Superfood 101: Cardamom!

Ayurveda is one of the most ancient of the healing arts that considers the body, the mind and the spirit. Its philosophy is the basis of other eastern healing methods and also includes several holistic healing methods. Ayurveda states that disease begins in the gastrointestinal tract when the system is out of balance and food is not digested properly. It uses foods as a treatment based on six tastes of sweet, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent. Holistic healers find many spices to be a major aid in reducing stomach ailments, increases organ functions and improves the health of tissues. Cardamom is one of these spices, acting as a prime element in putting the system in balance.

Cardamom is an Asian spice originating in India. It is one of the oldest spices and is the second most expensive of the spices. It is a member of the ginger family and the pod as well as the seed can be used in recipes. It is a versatile spice that can be used as either sweet or savory flavoring. Its bouquet is warm, aromatic and pungent with undertone flavors of camphor, lemon and eucalyptus. In the past, Egyptians used cardamom to whiten their teeth. Today it can be found worldwide, is used as a flavoring, and continues to be part of Ayurveda treatment using food and recipes.

The health benefits of cardamom make this a valuable addition to any diet.

1. Cardamom is used to help those suffering from stomach cramps because it improves digestion. It stimulates the bowels to reduced flatulence and is used to reduce stomach acid, and thus a cure for halitosis.

2. It and improves blood circulation to the lungs. It has also been found to prevent spasms and convulsions resulting in the relief of the symptoms of allergies and other pulmonary disorders like asthma.

3. Because the spice has a high content of vitamin C, it has valuable cleansing properties, relieves the pain of sore throats, and reduces the formation of mucus. It improves the immune system, providing an excellent source of cold prevention.

4. This spice is found to be a valuable muscle relaxer, prevents mouth ulcers and is a treatment for urinary tract disorders.

Using cardamom in the daily menu will help to balance the body, mind and spirit while adding a delicious flavor to recipes.

Here’s a creative way to add more cardamom to your diet:

Recipe: Pear Salad

Ingredients (organic)

6                                  Pears

¼         cup                  Honey

1/8       teaspoon         Ginger

¼         teaspoon         Cardamom

¼         teaspoon         Cinnamon

Directions

1. In a one quart bowl combine honey, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon.

2. Remove stem and seeds from the pears and cut into ¼ inch cubes and place in the honey mixture.

3. Mix the pears so they are thoroughly covered in the honey mixture.

4. Refrigerate for ½ hour and serve.

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