Cardamom may be helpful for people with high blood pressure.
The promising results of this study may be related to the high levels of antioxidants in cardamom. In fact, the participants’ antioxidant status had increased by 90% by the end of the study. Antioxidants have been linked to lower blood pressure (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).
Cardamom extract has been shown to increase urination and decrease blood pressure in rats (5Trusted Source).
Cardamom may help lower blood pressure, most likely due to its antioxidant and diuretic properties.
The compounds in cardamom may help fight cancer cells.
The spice may also enhance the ability of natural killer cells to attack tumors (8Trusted Source).
Even though the results are promising, these studies have only been conducted on mice or in test tubes. Human research is needed before stronger claims can be made.
Certain compounds in cardamom may fight cancer and stop the growth of tumors in mice and test tubes. Human research is needed to validate if these results apply to humans as well.
Cardamom is rich in compounds that may fight inflammation.
Inflammation occurs when your body is exposed to foreign substances. Acute inflammation is necessary and beneficial, but long-term inflammation can lead to chronic diseases (10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source, 12).
Antioxidants, found in abundance in cardamom, protect cells from damage and stop inflammation from occurring (13Trusted Source).
The antioxidant compounds in cardamom may help protect cells from damage and slow down and prevent inflammation in your body.
Cardamom has been used for thousands of years to help with digestion.
The most researched property of cardamom, as it pertains to relieving stomach issues, is its possible ability to heal ulcers.
More research is needed to know if the spice would have the same effect against ulcers in humans.
Cardamom may protect against digestive issues and has been shown to reduce the number and size of stomach ulcers in rats.
The use of cardamom to treat bad breath and improve oral health is an ancient remedy.
In some cultures, it’s common to freshen your breath by eating entire cardamom pods after a meal (1).
Even the chewing gum manufacturer Wrigley uses the spice in one of its products.
The reason why cardamom can lead to minty fresh breath may have to do with its ability to fight common mouth bacteria (19Trusted Source).
Cardamom is often used to treat bad breath and is a component of some chewing gums. This is because cardamom might be able to kill common mouth bacteria and prevent cavities.
Cardamom also has antibacterial effects outside of the mouth and may treat infections.
The essential oils and extracts of cardamom may be effective against a variety of bacterial strains that contribute to fungal infections, food poisoning and stomach issues. However, research has only been conducted in test tubes and not in humans.
Compounds in cardamom may help increase airflow to your lungs and improve breathing.
When used in aromatherapy, cardamom can provide an invigorating odor that enhances your body’s ability to use oxygen during exercise (27).
Another way that cardamom may improve breathing and oxygen use is by relaxing your airway. This may be particularly helpful for treating asthma.
Cardamom may improve breathing by stimulating better oxygen uptake and relaxing air passage to the lungs in humans and animals.
When taken in powder form, cardamom may lower blood sugar.
One study found that feeding rats a high-fat, high-carb (HFHC) diet caused their blood sugar levels to remain elevated longer than if they were fed a normal diet (15Trusted Source).
In order to better understand the effect of cardamom on blood sugar in humans, more studies are needed.
A study on rats suggests that cardamom may help decrease high blood sugar levels, but more high-quality human studies are needed.
In addition to the aforementioned health benefits, cardamom may be good for your health in other ways as well.
- Liver protection: Cardamom extract may decrease elevated liver enzymes, triglyceride and cholesterol levels. They may also prevent liver enlargement and liver weight, which reduces the risk of fatty liver disease (30, 31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).
- Anxiety: One rat study suggests that cardamom extract may prevent anxious behaviors. This may be because low blood levels of antioxidants have been linked to the development of anxiety and other mood disorders (34Trusted Source, 35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source).
- Weight loss: A study in 80 overweight and obese prediabetic women found a link between cardamom and slightly reduced waist circumference. However, rat studies on weight loss and the spice have not found significant results (15Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source)
A limited number of studies suggests that cardamom supplements may decrease waist circumference and prevent anxious behaviors and fatty liver. The reasons behind these effects are unclear but may have to do with the spice’s high antioxidant content.
Cardamom is generally safe for most people.
The most common way to use cardamom is in cooking or baking. It’s very versatile and often added to Indian curries and stews, as well as gingerbread cookies, bread and other baked goods.
The use of cardamom supplements, extracts and essential oils is likely to become more common in light of the promising results of research on its medicinal uses.
If you’re interested in trying cardamom, remember that adding the spice to your foods may be the safest way.
Using cardamom in cooking is safe for most people. Cardamom supplements and extracts have not been thoroughly researched and should only be taken under the guidance of a healthcare provider.