Habitat & Cultivation : Indigenous to southern India and Sri Lanka, cardamom thrives in the forested regions at elevations ranging from 800 to 1,500 meters (2,600 to 4,900 feet) above sea level. It is extensively cultivated not only in its native regions but also in India, southern Asia, Indonesia, and Guatemala. Cardamom propagation occurs through seed planting in autumn or root division in spring and summer, requiring a shaded location and nutrient-rich, moist, and well-drained soil. The seed pods are carefully harvested just before they begin to open in dry weather during the autumn and are subsequently dried whole in the sunlight.
- Volatile oil
- Digestive tonic
- Protects liver
- Mild stimulant
- Antispasmodic : In a clinical study conducted in India in 2009, it was observed that cardamom effectively reduced blood pressure in a group of 20 adults over a span of three months. Participants in the trial reported experiencing a sense of well-being without encountering any noticeable side effects. The herb has a well-established history of exhibiting antispasmodic properties.
Traditional & Current Uses
- Ancient herb : Cardamom has been highly valued both as a spice and a medicine and was known in Greece in the 4th century BCE.
- Digestive problems : Across historical periods, cardamom has been employed to alleviate digestive issues, particularly addressing concerns such as indigestion, flatulence, griping, and irritable bowel syndrome. The pleasing taste of the seeds makes cardamom a common addition to digestive remedies, enhancing their flavor.
- Current Indian uses : Cardamom is used in India for many conditions, including asthma, bronchitis, kidney stones, anorexia, debility and weakened vata.
- Chinese remedy : In China, the herb is taken for urinary incontinence and as a tonic.
- Bad breath : Cardamom is an effective treatment for bad breath, and when taken with garlic helps to reduce its smell.
- Aphrodisiac : Containing androgenic compounds, the herb has gained a historical reputation as both a tonic and aphrodisiac. In traditional Arabian practices, cardamom is often combined with coffee in a well-known recipe.