Cardamom is one of the ancient spices in the world, which originates in the forests of Western Ghats in South India, and is a native to the East. However, today it is grown in Gautemala, Tanzanida, Indo China, and Sri Lanka.
Cardamom is an expensive spice, next only to saffron. Cardamom is removed from the seeds of a ginger-like plant. The cardamom pods are available whole or split and the seeds are sold loose or ground. However, it is always best to buy whole pods, as the ground cardamom quickly loses flavor.
Being both, a stimulant and carminative, cardamom, although is not used in western medicine, is excellent for flavouring, and forms the base for medicinal preparations for flatulence and indigestion, along with other ingredients. The spice is considered to be a good aphrodisiac by Arabs, while the Indians use it for treating many conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, kidney stones, anorexia, debility and weakened vata.
In traditional medicine, cardamom is broadly used to treat infections pertaining to gums and teeth, and to prevent throat troubles, pulmonary tuberculosis, congestion of lungs, inflammation of eyelids and digestive disorders. It is also used as an antidote for snake and scorpion venom.
The spice could be consumed by preparing an infusion, wherein a teaspoonful of freshly crushed seeds are poured into a cup of boiling water, and allowed to infuse by leaving it aside for ten to fifteen minutes. This could then be filtered and consumed thrice a day. When using this solution as a cure for flatulence, drink it half an hour before meals.