• Cardamom useful properties

    There are several varieties of cardamom - a high herbaceous plant found in India and Sri Lanka. Fruits Elettaria - small seed boxes. Mysore and Malabar - these are the two main types of cardamom. The rest of the plants with such fruits( they are somehow sold as spices) belong to the Atotit family. This spice in the Middle Ages and the reign of the Tudors was widely used in cooking.

    Elettaria is found in wild and cultivated form, usually growing in high-mountainous terrain( 600-1 500 m above sea level).The leaves are long and lanceolate;the flowering and fruiting stem grows from the base of the plant;the stems of the mysore are straight, the malabar stems. The flowers that blossom in May, as a rule, are lilac;fruits, ripening around the beginning of October, are a seminal egg-shaped box up to 2 cm long, divided into three sections with rows of dark brownish-red seeds. Swarming and powerful rhizomes indicate that this plant is closely related to ginger and turmeric. One of the main dangers for cardamom in the field is gourmet lizards. They passion is not indifferent to the seeds!

    Seed capsules should be harvested before maturation. From the ripe bolls the seeds get enough sleep when drying. They also lose the essential oils contained in them and, consequently, the fragrance. The capsules are dried and discolored either on pallets under the sun's rays, or in an oven. Once they were decolorized with the help of sulfur fumes. The market is in great demand for white seed boxes, and not fresh pale green, so appreciated by Indian cuisine.

    Most of the products produced in India are used to meet local needs, with less than 5 tons being exported per year. Other producers are Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Indochina and Thailand. Recently, Tanzania has also tried its hand at growing cardamom. Cardamom - spice, which is the third most expensive after saffron and vanilla.

    Cardamom present( Elettaria cardamomum Maton) - is a perennial herbaceous, evergreen tropical plant of the ginger family. From the thick rhizome grow two types of stems: a leaf stem to 3 m in height and creeping leafless flower stems up to 0.5 m long. Flowers are white, collected in small brushes. Its fruits are yellowish-white with a leathery shell and small seeds. Dried and ground seeds are used as spices. The birthplace of cardamom is India. From India, this spice came to the Middle East, and then to Europe. Currently, cardamom is cultivated in China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, East Africa and the tropical regions of America.

    In all parts of the plant there is an essential oil, reminiscent of the smell of camphor

    . In seeds, its amount reaches 4-8%.In addition, the seeds contain sugar, fiber, nitrogenous and nitrogen-free substances.

    Essential oil

    Description. The oil is obtained from the seeds by distillation. The substance is liquid and colorless, has a light yellowish-green hue. It has a delicious, fresh, soft and spicy smell, which makes the oil widely used in the manufacture of floral perfumes.

    The main components: cineole and terpineol with a small amount of limonene and insignificant shares of cineol and zingibergen.

    However, the chemical composition of the oil depends on the kind of cardamom used as raw materials, climatic conditions, soil quality, etc.

    Few plants can be compared with cardamom for flavor;synthetic cardamom essential oil can not be obtained.


    For therapeutic purposes

    In the Middle Ages cardamom was used to improve digestion, with headache, as a kidney and carminative, against coughing. In folk medicine of India rhizome cardamom is used to date as a stimulant, as well as dysentery and renal-stone colic.

    In the Middle Ages, cardamom, mixed with other additives, the pharmacists were sold as a medicine.

    Cardamom has long been used in India as a spice and medicine: about it at least 1000 years before Christ is mentioned in tracts of Ayurveda. In the I c.n.e.the Greek philosopher Plutarch wrote that the ancient Egyptians use cardamom in religious ceremonies and add to the spirits. In Europe, it fell due to the Arabs and was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans mainly in the production of perfume. Dioscorides wrote that he more like the kind of cardamom that is delivered from Armenia. Ovid and other poets sang his exquisite scent.

    Ancient believed that cardamom has diuretic properties, is an effective remedy against epilepsy, spasms, paralysis and rheumatic immobility of joints. Seeds of cardamom for medicinal purposes were put in wine. The Salerne School valued it as a wonderful diuretic and gastric remedy, which also helps with heart ailments. Chinese medicine, ancient and modern, attributes to cardamom a lot of medicinal properties. Chinese doctors believe that this is a panacea for all intestinal diseases.

    Dr. Leclerc believes that seeds of cardamom have carminative properties, promote digestion, perfectly stimulate the digestive system. Ms. Mori believed that they were a wonderful pulmonary antiseptic, a good antispasmodic and a firming remedy for those who had a weak heart after suffering emotional upheavals.

    Cardamom when used as a seasoning for food serves as a natural diuretic, facilitates the condition at the approach of menstruation and in the period of menopause. Massage oil also helps in these cases. Mix 20 ml( 4 teaspoons) of soybean oil, 2 drops of oil from wheat sprouts, 2 drops of cypress oil and 8 drops of cardamom. Stretch them clockwise, stomach, solar plexus and hips, better in the morning.

    If indigestion and flatulence can drink a decoction of seeds: throw a few seeds in 600 ml of boiling water and boil them for 2 minutes, then add a little fresh mint. Drink the broth after eating, you can, if desired, with honey.

    In the cooking of

    Small greenish boxes( chochi elacce) are most appreciated in Indian cuisine;huge black boxes( bari elacce) are much sharper, worse in quality and cheaper. Whole or slightly chopped boxes are used in curry and pilaf;Ground seeds - an ingredient of many curry powders and almost all garam masala. Seeds should always be crushed;the shop powder can appear with impurities and very soon, as it invariably happens with ground spices, will lose its aroma. Cardamom is also used in India for the flavoring of sweets and sweet dishes. Seeds on Hindu holidays and rituals replace sugar.

    In Sweden, cardamom is used for the flavoring of cakes, bread and flour confectionery products( according to official data, the fourth part from manufactured in India), as in other Scandinavian countries, in Germany and Russia. In Sweden, it is often added to meat dishes like sauerbraten, as well as to pates, sausages and pickles. In France, cardamom is less well respected. It often serves to aromatize pains d'epices( carpets) and less often - as a seasoning for fish. It can be placed in heated spicy wines or mulled wine, for example the German "GILihwein".Bedouins, to give coffee a fragrance of cardamom, thrust its pods into the neck of the coffee pot.

    As a spice cardamom has a spicy, aromatic, spicy taste and smell. Dried cardamom fruits are used in the bakery industry, in the manufacture of confectionery and in cooking. Cardamom gives a special flavor to the liver, marzipan, gingerbread, pies, cake with fruits, compotes and fruit dishes. Add cardamom into liqueurs, for example in Chartreuse, Kiraso, Cardamom of fine grinding is sometimes added to black coffee.

    As spice cardamom is added to soups, sauces, gravies, meat dishes( pork, lamb, lamb, bird), pilaf, pates and fish dishes

    In other branches of , oil is added to the toothpaste, in France it is drunk with syrup for lung diseases. The large-grinded seeds can be used in aromatic mixtures or herbal pads. In India they believe that they are capable ofincrease sexual desire and improves digestive system work they put in paan -. mixture of seeds and spices, served after a meal, to facilitate the work of the stomach and freshen breath, especially after the consumption of garlic( also useful it is and heavy smokers)