Lifestyle Much more than the taste of your ‘gin and tonic’: these are...

Much more than the taste of your ‘gin and tonic’: these are the amazing properties of cardamom, an ancient spice

In the last decade, you have seen her on numerous occasions decorating and flavoring one of the most consumed national cocktails: the gin tonic. But cardamoma perennial and aromatic herbaceous plant from the same family as ginger, it goes far beyond the classic cubata.

He origin of cardamom It is in India: its plant is Elettaria cardamom and it is traditionally cultivated in the jungles of southern India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Sumatra. It is characterized by an intense, fruity and sophisticated flavor, with multiple gastronomic usesnot only in the Asian country but in the Middle East, Central America and the Nordic countries.

In the kitchen, Cardamom is an essential ingredient in most Indian curries and biryanis, so it can be used in meat, fish and roasted vegetable stews. It also applies to desserts and sweet recipes such as cakes and cookies, among others. It is also used for flavor drinks like tea and coffee in Arab countries.

You will recognize it by its sweet and fresh notes of citrus, mint and a certain touch of spiciness. As for his appearance, cardamom is oval or oblong in shape, with a rounded part with 3 angles. Among its shades are light green, brown, cream and white.

Properties and benefits of cardamom

It is a good spice for people with hypertension

Cardamom has antioxidant and diuretic propertiesthat according Healthline They can help reduce blood pressure, being a recommended spice to reduce hypertension.

The results of a promising study in which 3 grams of cardamom powder were administered daily to 20 hypertensive adults show that at 12 weeks, his blood pressure dropped dramatically, and antioxidant levels went up 90%. Much of this effect is due to the diuretic effect and the increase in urination that this substance promotes.

natural expectorant

Cardamom is a natural expectorant that allows us to relieve cough, bronchitis, asthma and tonsillitis, thanks to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory principles.

Within your composition highlights an essential oil called cineole, which stimulates the expulsion of mucus from the respiratory tract. Additionally, the compounds in cardamom can help increase airflow to the lungs and improve breathing, as well as improve oxygen use. For all these reasons, it is widely used in aromatherapy.

Has anti-cancer compounds

Different investigations in animals and laboratory cells prove that dcertain compounds in cardamom help fight cancer cells thanks to the increased activity of certain enzymes or the ability of natural killer cells that attack tumors.

In a study in mice, only 29% of those who took the spice developed cancer, compared to more than 90% of the control group. In research with human cancer cells in test tubes, it was found that a certain compound in the spice prevented the multiplication of oral cancer cells.

Demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects

Including cardamom in your meals is fantastic for preventing chronic inflammation-related diseases. Long-term: A study in rats reveals that cardamom extract can inhibit up to 4 different inflammatory compounds.

While other research on these animals revealed that the powdered spice reduced liver inflammation induced by a diet high in carbohydrates and fats.

Help with digestion

In ancient medicines such as Ayurveda, andl cardamom has been used for thousands of years to help with digestioncombining it with other herbs to relieve discomfort, nausea and vomiting.

Its most researched property is its ability to heal stomach ulcers. Several studies in rats support that it can completely prevent or reduce the size of these wounds by at least 50%. Even its extract was shown to be more effective than a common anti-ulcer drug.

There are also laboratory tests that suggest its ability to protect against Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium associated with the development of most stomach ulcers.

Good for your mouth (and to prevent infections)

The use of cardamom is a An ancestral remedy to freshen breath, combat halitosis and prevent the appearance of cavities. As a curiosity, even the gum manufacturer Wrigley uses this spice in one of its products.

Why does he have this power? For its ability to inhibit the growth of oral bacteria by up to 54% in saliva samples, according to a test-tube study. Other research reveals that its extracts and essential oils can combat common strains of bacteria such as Candida, E. coli, Staphylococcus, or Campylobacter.

Reduces blood sugar levels

When taken in powdered form, cardamom can lower blood sugar, a discovery made in rats fed a diet high in fat and carbohydrates.

Further animal research suggests that this spice extract may protect the liver, reducing elevated levels of liver enzymes, triglycerides, and cholesterol, preventing liver enlargement and liver weight, and reducing the risk of fatty liver.

among other possible uses and benefits of cardamom it highlights the prevention of anxiety and other mood disorders, which could also be related to the antioxidant compounds in the spice.

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