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Started by: Jayashree at October 14 2007

Replies: 3 & Views: 8292    Font    Page 1 of 1            Reply

Cardamom By: Jayashree
Calcutta, India
October 14 2007

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It belongs to the Ginger family.
Common Names :-
Bastard cardamom
Cardamom seeds
Ela (Sanskrit name)
Malabar cardamom
Sha-ren (Chinese name)

Parts Usually Used
Description of Plant(s) and Culture
A turmeric cousin, cardamom is an aromatic spice often used to flavor stews and curries. It traces its origins to southern India and Sri Lanka, and it's also cultivated in Southeast Asia and Guatemala. Cardamom is a perennial plant; the simple, erect stems grow to a height of 6-10 feet from a thumb-thick, creeping rootstock. The leaves are lanceolate, dark green and glabrous above, lighter and silky beneath. The small, yellowish flowers grow in loose racemes on prostrate flower stems. The fruit is a three-celled capsule holding up to 18 seeds.
Where Found
Found commonly in southern India but also cultivated in other tropical areas.
Medicinal Properties
Appetizer, carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic
Biochemical Information
Essential oil including D-borneol, bornylacetate, d-camphor, nerolidol, linalool
Legends, Myths and Stories
A seed pod with an exotic fragrance of the Far East where it is used in curries and many Oriental dishes. Arabians and Persians steep a cardamom pod in their coffee after it has been brewed for its agreeable aroma and flavor. The French use it in their demi-tasse.
Cardamom added to milk neutralizes its mucus forming properties and it detoxifies caffeine in coffee.
Cardamom is an ingredient in Christmas cookies, Danish and Swedish cookies, coffee cakes, pastries, and candies. It adds a delightful essence to applesauce, sliced oranges, grape jelly, fruit salads, spiced wines, and liqueurs.
One lady in 1854 wrote, In our young days, we recollect seeing ladies carry cardamoms in their pockets, and eat them as if they were sweetmeats.
In Europe, the seeds are sometimes seen in fancy dishes in cocktail lounges and bars. The seeds are also used in potpourri, sachets, and sweet-scented mixtures.
A natural perfume of the vegetable kingdom; the seeds were often an ingredient of old-time love potions.
Seeds come from the dried fruit of the cardamom plant, found in India and other tropical areas. Their flavor is slightly gingerish, leaving a medicinal aftertaste. Used in Mexican, Spanish, and East Indian dishes.
A mild stimulant, cardamom is a standard ingredient of curry.
Cardamom is a relative of the ginger family and a native to the Orient. Old-fashioned sweet bags, perfume powders, and incense contained cardamom seeds. Oil of cardamom is used to make Lily-of-the-valley perfume.
It is said the Syrians used 1 or 2 cardamom seeds with coffee.
According to a Chinese Materia Medica, a tea made from cardamom seeds will counteract acidity of the stomach, stimulate digestion because cardamom contains a large amount of volatile oil, and relieves discomfort of flatulence. Treats gastralgia, enuresis (involuntary urination), spermatorrhea, phlegm, colds, cough, bronchitis, asthma, hoarse throat, kidney diseases. In Turkey, 1 or 2 cardamom seeds are chewed to sweeten the breath and to conceal liquor breath.
Seeds are used as a spice in cooking and as a flavoring in other medicines
Formulas or Dosages
For indigestion, mix 15 pulverized seeds in 1/2 cup hot water. Add 1 oz. of fresh gingerroot and a cinnamon stick. Simmer 15 minutes over low heat. Add 1/2 cup milk and simmer 10 more minutes. Add 2 or 3 drops of vanilla. Sweeten with honey. Drink 1 to 2 cups daily.
Care should be taken if internally ulcers are present. Consult medical supervision.
What Cardamom Is and What It Can Do
Medicinally, cardamom has been used in Asia as an aphrodisiac. In Arab countries, coffee houses often mix some into coffee. I cannot verify its effectiveness in this particular regard, but cardamom does contain a compound called cineole, which stimulates the central nervous system--and I suppose this could give thoughts of romance a little boost. Cineole is often used by aroma therapists as a remedy for fainting. I like to spike my coffee or tea with a couple of seeds.
How Cardamom Can Help
Cineole is an antiseptic that can kill bad breath bacteria, which may explain in part its reputation as an aphrodisiac. Try chewing on a few seeds, then spitting them out. Like spearmint, rosemary, eucalyptus, ginger, bee balm, peppermint, and other herbs with high cineole content, cardamom makes a great expectorant for people with laryngitis. Make a tea combining these ingredients, and add some pineapple juice.
Cardamom has also been found to be effective for eliminating, or at least limiting, gas. A few sprinkles on a piece of toast may do the trick as well as the cinnamon that my wife uses.
How to Take It and How Much
Cardamom is available as seeds, oil crushed from seed, and as a tincture, standardized to 1 to 2 grams as cineole. A recommended daily dosage of tincture is 1.5 grams standardized as cineole. If you take the proper dosage, you should be free of any health hazards or side effects.
Heart disease. The antioxidants in herbs and foods are among the most powerful tools for protecting the heart. This is because they help prevent the oxygen in the body from damaging (oxidizing) molecules of cholesterol in the blood stream. This is important because cholesterol that's been oxidized may cause plaque and potential blockage, making it more likely to impede the flow of blood to the heart. Since curcumin is a potent antioxidant, I'm convinced that it can help prevent cholesterol from causing the narrowing of the arteries, called atherosclerosis, that's among the main causes of heart attacks.

In India cardamom is used as a mouth freshner after meals. It laves a pleasant taste in the mouth and also gets rid of mouth odors.

It is also used as an ingredient in Garam Masala which is used in Mughlai or Indian Dishes.

Jayashree Kanoi

Re: Cardamom By: fredandwilmaflinston
October 25 2007
Interesting. Caution, when making tea, don't boil cardamom but put it after it is already boiled.

Re: Cardamom By: Pat2006M
October 25 2007
Is the first sentence suppose to say Ginger and not Gonger?

Re: Cardamom By: Jayashree
Calcutta, India
October 26 2007
I dont agree fredandwilmaflinston.
In India we boil the whole cardamam while making tea to no problem. Not only me but all those who drink cardamom tea.

Jayashree Kanoi

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