This is one of the most ancient species of spice that has ever existed. It is a member of the ginger family and is native to East and southern India. The spice can be found in Tanzania, China, Guatemala and Sri Lanka. The stems of the herb reach up to 2-5m.
It has an aromatic warm and pungent smell which have tonic as well as stimulating and expectorant effects. It is believed to contain aphrodisiac properties and counter acts the effects of coffee.
Even though it is yet to be scientifically proven, the following are some of the medicinal uses that the herb has been used to treat:
- Preventing infections from an injury or of the immune system
- Improving lost appetite
- Urinary tract infections
- Gall bladder infections
- Liver problems
- Sore throat and mouth
- Heart burn
Dosage and administration
Several actors are used to determine the appropriate dose of the herb. These conditions may include the health of the user, their age and other conditions. There is no scientific evidence that can be used to back the appropriate dose recommended. It is unsafe to use natural products without a specific dosage because it may lead to poisoning. It is therefore recommended that you seek the help of a qualified pharmacist first before you take the herb
The main parts that are used in the herb are the oil and the seeds.
The following are some of the health benefits of cardamom:
- The herb has detoxifying properties which are essential in cleansing of the body. It helps to improve the circulation of blood in the body and helps to prevent convulsions and spasms. Those that are suffering from bronchitis or asthma are more likely to benefit from this herb
- It helps to improve one’s appetite and helps to relive stomach acidity.
- The herb can be used as an anti depressant. When you take tea that has been added cardamom, you will feel more relaxed and calm. It is also great for relieving depression.
- It also contains anti inflammatory properties which is useful in reducing sore throat and mouth inflammation. The oil can also be used to treat inflamed nerves, swollen joints and back muscles. It is also believed to ease muscle and joint pain.
- The oil can be used for massage. The aroma from the oil helps to stimulate the mind and to relax the muscles.
- Cardamom has been reported to reduce and also to inhibit the growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi. It also has the capacity to fight diseases and reduce halitosis.
- It also helps to improve digestion in the body. It helps to do this by reducing flatulence and stimulating the production of bile and reducing gastric juices in the stomach.
- Cardamom oil can be used as an aphrodisiac and countering PMS symptoms.
People who use the herb usually do not experience any side effects of any sort. However, certain people can be greatly affected by taking cardamom. The following are some of the side effects that cardamom can cause:
- Gall stone pain is one of the side effects that people who are suffering from gall stones are likely to experience. Gall stones are usually as a result of bile components and cholesterol deposited in the gall bladder. Those that suffer from the disease should keep off cardamom as it is likely to increase the pain and may actually increase the pain.
- It may interact with drugs such as blood thinners and anti coagulants. The risk of over bleeding may occur for people who are taking this herb. Those that are taking anti depressants, HIV drugs and certain medications for the liver may also experience some complications when they take the herb.
- Some people may have an allergy to cardamom eve though very few incidences have ever been reported. The symptoms of an allergic reaction are dermatitis where the skin develops rashes or hives. Others may experience a tightness in the chest among other respiratory complications that require medical attention
- Pregnant women are advised to avoid cardamom because it is believed to have negative effects on babies. Those who are breast feeding should also avid the herb
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