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.

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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.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Cardamon is in the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. This herb is recognized by its small seedpods, triangular cross-section and spindle shape, with thin papery outer shell and small black seeds. Both species (elettaria and amomum) are native to evergreen forests of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan.

CardamonParts 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.”

Key Constituents:

Essential oil (A-terpineol45%, Mycene 27%, Limonene8%, Menthone6%, B-phellandrene, Heptane), Atractylol, Hinesol, B-eudesmol

Did you know?

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.

Fun fact!

Garam Marasala Sauce

One of the principal ingredients in the Indian sauce Garam Marasala.


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ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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