Cardamom, between natural remedies and properties of the plant native to India but which has conquered the whole West thanks to its beneficial properties. Cardamom is also used in cooking to enrich a large number of dishes.
Cardamom: properties, natural remedies, plant cultivation and care. Benefits, contraindications and uses of cardamom.
Cardamom seeds have a strongly aromatic, bittersweet smell, almost similar to that of lemon. It is the full-bodied, sweet, deep and spicy flavor that makes this ingredient highly sought after in the kitchen.
Cardamom, the plant and its virtues
The cardamom, a perennial plant from southern India, belongs to the same family as ginger; the leaves are lanceolate of dark green color and lighter in color on the bottom. At the base of the plant there are small yellow flowers and purple pods that become aromatic seeds of a glossy black color.
This plant was already known and appreciated since ancient times: the Egyptians used it for its medicinal properties, the Greeks and Romans included it in their daily diet as to strengthen health.
Today, in the kitchen, the cardamom it is used to flavor rice, salads, meats, sausages, vegetables, fish, biscuits, sweets, candies, liqueurs and much more. It is appreciated in the culinary world in general but even more so in natural medicine as an ingredient in the making of teas and others remedies household items. Due to its high content of essential oils, cardamom is used to make perfumes and in aromatherapy.
Cardamom, beneficial properties
In Ayurvedic medicine, cardamom infusion is prescribed for colds, flu, coughs and sinusitis.
In aromatherapy, essential oil is used for massage in case of respiratory problems, poor circulation and to strengthen the defenses.
Among the active ingredients we point out the presence of limonene, sabinene, borneol and cyaneol. Thecardamomit is popular for its antiseptic and digestive properties.
Cardamom, natural remedies
Cardamom, natural remedy for stress
To soothe physical and mental fatigue and relieve symptoms of stress, the cardamomis a good ally. To take it, just boil 1 teaspoon of cardamom pods in 250 ml of milk for 5 minutes then cover and allow to cool. To be taken every evening before going to bed.
Remedy against food anemia
Cardamom is a good source of micronutrients, especially calcium, potassium, zinc andiron. To counteract food anemia, it is necessary to follow a well balanced diet, but even better if integrated with a cardamom-based preparation. Just blend the pulp of two mangoes, 1 cup of natural yogurt and 1 teaspoon of cardamom until you get a uniform mixture. Take 1 cup a day to fill up on energy and micronutrients, keep in the fridge for a maximum of 3/4 days.
Remedy to strengthen the immune system
Put the seeds of three cardamom berries in a saucepan, add the juice of two oranges and half a cup of water then cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. When it comes to a boil, remove from heat and let it cool. Take 1 cup a day.
Remedy against fatigue and the feeling of tiredness
In a cup pour 1 tablespoon of ground coffee and 3 dry and crushed seeds of cardamom then add 125 ml of boiling water. Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes then filter: if you prefer you can dissolve 1 tablespoon of honey. To drink morning and evening every day for about a week, resume taking after about a month.
PLEASE NOTE: it is advisable to seek the advice of your doctor before taking the product.
You will not be pleased to know that thecardamomit is one of the most difficult aromatic plants tocultivate. It is no coincidence that thecardamomis counted among the three most expensive spices in the world along with cinnamon and saffron.
Only the various gardening experts and enthusiasts can try their hand atgrow cardamom! This plant belongs to the same family of ginger, that of the Zingiberaceae, but it is cultivated with more difficulty.
Therecultivation of cardamomit can have an ornamental or food purpose: the cardamom plant is very beautiful and looks like a perfect houseplant.
To understand why it is difficultgrow cardamom in Italyjust think of its country of origin: this perennial plant is native to the East. Hercultivationit is entrusted to women and practiced above all in Sri Lanka, Iran, India, Thailand and Central and South America.
If you live in southern Italy you have a better chance ofgrow cardamom. In Italy, thecardamomit should be grown only in areas with a mild temperature (even in winter) and only in pots so that it can be moved to a sheltered environment during the winter months.
The plant dies with temperatures below 10 degrees and suffers with temperatures between 10 and 15 degrees. Its ideal cultivation temperature is 22 ° C.
How to grow potted cardamom
Therecultivation in potsis the only possible solution given the climatic needs of thecardamom. The plant sees a high root development (of the rhizomes) and therefore needs very large pots.
For the cultivation ofcardamom, organize large vases to be placed on trolleys with wheels, otherwise you would not be able to transport the vases sheltered during the cold season.
The soil must be characterized by an acid reaction, with a pH around 5.1 - 5.5. This means that you do not have to irrigate the cardamom with tap water otherwise you would alkalize the soil. For the irrigation of thecardamomfollow the instructions indicated on the page dedicated to how to water acidophilic plants. Like all acidophiles, thecardamomrequires constant watering in the summer.
Feed fertilizer only in spring and autumn with gradual contributions.
If you succeed in the enterprise of grow cardamom, remember to collect the capsules when they are still green and closed, leaving them to dry in the sun for a few days. The capsules must be opened by hand removing the seeds; the extracted seeds must be further dried and stored in hermetically sealed jars, away from heat sources and in a dark place. Many producers prefer to leave the seeds inside the capsule to better preserve the aroma of the cardamom seeds. In this case, the capsule is broken at the time of use but the drying period can vary from 2 weeks per month.