Most people are familiar with green cardamom because it can be found in most grocery stores - but what about black cardamom? If green cardamom is considered a weight-loss super-spice, then is black cardamom also packing the same health benefits? Let’s take a look. Before you do, take a look at 7 Remarkable Evidence-Based Health Benefits Of Cardamom.
What is black cardamom?
Black cardamom plants may be related to green cardamom plants, but they are not particularly close relatives and are used slightly differently in Ayurveda medicine.
Cardamom in Ayurveda medicine
Both green and black cardamom feature prominently in Ayurveda medicine and are associated with many health benefits. Generally, most references to cardamom in Ayurveda apply to both green and black cardamom; however, black cardamom alone is most strongly associated with aiding the respiratory system.
The Ayurveda health benefits of green and black cardamom
Here are just a few of the critical health benefits associated with green and black cardamom in Ayurveda medicine.
- Aiding digestion
Both green and black cardamom have substantial benefits for the digestive system, helping to reduce gas and bloating and to maintain the gut microbiome. Specifically beneficial after a meal, green cardamom is often brewed into a coffee or a tea and taken after food to assist with digestion.
Supporting oral health
People have been chewing green and black cardamom to aid their oral health for many centuries, a practice that has even been traced back as far as the ancient Egyptians! With cardamom oil boasting both antibiotic and antimicrobial properties, chewing cardamom pods can help to heal mouth ulcers, as well as to freshen the breath and prevent gum disease.
- Removing excess water
As a potent natural diuretic, both green and black cardamom can also reduce water retention in the body and support kidney and bladder function by removing unwanted toxins from the urinary tract.
- Assisting the respiratory system
Lastly, black cardamom, in particular, is often prescribed to help assist with issues of the respiratory system, specifically those associated with a cough or a cold. As an expectorant, black cardamom can help normalize mucus’ flow through the respiratory tract, making it easier to breathe.
So which type of cardamom is better for you?
Most references to cardamom in Ayurveda medicine refer to Elettaria cardamomum, aka green cardamom and for this reason many health blogs focus on the health benefits of green cardamom specifically leaving black cardamom out all together. The truth is, when it comes down to which variety of cardamom is truly better for you, very little comparative research has actually been done and so it is a little tricky to say which variety is conclusively better for you. So what should you do? Well, if, like us, you’re keen to start using more cardamom in your cooking we recommend sticking to the common green cardamom which is more readily available and works better in most styles of cooking - that way you can experience more variety in your recipes as well as the health benefits that we know are associated with these little green pods.