Cardamom has been used as a spice and as a traditional medicine in many civilizations. Modern science proves that cardamom may help lower cholesterol, improve diabetes, and reduce your chance of heart disease. Read on to discover all of the potential advantages of cardamom, but in addition to its unwanted side effects.
What Is Cardamom?
It’s a perennial plant of the household of Zingiberaceae, which also has ginger and garlic.
The plant generates pods or capsules which contain 15 to 20 seeds each. These seeds are usually ground to a fine powder before use in cooking or medicine.
There are two Major Kinds of commercially available cardamom:
- Green, large, or authentic cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
- Black, little, or winged cardamom (Amomum subulatum)
Because these two species grow at different elevations, regional cuisines and folk medicines often prefer the species which is most common in their area. Southern Indian cuisine typically utilizes green cardamom and northern Indian and Nepalese cuisines favor the black one. Both types have been used in conventional Unani and Ayurvedic medicines.
Cardamom Includes a number of potentially active components, the most important of which can be:
Terpenes — a class of chemicals known for most recognizable aromas and related to antioxidant health benefits.
- Limonene — also found in citrus fruit oils
- 1,8-cineole — also found in lavender oil
- Linalool — famous for its pleasant scent
- Linalyl acetate — a terpene derived from linalool
- Alpha-terpinyl acetate — also seen in walnut oil
Flavonoids and propanoids — two types of compounds with antioxidant activities produced by plants.
- Eugenol — phenylpropanoid, also found in oranges, cinnamon, nutmeg, and basil
- Quercetin — a flavonoid found in a Number of Other fruits and vegetables
The peculiar odor of cardamom is because of alpha-terpinyl acetate and 1,8-cineole.
Mechanisms of Action
- Anti-inflammatory: Cardamom increases Th2 cytokine release and reduces Th1 cytokine release. Cardamom additionally reduces inflammatory markers COX-2, IL-6, NF-κB, and TNF-α, and the production of NO through iNOS.
- Antispasmodic: Cardamom reduced potassium-ion-induced contractions in intestinal, bronchial, and heart tissues. In addition, it jumped calcium ion receptors to stimulate tissue relaxation. The results within an antispasmodic property which may decrease gut distress, asthma symptoms, and blood pressure. Alternately, it may attain the same effects by blocking muscarinic acetylcholine (cholinergic) receptors.
- Anti-anxiety: Quercetin, a flavonoid found in cardamom, has a potential anti-anxiety impact from the mind by reducing corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRF).
- Antioxidant: In addition to its free radical scavenging capacity, cardamom extract enhanced activities of several liver enzymes (SOD, GSH, GST) and diminished activity of many others (cytochrome p450, ALT, AST, and ALP). These changes are associated with improved antioxidant status and detoxification of international substances.
- Anti-cancer: Cardamom oil may prevent irreparable DNA damage. It may also boost the action of natural killer cells and cause cancer cell death through the activation of the ERK1/2 pathway and inhibition of HDAC2.
Note, however, the above-listed mechanics have been observed in cells and animals only. Cardamom may have different effects on people.
Health Benefits of Cardamom
Maybe Successful for:
Slimming Blood Fats
A 19% total decrease in total cholesterol, a 25 percent decrease in LDL cholesterol, and a 15% drop in triglycerides were detected in 20 people with elevated blood pressure treated with green cardamom powder on a 3-month interval.
In 80 pre-diabetic ladies, the team given green cardamom had lower overall cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol after 2 months.
In the same way, green cardamom extract reduced blood triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels, while raising HDL cholesterol, in a clinical trial on 87 obese and obese individuals.
Another trial on 83 individuals with type two diabetes, green cardamom decreased blood triglycerides but had no effect on cholesterol.
Green cardamom powder supplements more than 8 weeks also considerably decreased total cholesterol, LDL, but also HDL cholesterol levels within a clinical trial with all 204 types 2 diabetes patients.
A Study of rats with higher cholesterol separated green cardamom oil from its powder and found the oil to be more effective in reducing cholesterol than powder alone.
Taken Together, limited evidence suggests that cardamom may help lower blood cholesterol and triglycerides. You might discuss with your doctor if this spice may assist in your case.
Insufficient Proof for:
At a clinical study on 83 obese people with type 2 diabetes, older cardamom decreased blood insulin and insulin resistance, maybe by increasing the generation of SIRT1.
Green Cardamom had the very same effects in a clinical trial on 87 people who were overweight or obese with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
A Study of 80 pre-diabetic women measured no significant difference in blood sugar levels of those given green cardamom in contrast to individuals who received a placebo over two weeks but didn’t show enhanced insulin sensitivity.
However, In a trial with 204 types 2 diabetes patients, green cardamom nutritional supplements (3g powder within their own tea every day for 8 weeks) did not improve blood glucose levels.
Rats With symptoms similar to diabetes have been dosed with green cardamom and compared to a group given a common diabetes drug, pioglitazone. Both were effective in reducing blood cholesterol and fasting blood glucose amounts, and preventing liver enlargement. However, only pioglitazone effectively reduced blood glucose after a meal.
All In all, limited evidence with mixed results suggests that cardamom may aid with diabetes by reducing sugar and insulin while increasing insulin sensitivity. Larger, stronger trials are needed to shed some light on their potential effects.
A Study of 80 pre-diabetic women compared a cardamom nutritional supplement to placebo over 8 weeks. The patients taking green cardamom had diminished markers of inflammation at the end of the trial (hs-CRP along with the hs-CRP: IL-6 ratio).
Rats With swollen paws (induced edema) had decreased inflammation when injected with green cardamom infusion or with its essential oil at the website of the swelling. The extract/oil probably blocked the generation of inflammatory molecules (including COX-2, IL-6, and TNF-α, as well as iNOS).
Much like suppression of inflammatory factors Was observed with resistant cells treated using a green cardamom extract in the lab. The infusion suppressed Th1 and increased Th2 cytokines.
Although The outcomes are promising, a single clinical trial and a few animals and cell lookup cannot be considered adequate evidence that cardamom improves inflammatory difficulties. Further clinical research is required.
3) Antioxidant Activity
From the clinical trial described in the previous section, the cardamom supplement also decreased a mark of oxidative stress (malondialdehyde).
At a clinical trial on 20 individuals with high blood pressure, a 3-month path of green cardamom powder supplements improved their antioxidant status by 90 percent.
Rats fed a high-fat diet supplemented with black cardamom had raised levels of important antioxidant enzymes: superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), along with glutathione S-transferase (GST) in both their liver and heart.
Similar To the previous section, the antioxidant effects of cardamom have only been shown in a few human and animal research. More clinical trials on larger populations are necessary.
4) Reducing the Risk of Heart Disease
The Purported advantages of cardamom to prevent heart disease are only supported by a few, low carb clinical studies and some animal and cell research. There is insufficient evidence to support using cardamom for this objective. Remember to discuss with your health care provider if cardamom may help in your case rather than use it as a replacement for authorized medical treatments.
Preventing Blood Clots
Twenty patients with high blood pressure required green cardamom supplements for 12 weeks. This increased their ability to dissolve clots (fibrinolysis), reducing their risk of coronary disease.
Clotting (platelet aggregation) in human blood samples has been reduced by a green cardamom extract.
Slimming Heart Damage
In rats fed a high-fat diet, black cardamom assisted to protect the heart from free radicals by maintaining high glutathione (GSH) content.
Rats Given green cardamom for 30 days endured less heart damage after a heart attack and maintained higher amounts of antioxidants. This was due to the free radical scavenging and antioxidant actions of cardamom.
Rats treated with black cardamom extract suffered less heart damage when infected with Enterovirus (Coxsackie virus), a contributing factor to some cases of chronic heart problems.
Lowering Blood Pressure
Twenty patients with mildly elevated blood pressure (rather than taking medication) were given a twice-daily dose of green cardamom powder for 12 weeks. From the close of the study, their blood pressure levels had fallen to within normal range.
Studies In cells and in mice affirm that green cardamom reduces blood pressure by 2 mechanisms: through the cholinergic pathway, and also by controlling calcium ion channels.
Cardamom is also a diuretic. Rats fed a green cardamom infusion had increased urine volume and excreted higher levels of potassium and sodium ions. Since diuretics help relax blood vessel walls, which reduces blood pressure, they are usually prescribed in combination with blood pressure drugs. This suggests cardamom may potentially be an even more effective therapeutic.
5) Assessing the Liver
A clinical trial on 87 obese people, green cardamom enhanced the quality of fatty liver in people that have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It also increased blood irisin and HDL cholesterol while reducing triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of the illness.
Rats fed a high-fat diet had increased antioxidant enzymes and glutathione (GSH) in their liver tissues on a 90-day treatment with black cardamom. They kept greater liver function consequently.
Enriched Liver function has been among the enhanced metabolic syndrome symptoms detected in rats fed a high-carb, high-fat diet supplemented by black cardamom.
Rats Given green cardamom extracts had greater antioxidant enzyme activities (SOD, GSH, and GST) from the liver that shielded them from damage under stress.
Again, This possible benefit is only supported by a single clinical trial and a few animal research. We can’t conclude for sure that cardamom reduces liver damage until more clinical research is conducted.
Animal and Cell Research (Lack of Evidence)
No Clinical evidence supports the use of cardamom for some of the states listed within this part. Below is a summary of the present animal and cell-based research, which ought to guide additional investigational efforts. However, the research recorded shouldn’t be interpreted as supportive of any health advantage.
Weight Reduction and Bipolar Disorder
Rats fed a high-carb, high-fat diet develop metabolic syndrome. When this diet was supplemented with black cardamom (abundant in 1,8-cineole), their metabolic syndrome symptoms obtained reversed: fat mass decreased, thus did blood pressure and triglycerides, while liver and heart function improved. Green cardamom did not have precisely the exact same impact.
A similar analysis, obese rats fed a high-carb, high-fat diet using a green cardamom powder supplement that showed an improvement in metabolic syndrome symptoms, including reduced belly fat.
This spice improved symptoms of gut distress Like diarrhea and stomach cramps related to spasms in the intestine in creatures, due to its antispasmodic activity. Treatment of esophageal cells with green cardamom oil reduced motion. Cardamom likely achieves that by blocking muscarinic receptors (that the cholinergic pathway).
Green cardamom extracts and essential oils avoided gut Lesions (ulcers) brought on by alcohol or aspirin in rats. However, ulcers caused by excess stomach acid did not improve with cardamom treatment. Moreover, among the extracts was more powerful than ranitidine, a medication used to treat migraines.
Bacteria that are known to cause stomach ulcers (Helicobacter pylori) were just mildly inhibited in the presence of green cardamom infusion in a lab.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, cardamom has long been a folk remedy for asthma.
When Analyzed in rats and in throat rabbit cells, green cardamom extract had an anti-asthma impact, calming airway muscles through control of calcium ion channels.
However, Cardamom does excite Th2 allergic reactions, so it would be hard to say exactly what the effects on asthma could be in humans or animals.
Rats with symptoms very similar to PTSD were given green cardamom extracts either before or after trying periods. In the treatment, anxiety-related behaviors improved compared to rats that did not obtain the cardamom.
These effects are probably due to quercetin, a flavonoid in cardamom, which decreased symptoms in rats with stress-induced anxiety and melancholy.
Mice fed a green cardamom infusion became sedated, like the effect of a prescription sedative (diazepam).
More study is needed, but this sedative effect might be the source of claims that cardamom is good for patients using epilepsy.
Green Cardamom oil diminished pain in rats using bloated paws. This decrease was similar to some other group of rats treated with aspirin.
Antibacterial and Antifungal
Green cardamom extracts slowed the growth of several species of Candida yeasts when tested in a laboratory.
In A salmonella food safety analysis, green cardamom essential oil decreased bacterial counts in milk products, yogurt, and cucumber, probably by disrupting the bacterial membrane proteins.
Black Cardamom extracts and its essential oils could slow or block the development of several bacterial and fungal species in test tubes. The essential oil was particularly effective, reducing the growth of the largest variety of species tested (Bacillus pumilus, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae).
Note, But these are very preliminary results that haven’t been tested in humans or even in creatures. Further clinical research is required to confirm if cardamom may help combat the infections caused by these germs when ingested in normal doses.
Both Green and black cardamom extracts inhibited the growth of many species of cavity-causing harmful germs commonly found in the human mouth (S.aureus, C. Albicans, S. cerevisiae, and S. mutans).
Cardamom has historically been chewed to freshen breath and also to help smokers quit (when utilized in nicotine gum), but more studies are required to determine if its antibacterial properties enhance cavities in humans.
Below, We will discuss some preliminary study on cardamom’s anticancer mechanisms and action. It’s still in the animal and cell stage and additional clinical studies have yet to ascertain if its compounds are helpful in cancer therapies.
Do not under any conditions try to replace traditional cancer treatments with cardamom or any other supplements. If you would like to use it as a supportive step, talk to your physician to prevent any unexpected interactions.
Green cardamom protected cells from DNA damage from free radicals, also reduced protein and fat damage (oxidation).
Green Cardamom essential oil prevented the binding of cancer-causing chemicals to DNA, reducing the risk of possibly cancer-causing DNA damage.
Preventing Cancer Growth
Mice Given oral doses of green cardamom had decreased the amount and size of tumors of the skin and stomach cancers. All these cancer-protective effects were detected when cardamom was granted before and following tumors seemed.
Green Cardamom also blocked NF-κB activation and diminished COX-2 production in mice, implying it may help fight cancer through this mechanism.
Mouth cancer cells treated with a cardamom part (a terpene, γ-Bisabolene) stopped growing and started to expire (p53-mediated apoptosis).
In the same way, cancerous white blood cells (multiple myeloma) were prevented from multiplying when medicated with green cardamom.
Natural killer cells are part of the immune system’s response to find and kill cancer cells. The activity of the cells was enhanced by the existence of green cardamom in cell-based studies.
Enhancing the Function of Detox Enzymes
Mice Fed green cardamom essential oil had altered enzyme activities in the liver, together with reduced CYP p450 and raised glutathione S-transferase activity (GST). These enzyme levels are associated with the detoxification of cancer-causing compounds and mutagens.
Side Effects & Precautions
Keep In mind that the safety profile of cardamom is relatively unknown given the lack of clinical studies. The list of negative effects is not a definite one, and you should consult your physician about other possible side effects according to your wellbeing condition and possible medication or nutritional supplements.
Cardamom is listed as a rare cause of acute allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).
Cardamom powder may cause contact dermatitis in some people.
This Is probably since it stimulates Th2 cells responsible for allergic reactions. In rare cases, this dermatitis might even be systemic following cardamom ingestion.
Cardamom extract might serve a hormone disruptor in humans. It was able to bind hormone receptors in cell studies (estrogen and androgen receptors).
Supplement/Herb/Nutrient-drug Interactions can be harmful and, in rare cases, even life-threatening. Always ask your physician before supplementing and let them know about all drugs and nutritional supplements you’re using or contemplating.
There were several reports where patients with high cardamom intakes excreted red blood cells through their urine (hematuria). Patients taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications ought to be especially mindful of the cardamom intake.
Because cardamom may lower cholesterol significantly by itself, patients prescribed drugs to reduce their cholesterol ought to be careful about combining those remedies with cardamom. The exact same goes for patients taking medication to reduce blood pressure.
Limitations and Caveats
Many Of the advantages are derived from animal studies. There are some human studies, but a lot of them have small amounts of test areas.
Differences Between the Two Species of Cardamom
Most studies focus on just one of the two main kinds of cardamom, black and green. In a couple of studies where the two were analyzed, the health advantages were sometimes quite different between the two forms.
Incomplete Information makes it difficult to find out which type might be of the very best value for some health conditions in which only 1 type has been thoroughly tested.
Table of evidence for health benefits described in this informative article:
(A “+” indicates evidence for a species of cardamom (black or green ) and a particular health benefit. A “-” indicates that a species was analyzed and didn’t have evidence for the health advantage. A blank cell indicates that no research has been done in the time of composing. Where contradictory results were discovered, the two “+/-” are indicated in the table.)
Antioxidant + +
Weight loss +/- +
Digestive issues +
antifungal, antifungal + +
Reduced cholesterol +
Heart health + +
Reduced blood pressure +
Liver function +/- +
Anti-cancer + +
Th2 resistance +
Causing allergies + +
Benefits May Depend on the Type of Extract
Not All studies use the same cardamom sources — examples used include powder from the seeds, crude extracts, alcohol-soluble extracts, water-soluble extracts, and the essential oil, among others. A number of those cardamom resources may have lost certain potentially active chemicals, and in doing so, don’t determine possible health consequences in their study data.
The composition of cardamom can also differ from harvest to harvest according to environmental factors.
- Seed pods
- Whole seeds
- Powdered seeds (spice)
- Essential oil
Common Sources of cardamom comprise the seed pods, spice powder (ground seeds), essential oil, as well as tea. Cardamom tea and its oil are likely to only contain some of the chemicals responsible for its own health consequences, so spice powder might be the most comprehensive kind of supplementation for health.
Cardamom Supplements often come bundled with additional wellness herbs for various applications (mind wellness, colon health, etc.) or as part of chai or alternative tea blends.
Since Cardamom is not accepted by the FDA for almost any conditions, there’s no official dose. Users and supplement makers have established unofficial dosages based on trial and error. Take cardamom as recommended by your health care provider and never use it to replace proven therapies.
Dosages Reported in research varied greatly based on the kind of cardamom extract or preparation. To get cardamom powder, 3g daily seems sufficient for most health benefits and is contained in regular dosages for dietary cardamom intake.
Of Common supplement formulations (whey protein, guar gum, carrageenan), the best formula for encapsulation whilst preserving shelf equilibrium was the 30% whey protein isolate.
The Opinions expressed in this section are solely those of cardamom users, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. Their testimonials don’t represent the opinions of us. We don’t endorse any particular item, service, or therapy.
Don’t Contemplate user experiences as medical information. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider because of something you’ve read on this website. We understand that studying person, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or therapy from a qualified healthcare provider.
Consumers of cardamom tea typically reported improved regularity and digestion, but few other special health benefits.
Essential oil users occasionally reported relief of muscle cramps once the oil was rubbed on your skin.
Clients Who used cardamom capsule supplements occasionally saw improved Cholesterol or cardiovascular health, but as a part of an improved diet and lifestyle.