Also known as
Elettaria cardamomum, Amomum cardamomum, Bai Dou Kou, Cardamon, Cardomomi Fructus, Ela.
The sweetly aromatic cardamom is the fruit of a tropical plant
related to ginger, and one of the world?s most expensive spices, after
saffron and vanilla. Growing cardamom is extremely labor intensive. The
tall plants, grown on plantations in Guatemala or India, flower for
eight or nine months of the year. Each pod, or capsule, ripens slowly,
but must be plucked when it is three-quarters ripe.
After harvest, the pods are washed and dried. The
method of drying dictates the final color. White indicates the pods have
been dried for many days in the sun leaving them bleached. Green pods
have been dried for one day and night in a heated room. It is the three
seeds inside each pod, however, that are considered the spice.
Cardamom is essential to the cuisines of the Middle
East and Scandinavia. Cardamom coffee or gahwa is a symbol of Arab
hospitality. Cardamom flavors ground meat in Norway and baked goods in
Sweden. Cooks all over the world combine cardamom with cloves and
cinnamon. Cardamom lends its distinctive flavor to chai.
You can find cardamom in the market in several forms.
You can purchase whole pods and remove the seeds as needed. This form of
the herb retains its aroma and flavor longest.
You can also buy cardamom seeds (decorticated cardamom)
or cardamom powder, but they do not keep as long as the pods.
The essential oil contains a-terpineol (45%), myrcene (27%),
limonene (8%), menthone (6%), b-phellandrene (3%), 1,8-cineol (2%),
sabinene (2%), and smaller amounts of heptane.
The seed, removed from the pod, and ground.
Whole pods may be used as well.
Usually in cooking, but also in teas, tinctures, and infusions.
Cardamom has been used medicinally for centuries in India and
China as a carminative, stimulant, and to treat urinary problems. The
Egyptians chewed the seed as a tooth cleaner. In the Middle East it was
considered an aphrodisiac, and is mentioned frequently in One Thousand
and One Nights. In India it was known as the "Queen of spices" to black
pepperâ€™s title as the "King of spices". Also in India, during the 11th
century, it was listed as one of the ingredients in the "Five fragrance
betel chew" in the Book of Splendour. Preliminary findings from
laboratory research suggest that regular use of cardamom might help
prevent colon cancer, and in the Ayurvedic formula Unmadnashak Ghrita,
cardamom, along with brahmi, gardenia, asafetida, and ghee, may be a
mild sedative. Cardamom oil is used to flavor pharmaceuticals, and as a
fragrance in soaps, detergents, perfumes and other body care products.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products
are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease.
We can not accept returns of food items or supplements.
This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 10 August, 2010.