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Elettaria cardamomum

Elettaria cardamomum (Zingiberaceae)

CARDAMOM, ILACHI, MALABAR CARDAMOM

 

The seeds are given herbally for digestive problems. Ayurvedic and Chinese physicians also prescribe them.

 

Cardamom fruits have long been used as a spice in curry powder and by the Egyptians to flavour coffee. The seeds were known to Dioscorides in AD77 and are mentioned in the Arabian Nights. A relative of ginger, cardamom is native to the wet tropical hills of southern India. It is a perennial with a thick root and large, oval, pointed leaves. Its flowers are small and yellow with a purple lip and the seeds are encased in a thin papery pod, which forms the fruit.

 

PARTS USED

Seeds.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Volatile oil with cineole, limonene, terpineol, and linalool.

 

ACTIONS

Relieves wind and colic; increases the flow of saliva; stimulates the appetite.

 

MEDICINAL USE

Given for flatulent indigestion and to stimulate the appetite in people with anorexia. It is prescribed in Ayurvedic medicine for coughs, colds, bronchitis, asthma and indigestion, and Chinese medicine uses it as a tonic and for urinary incontinence.

 

PREPARATIONS

Seeds, infusion, tincture.   

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