Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cardamom - Health Benefits

Cardamom, commonly known as Elaichi is a spice variety native to India. However, countries like Nepal , Srilanka, Guatemala, Mexico also cultivate Cardamom to a greater extent. It is a perennial plant with a thick rootstock. It grows to a height of 6-12 feet. It is the dried unripened fruit of the plant. The pod contains tiny brown aromatic seeds which are slightly pungent to taste. The Indian cardamom is said to be of superior quality than the others. Cardamom is best stored in pod form, because once the seeds are exposed or ground, they quickly lose their flavor. It is often referred as the ‘Grains of Paradise’.
Cardamom is usually used to flavor a variety of dishes. The spice is also very popular in the Scandinavian countries. cardamom is broadly used to treat infections in teeth and gums, to prevent and treat throat troubles, congestion of the lungs and pulmonary tuberclosis, inflammation of eyelids and also digestive disorders. It is also reportedly used as an antidote for both snake and scorpion venom.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Onion Health Benefits

Onion is an integral part of every kitchen.  It adds flavour to the dish it is added to.  Onions and other members of the Allium family are said to have some impact on blood pressure and cholesterol.  There are many different varieties of onion, red, yellow, white, and green. Onions are a rich source of flavonoids.  Onion also protects against stomach and other cancers, as well as protecting against certain infections.