Elaichi is known as Cardamon in English. Elaichi is also grouped into two categories, namely, Chotti Elaichi and Badi Elaichi. It is one of the most important and valued spices in the world. Elaichi is also the second most important national spice of India, also known as the Queen of Spices, being next to black pepper, called as the King of Spices. It is also an indispensable part of everyday cooking.
Origin & Distribution
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Elaichi is indigenous to the Western Ghats in South India. Elaichi occurs in Southern India, particularly in the moist forests of the hilly regions of Mysore and Kerala. It is also grown in adequate amounts in Sikkim. Cultivation of this spice is still limited to a few countries, mainly South India, Srilanka, and also Guatemala.
Indian Elaichi is also valued all over the world for its superior quality, unique flavour, rich content of oil, attractive shape, and also colour.
The aroma and therapeutic properties of Elaichi are due to its volatile oil. Tinctures ( are liquid extracts made from herbs that you take orally by mouth ) of Elaichi are also made. They are used chiefly in medicines for windiness and for strengthening the stomach. Today the therapeutic value of this spice is widely recognized and Ayurvedic physicians use it for the treatment of various diseases. It is also used as an adjunct to the carminative (to relieve gas) drug.
1. Digestive Disorders
Elaichi possesses carminative properties. It helps subside the air and water elements in the body. It also increases appetite and soothes the mucous membranes. Elaichi relieves gas and heartburn and is also helpful in nausea and vomiting.
In case of gas formation in the stomach, half a teaspoon of this spice should be mixed in hot water and taken three times a day. Ground Elaichi seeds also mixed with ginger, cloves, and coriander are an effective remedy for indigestion.
For Nausea and vomiting, two Elaichi should be taken, of which one should be roasted. Both Elaichi should be ground with a little water and should be taken as a drink.
The aromatic flavour in Elaichi is a good mouth cleaner. As well as a few seeds chewed for a brief period will remove the foul smellas well as makes you feel fresh.
2. Genito-Urinary Disorders
Genitourinary is a word that refers to the urinary and genital organs. Urology is the branch of medicine concerned with the urinary tract in both genders and the genital tract of the reproductive system in males.
Elaichi also helps increase the secretion and discharge of urine. It’s powdered seeds, mixed with a tablespoon of banana leaf and Indian Gooseberry (Amla) juice, taken thrice a day, serves as a valuable diuretic food.
3. Sexual Dysfunctions
It is sex stimulating food. Its use has been found beneficial in the treatment of sexual dysfunction like impotency and premature ejaculation.
A pinch of powdered Elaichi seeds, boiled in milk and sweetened with honey, should be taken every night. It will increase sexual stamina. As we have a saying, Excess use of everything is bad. So, in the same way, excessive use of Elaichi should be avoided as it may have an adverse effect.
This spice is a mood-elevating food and a liquid made from it is found valuable in overcoming depression. This liquid is prepared by powdering the seeds and boiling them in water. It should be taken mixed with honey. It has a very pleasant aroma and also helps lift moods in case of depression.
Elaichiisfound beneficial in the treatment of hiccups. A drink should be prepared by boiling a couple of whole Elaichi in a cup of water along with five leaves of mint. The drink should be taken to relieve the condition.
6. Oral Disorders
This spice has also been found beneficial in the treatment of sore throat, cough, cold, and hoarseness during the infective stage of influenza. A gargle should be prepared from Elaichi seeds and Dalchinni( Cinnamom) and used in treating these conditions. This gargle done daily can protect a person against the influenza virus.
The spice is also found beneficial in the treatment of Headache. It should be ground to a fine powder and this powder should be used as a snuff to obtain relief.
8. Kidney Stones
The use of Elaichi is also beneficial in kidney and bladder stones. The seeds should be consumed with the seeds of cucumber to obtain relief.
Uses Of Elaichi
In India, Elaichi is also used as a masticatory and are often included in betel quid. They are also used for flavouring curries, cakes, bread, and for other culinary purposes.
They are also used in treating various medical problems. In Sweden and Finland, they are widely used in confectionery. The Americans also use this spice in baked foods and the Russians in cakes and confectionery. The essential oil of Elaichi is also used both in pharmacy and perfumery industries, for flavouring bitters, in the preparation of tincture and as a stimulant( a substance that raises levels of nervous activity in the body).
The Queen Of Spices – Elaichi has endless benefits. We are not aware of its uses and the benefits we can get from Elaichi. It is also the most used spice in the Indian Kitchen and even it helps in many health problems.
If you want to know about the brief description of all the Indian spices used in our everyday life and their health benefits, please click here.