Cardamon (Bai Dou Kou – Amomum)
Botanical Name: Elettaria (green and true cardamon) and Amomum (black and brown cardamon).
Cardamon is known for both its culinary and medicinal properties. It has long been used by many cultures to prevent illness and promote digestion.
Below is an overview of cardamon, combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of cardamon.
Western Name: Cardamon
Also Known As: Green or Black Cardamon
Organs/Systems: Lungs, Stomach, Intestines, Nerves, Brain
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Aphrodisiac, Digestive, Diuretic, Anticancer, Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-microbial, Anti-spasmodic. Alleviates poor appetite, colds, mouth ulcers, digestive difficulties, depression, bad breath. Lowers blood pressure, prevents cancer, prevents blood clotting.
Pin Yin: Bai Dou Kou (Amomum)
Also Known As: N/A
Meridians: Lung, Spleen, Stomach
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Aromatic herbs that Transform Phlegm. Strongly Dries Damp/Strengthens Spleen: transformation and transportation functions: diarrhea, stomach cramping, nausea, vomiting, thick greasy tongue coat. Expel Wind Damp: causing painful obstruction in extremities. Clear Dampness in lower burner for damp heat pouring downward (as in leg qi), vaginal discharge, swollen sore joints. Reduce Sweating/Release to Exterior: headache, body aches due to wind cold damp. Improve Vision: night blindness, diminished vision with rough sensation in eyes. Antidote: poisonous bites and contusions, snake and scorpions, bruises, paralysis.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Seeds
Flavors: Pungent, Slightly Bitter, Sweet, Warm, Dry, Aromatic
Caution: None noted.
History/Folklore: One of the most esteemed essential oils in Ayurvedic medicine. Greeks imported it from India as early as the 4th century. Renaissance herbalists considered it “chief of all seeds.”
Essential oil (A-terpineol45%, Mycene 27%, Limonene8%, Menthone6%, B-phellandrene, Heptane), Atractylol, Hinesol, B-eudesmol
The Largest Producer of Cardamon
Cardamon was introduced in Guatemala by a German coffee maker, just prior to WWI. Germany is now the largest producer of cardamon, followed by India.
Used in Baking
Common baking ingredient in the Nordic countries, particularly Sweden and Finland, where it is used in traditional treats such as Finnish sweet bread Pulla and in the Scandinavian Christmas bread Julekake.
Garam Marasala Sauce
One of the principal ingredients in the Indian sauce Garam Marasala.
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