The Indian name of this spice is Chhoti elaichi. Black pepper being the “king of Spices”, cardamom is the “queen of Spices” this is one of the most valued spices in the world. Cardamom is indigenous in South India.
A perennial herb which grows with thick, fleshy underground stems. The dried cardamom fruits have a pleasant aroma with a characteristic, slightly pungent taste thus leaving a warm feeling in the mouth. The warm sensation in the mouth is produced by the seeds taken out from the fruits.
The volatile oil that the seed contains is what adds to the aroma and therapeutic properties of cardamom, the tinctures of this spice are very useful to relieve flatulence and also for strengthening digestion.
Depression: The treatment of depression is consumption of the powdered cardamom seeds that is boiled in water with tea; the aroma of the tea soothes the nerves.
Hiccups: Boil a cup of crushed whole cardamoms in a cup of water along with a few mint leaves, an infusion made by this process is very useful in relieving hiccups.
Bad Breath: The cardamom seeds when chewed for a few minutes will emanate an aromatic flavour thus removing foul smell.
Digestive disorders: This flavoured spice is also used to relieve gas and heart-burn problems. An effective remedy for indigestion is ginger, cloves and coriander mixed with ground cardamom seeds.
Apart from its medicinal properties the spice also plays an important role in culinary purposes like flavouring curries, cakes, tea and confectionery.