intestinal disorders, the following recipe is used: mix a piece of grated ginger, 2-3 ground cardamom grains and a glass of hot water, bring to a boil and leave for several minutes. Drink warm instead of tea.
To get rid of nausea, you just need to chew 2-3 grains of spice.
To strengthen the immune system, use 3-4 ground spice seeds and a teaspoon of honey. The resulting mixture is taken once in the morning after waking up.
To reduce weight, brew green tea and add a quarter spoonful of ground spices with a few drops of lemon juice. As an adjuvant, take once a day in the morning.
To cleanse the body of toxins and toxins, one teaspoon of ground spices is poured with one glass of boiling water and drunk hot for a quarter of a glass once a day.
In order to get rid of diarrhea, the seeds of ground cardamom, fennel and dill are mixed in equal proportions. One teaspoon of the resulting mixture is poured into a glass of boiling water and insisted. Drink a tablespoon, gradually increasing the reception to a quarter glass.
For constipation, cardamom is added to fiber-rich foods and tea is added with spices and ginger.
During insomnia, pour a teaspoon of ground cardamom with a glass of water, bring to a boil and drink a quarter cup.
To get rid of pharyngitis, dry throat and hoarseness, pour 0.5 teaspoon of crushed seeds with a glass of boiling water and, after an hour of infusion, gargle several times a day.
With impotence, take 1 teaspoon of honey, a pinch of cardamom and pour a glass of boiled milk. Take in the evening 1 glass.
To improve vision, take 4-5 ground seeds and mix with a teaspoon of honey. Take once a day.
For weight loss, ¼ teaspoon of cardamom is added to coffee or tea. For best results, it is recommended to add cardamom, cinnamon and red pepper to your meals. The combination of these three spices stimulates the metabolism, and cinnamon regulates glucose levels.
In aromatherapy, cardamom is used for colds, emotional exhaustion, and headaches. To do this, just apply a couple of drops on the aroma lamp and inhale for about 15 minutes.
For massage, oil is used in combination with grape, linseed, olive oils. To do this, add 3-4 drops of cardamom essential oil to 1 tablespoon of base oil.
To improve the condition of problem skin, 4-5 drops of essential oil are added when taking a bath.
The use of cardamom as a seasoning is diverse. In Germany, cardamom is traditionally added to Christmas pastries, in Scandinavia - to meat pastes, sausages and punch, in Russia - to pastry dough and Easter cakes. Arabs add spice to coffee. In the East, it is believed that coffee with cardamom is an indispensable attribute of hospitality.
A quarter of a teaspoon of spice is added to a cup of coffee. If the coffee is brewed, then you need to mix it with ground cardamom and brew. If instant coffee, then you need to add a little spice to it and pour boiling water.
Spice adds piquancy to the drink and neutralizes the toxicity of caffeine, which reduces the risk of high blood pressure.
Three grains of spice pour 0.5 liters of boiling water and insist for several minutes. The resulting tincture is added to green or black tea.
Rinse 1 cup of rice and let dry a little. Grind 4 pods of spices. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add turmeric and a pinch of salt. In a deep frying pan or stewpan, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and add cinnamon and cardamom. Then pour out dried rice and fry for several minutes. Then pour boiling water, bring to a boil and cook under the lid for 20 minutes. When rice absorbs all the water, the dish can be considered cooked. The number of servings received is 4.
Milk Sweet Rice
To prepare the dish you will need a container with a heavy bottom, in which you need to pour 4 cups of milk, 3 tablespoons of washed rice. Mix the ingredients and bring to a boil until half of the contents have evaporated. Then you need to add 1 teaspoon of freshly ground spice grains and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat and cool. The prepared dish can be sprinkled with chopped pistachios, almonds or peanuts.