|Botanical: Elettaria cardamomum (also called Amomum cardamomum)
Family: Zingiberaceae (ginger)
Other common names: Cardamon, Grains of Paradise, Pai-Tou, Sha-Ren, Elachi, Ela, Capalaga, Ceylon Cardamom, Malabar Cardamom, Bastard Cardamom
Another delicious kitchen spice is very much at home in the medicine cabinet. Try Cardamom to prevent indigestion, relieve flatulence and intestinal "griping," as well as help counter the effects of Celiac disease (gluten intolerance). Cardamom is an old-time appetite stimulant that may even sweeten your breath!
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Cardamom is a spice that came to us from the Orient by way of ancient caravan routes finding their way to Europe. It is a perennial herb with large fleshy roots that grows wild in rich, moist, well-drained soil in partial shade and reaches an average height of ten feet. There are several species of Cardamom with similar culinary and medicinal applications (especially for gastrointestinal complaints). Some are native to tropical China and Vietnam and are closely related to the Cardamom grown in India and Sri Lanka. The Elettaria seeds are said to be the true Cardamom plants and are thought to have the most pleasant flavor, but the varieties are often used interchangeably with similar effects. Harvesting the spice used to be a life-threatening endeavor because Cardamom usually grew and was hand-picked in areas that were home to the deadly king cobra and pit vipers. Today, Cardamom is frequently cultivated as a crop on plantations in many tropical areas of the world, including Africa and Central America. Cardamom was rumored to have been grown in the royal hanging gardens of Babylon circa 700 B.C., and was considered a powerful aphrodisiac in ancient love potions. Ancient Egyptians used Cardamom to whiten their teeth and sweeten the breath, and the Greeks and Romans found it useful to counteract the effects of alcohol over-indulgence. It was first mentioned as a medicinal plant in China around 720 A.D., and its use in Ayurvedic medicine was recorded over two thousand years ago, where it continues to this day for the treatment of digestive and gastrointestinal problems, as well as bronchial ailments. In addition to its powerful medicinal properties, the delicious seeds are often used to flavor bakery products, coffee, curries, fruit compotes and mulled wine. The essential oil is an important ingredient in the perfume and liquor industries. Some of the constituents of Cardamom include essential oil, myrcene, limonene, linolol, linalool, citronellol, monounsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, 4-hydroxy-benzoic acid, fixed oil, caprylic acid, vanillic acid, alpha-pinene, alpha-tocopherol, beta-sitosterol, B-vitamins, calcium, potassium, zinc, choline, iron, chromium, copper, manganese, campestrol, camphor, P-coumaric acid, geraniol, phytosterol, starch, mucilage, fiber and resin.
Cardamom is well known as a digestive stimulant that helps improve the appetite and promotes circulation to the digestive system, helping to relieve nausea, vomiting, indigestion and colic. It is also thought to ease irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
One of the oldest uses for Cardamom is for the relief of flatulence and the intestinal "griping" (grumbling and pain in the intestines and bowels) associated with gas.
Cardamom has been used to treat Celiac disease, the chronic diarrheal condition marked by intestinal malabsorption of virtually all nutrients and precipitated by eating gluten-containing foods (generally involving breads and cereals). The disease mostly affects young children and 60- and 65-year-olds, and Cardamom appears to help the body tolerate the gluten with no ill effects.
Cardamom is a warm, aromatic herb that has stimulating, tonic effects, especially on the lungs and is thought to improve circulation to the lungs. Cardamom is considered a fine expectorant and has long been used to relieve pulmonary disease that produces copious phlegm. Cardamom also seems to counteract the effects of mucus-forming foods, such as dairy products.
An age-old use for Cardamom has been as an aphrodisiac, and its benefits were even extolled in Arabian Nights. People in the Middle East still believe that this use is valid.
Cardamom reputedly detoxifies caffeine from the system.
Cardamom is considered a tonic for the kidneys. It is also believed to normalize the elimination of stool and urine and is used in Ayurvedic medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to control urinary incontinence in both men and women.
The essential oil in Cardamom is considered antibacterial and antifungal, and Ayurvedic physicians use it to treat ulcers and malaria. It is also thought to increase the efficacy of the antibiotic, streptomycin, when used to treat tuberculosis.
Cardamom is thought to relax spasms and relieve headaches, including menstrual-related symptoms. There is some evidence that it also improves mental clarity.
Cardamom has been used for centuries as a breath freshener.
Currently, there are no warnings or contraindications with the use of Cardamom Herbal Supplement.