All about Cardamom and its health benefits (with recipes) - Kind Earth (2024)

Cardamom is one of the most valued spices in the world with an intense aromatic flavour used to bring out the best in both savoury and sweet dishes. Its eloquence, culinary magic and healing powers have earned it the title “Queen Of Spices”.

This magical spice enjoys a colourful history dating back thousands of years. Spiritually, the energy of cardamom has the power to cut through the confusion of a busy mind, creating more clarity, whilst helping to lift heavy, depressed feelings. Cardamom encourages us to become more present, in the ‘here-and-now’, as well as helping to open the third-eye to awaken out inner realms of deeper insight.

So, let’s talk cardamom! In this article we’ll look at what cardamom is, how to use it, its health benefits and some delectable, healthy recipes…

True cardamom seeds come in a green pod

True cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) has a green pod – this is the type that I use. You can also buy a black podded cardamom (Amomum costatum and Amomum subulatum), which is a different species that I know little about (other than they have a different, more smokey flavour). If you see white cardamom pods for sale, then they are likely to be green pods that have been bleached or have faded with age.

For vibrancy and taste I recommend green, heads up! You can easily buy cardamom powder in any store that sells herbs and spices – however – I highly suggest that you buy the actual pods rather than the ground stuff. There is a massive difference between the two. Pre-ground cardamom loses it’s culinary magic as the fragrant flavour disappears rapidly. I always peel open the pods, then crush the seeds with a pestle and mortar or by repeatedly chopping over them with a sharp heavy knife. Here’s a short video I made to show you how to crush the seeds… it’s quick and easy once you know how.

Health benefits of Cardamom – an overview

Digestive Aid

Cardamom is well known in Ayurvedic circles as a powerful digestive aid, considered especially beneficial to reduce bloating and intestinal gas. It is related to ginger (known for digestion support) and is also used against acidity, heartburn and constipation. Cardamom can kick-start the secretion of digestive juices to stimulate appetite, which makes digestion and absorption of food more efficient. Its relaxing effect on smooth muscle in the digestive tract also helps to settle the stomach, especially when related to stress.

Diuretic Detoxification

Cardamom is a great detoxification aid, which is greatly assisted by its potent diuretic properties. Whilst working against infections, it also stimulates the kidneys to remove uric acid, urea, toxins, excess water and other waste products out of the body. This encourages more balanced health.

Breath Freshener

This powerful spice, is an excellent alternative for minty-fresh fresh breath. Traditional cultures chew cardamom to freshen their breath. It also has the added benefit of counteracting harmful bacteria in the mouth.

Oral Health

Apart from helping to fresh the breath, cardamom can be beneficial against mouth ulcers and infections of the mouth and throat. Studies show that cardamom has effective antimicrobial effects on oral bacteria, whilst (unlike modern, allopathic antibiotics) supporting the probiotic bacteria (which are necessary for balance and equilibrium within the body’s systems). It has been shown to work powerfully against oral pathogenic bacteria like Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans. Cineole, the major active component of cardamom oil, is a powerful antiseptic that is known to kill bacteria producing bad breath and other infections.


Cardamom is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to fight depression. It has a miraculous way of lifting the spirit and calming the nerves.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Human studies clearly show that ground cardamom seeds, administered regularly, have the ability to significantly reduce blood pressure in individuals suffering from hypertension.


Ancient medicine lists cardamom as a powerful aphrodisiac that can help support sexual health, erectile dysfunction and impotence. It is referred to in the Arabian Nights (a famous collection of Persian, Indian, and Arabian folktales), where it is said to be an aphrodisiac.

Anti-Cancer Properties

Whilst the science of cardamoms cancer preventing properties haven’t yet been fully demystified, scientific studies have shown promising evidence that this spice demonstrates positive action against cancer. One study by Ray Sahelian, M.D showed that cardamom has very powerful antioxidant properties. These studies also revealed that cardamom has complex abilities that can help combat cancer (because of the C9H9NO and 3,3’-diindolylmethane content inherit to cardamom).

Coughs and Chest Infections

Cardamom is said to relieve cold and flu symptoms. It’s also used for bronchitis and coughs. Its stimulating expectorant action helps to clear phlegm from the nose and sinuses as well as the chest, which makes it a good treatment to counteract colds, coughs, asthma and chest infections.


Cardamom has a powerful antioxidant profile. It is well known for mopping up free radicals.

Action Against Pathogens

Various chemical compounds, including volatile oils in cardamom have been shown to act strongly against the growth of viruses, bacteria and fungus with the human body.

Where to get cardamom pods from?

Here in England it’s easy to find cardamom pods in any good independent health food store or even the herbs & spice section in a supermarket. They also are often found in an Asian supermarket. Their availability varies from country to country. I’ve found them easily in Canada & Europe, although I’ve had to scout a little more to locate them in the USA. If all else fails, you can buy them online, for example here (amazon affiliate links):

USA: Natural Green Whole Cardamom Pods 7 Oz, 200g. by GaneshaspiceAll about Cardamom and its health benefits (with recipes) - Kind Earth (1)
UK: Organic Green Cardamom Pods by Hatton Hill Organic

Delicious Cardamom Inspired Recipes on my Website

Raw Chocolate Covered Cardamom Slices

Kaffir Lime Inspired Thai Coconut Curry with Cardamom

Creamy Coconut Chickpea Curry with Cardamom

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce – 5 Ways

Masala Chai Homemade Tea with Cardamom

Delicious Cardamom Recipes in Angelicious

And if you are in need of more inspiration, my latest book Angelicious features a number of absolutely delicious cardamom inspired recipes too.. of course 🙂

Cardamom Resources/Studies:

  • (Oral health)
  • Aneja KR, Radhika J. Antimicrobial Activity of Amomum subulatum and Elettaria cardamomum Against Dental Caries Causing Microorganisms. Ethnobotanical Lealf. 2009;13:840–9.
  • (Blood pressure)
  • (Anti-tumor action)
All about Cardamom and its health benefits (with recipes) - Kind Earth (2024)


Who should not use cardamom? ›

People with gallstones should not take cardamom except to flavor food. We also need more research to determine the effects of large amounts of cardamom on women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What is cardamom best for? ›

Cardamom is used for digestion problems including heartburn, intestinal spasms, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), intestinal gas, constipation, liver and gallbladder complaints, and loss of appetite. It is also used for common cold, cough, bronchitis, sore mouth and throat, and tendency toward infection.

How much ground cardamom should I eat a day? ›

Most supplements recommend 500 mg of cardamom powder or extract once or twice a day.

How to take cardamom for health benefits? ›

A person can add cardamom to curries and meat dishes, as well as desserts, coffee, and chai tea. Consuming cardamom may help with conditions such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes, as well as boosting oral, heart, and liver health.

Does cardamom affect kidneys? ›

Cardamom or elaichi can help lower blood pressure and is also a superfood for your kidneys as it promotes urination, removes toxins.

What are the effects of cardamom on kidney? ›

Cardamom helps to eliminate waste through the kidney and act as a diuretic. It combats infections and helps to cleanse the urinary tract, bladder, and urethra by removing the accumulated calcium, urea along with the toxins.

Does cardamom have side effects? ›

It is often considered safe for most people and usually causes no side effects. However, some people have experienced allergic reactions after consuming it, including skin rashes and breathing difficulties. It can also cause gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

Can I eat raw cardamom? ›

Of course, the green cardamom pods are often eaten whole in India. They are often used as a mouth freshener particularly after the consumption of raw onions in salads or even raw garilc (quite rarely though) in some dishes. It had a pleasantly sweet but slightly strong taste. Most people like it.

What pairs well with cardamom? ›

Cardamom harmonizes beautifully with warming spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, to infuse dishes with captivating essence. Bringing forth a medley of flavor, this remarkable spice can elevate a variety of dishes, like stews, soups and curries, baked goods, desserts, and beverages such as coffee or tea.

Does cardamom make you sleepy? ›

Well, cardamom is known for its potent medicinal benefits, which when combined with milk helps in relieving stress, anxiety and helps in inducing sleep. A combination of milk and cardamom at bed time also helps in boosting libido and improves the metabolic rate during sleep.

Should I buy cardamom pods or ground? ›

In general, if you have the time and inclination to use whole cardamom pods, they are the better choice for cooking and baking. However, if convenience is more important, cardamom powder is a good alternative.

Is it okay to eat cardamom everyday? ›

While cardamom is a spice that can provide numerous health benefits when consumed in moderation, eating too much of it can have some negative effects on your body. Consuming large amounts of cardamom can cause digestive issues such as stomach discomfort, bloating, and gas.

How does cardamom reduce belly fat? ›

Cardamom is a diuretic and digestive stimulant that stimulates metabolism and helps the body burn fat more effectively. Cardamom, an Ayurvedic essential, can ramp up your digestion and alleviate problems like water retention by targeting fat in your body.

Is cardamom good for your hair? ›

Cardamom is rich in Vitamin C and minerals like potassium and magnesium. As a result, it helps strengthen hair follicles and boosts hair growth. Cardamom may protect your hair from environmental aggressors in part because of the antioxidants it contains, which fight against the damage caused by free radicals.

Is cardamom good for arthritis? ›

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, cardamom is highly efficient in alleviating muscle and joint pain.

What medications does cardamom interact with? ›

Cardamom may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and drugs that affect the liver. So it's important to consult a doctor before consuming it.

What are the pros and cons of cardamom? ›

Cardamom is a spice that's part of the ginger family. The benefits of cardamom are that it is an anti-inflammatory spice while side effects may include skin rashes, coughing, and other symptoms. Cardamom is a spice that's part of the ginger family.

Does cardamom affect blood pressure? ›

According to a study conducted in 2009, consumption of around 3 grams of cardamom divided into two doses for almost 12 weeks continuously can help in reducing blood pressure. It can improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart diseases by controlling one of the major risk factors which is high blood pressure.

Can cardamom cause heart palpitations? ›

Increase in heart rate and blood pressure as well as palpitations have also been reported. Tachycardia is more evident in occasional users than in chronic users.

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