I already knew that I loved the fragrant and oh so delicious cardamom, but had I known it could be used an excuse to drink coffee I would have featured it on day one! I put cardamom in and on everything I can, so I can honestly say I'm surprised I have never put it directly into coffee. Mind. Blown.
I was also a little surprised to learn that my own mother doesn't know what cardamom is. Have I not shared my love of it with her before? Am I just harboring this passion I have for the herb in a secret place inside of me? Am I trying to hoard it all for myself?
Cardamom is a tropical plant and, apparently, very difficult to grow. So, there go my dreams of trying to grow cardamom inside, in Portland, where it is NOT tropical... There a two types - green pods & brown pods - both containing black seeds inside. Below is a picture of the green pods, the seeds inside and of ground up cardamom.
Besides smelling amazing, being delicious to bake with and sprinkle on oatmeal and sprinkle on, well, anything - cardamom has some great benefits for the body. It is one of the best and safest digestive stimulants and can help stop vomiting, belching and acid regurgitation. It is also great to take with other herbs to aid with digestion! It helps remove mucous (kapha dosha) from the lungs and improves circulation to the lungs, so is great for respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis and allergies. It is also known to stimulate the mind, bringing clarity and joy to the one indulging in its scrumptiousness.
The amazing new bit of information I learned in my most recent research, though, is that it detoxifies the caffeine in coffee. I'm not entirely sure how or why yet, and I plan on figuring that out, but most sources seem to agree so I'm going believe it for the time being. Coffee is generally a no-no of the Ayurvedic diet, and I try to stay away. I have lapses all of the time, of course, but I can easily say I feel much better all over when I am not drinking coffee. I'm more energized, I sleep better, I digest better, and I don't have coffee breath all the time. It seems like a no-brainer, but coffee is just so delectable that I often find myself getting sucked back into its charms. So today I made coffee and sprinkled cardamom in it. It was a delicious coffee/chai hybrid and it is going to take all the strength I have to not drink more cardamom coffee tomorrow. I mean, look how excited I got about it!
What's great is that I actually have multiple pictures on my phone from different times of me being crazy for cardamom. I am a cool person, my friends, a very cool person.
Well, I'm going to use this cardamom and coffee high I have to get some work done! See ya tomorrow for the letter D!
(Most of my information comes from my textbooks, teachers, personal experience and the book "The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine," by Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad. None of this is to be taken as medical advice, but as a way to learn a little more about herbs and Ayurveda.)