Monday, December 15, 2008

Elettaria cardamomum MATON

Family : Zingiberaceae

Synonym(s) : Elettaria repens, Amomum cardamomum, Cardamum officinale Salisb.; Alpinia cardamum Roxb.

English Name : Cardamom

Origin : Southern India

It is a tall, herbaceous perennial herb with branching subterranean rootstock, from which arise a number of upright leafy shoots, bearing alternate, elliptical or lanceolate sheathing leaves. The flowers are borne in panicles, arising from the base of vegetative shoots. The flowers are bisexual but self-sterile, and open in succession from the base towards the tip. Fruits are trilocular capsules, fusifrom to oviod, pale green to yellow in colour, containing 15 to 20 hard, brownish black, angled and rugose seeds, covered by a thin mucilaginous membrane.

Forests of southern India; also in Ceylon and Guatemala.

Parts Used : Ripe seeds and its volatile Oil

Herb Effects
Carminative, stimulant (aromatic); stimulates the apetite, antimicrobial, antiaflatoxic, invigorates the heart, analgesic, antiinflammatory, refreshes the breath and aphrodisiac.

Active Ingredients
1,8-cineole, alpha-phellandrene, alpha-pinene, alpha-terpinene, alpha-terpineol, beta-pinene, borneol, camphene, camphor, citronellol, gamma-terpinene, limonene, myrcene, nerol, nerolidol, p-cymene, terpinen-4-ol (fruit); alpha-tocopherol, beta-sitosterol, eugenyl-acetate, linoleic acid, niacin, oleic acid, palmitic acid, riboflavin, stearic acid, stigmasterol, thiamin (seed); terpinyl acetate (volatile seed oil); citronellal, geraniol, linalyl-acetate (plant).

Medicinal Use
As an adjuvant for drugs with a carminative or laxative effect, in flatulence, colic and indigestion. It is used as an aromatic stimulant, carminative and flavouring agent. Powdered cardamom mixed with ginger, cloves and caraway is a good stomachic useful in atonic dyspepsia. In herbal medicine, cardamoms are chewed slowly to sweeten the breath, as aphrodisiac, to sooth digestion, stimulate appetite, used against flatulance, colics and disorders of body, often combined with purgatives to offset griping.

Powdered seeds: 15 to 30 grains.
Tincture: 1/2 to 1 fluid drachm.
Fluid extract: 5 to 30 drops.


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