Cardamom or Cardamon, is a spice native to mainland India. It has been part of the Indian cuisine for many thousands of years. Prior to WWI, it was introduced to Guatemala, and today, they are the largest producer of the spice. There are two major types of cardamom; green and black. Green cardamom is called true cardamom, and black cardamom is known as Nepali cardamom as it is native to the Himalayan regions.
How it is used
Cardamom is a spice that has a unique flavor, it is intense, fragrant, and has a strong aromatic resinous undertone. It is often used in desserts and other sweet tasting food as well as in dishes where the fragrance of the food is a highlight. It can be used in baking, often mixed in with icing sugar to great effect. It’s biggest use, however, comes in the form of beverages. It is mixed with tea, and the famous ‘Indian Chai’ has cardamom as one of its main ingredients.
Brewing cardamom tea
Here is a quick step by step that will help you through making a perfect cuppa. You will need organic tea, we prefer using Assam or Ceylon as they take in spices nicely, some milk, sugar, and cardamom. Any type will do, but the preference is toward pods.
- Boil water, bring it to a rolling boil.
- Take it off the heat and add a teaspoon or two of your organic tea.
- Crush the pods with a pestle, do not grind, simply crush and add it to the hot water. Let it infuse for a few minutes, stir occasionally till you begin to get the desired strength.
- Add milk if needed. If you do not want milk, leave it out. If you are confused about how much milk to add, a good rule of thumb is to add just enough to cloud the mixture. Once the color changes, stop. You do not want it to be too milky.
- After a few minutes, take it back to the heat, but hold on to the saucepan’s handle, when it starts to boil, quickly remove it, put a lid on and set aside for around 5 minutes before drinking.
There is no set recipe to make cardamom tea, it is all up to personal taste. The strength of the tea, the amount of water, the number of pods, and milk is all variable. Nothing is actually set in stone, a few tries and you can tweak the recipe as to your liking.
Effects of cardamom on the skin, face, and hair
While the health benefits of cardamom are well known, you can actually look through this blog for a post that deals with it, this article will discuss the beauty effects of the spice.
Cardamom has relatively high antioxidant levels in it and they are important in eliminating what are called free radicals in the body. Free radicals are responsible for not only causing a lot of illnesses including cancer, but also for speeding up the aging process. Cardamom’s properties are suited to fight them and infusing it to your daily tea is a delicious way to deliver antioxidants.
Cardamom has the ability to relieve the cardiovascular system from minor issues by making blood circulation a lot more efficient. Blood circulation is good for the skin, it makes it glow and keeps it healthy, supple, and free of pimples, acne, and other skin related conditions.
Cardamom is known to be an antidepressant. If you can get hold of cardamom oil, it is an effective tool in aroma therapy. Its fragrance is uplifting and has a lot of positive vibes in it. It goes without saying that a clear mind that is free of stress adds to the beauty of any person.
Studies have shown that cardamom has anti microbial properties, that means it can fight infections and stop the growth and spread of dangerous bacteria that are often attributed to food poisoning.
There are a number of anti microbial properties that make it perfect for dealing with mouth infections, ulcers and other unwanted microbes in the mouth. Another advantage with using cardamom for the mouth is that it will only affect harmful bacteria, not the pro biotic ones that naturally occur in the mouth. It is also known to protect and strengthen the teeth. Shew on a few cardamom pod shells for great breath.
Overall scalp health, including the skin and hair is protected by cardamom. Using cardamom regularly also makes hair stronger, luscious, and wavy. If you are looking for an effective way to keep your hair healthy and strong, while fighting dandruff and other scalp issues, cardamom tea can just be the answer.
Feel free to add cardamom to your daily diet, not just tea. Its advantages are endless and can add a new dimension of spice to your life!