Large Cardamom is a perennial herb with subterranean rhizomes and 50-140 aerial leafy shoots. Each shoot has height of 1.7 to 2.6 mtr and possess 9 to 13 leaves in each tiller. Leaves are glabrous on both sides with a prominent mid-rib. Inflorescence is a condensed spike with yellowish perianth. Each spike has 10-15 fruits. Fruit is round or oval shape, capsule with reddish brown colour. Each capsule is trilocular with many seeds.
Large Cardamom is cultivated in the Sub-Himalayan region of North Eastern India, Nepal and Bhutan. In India it is cultivated in Sikkim, Bengal, Darjeeling, Assam, Bhutan, North-eastern states and Tamil Nadu.
It is used as a flavourant in dishes like Pulavu, Biriyani and various vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes. It is an ingredient in curry powder and spice masala mixtures.
Greater cardamom has many medicinal properties and applications. It has antioxidant, stimulant, stomachic, antispasmodic, appetizer, alexipharmic and astringent properties and is useful in diseases of mouth, indigestion, biliousness, abdominal pains and respiratory ailments.
- Digestion: It is known to help digestion and improve appetite. It is also quite useful in gastro-intestinal disorders. Black cardamom is known carminative and gives relief from abdominal gas and flatulence.
- Blood Pressure: Black cardamoms are known to improve the cardiac health and help keep blood pressure under control. It is considered very beneficial for the health of the heart.
- Bronchitis and Asthma: It is very useful in respiratory disorders. It helps asthma and bronchitis. Being a good expectorant It is known to treat cough, cold and sore throat.
- Antioxidant: Black cardamom is a known anti oxidant. It is useful in treating breast, colon, prostate and ovarian cancer. Black cardamom is a good detoxifier.
- Stress Buster: The oil extracted from black cardamom is highly anesthetic and sedative. It helps in migraine, headache and provide immediate relief. The essential oil prepared from the spice is also used in eliminating stress and fatigue.
- Antibacterial: Its intake boosts immunity and provides protection against bacterial or viral infections. It is very helpful in Cold, Flu and mild fever.
- Oral Health: Several dental disorders, such as teeth infection, gum infection etc. can be treated with black cardamom. Its strong aroma helps in bad breath
- Urinary Health: Black cardamoms can facilitate urination and keeps your renal system healthy.
- Improves Vigour: Cardamom is known stimulant and a potent tonic. Regular use of cardamom will lead to more stamina. It may also be helpful in impotency.
Spices Board of India: http://www.indiansoices.com