What Are The Benefits and Side Effects Of Cardamom? (2024)

  • What Is
    • What is cardamom?
  • Health Benefits
    • Health benefits of cardamom
  • Side Effects
    • Side effects of cardamom
  • How to Use
    • How to use cardamom
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What is cardamom?

What Are The Benefits and Side Effects Of Cardamom? (1)

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. There are two varieties of cardamom pods: green and black. The green pods (Elettaria cardamomum) are what we commonly know as cardamom. They are smaller in size and have a finer flavor than the black pods.

Cardamom is known as the “queen of spices” because it has a lovely smell and versatile flavor. It’s used to flavor many different sweet and savory foods and drinks. Cardamom is the third-most-expensive spice in the world after saffron and vanilla.

Cardamom is also known as:

  • Cardamum
  • Cardamon
  • True cardamom

Cardamom is an especially important spice in South Asian dishes. It’s also been used in Middle Eastern dishes for centuries. Cardamom was first imported to Europe in the 1200s and can be found in sweet treats like Swedish cardamom buns and German cookies.

Health benefits of cardamom

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Inflammation is your body's natural response to infection and injury, but when the inflammation continues for months or even years, this is known as chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is linked to a higher risk of chronic diseases and disorders, like cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Cardamom contains different plant compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. Early studies have found that cardamom may decrease levels of inflammatory markers.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that’s common among women. It’s one of the most common causes of infertility among women. The exact cause of PCOS is still unknown, but experts say that higher than normalandrogen hormone levels play a part.

A study of 194 women with PCOS, though, found that taking 3 grams of green cardamom a day and a low-calorie diet for 3 months lowered inflammation and decreased androgen levels.

May Help With Digestive Problems

In some cultures, it’s common to chew on cardamom after a meal to help with digestion.

Research on cardamom’s effects on digestive health has been limited to lab and test-tube studies. Early studies have found that cardamom may have a protective effect against Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that's a common cause of stomach ulcers and gastritis. More studies are needed, though, to find out how this affects people.

May Help With Bad Breath

In the Middle East and South Asia, people chew on cardamom pods to freshen their breath. Researchers say this function may have to do with cardamom’s ability to fight common mouth bacteria likeCandida albicans andStreptococcus mutans.

Tooth decay happens when bacteria in your mouth come into contact with starches and sugars contained in food you eat. This forms an acid that can eat away at your enamel, causing it to lose minerals.

One lab study found that cardamom extract reduced the amount of bacteria in saliva samples by 54.5%. These studies are all test tube-based, though, so more research is needed before the effects on people is known.

May Help Improve Fitness

Experts say that the invigorating aroma of cardamom stimulates the brain to release a chemical (noradrenaline) that has the same effect as waking up.

Aromatherapy has also been found to make post-exercise recovery faster by uplifting the energy levels of your mind and body, as well as reducing fatigue.

A small study on aromatherapy and exercise found that participants who inhaled cardamom essential oil for 1 minute before walking on a treadmill displayed higher oxygen intake (VO2 Max). This means that they had higher aerobic capacity and better physical fitness when compared to the control group.

Effects on Diabetes

The effects of cardamom on diabetes have been mixed. Early studies on animals have found that cardamom powder may improve glucose intolerance.

This effect, though, may not affect people in the same way. In a study of 204 people with type 2 diabetes, participants were given black tea with 3 grams of cardamom, cinnamon, or ginger, or with 1 gram of saffron, added. They drank 3 glasses of this tea every day for 8 weeks. Only the group who drank tea with cinnamon were found to have decreased fasting blood sugar levels.

Potential Antibacterial Effects

Lab studies have found that cardamom essential oils are effective at fighting the bacteriaCampylobacter, which is one of the most common causes of gastroenteritis (stomach flu). More research, though, is needed.

Side effects of cardamom

The use of cardamom is safe when eaten in typical amounts found in foods, but as cardamom and other spices come from plants, they have the potential to be allergens. Allergies to spices are rare.

Reactions to spices may include:

  • Skin rashes
  • Itching in the mouth
  • Coughing
  • Anaphylaxis (very rare)

Experts say that you should be cautious about taking more than 3 grams a day of cardamom, as there is limited long-term research on the effects of higher doses of cardamom on people.

A study of the effects of Arabic coffee (coffee with cardamom) found that participants who drank coffee with cardamom had increased total cholesterol levels when compared to the control group. Those who had a higher dose of cardamom also had higher low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) levels. Participants drank coffee with cardamom 5 days a week for 4 weeks.

More research is needed to better understand the effect of cardamom on cholesterol.

How to use cardamom

You can purchase cardamom whole, ground, or as essential oils.

Whole spices stay fresher for longer.When you grind cardamom as needed, you’ll get a fresher and fuller flavor than pre-ground cardamom. You can grind spices with a mortar and pestle or a spice or coffee grinder.

Store cardamom in a cool, dry, and dark space. Be aware of “best by” dates. If there isn’t a date on your package, a good rule of thumb for whole spices is two years from date of purchase. If you have ground spices, use them up by one year from the date of purchase.

The pods are also used in many different dishes like stews or soups. Crush the whole pods before using them, as the flavor is in the small seeds inside.

One cardamom pod gives you about ? teaspoon of ground cardamom. One teaspoon is equivalent to about 2 grams of powder.

Cardamom is an essential spice in many curries and savory dishes but also adds great flavor to desserts and baked goods. Try sprinkling some cardamom in hot breakfast cereals and smoothies.

QUESTION Negative emotions are more powerful than positive emotions. See Answer

Medically Reviewed on 7/20/2022



American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology: "Can Spices Cause Allergic Reactions?"


British Journal of Sports Medicine: "Aromatherapy for sports and fitness."

CDC: “PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and Diabetes."

Eating and Weight Disorders: "Green cardamom plus low-calorie diet can decrease the expression of inflammatory genes among obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a double-blind randomized clinical trial."

Ethnobotanical Leaflets: "Antimicrobial Activity of Amomum subulatum and Elettaria cardamomum Against Dental Caries Causing Microorganisms."

Harvard Health Publishing: "Spice up your holidays with brain-healthy seasonings."

Institute of Culinary Education: "Five Guidelines for Sourcing and Storing Spices."

International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences: "Arabic coffee with two doses of cardamom."

Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Crops: "Medicinal Properties of Cardamom Elettaria cardamomum."

Lipids in Health and Disease: "Cardamom powder supplementation prevents obesity, improves glucose intolerance, inflammation and oxidative stress in liver of high carbohydrate high fat diet induced obese rats."

Molecules: "Cardamom, Cumin, and Dill Weed Essential Oils: Chemical Compositions, Antimicrobial Activities, and Mechanisms of Action against Campylobacter spp."

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: "Tooth Decay."


North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox: "Elettaria cardamomum."

Nutrition Today: "Cardamom: Potential Health Benefits."

Phytotherapy Research: "In vitro susceptibility of Helicobacter pylori to botanical extracts used traditionally for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders."

Oregon State University Extension Service: "Spices of India."

Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity: "Role of Antioxidants and Natural Products in Inflammation."

The Review of Diabetic Studies: "Effects of Cinnamon, Cardamom, Saffron, and Ginger Consumption on Markers of Glycemic Control, Lipid Profile, Oxidative Stress, and Inflammation in Type 2 Diabetes Patients."

What Are The Benefits and Side Effects Of Cardamom? (2024)


What Are The Benefits and Side Effects 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. There are two varieties of cardamom pods: green and black.

What are the negative effects of cardamom? ›

It can also cause gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Large doses can also cause hypertension and rapid heartbeat. 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 does cardamom do to your body? ›

It may lower blood pressure, improve breathing and aid weight loss. What's more, animal and test-tube studies show that cardamom may help fight tumors, improve anxiety, fight bacteria and protect your liver, though the evidence in these cases is less strong.

How much cardamom is safe per day? ›

Dosing. Cardamom is often included as a spice in foods. As a supplement, it is most often taken by mouth as a dose of 3 grams daily for up to 4 weeks in adults. Speak with a healthcare provider to found out what dose might be best for a specific condition.

Is cardamom safe for kidneys? ›

Packed with diuretic traits, cardamom aids in proper elimination of excess salts, liquids, waste materials in the system, thus averting surplus levels of toxins building up in the kidneys.

Who should not take cardamom? ›

Potential Risks of 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. Talk to your doctor if you're considering taking cardamom as a supplement.

Does cardamom affect the heart? ›

Several lines of evidence have revealed that cardamom and its active constituents show hypotensive and cardiovascular protective properties.

What happens if you eat cardamom every day? ›

Consuming cardamom may help with conditions such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes, as well as boosting oral, heart, and liver health. Cardamom may also offer antimicrobial properties, help prevent ulcers, and help fight against cancer.

What happens if we eat one cardamom daily? ›

As per the Indian Ayurvedic system, it has been used to reduce fat deposition in the body and manage skin and urinary problems. Other beneficial properties of the seeds of cardamom are as follows: It may have carminative properties (to relieve flatulence)

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.

Is cardamom good for eyesight? ›

Is Cardamom good for eyesight? Yes, Cardamom is good for improving eyesight when it is taken with honey.

Is cardamom better than Cinnamon? ›

Cinnamon contains higher carbohydrate and fiber contents, whereas cardamom has more fats and proteins. Cardamom is richer in minerals than cinnamon. But cinnamon has high levels of calcium. Cinnamon contains vitamin B complex and vitamins K, E, and A, whereas cardamom has more vitamin C content.

Is cardamom bad for high blood pressure? ›

Some foods can work well for the heart which can naturally reduce blood pressure and help you control hypertension. Cardamom is one spice which is can help you control high blood pressure.

Is cardamom good for arthritis? ›

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

Why do I crave cardamom? ›

I think you might be craving it becuase you have a mineral/vitamin deficiency. I used to eat it a lot too and I noticed I only craved it when I was low on iron. After using it for a long time it started being the cause of my low iron levels. I stopped taking it which was very hard to do and now my health is better.

Can cardamom cause high blood pressure? ›

Cardamom due to its antioxidant and diuretic properties it increases the urine volume and excreted higher levels of sodium and potassium ions. This, in turn, helps to relax blood vessel walls, which decreases blood pressure.

Is Cardamom Tea good or bad for you? ›

Cardamom contains potassium and has anti-inflammatory properties, which are great for better heart health. Drinking cardamom tea regularly can help improve blood circulation, reduce high blood pressure, reduce inflammation of the blood vessels, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases like stroke or heart attack.

Why does cardamom make me sleepy? ›

Green cardamom contains melatonin—a hormone naturally produced by the brain that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and helps you relax after dark. Research shows that including melatonin-rich foods in your diet can help with sleep disorders, promote hormonal balance, improve immune response, and lower stress levels.

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