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Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)

Health Benefits of Cardamom, Overview, Medicinal Uses, Dosage, and Side Effects

Cardamom is known as the King of spices because it has a unique taste strong and resinous fragrance and extensively soothing Aroma. Because of its cooling system, it is almost similar to mentor and has been used as medicine and spices from the 4th century. A natural antioxidant, it is useful in treating digestion, blood pressure, asthma, etc.

This herb is also used as an ingredient in chyawanprash. Seeds of this herb are used in various preparations and are also used to make tea that helps to relieve stress because of work. Its leaves do not have an Aroma but it is used to wrap rice, cheese, and vegetables during cooking. It has been mentioned in Kautilya’s Arthashastra in the 4th century BC.

Botanical name- Elettaria cardamomum

Family- Scitamineae

Cardamom Names in different languages

  • English name- Lesser cardamom
  • Hindi name- chhoti elaichi
  • Tamil name- Yelakka
  • Arabian name- Kakul
  • Kannada name- Elakki
  • Malayalam name- Elam
  • Telugu name- Chinna elakulu, yelakkapalu
  • Gujarati name- Chot elach, elachi
  • Farsi name- Ilaichi khurd, Heelabak

Cardamom Synonyms in the Sanskrit language

  • Davidi- it is cultivated memory in South India
  • Chandra, Chandrabala- it is similar to moon and coolant
  • Kapotvarna- it has a color similar to pigeon
  • Other Synonyms are- Truti, bahula, korangi, tutha, tuttha, upakunchika, triputa

Categorization according to classical books

According to Acharya Charaka

Katuka skandha- a group of herbs having a pungent taste

Shiro virechnopaga- herbs that are useful in Nasya treatment

Angamarda prashmana- herbs that relieve body ache

According to Acharya sushruta- Eladi

According to Acharya vagbhatta – Eladi, caturjataka, trijataka

Morphological characteristics of Cardamom

Cardamom is a herb that grows up to the height of about 224 cm, its leaves are 20 to 40 cm long are alternate, linear-lanceolate, and have long pointed tips. Its flowers are 30 to 60 cm long and are produced in loose spikes, pale violet white in color. Its fruits are 1 to 2 cm long, three-chambered, 3 sided, and yellow-green color pots that surround several blacks and brown seeds.

Habitat- cardamom is mainly found in India, mostly in the Western ghats of Southern India. It is also native to other countries like Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Guatemala, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, and North America.

Varieties of cardamom

Sukshma ela- it is of smaller variety and called as smaller cardamom

Brihat ela- it is of bigger variety and called as greater cardamom

Main chemical constituents present in it

Heptane, myrcene, linalool, bornneol, p- cymene, a & b pinenes, methylheptenone, geraneol, saibenene, nerol, camphene, sitosterol, thijene, terpeneols, n- alkanes, ascaridole, camphor, mentioned, etc.

Medicinal properties of cardamom

  • Rasa (taste)- Madhura (sweet) and katu (pungent)
  • Guna (qualities)- Rooksha (dry) and Laghu (light)
  • Veerya (potency)- Sheeta (cold)
  • Vipaka (undergoes taste conversion after digestion)- Katu (pungent)
  • Karma (Effect on tridosha)- Balances vata and Kapha dosha

Medicinal uses

  1. Kasahara- It is used in cold and cough
  2. Vatahara- used in treating various diseases of vata dosha imbalance like constipation, abdominal bloating, neuralgia, etc
  3. Deepana- it improves digestive strength
  4. Pittahara- treats burning sensation and relieves pain
  5. Rochana- relieves anorexia and improves taste
  6. Shwashara- used in treating various chronic respiratory diseases like asthma
  7. Arshahara- used in hemorrhoids and piles
  8. Mutrakrichahara- treats urinary retention and relieves painful micturition and also works as a diuretic
  9. It is also used in various diseases like irritable bowel syndrome and its related symptoms like acidity, vomiting, etc.

Therapeutic uses of cardamom

Bronchitis- It helps to manage symptoms related to bronchitis as it has antibacterial, expectorant, and anti-inflammatory action. Being an expectorant, IT solutions and expels out the mucus from the lungs and relieves bronchitis. As per Ayurveda, bronchitis is caused due to poor digestion and incomplete elimination of waste ie ama from the body. Because of digestive properties, it improves digestion and reduces ama accumulation.

Frequent urination- Cardamom provides relief from frequent urination which occurs because of various diseases like diabetes, kidney infections, nephritis, Overactive bladder syndrome, etc. Being a diuretic, it also increases urine frequency in those patients who are suffering from various urine-related disorders like dribbling of urine, urine incontinence, etc.

Blood pressure- It helps to lower blood pressure as it has a high level of antioxidants present in it that prevents the damage of cells in the body. Because of its diuretic effect, it also promotes urination and ultimately reduces blood pressure.

Cardamom benefits for hair and skin – It works as an antibacterial that heals skin and also works as a purifier by clearing out the toxins from the skin. It keeps the skin tone, improves complexion, and also works in skin whitening naturally.

Bad breath- It act as a breath freshener. Accumulation of food particles may lead to poor dental hygiene and also improve the growth of bacteria which causes a foul smell from the mouth. Because of antibacterial activity, it decreases bacteria growth and reduces bad breath.

Heartburn and dyspepsia- Provides relief from dyspepsia and heartburn by improving the appetite. It also promotes the good digestion of food.

Part used- Seeds

Dosage- 0.5 to 1 gram (Powder)

It can be taken along with honey or ghee in the form of powder in a dose of 250 to 500 mg.

Side effects of cardamom

Cardamom is not good for fertility but can be safely used in small quantities during pregnancy, lactating mothers, and small children.

What are the health benefits of eating cardamom?

Health benefits of eating cardamom i.e., treat chronic respiratory disease, digestive disorders like constipation relieves pain and burning sensation, so treats piles.

What are the side effects of cardamom?

Side effects of cardamom are it is not good to use in infertility but can be used in small quantities during pregnancy.

How much cardamom should I eat a day?

You can take 2 to 3 cardamoms in a day for good digestion and breath.

Is cardamom bad for kidneys?

No, it is not bad for kidneys.


From this article, it is concluded that cardamom has various medicinal properties that will keep you healthy. It can be used during pregnancy but in small doses. Take 2 to 3 cardamoms daily for healthy digestion.

Note: Our purpose is to serve useful information related to cardamoms’ benefits, dosage, and other properties. It is advised to the patients not to consume it on the basis of this information. Before taking this as a medicine it is better to have an expert opinion because dosage and treatment vary from patient to patient depending on their symptoms and medical history.

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About Dr. Ranjana Kaushal

Dr. Ranjana Kaushal (MD Ayurveda) has 11 years of experience in the field of Ayurveda. Right now she is working as an Ayurveda consultant with Life Aveda. She has immense knowledge about herbs, their uses, and formulations. She has published articles related to many herbs and diseases in an international journal. She is also a degree holder in yoga and naturopathy. Read More..

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