Cardamom, which is sometimes called Cardamon or Cardamum, is a spice made from the seeds of several plants in the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to India, Bhutan, Indonesia, and Nepal.
The seeds are used to make medicine in many East and South Asian countries. Cardamom is used to address digestion problems including heartburn, intestinal spasms, irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal gas, constipation, liver and gallbladder complaints, and loss of appetite. Cardamom is antimicrobial, making it effective against periodontal disease and urinary tract infections. The herb is a natural anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic. Cardamom is also known to improve the health and function of the male sexual organs.
In foods, cardamom is used as a spice in many parts of the world, specifically in East Asia. Cardamom is a spice mostly used in food. However, several eastern cultures also use cardamom in teas. The strong scent of the tea comes from the oils present in the spice's seeds. The purported health benefits of cardamom come from these oils which include terpinine, borneol, eucalyptol, camphor and limonene.
Aside from its many health benefits, cardamom also has an incredible floral aroma and taste which have earned it the title “Queen of Spices” throughout much of Asia.