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Black Cardamom: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more

Introduction: 

Amomum subulatom Roxburgh, commonly known as large cardamom or black cardamom, is one of the well-known spices. This spice is reported to be originated from the Eastern Himalayas region, and certain wild species of black cardamom are still found in this region. It is widely found in Bhutan, Nepal and India. The largest producer of cardamom is Sikkim, in India, which alone contributes to about 50% of the world’s production of black cardamom.1,2

black cardamom, badi elaichi

Due to its pleasing aroma, it is extensively used for flavouring many food preparations. The name large cardamom is given to black cardamom as it is being cultivated at a large scale has a higher position in the trade. Large cardamom is called greater cardamom in English, Badi Ilayachi (Badi elaichi) in Hindi, Sthulaila, Bhadraila in Sanskrit, Bara Ilachi in Bangla, Kattelam and Perelam in Tamil, Peralam in Malayalam, Periya Elam, Didda yelakki in Kannada and Pedda Yelakaya in Telegu.2

Did you know?

Nutritional Value of Black Cardamom: 

Composition % Value 
Protein 9.3 
Total fat 1.7 
Total carbohydrate 73.9 
Table 1: Composition and nutritional value of black cardamom.3 

Also Read: Tejpatta – Benefits, Side Effects, Nutritional Value & More

Properties of Black Cardamom:

Black cardamom, known for its distinctive flavour, also harbours medicinal properties that have been recognized for centuries. It contains essential oils that makeup around 1.95 to 3.32% of its composition. The essential oils in black cardamom may provide stimulating effects and aid in digestion.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

This spice has gained importance as it possesses curative properties, as cited in the Unani and Ayurveda medicine systems. It has several beneficial properties like:

 ·        It maybe a potential analgesic or pain-relieving

 ·        May have antiulcer potential

 ·        May have antimicrobial potential

 ·        May be an effective antioxidant and free radical scavenger

 ·        May have the potential to reduce the levels of lipids and lipoproteins in the blood

 ·        May have anti-inflammatory potential

 ·        May have potential to protect heart1-3

Spice up your dishes with black cardamom! It’s aromatic charm and delightful flavour make it a perfect addition to your meals and drinks. Black cardamom is used to add a pleasant aroma and flavour to a variety of dishes, including vegetables, meat, confectionery, pickles and beverages. It enhances the overall taste experience of these foods, making them more palatable.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Potential Use of Black Cardamom:

Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia has reported black cardamom for its beneficial properties for several conditions. Susrata (an ancient Indian physician) stated that in India, black cardamom had been used in Ayurvedic preparations since the 6th century BC. The potential uses of black cardamom are as follows:

Potential use of black cardamom for microbial infections

Black cardamom may potentially possess antimicrobial properties. In studies, extracts of black cardamom showed antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus.1

The essential oil obtained from the seeds of black cardamom demonstrates antimicrobial activities. It may have inhibitory effects against various fungi that grow on hair and nails and some fungi that can cause superficial skin infections. Thus, black cardamom essential oil may benefit against hair and skin infections caused by these fungi.1 These studies are insufficient to state the exact potential of black cardamom for humans.

Potential use of black cardamom for teeth

Black cardamom may be effective against infections of the gums and teeth. In studies, the extract of black cardamom demonstrated activity against two bacteria, Streptococcus mutans and S. aureus, which cause dental caries. The decoction of the seeds also may be helpful as a gargle for dental care.1,2 This may indicate the benefits of black cardamom may be beneficial for dental health, but the studies are insufficient to establish the same benefits for humans.

Potential use of black cardamom for the digestive system

A broad range of pharmacological and physiological properties of black cardamom has been identified.  The essential oil in black cardamom shows stomachic properties that may help promote the appetite or assist digestion. Therefore, it can be used to manage vomiting, indigestion, abdominal pains, rectal diseases, and biliousness (excessive excretion of bile). Likewise, the essential oil of black cardamom may help with stomach ulcers.1

Potential uses of black cardamom for the heart and liver

The seeds can activate antioxidant enzymes, thus causing antioxidant activity in the heart. It further may have beneficial effects on the muscular tissue of the heart against acute or severe stress-induced damage. Studies report that consuming black cardamom regularly may be helpful for ischemic heart disease.2

The seeds activate antioxidant enzymes, and therefore, it demonstrates antioxidant activity in the liver. A study on animal models shows that the extract of black cardamom seeds possesses liver protective activity.2However, more research will be required to prove such claims. Moreover, any the heart-related condition is serious; you should consult a qualified doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Unlock the soothing power of large cardamom for throat troubles and lung congestion. This natural remedy, known for its medicinal properties, has been traditionally used to alleviate respiratory issues.

Dr. Smita barode, BAMS

Other potential use of black cardamom

Along with the potential uses mentioned above, black cardamom shows several other possible benefits, such as:

 ·        Since ancient times, the extract has been used as an antidote for scorpion and snake venom. However, more research will be required to prove such claims.

 ·        The extracts of black cardamom may have some anti-inflammatory activity.

 ·        This spice may be beneficial in managing problems of the throat, congestion of the lungs, inflammation of eyelids, tuberculosis of the lungs, and digestive disorders.

 ·        At higher dosage, the extract of seeds exhibited a tremendous pain-relieving effect.1 Black cardamom may have an antioxidant effect as it consists of an element that decreases tissue damage caused by reactive oxygen. Thus, may help with chronic fatigue (extreme tiredness), degenerative cardiovascular diseases (relating to the heart and blood vessels) and brain-related diseases associated with ageing.2 But the research seems insufficient and it is advisable to consult a doctor for any such conditions.

Though studies show the potential uses of star anise in various conditions, these are insufficient and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of benefits of star anise on human health.

How to Use Black Cardamom?

There are several uses of black cardamom. It is used in the following ways/forms:

  • Seeds
  • Powder
  • Essential oil
  • Extract
  • Oleoresin (a natural or artificial mixture of essential oils of black cardamom and a resin)1,2

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.

Side Effects of Black Cardamom:

There hasn’t been enough study to validate any specific side effects of black cardamom. However, if you observe discomfort or any other uncomfortable symptoms during its use, you must report it to your physician as they will be able to assess the situation and guide you regarding the further course of action. Even herbs and natural preparation can show specific side effects on individuals as everyone’s body reacts differently to certain compounds present in them. 

Precautions to Take With Black Cardamom:

No scientific study validates or provides evidence on safety precautions to be adapted for the black cardamom extracts.1 Follow the guidance provided by your Ayurvedic doctor on the dosage of black cardamom. However, extra care needs to be taken by pregnant women, lactating mothers, older people and children.    

The dosage and method of use will be prescribed to you by your Ayurvedic doctor, depending on your health condition. You should consult your physician before consuming black cardamom for its health benefits.  

Also Read: Serrano Peppers: Unraveling the Research-Based Health Benefits

Interactions With Other Drugs:

Warfarin is a popular antithrombotic agent (a drug to break up or dissolve blood clots) used to prevent heart ailments. Nevertheless, there is a high possibility of warfarin interacting with various other medications, including Ayurvedic and herbal treatments. A variety of case reports show the interaction of warfarin with herbal medications. It may lead to inadequate breaking of blood clots when herbs like black cardamom are consumed. This is a result of herb-drug interaction due to the interaction of black cardamom with warfarin.4 

It is essential to consult an Ayurvedic physician before consuming herbs. Your doctor can appropriately modify the dosage and write a prescription per your condition, ongoing treatment and requirements.  

Also Read: What is Sumac? Exploring Its Culinary and Health Benefits

Frequently Asked Questions:

1) Does black cardamom help in managing obesity?

Black cardamom and its components may improve gut function due to increased complex carbohydrates. Thus, it helps in managing weight.3 However, more research will be required to prove such claims. take would help if you take proper advice from a qualified nutritionist to manage weight and combat obesity.

2) What makes black cardamom a high-value cash crop?

Black cardamom has been described as a high-value consumable cash crop due to its social suitability, environmental flexibility, and mountain-specific niche.2

3) Is black cardamom effective for metabolic syndrome?

Black cardamom may be helpful in combination with other functional foods to improve the signs of metabolic syndrome in humans. A metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that elevate the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.3 However, more research will be required to validate its effect. You must consult your doctor for further advice.

4) Which state is the largest producer of cardamom?

Sikkim, in India, is the largest producer of cardamom. It alone contributes to about 50% of the world’s cardamom production. In India, Sikkim contributes to around 80 to 85% of the total production of black cardamom.2

  References:

  1. Gautam N, Bhattarai RR, Khanal BK, Oli P. Technology, chemistry and bioactive properties of large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb.): An overview. International Journal of Applied Sciences and Biotechnology. 2016 Jun 27;4(2):139-49. Available from: https://www.nepjol.info/index.php/IJASBT/article/view/15104/12256
  2. Bisht VK, Negi JS, Bh AK, Sundriyal RC. Amomum subulatum Roxb: Traditional, phytochemical and biological activities-An overview. African Journal of Agricultural Research. 2011 Oct 26;6(24):5386-90. Available from: https://academicjournals.org/journal/AJAR/article-full-text-pdf/B0592CD38048
  3. Bhaswant M, Poudyal H, Mathai ML, Ward LC, Mouatt P, Brown L. Green and black cardamom in a diet-induced rat model of metabolic syndrome. Nutrients. 2015 Sep;7(9):7691-707. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/7/9/5360
  4. Premchand RK, Samnani N. Case report on the interaction of warfarin with herbal medicine ”kadha”. IHJ Cardiovascular Case Reports (CVCR). 2021 May 1;5(2):116-8. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2468600X21000177

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation

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Bashier Ahmed

Is it useful for Suger patients

Bashier Ahmed

I am a Diabities patient. Black Cardmom is effect for Diabities?