Cardamom, popularly known as Elaichi in India, is basically a seed pod used in various dishes ranging from starters to desserts. Presently Guatemala is the largest producer of cardamom. Considered as the “Queen of Spices,” cardamom seeds are triangular and used for aromatic purposes. It is the world’s third most demanded and expensive spice, after saffron and vanilla.
It is made from plants belonging to the family Zingiberaceae and is mainly of two types- Green and Black cardamom.
Though used mainly as a flavoring spice, Elaichi also has numerous medical values, mainly due to its rich contents.
Besides a variety of nutrients, it also contains numerous vitamins, electrolytes, and minerals that make it a storehouse of medicinal products. But did you know it also has its own side effects? In this post, we will first discuss the benefits and then move on to the side effects of Elaichi.
Benefits of Elaichi
Because of its pungent and aromatic composition, it activates taste and sensory elements and thus improves digestion. It further helps in enzyme secretion necessary for digestion, resolving problems like indigestion, gas, and constipation. Also, certain chemicals present in Elaichi helps in the movement of food in the intestine.
Aids in weight loss
Increased metabolism helps to reduce weight. As increased energy production helps the body burn fat instantly.
Promotes blood sugar level
Black Cardamom hugely resolves high blood sugar levels as it contains manganese. That promotes low sugar levels.
May helps fight cancer
Elaichi is the enemy of cancer. It increases the production of antioxidants and has the properties of reducing the occurrence of tumor and inflammation. It has shown an incredible effect in induced colorectal cancer in mice.
Aids in depression
Just a pinch of Elaichi in regular tea, and you are free from depression. Proven research says Elaichi does a fantastic job and kills depression.
Increase in appetite
It largely helps in treating histoplasmosis. Broadly in which, one of the symptoms accounts for the loss of appetite.
Serves great for sexual health
Elaichi is rich in an element called cineole. A small pinch of Elaichi can release nerve stimulant and can raise your passion. It is an Aphrodisiac.
Enhances skin complexion
Blemishes make the skin look uneven. Elaichi makes it beautiful. Thus, using the product having Elaichi as an essential oil will make your complexion go wonder in beauty.
Great as a masking agent
Elaichi is best used as a masking agent. When used as a toner added to a cosmetic, it will put off odor and leave your skin fresh.
Offers great lip care
Elaichi essential oil is always used in cosmetics, such as lip balms, to offer nourishment. It helps to keep lips smooth.
Proves great for hair health
Antioxidant properties help in improving scalp health and make it more nourished. It makes your hair follicle healthy, offering shine and luster to hair.
How much should one consume?
There is no fixed ratio of this beautiful spice’s consumption, but yes, 1.5 grams of the ground seed is enough to go for your everyday health. It truly varies from person to person and also on body requirements. It primarily aids in anti-inflammatory properties, anti-oxidant properties, and much more. Parking many health benefits.
Side effects of Elaichi
Like everything, Elaichi also has some side effects when consumed excessively, and here they are.
Elaichi triggers gallstones, so stop immediate consumption if you have a gallstone.
Drug interaction of cardamom
It is essential to consume Elaichi consciously. It might result in a very negative way. Some drugs may embark on interaction with it and cause severe problems. Avoid eating it as a mouth fresher if consuming any of these drugs like Aspirin, HIV drug, Anticoagulants, etc.
Allergies due to cardamom
If used for an exceeded period of time, it tends to cause allergies and many skin problems. Contact dermatitis is a type of skin allergy caused due to over intake of elaichi. It might also lead to respiratory reactions due to the exceeded amount consumed. Chest or throat tightness, uncomfortable feeling, chest pain, and shortness of breath are some of the common problems by overconsumption of Elaichi.
Problems for breastfeeding mother and pregnant women
Pregnant women can feel uncomfortable with the consumption of Elaichi. It is necessary to keep a note on necessity consumption only. And in some cases, it is advisable not to use it at all. It can cause nausea or heavy breathing condition in pregnant women.
Affects male fertility
According to researches. Elaichi has shown many negative results in male fertility. One should seek the limit to intake about any spice. Consumption in a high amount can cause severe problems.
Increases risk of bleeding
Most researches show that the consumption of lots of Elaichi can cause heavy internal bleeding. It is also stated that this can lead to unstoppable bleeding and an immediate call for a professional doctor.
Known to trigger Anaphylaxis
This is a severe allergic reaction that takes place in the body. This is because it shoots Th2 cells responsible for allergic reactions.
Act as a hormone disruptor
It can bind estrogen and androgen receptors. That disrupts the hormone.
Elaichi or cardamom is a wonderful spice adding flavor to life. Consume it in safe quantities and bless yourself with the wonderful benefits of this amazing spice. Avoid using it in strong quantities that will leave its side effects on you. As said, “anything used in the right way is a blessing but used excessively is a curse.”
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Gilani, A. H., Jabeen, Q., Khan, A. U., and Shah, A. J. Gut modulatory, blood pressure-lowering, diuretic and sedative activities of cardamom. J Ethnopharmacol. 2-12-2008;115(3):463-472
Bhaswant M, Poudyal H, Mathai ML, et al. Green and black cardamom in a diet-induced rat model of metabolic syndrome. Nutrients 2015;7(9):7691-707