Cardamom

Common name Cardamom

Latin name Elettaria cardamomum

Parts used seeds


System affinities

Cardamom is particularly indicated for the digestive system.  However it has applications in the respiratory system and circulatory system as well.


Energetics/characteristics/flower essence/dosha

Cardamom is considered tridoshic in that it can be useful in balancing all three doshas, though pitta people will probably find that they should only use it in moderation. Cardamom can reduce the influence of kapha in the stomach, which can be particularly beneficial for excess kapha. In addition, vata governs digestion, and anything that helps to stabilize digestion is a great asset to a vata-dominant individual.


Taste and quality

Cardamom is generally considered pungent and sweet, with a cooling action.  


Indications

Cardamom is specific for a weak digestion and symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, colic, intestinal pain and indigestion. Cardamom stimulates the digestion, improving absorption capabilities within the gut. Its pungent and clearing nature also indicates this herb in nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, burping and acidity.Its pungency and stimulating nature help to relieve digestive tension and shift stubborn congestion. These actions do, also, extend to the respiratory system where it can help clear mucus congestion in the lungs. Cardamom is indicated in coughs characterised by excess mucus and asthma with wheezing. It is good for sore throats, mouth ulcers and bad breath.


 

History and lore

Cardamom is considered to be one of the world’s oldest spices. The use of this spice dates back at least 4000 years. Ancient Egyptians used Cardamom for many medicinal purposes, as part of rituals and even for embalming. They chewed cardamom pods as a way to help keep their breath minty and to help clean their teeth. The Greeks and Romans used Cardamom for its pungent aroma.  It was a main ingredient in perfumes and aromatic oils. 


Habitat

A plant of the tropics, it is usually cultivated at an elevation of 1,800 - 5,000 feet. A uniformly distributed rainfall of about 3ft per year is considered optimal, though the plant can tolerate more or less.  The plants do not grow where annual mean temperatures are below 62°f.  It grows best in a rich, moist, well-drained soil in partial shade

Dosing and formulas