Cardamom is believed to have antibacterial and antidepressant properties, to improve circulation and to successfully treat many gastrointestinal disorders. Eastern medicine has relied on the herb for centuries, but as of 2015, sufficient evidence to measure the accuracy of any health claims associated with cardamom remains unavailable.
The tropical herb ranks among the most expensive spices in the world and has many uses in both Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine. When ingested, cardamom may fight various bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections, food poisoning and gonorrhea. It may also improve dental health, freshen breath, and relieve sore throats and muscle spasms.
According to Jamia Hamdard scientists in India, certain extracted oils from the cardamom seed can ease gas and stomach pains as well as balance the acidity level of the stomach. Many use it to manage irritable bowel syndrome and to treat heartburn and constipation. Cardamom essential oil is commonly used in aromatherapy and may improve respiratory disorders such as asthma and bronchitis.
Pharmaceutical researchers at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia successfully used cardamom to control high blood pressure and regulate slow or irregular heart rates. Cardamom may help prevent colorectal cancer, and it contains several essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients, including protein, vitamin C, iron, magnesium and zinc.
In Ayruvedic medicine, it is used in cooking, because diet is an important aspect of Ayruveda. It can also be ingested as a tea or a ground powder. Native to India, it is now widely used in herbal remedies and culinary dishes throughout the world. Traditionally, it is consumed after meals as a breath freshener in India.