9 Benefits of Black Cardamom (5th Will Shock You)

Monday 22 May 2023
9 Benefits of Black Cardamom (5th Will Shock You)

Join us on a captivating journey as we explore the enchanting world of black cardamom. From its intriguing history to its diverse culinary uses, get ready to immerse yourself in the rich flavors and aromatic wonders of black cardamom.

From its historical significance on ancient trade routes to its admired place in modern gastronomy, we explore all the dimensions of black cardamom. 

Introduction to Black Cardamom: A Fragrant Spice with a Rich History

The Distinctive Characteristics 

Black cardamom has large, dark brown or black pods that contain tiny, sticky black seeds. It has a peculiarly smokey and earthy flavor profile that distinguishes it from green cardamom. Its distinct flavor is frequently described as resinous, aromatic, and resembling camphor with citrus and eucalyptus undertones.

History of Black Cardamom

Ancient Origin

Black cardamom, sometimes referred to as "kali elaichi" or "badi elaichi," is a potent spice that is frequently used in international cuisines. It is indigenous to Bhutan, Nepal, sections of China, and the eastern Himalayan region of India. It is a member of the Zingiberaceae family, which also contains ginger and turmeric.

Ayurvedic System 

Scientifically, Amomum subulatum, also known as Amomum subulatum, has an important history in the development of Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medical system. It has been used in Ayurvedic practices for thousands of years when its therapeutic and medical effects were highly valued.

Black cardamom was revered as a great digestive aid in Ayurveda. It was thought to reduce gastrointestinal pain including bloating and indigestion as well as promote good digestion and stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes. The spice was frequently used in herbal treatments and formulations for a variety of digestive ailments.

The ability of black cardamom to balance the doshas or the three basic forces that regulate the body—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. According to Ayurveda, Health problems result from dosha imbalances. In Ayurveda, it is considered a good herb for treating illnesses brought on by excess Vata and Kapha doshas.

Tibetan History

In Tibetan culture and medicine, black cardamom is also called "tsaoko". Tibetan medical writings, like the "Four Tantras" or "Gyud Zhi," deeply explain the characteristics and use of the herb. It is believed to have a warm temperature that may support healthy digestion, circulation, and energy balance in the body.

Also in Tibetan medicine, it is believed to strengthen the digestive fire, known as "Agni," and promote the assimilation of nutrients. It is often incorporated into herbal formulas for treating indigestion, bloating, and loss of appetite. The spice is also valued for its carminative properties, which help alleviate flatulence and abdominal discomfort.

Interestingly, the spice helps to warm up the lungs, which helps to relieve congestion and reduce cough, asthma, and bronchitis symptoms. It is frequently used in herbal medicines for respiratory health, along with other herbs, to produce potent cures.

Black cardamom is also considered a sacred herb and is used in traditional Tibetan incense and medicine rituals. The aroma of black cardamom is believed to purify the environment, promote relaxation, and enhance meditation practices.

Plus, black cardamom plays a role in Tibetan culinary traditions. It is a key ingredient in Tibetan cuisine, adding a distinct flavor and aroma to dishes. The spice is used in savory recipes, such as stews, curries, and soups, imparting a smoky and earthy taste. It is also used in traditional Tibetan butter tea, where it contributes to the unique blend of flavors.

Curious about the flavor profiles of black and green cardamom? Discover the nuances and differences between these two aromatic spices on our dedicated page.

Silk Trade Route

The Silk Road facilitated the exchange of goods and ideas across vast distances, allowing black cardamom to reach distant lands. Traders, merchants, and explorers traveling along the Silk Road recognized the appeal and demand for this spice. Black cardamom found its way to Central Asia, Persia, Arabia, and eventually Europe.

The spice journey along the Silk Road involved several stages of trade and exchange. Initially, black cardamom was harvested and processed in the Himalayan region. It was then transported to the major trading hubs along the Silk Road, such as Kashgar, Samarkand, and Dunhuang. Here, it was traded for other goods, including silk, spices, precious metals, and gemstones.

From Central Asia, black cardamom made its way to the Middle East, where it was highly valued for its culinary and medicinal properties. The spice was incorporated into Arab and Persian cuisines, enriching dishes with its unique smoky and earthy flavor. It also found a place in traditional herbal remedies and medicinal preparations.

As the Silk Road extended to Europe, black cardamom became an increasingly prized spice. It gained popularity among European traders and eventually made its way into European culinary traditions. It was used in various recipes, such as baked goods, desserts, and spiced beverages, adding a distinctive and exotic touch to these dishes.

The Silk Road trade of black cardamom not only facilitated the exchange of goods but also fostered cultural interactions and the spread of culinary practices. It contributed to the diversification of cuisines and the enrichment of culinary traditions across different regions.

Today, black cardamom continues to be celebrated as a versatile and prized spice, with its roots deeply embedded in the historical Silk Road trade. Its journey along these ancient trade routes is a testament to its enduring appeal and the cultural significance it holds across various cuisines and traditions.

Chinese Tradition

Known as "bai dou kou" in Chinese, black cardamom is a popular spice in Chinese cuisine. Chinese cuisine is full of distinctive savory and sweet tastes. has a rich history and a significant presence in Chinese tradition. It is highly valued for its unique flavor, medicinal properties, and cultural significance.

It is particularly prized in dishes such as braised meats, stews, and soups, where its robust aroma imparts a rich and earthy taste. Black cardamom is also a key component of Chinese Five Spice Powder, a traditional blend of spices used in many culinary preparations.

Also, black cardamom is sometimes used in traditional Chinese wedding ceremonies. It is incorporated into various rituals and offerings, symbolizing good luck, fortune, and a harmonious union. The spice's distinct aroma is believed to create an auspicious and joyful atmosphere during the celebration.

European Influence

In the medieval era, black cardamom was used as an ingredient to enhance the flavors of food and mask the taste of spoiled or poorly preserved food. Later, it made its way to northern European cuisines. In Sweden and Finland, it is used to mix like a spirit in hard drinks like aquavit or vodka. 

Middle East

Black cardamom holds a significant place in Middle Eastern cuisine and culture, where it is known as "al-hayl" or "Hal" in Arabic. Moreover, black cardamom has been a key ingredient in traditional Middle Eastern desserts and beverages. It is often used to flavor sweet rice dishes, such as "meghli" or "mamounia," and is also added to aromatic teas and herbal infusions.

If you want to add a dash of exoticism and want to improve your health exceedingly, you need to look no further. Black cardamom, with its captivating aroma and enriched flavor, can be the perfect spice that can do wonders for your well-being.

Join us as we unravel the therapeutic properties of black cardamom and discover how this fragrant spice can enhance both your dishes and your health!

Nutritional Profile of Black Cardamom

Black cardamom on the woods

Here are a few nutritional elements that you can find in Black Cardamom:

Carbohydrates: Black Cardamom contains a small amount of carbohydrates, providing energy.Vitamin C: Black Cardamom is a good source of vitamin C, Which acts as an antioxidant and supports immune function.
Protein: It contains a minimal amount of protein, which is important for tissue repair and growth.Potassium: It contains a moderate amount of potassium, which is essential for proper heart and muscle function.
Fat: Black Cardamom has a low fat content, making it a suitable addition to a balanced dietCalcium: Black Cardamom provides a small amount of calcium, which is crucial for bone health.

Magnesium: It contains a modest amount of magnesium, which is involved in numerous enzymatic reaction in the body and supports muscle and nerve function.

Iron: Black Cardamom supplies a small amount of iron, which is important for the production of red blood cells and oxygen transport.

Zinc: It contains a trace amount of zinc, which plays a role in immune function and wound healing.

Also, It includes other nutritional elements, such as:

  1. Volatile oils like cineole and limonene
  2. Dietary Fibre

Benefits of Black Cardamom

black cardamom being harvested out by farmers

  1. Respiratory Health
  2. Digestive Health 
  3. Oral Health 
  4. Heart Health
  5. Anti-cancer properties 
  6. Weight-management 
  7. Relieves Menstrual Discomfort 
  8. Improves your Hair Texture 
  9. Enhances your Skin Texture

Respiratory Health

Black cardamom is a rich source of essential oils, including cineole, which plays a key role in respiratory health. The chemical cineole, commonly known as eucalyptol, has anti-inflammatory and bronchodilatory properties.

These qualities aid in reducing respiratory tract irritation and opening up the airways to improve breathing. Black cardamom is an effective home cure for coughs, congestion, and other respiratory issues in traditional medicine.

Additionally, black cardamom has powerful antioxidant capabilities that support its respiratory advantages. Antioxidants help to reduce oxidative stress and eliminate dangerous free radicals that might affect the respiratory system.

Black Cardamom Tea to Treat Cough and Cold 

You can use black cardamom in a variety of ways throughout the day to improve your respiratory system. One well-liked technique is to add it to herbal teas or decoctions. Simply crush a few black cardamom pods and steep them briefly in hot water. This flavorful tea can help clear up congestion and soothe the respiratory system.

Also, you can try including black cardamom in savory meals to help your respiratory system. Hearty soups, stews, and curries go incredibly well with their warm, smoky flavor. As you appreciate each tasty bite, you'll not only indulge your taste buds but also benefit from its therapeutic qualities.

Things to Consider
Although black cardamom is typically safe to eat, reactions and sensitivity may differ from person to person. Hence, if you have pre-existing respiratory ailments or are using a medication, like with any natural remedy, it is imperative to speak with a healthcare provider.

Digestive Health

Black cardamom also contains essential oils like terpinene, and limonene, which are excellent for improving digestive health.

By encouraging the exit of gas from the digestive tract, carminatives aid in the reduction of digestive discomfort. Just a pinch of cardamom in your meals may offer much-needed comfort if you experience bloating, indigestion, or flatulence.

Additionally, it helps effective digestion by boosting enzyme activity, avoiding digestive problems, and encouraging appropriate food use.

According to research, the essential oils in black cardamom may have gastroprotective characteristics that can help prevent the development of gastric ulcers and speed up the healing of already present ulcers.

Recipes to Relieve Digestive Discomfort

Consider using black cardamom in your cuisine to incorporate it into your daily routine for digestive benefits. Its savory, warm flavor goes nicely with curries, rice, and lentil soups, among other savory foods. To give your food a lovely aroma and digestive benefits, simply crush a few black cardamom pods and add them.

Furthermore, you can steep crushed pods in boiling water to make a calming black cardamom tea. Drink this flavorful liquid after meals to promote digestion and ease any discomfort.

Things to Consider
To some people, the essential oils may cause discomfort for others, particularly those with digestive conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or ulcers. If you have a history of such conditions, it's advisable to exercise caution and monitor your body's response when consuming black cardamom.

Oral Health

Black cardamom is an absolute champion when it comes to promoting dental health. This unusual spice, with its powerful and fragrant smell, provides a number of advantages that may help maintain a healthy mouth and a radiant smile.

According to research, black cardamom's essential oils, like terpinene and cineole, have potent antibacterial properties that can effectively combat oral germs. These oils can aid in the fight against the bacteria that cause gum disease, plaque buildup, and bad breath.

You might be able to improve your breath and lower your risk of oral infections by integrating black cardamom into your oral hygiene routine.

In addition, black cardamom has long been used as a homoeopathic treatment for gum disease and toothaches. Its anti-inflammatory qualities can aid in discomfort relief and gum health promotion.

You may provide your body with access to antioxidants and promote the overall health of your dental tissues and gums by routinely drinking black cardamom.

Antioxidants found in black cardamom can shield oral tissues like the gums from oxidative damage. Periodontal disorders and gum inflammation can both be exacerbated by oxidative stress in the oral cavity. 

To incorporate black cardamom into your oral care routine, you can consider chewing on a whole pod after meals to freshen your breath and promote gum health. Also, you can add powdered black cardamom to homemade toothpaste or mouthwash recipes for an extra boost of oral care.

Heart Health

Black Cardamom is packed with compounds that act as antioxidants, such as flavonoids and phenolic compounds. Hence, it is beneficial for heart health because of its antioxidant properties. 

These antioxidants help to neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. By reducing oxidative stress, black cardamom may help protect the heart and blood vessels from damage and support overall cardiovascular health.

In addition, essential oils like cineole and limonene found in black cardamom have been demonstrated to have cardioprotective qualities. These oils can support a healthy cardiovascular system by lowering blood pressure and enhancing blood circulation. 

It may help lessen the risk of heart disease and associated disorders by improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.

By attaching to cholesterol in the digestive tract and blocking its absorption into the bloodstream, fiber helps to control cholesterol levels.

By embracing the flavors and benefits of black cardamom, you can add a delicious and heart-healthy touch to your meals while supporting the health of your cardiovascular system. Let black cardamom be your flavorful companion on the path to a healthier heart.

Anti-cancer properties

Due to its high concentration of bioactive components, including flavonoids and phenolic compounds, black cardamom, may partly help alleviate cancer effects.

The oils that are found in it are encouraging in increasing cancer cell apoptosis (programmed cell death), slowing the proliferation of cancer cells, and even halting the development of new blood vessels that feed tumors.

Its potential anti-cancer effects extend beyond its bioactive compounds. It is also being studied for its ability to modulate gene expression and inhibit the activity of certain enzymes involved in cancer development and progression. 

By targeting specific molecular pathways, black cardamom may help prevent the uncontrolled growth and spread of cancer cells.

Weight Management

According to certain research, black cardamom may improve metabolic rate, which is the number of calories your body burns while at rest. Black cardamom may help with weight control attempts by enhancing metabolism, which raises calorie expenditure and promotes weight loss.

Also, it is low in calories, therefore, you won’t have to worry about its calorie content. By supporting efficient digestion, black cardamom may optimize nutrient utilization and promote a healthy gut, which can play a role in maintaining a healthy weight.

Relieves Menstrual Discomfort

A common cause of menstrual cramps is the release of inflammatory chemicals called prostaglandins. According to research, the ingredients in black cardamom, such as cineole and limonene, may have anti-inflammatory properties. It may lessen menstrual cramp intensity by lowering inflammation.

Black cardamom's peaceful aroma can have a calming impact on the body and mind, easing muscle tension and discomfort related to menstrual cramps. Including black cardamom in your regimen while you are menstruating might provide a soothing and enticing feeling.

Improves your Hair Texture

The antimicrobial properties of black cardamom can help maintain a healthy scalp, reducing the risk of scalp infections and dandruff. Also, it contains essential vitamins and minerals that can nourish the hair follicles and promote healthier hair growth. It provides vital nutrients that support strong and lustrous hair. 

The aromatic oils present in black cardamom can be used in hair care formulations to condition the hair, making it more manageable, smooth, and soft. It may help reduce frizz and enhance the overall texture of the hair.

Learn why black cardamom is the must-have spice in your rack.

Enhances your Skin Texture

Black cardamom contains antioxidants that combat free radicals, which can contribute to premature aging and dull skin. Regular consumption or topical application of black cardamom may help protect the skin from oxidative stress, leading to improved skin texture.

Also, it can be used in skincare routines to cleanse the skin and unclog pores. It has purifying properties that may help remove impurities and improve skin texture over time.

Is black cardamom safe?

As with any food or spice, it's always wise to be mindful of individual sensitivities and potential interactions with medications or underlying health conditions.

There is no doubt that black cardamom offers a range of health benefits, yet it's crucial to remember that it is not a miracle cure or a substitute for professional medical advice.

Generally, many people can tolerate black cardamom. However, some people may experience allergic reactions or sensitivities to spices, including black cardamom. If you notice any adverse reactions such as skin rashes, itching, or digestive discomfort after consuming black cardamom, it's best to discontinue its use and consult with a healthcare professional.

It is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating black cardamom or any new dietary addition into your routine, especially if you have specific health concerns or are taking medications.

If You are interested in purchasing Black cardamom, then check out our store and buy black cardamom from there.

Cooking with Black Cardamom: Tips, Techniques, and Pairings

a lady cooking a delicious diss with black cardamom

  1. Savoury dishes: It pairs well with rich and robust ingredients like meats, stews, curries, and rice dishes. Its strong flavor profile makes it a versatile spice for adding depth and complexity to various cuisines.
  2. Soups and broths: Here are a few ways to infuse the spice in the soups:

Add a few whole black cardamom pods to your soup and broth while it simmers. The pods will release their aromatic oils, infusing the liquid with their distinctive flavor. Remember to remove the pods before serving.

Simmer the homemade stock with a few pods of the spice, along with other aromatics like onions, garlic, and herbs. The concoction will be a rich and flavorful base for your soups and stews.

Crush the black cardamom to include it in homemade spice blends for soups and broths. Grind the seeds into a powder and combine them with other spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric. This blend can be added directly to the soup or used as a seasoning for roasted vegetables before adding them to the broth.

Add a whole pod or ground cardamom to lentil or bean soups to enhance their flavors. The aromatic aroma of the spices can amplify the taste of the soups.

Use it in creamy soups such as potato or pumpkin soup. It adds a subtle smoky touch that balances the creaminess of the soups.

  1. Rice and Grain Dishes: Add a few whole black cardamom pods to the water or cooking liquid. This gives a subtle yet distinctive flavor to the grains, enhancing the overall taste of the dish. 
  2. Herbal Teas: Black cardamom can be used to infuse flavor into teas and herbal infusions. Add a few pods to the boiling water with tea leaves or other herbs for a beautiful fragrance. 
  3. Bakery Items: Incorporate ground black cardamom into cakes, cookies, bread, and even chocolate desserts. It pairs particularly well with flavors like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. 
  4. Grilled Meats: Make a spicy marinade by combining black cardamom with other spices, herbs, and oils. This marinade can be used to marinate meats such as chicken, beef, or lamb. 
  5. Fusion Cuisine: Combine it with spices and ingredients from different culinary traditions to create unique dishes that blend harmoniously. You can also use it in barbecue sauce for an exotic taste. 

What are the side effects of black cardamom?

Black cardamom contains a significant amount of caffeine, which can cause side effects such as increased heart rate, restlessness, insomnia, and jitteriness, especially when consumed in large quantities or by individuals who are sensitive to caffeine.

Some people may be allergic to the spice, and consuming it can trigger symptoms such as skin rashes, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Individuals with known allergies to other spices or a history of allergic reactions should exercise caution when consuming black cardamom.

It has a warming effect on the body and may increase body temperature. This can be problematic for individuals with conditions such as hyperthermia or fever, as it may exacerbate their symptoms.

Precautions to Take with Black Cardamom

Although black cardamom is wonderful for your health, it is crucial to take certain precautions when using this spice since it has a robust flavor. Here are some considerations to keep in mind: 

  1. Moderation: It is advisable to use it in moderation to avoid overpowering the dish or beverage. Start with a small amount and adjust according to your preference. 
  2. Allergies: If you have known allergies to related spices or have experienced adverse reactions to black cardamom in the past, it is advisable to avoid its use or consult a healthcare professional before incorporating it into your diet.
  3. Storage: Use high-quality black cardamom and store it in an airtight container in a cool and dry place to maintain its flavor and potency.
  4. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Pregnant and breastfeeding women should exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional before consuming black cardamom in larger quantities. It is always best to seek personalized advice based on individual circumstances.
  5. Oral Sensitivity: Whole black cardamom pods can be quite strong to bite into, and the husk may not be pleasant to chew on. It is advisable to remove the pods before serving dishes or beverages that include black cardamom to prevent any discomfort or choking hazards.