Tea has a long, rich history as a cherished drink in almost every country. Celebrated for its soothing aroma and pleasing taste, tea is available in diverse flavors, including a boldly spicy and fragrant cardamom-infused brew. The aromatic and exotic blend of tea and spice elevates your tastebuds and provides several unique health benefits for the body, mind, and spirit. This article explores how cardamom-infused tea offers a unique synergy of flavors and health benefits that enhance your overall well-being.
Cardamom: The Spice That Ignites Health
The Cardamom plant, scientifically known as Elettaria cardamomum, is one of the oldest spices in the world, with a history dating back 4,000 years to ancient Egypt. Egyptians incorporated this spice into traditional medicine practices and rituals, and they even chewed on the pods to help keep their teeth clean and prevent bad breath.
A member of the ginger family of plants, the cardamom plant has been treasured for centuries for its warm, sweet scent and distinct spicy flavor. Due to several factors associated with harvesting and processing, cardamom can have a wide range of flavor and aroma profiles. It can encompass everything from citrus undertones to a slightly minty aroma.
Dubbed the "queen of spices" and typically used as a key ingredient in Indian cuisine, cardamom is loaded with nutritious health benefits. Both Ayurveda and Chinese traditional medicine systems utilize the therapeutic properties of cardamom extracts to treat various ailments, including respiratory and digestive issues. Cardamom is available in three distinct forms- cardamom pods, seeds, and ground cardamom powder - in green and black. Let's take a closer at what makes each form of cardamom unique.
Both cardamom pods and seeds come from the same plant and deliver similar tastes and aromas. Green and black cardamom pods have a trigonal or round shape, holding up to 8 to 16 cardamom seeds in each pod. There are two main versions of cardamom pods - green cardamom and black cardamom. There is also white cardamom, but it is simply green cardamom that has undergone a bleaching process, making it a less preferred version for use in foods and beverages.
Cardamom seeds are typically available in the ground spice section of grocery shelves. You can use either green or black cardamom seeds - you can easily crush both versions to add aromatic spice and flavor to food and beverages.
Ground Cardamom Powder
The process of grinding cardamom seeds results in what is commonly known as "ground cardamom" - the most common version of the spice. It is important to note that the flavor of ground cardamom only lasts for a short time. Whether you grind the fresh seeds or buy a store-bought version, you should typically use ground cardamom within a few months for optimum flavor and aroma.
Although you can swap the ground version with both pods and seeds as an ingredient in cooking or tea, there are several things to consider:
Better Flavor - Cardamom pods are better than cardamom powder for more complex culinary creations. Using cardamom pods, you harness the full flavor of the fresh husk and the seeds inside.
Lasts Longer - Ground cardamom is processed more than pods or seeds. During grinding, the powder is stripped of most of the essential oils that give cardamom flavor and health benefits. Prolonged or improper storing can also diminish the flavor and aroma of cardamom powder.
Easy To Use - Toss a pod or a few seeds into a pot with chicken, onions, turmeric, cumin seeds, coconut milk, cinnamon sticks, and a few other ingredients to create a smoky, spicy, and savory curry.
Proper Portions - Use seeds when making smaller portions, but consider using the whole pod for larger dishes. Slightly cracking open a pod before adding it to the pot aids in gradually releasing the seeds' flavor along with the pod's flavor. The result is a more robust but balanced-tasting dish.
Other Cardamom Products
The health benefits of cardamom aren't just limited to tea. You can also purchase cardamom supplements and cardamom essential oil. Cardamom supplements are made from the cardamom extract and taken orally as a capsule. Cardamom essential oil is a blend made by adding cardamom oil to a carrier oil and applying it to the skin to treat nausea or heal an upset stomach. You can also add cardamom oil to a diffuser; inhaling the scent can help with respiratory problems.
Tea: Rich in Flavor, History, and Health Benefits
Originating in ancient China as a treasured ceremonial drink and healing remedy, tea has transcended time to remain one of the most popular beverages today. Derived from the Camellia Sinensis plant, true tea comes in two primary forms: green and black tea.
True teas, especially green tea, contain compounds called catechins that are high in antioxidants and antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. These compounds give true tea several health benefits, including better cardiovascular health, cancer prevention, and overall health and well-being.
The Incredible Health Benefits Of Cardamom Tea
Cardamom tea is a blend of whole tea leaves and crushed cardamom seeds or pods. This spicy blend is boiled in hot water to release the essential oils and bioactive ingredients from tea leaves and cardamom seeds for a ton of flavor and healthy goodness. Let's break down the top health benefits of your cardamom-infused cup of tea.
#1. It Can Aid Weight Loss
One of the top health benefits of cardamom tea is its natural fat-burning ability. Not only can it help you achieve weight loss goals, but it can also help improve the function of the digestive system. It does this by reducing and preventing fat buildup in the liver so it can process waste products more effectively.
In animal studies, researchers found that cardamom helped improve glucose intolerance and prevent the buildup of abdominal fats. If you add cardamom to your daily diet, you get a natural digestive aid that promotes weight loss because of compounds called catechins. These catechins increase metabolism by stimulating the body's ability to break down fats quickly while burning many calories.
#2. Improved Oral Health
Cardamom tea was a regular staple of Ancient Egyptians. Not only did they enjoy drinking cardamom tea, but they also chewed cardamom seeds to prevent bad breath and improve the health of their teeth. Research shows that cardamom promotes dental health by preventing bacteria growth on the teeth' surface. Drinking cardamom tea helps neutralize this bacteria and prevents plaque buildup and, eventually, cavities.
These same antibacterial properties are also helpful in treating halitosis - or bad breath. Bad breath occurs when there is a buildup of bacteria in the mouth feeding on rogue food particles. A revitalizing rinse with cardamom tea eliminates bacteria while at the same time freshening your breath.
Studies show that tea also dramatically reduces bacteria and tooth-decaying acids produced in the mouth. Both green and black teas contain a healthy amount of fluoride that helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
#3. Better Heart Health
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.
Black and green teas are also a great way to improve heart health. Drinking tea gives the body a healthy dose of caffeine and antioxidants called polyphenols. These compounds help lower blood pressure and promote better heart health.
Besides the fantastic heart benefits of cardamom tea, it contains iron, which helps boost red blood cell production in the body. Enhanced blood circulation, lower blood pressure, and a greater quantity of red blood cells collectively contribute to the overall functioning of the body's systems.
Studies suggest that cardamom's potent antioxidant properties help regulate cholesterol levels. It may also help regulate blood sugar levels, which is beneficial for those managing diabetes and need to improve insulin sensitivity.
#4. Improve Digestion
People have turned to cardamom tea for centuries to help soothe a sore stomach and relieve digestive issues. Crushed cardamom seeds reduce inflammation and can soothe ulcers. It can help prevent hiccups and other involuntary muscle spasms like intestinal cramps.
The essential oils in cardamom act as a natural carminative or a way to get instant relief from gas and bloating. Some research suggests that drinking cardamom tea may also be a great way to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
As a member of the ginger family of plants, cardamom tea, just like ginger tea, can help relieve nausea and improve gut health. People who drink cardamom tea before boarding a boat or plane reduce the symptoms associated with motion sickness. In animal-based studies, green tea demonstrated its efficacy in treating various digestive issues, including stomach ulcers, which cause severe pain, gas, and indigestion.
#5. Supports and Boosts The Immune System
Warm liquids like soup and tea have been revered as traditional home remedies to help combat the common cold and flu. Aside from soothing a sore throat and relaxing your mood when you're under the weather, cardamom tea is also a great way to boost your immune system so you can feel better faster.
Tea contains potent antioxidants and vitamins, making it an ideal ally to help fight bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The polyphenols in tea, such as the catechins and the flavonoids, are great at fighting free radicals in the body.
Cardamom also contains compounds such as terpenoids that strengthen the body's defense against oxidative stress when used in conjunction with tea. Researchers discovered that these particular health benefits of cardamom tea are effective at stopping staph and fungal infections, including candida.
#6. A Great Detoxifier
A well-functioning liver is responsible for both eliminating cellular waste and fending off invading bacteria. A healthy liver can also effectively process harmful substances like alcohol and drugs. Additionally, the liver plays a crucial role in bile production, which is essential for breaking down and absorbing fats and eliminating waste materials. Research shows that cardamom enhances liver function by helping it remove toxins from the body.
Incorporating tea consumption into your daily routine is a great way to boost liver performance. Tea boasts diuretic properties, which increase urination, eliminating unnecessary substances from the body. Combining the detoxifying qualities of cardamom with tea's diuretic properties creates a potent detoxifying beverage.
#7. May Have Anticancer Potential
The oils extracted from cardamom seeds contain several potent antioxidants like limonene and cineole. These compounds are crucial in reducing oxidative stress and neutralizing free radicals within the body. Research indicates that the phytochemicals and anti-inflammatory properties present in cardamom may even help stop the growth of cancer cells.
#8. Supports Better Respiratory Health
Another one of the various health benefits of cardamom tea is its natural decongestant properties. A warm cup of cardamom tea can relieve several respiratory issues, such as coughs, congestion, and even mild bronchial discomfort.
#9. Improves Skin Health and Hair Health
Cardamom tea's antimicrobial and antibacterial properties may help improve the look and health of your hair and skin. Drinking cardamom tea can strengthen hair follicles, enhance the hair's appearance, and protect the scalp against dryness, dandruff, and hair loss while stimulating hair growth.
Cardamom tea may also help with better-looking skin! Cardamom tea's anti-inflammatory properties and detoxifying nature may help prevent skin infections such as acne, rosacea, and psoriasis. Since cardamom helps dilate blood vessels, it improves blood flow to the skin for a healthier and more radiant complexion.
Drinking Cardamom Tea for Better Health
Cardamom-infused tea is more than just a beverage; it's a harmonious blend of traditions, flavors, and health benefits. The combination of cardamom's aromatic richness and the wellness-enhancing properties of tea creates a dynamic duo that offers several health benefits.
Whether you're sipping on this healthy brew to improve oral health, assist in fighting chronic diseases, as a digestive aid, or boost your overall health, cardamom tea is a delicious and nutritious way to do it all! Give this tasty tea a try for a great-tasting blend of cardamom and tea!