Table of Contents > Herbs & Supplements > Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) Print

Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)

Image

Also listed as: Elettaria cardamomum, Amomum cardamomum
Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • 1,7-bis(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)hepta-4E,6E-dien-3-one, 1,8-cineole, 2,3,7-trihydroxy-5-(3,4-dihydroxy-E-styryl)-6,7,8,9-tetrahydro-5H-benzocycloheptene, acetyl terpineol, Aframomum, Alnus-cardamom, alpha-terpinyl acetate, Amomum, Amomum cardamomum, Amomum tsao-ko Crevost et Lemaire, Amomum villosum Lour., amooman, bai dou kou, bari ilaichi (Urdu), bastard cardamom, black cardamom, buah pelaga (Malay), caffeic acid, cardamom oil, cardamom seed, cardamome (French), Cardamomi fructus, cardamomo (Italian, Spanish), cardamon, cardamone (Italian), Cardomomi fructus, chhoti elachi (Hindi), chlorogenic acid, cinnamic acid, elaichi (Hindi), elam (Tamil), Elettaria cardamomum spp., enasal (Sinhalese), ferulic acid, gallic acid, grains of paradise, grawahn (Thai), greater cardamom, green cardamom, heel kalan, Indian cardamom, kapulaga (Indonesian), Kardamom (German), kardamomma (Icelandic), kravan (Thai), large cardamom, lesser cardamom, limonene, linalool, linalyl acetate, Malabar cardamom, minerals, myrcene, Mysore cardamom, Nepal cardamom, phalazee (Burmese), phenolic acids, protocatechualdehyde, protocatechuic acid, Siam cardamom, small cardamom, tannic acid, terpineol, terpinolene, (+/-)-trans-2,3,3a,7a-tetrahydro-1H-indene-4-carbaldehyde, true cardamom, ts'ao-k'ou (Chinese), Unmadnashak Ghrita, vanillic acid, winged Java cardamom, Zingiberaceae (family).
  • Combination product example: Padma®28 (Padma Inc., Switzerland).

Background
  • Cardamom is the dried, unripened fruit of the perennial plant species Elettaria cardamomum. Enclosed in the fruit pods are tiny, brown, aromatic seeds, which are both pungent and sweet to the taste. Cardamom pods are generally green but are also available in a bleached white form. Cardamom is available both as a whole pod and as seeds that have had the outer hull removed.
  • Several species in the Zingiberaceae (ginger) plant family are used like "true" cardamom. In general, species in the Aframomum genus are used as a spice. Elettaria species are used both as a spice and as medicine, and Amomum species are used as an ingredient in several traditional medicines in China, India, Korea, and Vietnam.
  • Cardamom has been used traditionally to help digestion and relieve gas. It has also been used as a stimulant, breath freshener, and aphrodisiac.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Allergic skin reactions (contact dermatitis), anesthetic, antacid, antibacterial, anticonvulsant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antipyretic (fever reducer), antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, appetite stimulant, asthma, bad breath, bronchitis, cardiac conditions, carminative (digestive aid), cavities, chemotherapy adverse effects, colds, colic, colon cancer, congestion, constipation, cough, depression, diarrhea, digestive, diuretic (increases urine flow), dyspepsia (upset stomach), enhanced vision, epilepsy, eye inflammation, flatulence (gas), food flavoring, food uses, gastrointestinal disorders, gingivitis, high blood pressure, , immunostimulant, intestinal spasm, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), kidney disorders, laxative, liver and gallbladder complaints, liver protection, loss of appetite, lung congestion, mouth and throat inflammation, nausea, nutritional intolerance in children, obesity, sedative, skin conditions, snake bites, sore throat, stimulant, stings (scorpion), stomachache, stress, tuberculosis, urinary disorders, urinary tract infection, weight loss.

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose of cardamom.
  • As a digestive, a tea prepared from one teaspoon of freshly crushed cardamom seeds infused in one cup of boiled water for 10-15 minutes has been taken by mouth. Traditionally, the typical dose of cardamom is 1.5 grams of the ground seeds daily. The usual dose of tincture is 1-2 grams taken by mouth daily.

Children (younger than 18 years)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose of cardamom in children.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid with known allergy or hypersensitivity to cardamom, its constituents, or related plants from the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family. Chronic contact dermatitis has occurred with repeated exposure to cardamom.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Very few adverse effects have been reported with cardamom. Primarily, the seeds may cause allergic contact dermatitis (skin inflammation).
  • Chewing pan masala (consisting of areca nut (betel nut), catechu, lime, cardamom, spices, unspecified flavoring agents, and tobacco) reportedly causes mouth problems, including worn teeth and sensitivity. The cardamom seed may trigger gallstone colic (spasmodic pain). Intravenous administration of cardamom seed oil has decreased heart rate.
  • Cardamom may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or those taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
  • Cardamom may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking drugs that lower blood pressure.
  • Use cautiously in patients using CNS depressants. Drowsiness or sedation may occur. Use caution if driving or operating heavy machinery.
  • Cardamom may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be increased in the blood and may cause increased effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. Patients using any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
  • Use cautiously with anticholinergic agents, as cardamom may have additive effects, including dry mouth, decreased urination, or blurred vision.
  • Use cautiously in patients with gallstones or the tendency for gallstones, as cardamom seed may trigger gallstone colic (spasmodic pain).
  • Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women in amounts greater than those normally found in food, due to a lack of available scientific evidence.
  • Avoid in patients allergic to cardamom, its constituents, or members of the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family, as it may cause allergic contact dermatitis.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women in amounts greater than those normally found in food, due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • Cardamom may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that also increase the risk of bleeding. Examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
  • Cardamom may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking drugs that lower blood pressure.
  • Cardamom may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some drugs, including CNS depressants. Examples include benzodiazepines such as lorazepam (Ativan®) or diazepam (Valium®), barbiturates such as phenobarbital, narcotics such as codeine, some antidepressants, and alcohol. Caution is advised while driving or operating machinery.
  • Cardamom may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be increased in the blood and may cause increased effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. Patients using any medications should check the package insert, and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
  • Cardamom may increase the ability of drugs delivered through the skin to permeate the skin.
  • Cardamom may also interact with anesthetics, antibiotics, anticancer agents, anticholinergics, antifungals, cyproheptadine, diuretics (loop), estradiol, indomethacin, muscarinic agents, pain relievers, and prednisolone.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Cardamom may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
  • Cardamom may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs or supplements that lower blood pressure.
  • Cardamom may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some herbs or supplements. Use caution if driving or operating heavy machinery.
  • Cardamom may interfere with the way the body processes certain herbs or supplements using the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of other herbs or supplements may become too high in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements possibly have on the cytochrome P450 system.
  • Cardamom may increase the ability of agents delivered through the skin to permeate the skin.
  • Cardamom may also interact with anesthetics, antibacterials, anticancer agents, anticholinergics, antifungals, antihistamines, antioxidants, diuretics, muscarinic antagonists, pain relievers, and sedatives.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Achliya GS, Wadodkar SG, Dorle AK. Evaluation of sedative and anticonvulsant activities of Unmadnashak Ghrita. J Ethnopharmacol 2004;94(1):77-83.
  2. Dhuley JN. Anti-oxidant effects of cinnamon () bark and greater cardamom () seeds in rats fed high fat diet. Indian J Exp Biol 1999;37(3):238-242.
  3. Elgayyar M, Draughon FA, Golden DA, et al. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils from plants against selected pathogenic and saprophytic microorganisms. J Food Prot 2001;64(7):1019-1024.
  4. Gilani AH, Jabeen Q, Khan AU, et al. Gut modulatory, blood pressure lowering, diuretic and sedative activities of cardamom. J Ethnopharmacol 2008;115(3):463-472.
  5. Huang YB, Fang JY, Hung CH, et al. Cyclic monoterpene extract from cardamom oil as a skin permeation enhancer for indomethacin: and studies. Biol Pharm Bull 1999;22(6):642-646.
  6. Jafri MA, Farah, Javed K, et al. Evaluation of the gastric antiulcerogenic effect of large cardamom (fruits of Roxb). J Ethnopharmacol 2001;75(2-3):89-94.
  7. Jamal A, Javed K, Aslam M, et al. Gastroprotective effect of cardamom, Maton. fruits in rats. J Ethnopharmacol 2006;103(2):149-153.
  8. Kumar S. Panmasala chewing induces deterioration in oral health and its implications in carcinogenesis. Toxicol Mech Methods 2008;18(9):665-677.
  9. Majdalawieh AF, Carr RI. investigation of the potential immunomodulatory and anti-cancer activities of black pepper () and cardamom (). J Med Food 2010;13(2):371-381.
  10. Martins AP, Salgueiro L, Goncalves MJ, et al. Essential oil composition and antimicrobial activity of three Zingiberaceae from S.Tome e Principe. Planta Med 2001;67(6):580-584.
  11. Sapra B, Gupta S, Tiwary AK. Role of volatile oil pretreatment and skin cholesterol on permeation of ion-paired diclofenac sodium. Indian J Exp Biol 2000;38(9):895-900.
  12. Sengupta A, Ghosh S, Bhattacharjee S. Dietary cardamom inhibits the formation of azoxymethane-induced aberrant crypt foci in mice and reduces COX-2 and iNOS expression in the colon. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2005;6(2):118-122.
  13. Suneetha WJ, Krishnakantha TP. Cardamom extract as inhibitor of human platelet aggregation. Phytother Res 2005;19(5):437-440.
  14. Tayel AA, El Tras WF. Possibility of fighting food borne bacteria by egyptian folk medicinal herbs and spices extracts. J Egypt Public Health Assoc. 2009;84(1-2):21-32.
  15. Vasudevan K, Vembar S, Veeraraghavan K, et al. Influence of intragastric perfusion of aqueous spice extracts on acid secretion in anesthetized albino rats. Indian J Gastroenterol 2000;19(2):53-56.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

Search Site

Solgar
Bakery on Main
Eden Foods
Renew Life
Bob's Red Mill