Cardamom, or elaichi, is used in a lot of festive preparations, which is why the health benefits of this extremely flavourful and aromatic spice are not very well known. While cardamom may not be appreciated when one accidentally encounters it in a spoonful of delicious biryani, it is enjoyed in a whole range of desi dishes, including sensational desserts and savouries. Cardamom is used in both whole and powdered form and is also included in a number of spice mixes. It has a minty, spicy herb-like flavour and smell, and a warm taste, which is why it is also consumed as a mouth-freshener. It also serves as a good addition to your masala chai concoction, adding a calming aroma to the drink that is the quintessential Indian refresher. But cardamom has a number of health benefits as well, among which regulation of blood pressure is perhaps the most important one.
Cardamom For High Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition wherein the blood pressure in a person's arteries is persistently in an elevated condition. Usually, hypertension or high blood pressure is defined by a blood pressure exceeding 140/90. It is considered severe when it shoots above 180/120. What makes hypertension so dangerous is that it can often have no discernible symptoms, but if it is left untreated for a long period of time, it can cause a number of potentially fatal health complications, including heart diseases and even stroke. We have a number of spices and herbs that may help alleviate or regulate hypertension, when consumed as a part of a healthy diet, along with some amount of physical activity.
Cardamom, or elaichi, is one such spice, which is probably under-appreciated for its role in keeping blood pressure levels under check. There has been some research into the effects of cardamom consumption on the blood pressure levels of hypertension patients. One particular study, published in the Indian Journal Of Biochemistry and Biophysics, found that daily consumption of elaichi in a dose of 1.5 gms twice in a day, lead to a decrease in the systolic, diastolic and mean blood pressure in Stage-1 hypertensive patients, who were observed for a period of three months.
The study also said that although there was no sudden decrease in blood pressure levels in patients, a gradual decrease was observed and at the end of three months, the patients were able to reach achieve blood pressure levels that were normal or were below 140/90. The study concluded that long-term consumption of cardamom can have merits for patients of hypertension or people suffering from elevated blood pressure levels. The study pointed towards therapeutic and antioxidant capabilities of cardamom as being responsible for lowering blood pressure levels in hypertension patients.
How To Use Cardamom To Keep Blood Pressure Under Control
Cardamom, or elaichi, may be added to your breakfast bowl or oats or any other healthy breakfast cereal. Just a pinch of cardamom can add both flavour and boost health factor of your breakfast cereal bowl. You may also add it to a number of hot beverages, including black tea, green tea or just add a pinch of it to warm water and sip on it, to reap its benefits. You may sprinkle some fresh cardamom powder on warm salads or in dals and curries.
Additionally, Cardamom is known to increase the blood circulation in your body and especially to your lungs and so, is often used as a natural remedy for respiratory disorders. It maintains vitality and keeps your energy levels up.