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Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)

Generic Name: Cardamom

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Aframomum, Amomum, Amomum cardamomum, Amomum subulatum Roxb, amooman, bai dou kou, Bari Ilaichi, bastard cardamom, buah pelaga (Malay), cardamom oil, cardamome (French), cardamomo (Italian, Spanish), cardamon, cardamone (Italian), cardomomi fructus, chhoti elachi (Indian), elaichi, e(e)lachie (Indian), ela(i)chi (Indian), Elettaria cardamomum, Elettaria cardamomum Maton var. Miniscula Burkill, elam (Tamil), enasal (Sinhalese), grains of paradise, grawahn (Thai), greater cardamom, Heel kalan, illaichi (Indian), Indian cardamom, kapulaga (Indonesian), Kardamom (German), Kardamomma (Iceland), kravan (Thai), large cardamom, lesser cardamom, Nepal cardamom, Malabar cardamom, Mysore cardamom, phalazee (Burmese), protocatechualdehyde, protocatechuic acid, Siam cardamom, true cardamom, ts'ao-k'ou (Chinese), Unmadnashak Ghrita, winged Java cardamom, Zingiberaceae (family).

Background

Cardamom is the dried, unripened fruit of the perennial Elettaria cardamomum. Enclosed in the fruit pods are tiny, brown, aromatic seeds, which are both pungent and sweet to the taste. Cardamom pods are generally green but are also available in bleached white pod form. It is available both in the whole pod and as decorticated seeds with the outer hull removed.

The spice known as cardamom is the fruit of several plants of the Elettaria, Aframomum and Amomum genera in Zingiberaceae, or ginger family. In general, Aframomum is used as a spice. Elettaria is used both as a spice and as medicine, and Amomum is used as an ingredient in several traditional medicines in China, India, Korea and Vietnam.

Cardamom has been used traditionally for a variety of conditions including as a digestive, carminative, stimulant, breath freshener and aphrodisiac. Current research has implicated cardamom's potential therapeutic value as an inhibitor of human platelet aggregation.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Allergic skin reactions (contact dermatitis), antacid, anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antipyretic (fever reducer), antiseptic (pulmonary), aphrodisiac, appetite stimulant, asthma, breath freshener, bronchitis, cardiac conditions, carminative (digestive aid), colds, colon cancer, constipation, cough, depression, digestive, dyspepsia (upset stomach), enhanced vision, flatulence (gas), food flavoring, food uses, gastrointestinal disorders, immunostimulant, infections (teeth and gum), inflammation (eyelids), intestinal spasm, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), laxative, liver and gallbladder complaints, loss of appetite, lung congestion, mouth and throat inflammation, nausea, nutritional intolerance in children (grains), sedative, skin conditions, snake bites, sore throats, stimulant, stings (scorpion), stomach aches, stress, tuberculosis, urinary tract infection, weight loss.

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

There is no proven safe or effective dose of cardamom. Traditionally, the typical dose of cardamom is 1.5 grams of the ground seeds per day. As a digestive, a tea prepared from 1 teaspoon of freshly crushed cardamom seeds infused in 1 cup boiled water for 10-15 minutes has been used.

Children (younger than 18 years)

There is no proven safe or effective dose of cardamom, and use in children is not recommended.

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