Updated: Oct 24, 2020
Cardamom is an amazingly delicious herb—I always make sure I stock my spice box with green cardamom.
I never drink milk without adding a dash of green cardamom to it; this spice is also what helps make Indian and other types of sweets taste so sweet, and benefits hyperacidity.
There are two different types of cardamom: black cardamom and green cardamom. They have slightly different qualities and therapeutic actions on your body.
Black cardamom is pungent and heating. It enhances your digestion when it’s sluggish, improves your metabolism and supports you in eliminating toxins from your body.
When talking about cardamom, we typically refer to green cardamom in Ayurveda. Green cardamom is sweet and cooling, yet pungent at the same time, which is what makes it so uniquely beneficial (as most pungent substances tend to be heating). It is great for anyone who has weak digestion but a lot of heat in the body. Green cardamom also aids your digestion, alleviates chronic coughing and calms your nerves.
Green cardamom can also help you fight bad breath—one of its actions in the body is cleansing the mouth. You can think of it as being like an all-natural Mentos or other breath freshening mint!
The main action of green cardamom in the body is reducing nausea. It can also be mixed with honey or lukewarm water to give to babies who are suffering from coughing accompanied with vomiting.
You can benefit from cardamom in two forms: the whole pod form as well as the powder form of it. We try to stay as close to nature as possible in Ayurveda. So where possible, it is very therapeutic to use the whole pod form of cardamom, and to grind it using a mortar and pestle when you want to use it in its powdered form.
Ways to use it:
Mouth freshener: chew 1-2 pods and spit out the peel
Nausea: chew 1-2 pods directly
Cook with it: you can add this spice to sweet as well as savory foods; it will also be highly beneficial to add to fruits to help you digest them (you can even cook certain fruits, like peaches or apples with it!)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ANANTA RIPA AJMERA is founder and CEO of The Ancient Way and Director of Ayurveda at THE WELL, a modern wellness club that brings together world-class doctors and master healers for a more balanced you. She is author of The Ayurveda Way, a compilation of 108 simple, doable practices for better sleep, less stress, optimal digestion and more.