Cultures worldwide have used cardamom for centuries to treat illnesses and flavor dishes. The spice comes from the seeds of several plants in the ginger family and has a minty taste with hints of cinnamon. Because of its unique flavor, cardamom is a popular ingredient in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Native to Southern India, historians consider it one of the world’s oldest spices, dating back to around 4000 years ago.
The Greeks, Romans, and even Ancient Egyptians relied on this spice for medicinal purposes and cooking. Some chewed on cardamom pods to keep their breath fresh and teeth clean. Greeks and Romans also created perfumes and essential oils with this aromatic spice. While people often use cardamom in curries, desserts, and other foods, it’s also popular in beverages like chai tea and coffee.
If you’ve never tried cardamom tea, you may want to after reading about the numerous health benefits. Not to mention, the warm, comforting aroma of the spice can help you relax after a stressful day. Read on to find out why you should consider drinking this delicious tea.
Here’s Why You Should Drink More Cardamom Tea
1. Cardamom contains anti-inflammatory properties.
The root cause of many chronic diseases stems from high inflammation levels. While acute inflammation can help fight infections and heal wounds, sustained inflammation weakens the immune system. Thankfully, the spice contains numerous compounds that have anti-inflammatory effects. For example, the herb is rich in antioxidants that help ward off diseases and fight free radical damage.
One rat study confirmed that taking 23-46 mg of cardamom extract per pound of body weight suppressed the production of four different inflammatory compounds. A human study also found that taking cardamom supplements can enhance antioxidant activity by 90%. Participants had lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of developing blood clots as well.
2. It can help relieve digestive issues, including bloating.
If you have IBS or other gastrointestinal disorders, you know firsthand how uncomfortable and painful they can feel. However, drinking cardamom tea could alleviate some of the discomfort caused by poor digestion. Cultures worldwide have used this powerful spice to treat indigestion for thousands of years. Research shows it can soothe common stomach problems, such as bloating, gas, nausea, and ulcers.
In a recent study, researchers gave rats high doses of aspirin to cause stomach ulcers. Then, they fed the rats cardamom, turmeric, and sembung leaf extracts in hot water. The animals given the spice mixture had fewer stomach ulcers than those that only took aspirin.
Another rat study produced similar findings, discovering that cardamom extract could inhibit or reduce the size of stomach ulcers by 50%. Doses of 5.7mg per pound of body weight proved more effective than medications at treating gastrointestinal ulcers.
3. Cardamom may improve blood sugar levels.
If you have high blood sugar, consider drinking cardamom tea to improve your levels. In one animal study, researchers fed rats a high-carb, high-fat diet and gave cardamom powder to some animals. The team discovered that rats given the spice had lower blood sugar, cholesterol, and body weight than the other group.
A human study also revealed that participants with type 2 diabetes who ate green cardamom had lower insulin, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), triglycerides, and cholesterol levels after ten weeks.
4. The spice could help with weight loss.
While weight loss isn’t one of the main benefits of consuming this spice, it may still help your fitness goals. A study of 80 overweight and obese prediabetic women found that cardamom supplements significantly reduced their waist circumference. Researchers believe the anti-inflammatory effect of the spice may have eased fluid retention, which can help with weight loss.
5. It can improve breathing and enhance oxygen levels.
There’s nothing more important than breathing to ensure our survival. However, we often forget about the significance of breathing slowly and deeply in our hectic lives. If you struggle to calm your breath, cardamom might cure your ailment. A study in rats and rabbits discovered that cardamom extract could increase lung airflow. People with asthma can benefit from this since it relaxes the throat and improves oxygen levels.
If you feel out of breath during workouts, the spice can come to your rescue in this case as well. In one study, researchers asked participants to inhale cardamom essential oil for one minute before walking on a treadmill. The group seemed to respond positively to the stimulating scent because they had higher oxygen availability than the control group.
6. Cardamom contains cancer-fighting phytochemicals.
This potent spice contains many antioxidants and other compounds to prevent cancer. In a test tube study of human cells, researchers found that certain compounds in cardamom prevented oral cancer cells from propagating. However, more research is needed to determine the spice’s effectiveness at treating or stopping cancer.
7. It can fight infections due to antibacterial and antifungal compounds.
If you get sick often, add cardamom tea to your home remedies. Research shows that the spice contains potent compounds that fight common strains of bacteria, like E. coli, Staphylococcus, and Salmonella. All these bacteria can cause food poisoning, a common sickness in the modern world. However, researchers found that cardamom extracts and essential oils treated this condition more effectively than medications in some cases.
Another test-tube study discovered that cardamom spice extracts might inhibit drug-resistant strains of Candida, a yeast that can trigger fungal infections.
However, you shouldn’t ingest essential oils directly and consult with your doctor before taking supplements. Cardamom may interact with certain medications or cause side effects in some cases. But, most people can safely drink cardamom tea by infusing the seeds in hot water or using tea packets.
Here’s a Quick, Easy Cardamom Tea Recipe
Now that you know how healthy this tea can be, here’s how you can make and enjoy a quick cup:
- Two cups water
- Two teaspoons of loose black tea leaves or two tea bags
- Four to six cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- One or two teaspoons of honey (optional)
- 1/4 cup milk (optional)
- Boil two cups of water in a small saucepan.
- Add the lightly crushed cardamom pods to the boiling water.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for five to seven minutes to allow the cardamom flavor to infuse into the water. (Less time will have a milder flavor).
- Add two teaspoons of black tea leaves or two tea bags to the saucepan and let it steep for three to five minutes.
- If you prefer sweetened tea, add a couple of teaspoons of honey to the saucepan and stir until dissolved.
- If you like your creamy tea, add 1/4 cup of milk to the saucepan and stir until heated.
- Strain the tea into your teapot or mug, and enjoy your delicious cardamom tea!
Note: You can adjust the amount of cardamom and honey to your liking. You can also use other tea leaves, such as green tea or Darjeeling. Have fun and experiment!
Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Cardamom Tea
If you’ve never tried cardamom tea, you may want to for its mental and physical health benefits. Studies show it can lower blood sugar, improve breathing, reduce inflammation, and inhibit tumor growth. It may help with weight loss and bacterial infections as well. Plus, it tastes delicious and can comfort you after a stressful day.