What Is Big Cardamom?
Big cardamom is a herbaceous perennial shrub of the ginger family. The pods (fruits) of big cardamom are large (2-3 cm long), hairy, and brown-black, and contain about 30-50 seeds. The seeds are sticky, but once removed from the pod they soon dry out, and it is these, in either whole or ground form, that are most commonly used.
Big Cardamom Description
Big Cardamom has a fresh, strong aroma. The pods have a distinct camphor-like flavor. Big Cardamom seeds have a dark brown appearance. They are known for their astringent aroma and camphor-like flavor. Both the pods and seeds are widely used in culinary dishes. They also have certain medicinal properties. The pods are 2 to 5 centimeters long, dark brown in color and covered with hairs. The rough outer surface of the pods is covered with wrinkles. Inside each pod there are almost 20 to 30 sticky seeds.
Uses of Big Cardamom
Big Cardamom has a pleasant aromatic odour, due to which it is extensively used for flavouring vegetables and diverse food preparations. It is also used as an essential ingredient in mixed spices preparation. Apart from aroma, Big Cardamom also has high medicinal value. The decoction of seeds is used as a gargle in infection of teeth and gums. Big Cardamom seeds are considered as an antidote to either snake venom or scorpion venom. It is also reported that Big Cardamom seeds are used as preventive as well as curative measure for throat troubles, congestion of lungs, inflammation of eyelids, digestive disorders and in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis.
It is also used in making cardamom tea in Bhutan with a combination of herbs.
What are the health benefits?
1 - Carminative Properties - Big cardamom is used as a carminative and a stimulant; it is effective in relieving indigestion and flatulence.
2 - Dental Health - Amomum subulatum is frequently used to cure dental problems and gum infections. It contains anti-bacterial element, which removes bacteria from the tooth. It reduces the toothache and inflammation of gums.
3 - Anti-Inflammatory Properties - Big Cardamom seeds have anti-inflammatory properties and they help in the reduction of muscle spasms.
4 - Respiratory Health - Big cardamom can heal respiratory problems like asthma and other types of respiratory spasms.
5 - Acidity - Big cardamom actives gastric and intestinal gland. Therefore, acidity problem will reduce.
6 - Blood Pressure - Big cardamom reduces the risk of blood clotting. It also controls the blood pressure.
7 - Cancer - Big cardamom has glutathione anti-oxidant, which prevents the breast, colon and ovarian cancer cells.
8 - Infection - Big cardamom contains anti-bacterial element, which prevent us from infection and strengthens the immune system.
8 - Healthy Skin - Big cardamom has vitamin C, potassium, and anti-oxidants, which purifies the blood. This makes skin healthy and shiny.
10 - Healthy Hair - Big cardamom has enough amounts of anti-oxidants. This makes hair thick, strong and soft.
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About the producer
Large cardamom (Amomums abulatum Roxb.) belongs to Zingiberaceae family & is native to moist deciduous and evergreen forest of Sub-Himalayan tracts and it is one of the main cash crops cultivated in south-western region of Bhutan. The crop gained its economic importance in the early seventies mainly due to following attributes of being high value, low volume, non-perishable, less dependent on external inputs, do not require expensive infrastructures and assured market The crop was introduced to Bhutan centuries back from Sikkim and its cultivation gradually started in other parts of Bhutan covering mainly southern foothills. The present cultivation of crop is based on the inherent indigenous knowledge of the farmers which was derived and adopted from farmers in Sikkim. As a result, package of practices were developed to provide information on cultivation practices of the crop. Cardamom plantations in Bhutan covered an area of about 13,880 acres with an annual production of 2,245 MT in 2017 (Agriculture statistics 2017). Samtse, Chukha, Dagana, Tsirang, Sarpang and Trongsa are the major large cardamom growing Dzongkhags. Large cardamom is grown only in India, Nepal and Bhutan which lie in the sub-Himalayan region in south-east Asia. Bhutan is third after Nepal and India in the production of large cardamom in the world.