Cardamom

What other names is Cardamom known by?

Amomum cardamomum, Bai Dou Kou, Black Cardamom, Cardamome, Cardamome de Malabar, Cardamome Noire, Cardamome de Sri Lanka, Cardamome Verte, Cardamomo, Cardamom Essential Oil, Cardomom, Cardomomi Fructus, Ela, Elettaria cardamomum, Green Cardamom, Huile Essentielle de Cardamome, Indian Cardamom, Lesser Cardamom.

What is Cardamom?

Cardamom is an herb. The seeds are used to make medicine.

Cardamom is used for digestion problems including heartburn, intestinal spasms, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), intestinal gas, constipation, liver and gallbladder complaints, and loss of appetite. It is also used for common cold, cough, bronchitis, sore mouth and throat, and tendency toward infection. Some people use cardamom as a stimulant and for urinary problems.

In foods, cardamom is used as a spice in many parts of the world.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Nausea and vomiting that can occur after surgery. Early research suggests that applying a mixture of ginger, cardamom, and tarragon essential oils to the neck after anesthesia and surgery may help relieve nausea and prevent vomiting for up to 30 minutes in some people. However, the effect seems to vary depending on the number of vomit-causing drugs that were given during anesthesia or as pain relievers during and/or after surgery.
  • Intestinal spasms.
  • Heartburn.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Cold.
  • Cough.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Sore mouth and throat.
  • Liver problems.
  • Gallbladder problems.
  • Urinary problems.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Gas.
  • Constipation.
  • Preventing infections.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of cardamom for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Cardamom work?

Cardamom contains chemicals that appear to treat stomach and intestinal spasms and gas, and increase the movement of food through the intestine.

Are there safety concerns?

Cardamom is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth, but the potential side effects of cardamom are not known.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking cardamom in medicinal amounts if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.

Gallstones: Do not take cardamom in amounts greater than those typically found in food if you have gallstones. The cardamom seed can trigger gallstone colic (spasmodic pain).

Dosing considerations for Cardamom.

The appropriate dose of cardamom for use as treatment depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for cardamom. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011

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