Healthy Ayurveda | Health Benefits Of Cardamom

Cardamom in Ayurveda

Ayurveda Training / February 21, 2016

Experiences are Personal

Experiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary. Pharmacological Effects

About Pharmacological Effects

The list of actions below have not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition. Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Stimulates-energy, Analgesic, Antiemetic, Antispasmodic, Appetizer, Bronchodilator, Burns-Toxins, Carminative, Decongestant, Detoxicant, Digestive, Expectorant, Lung-Tonic, Spleen-Tonic

Is Cardamom Good for Me?

Find out by taking this free, easy quiz. You'll learn your body type, and whether Cardamom is a good fit for you. Time to complete: approximately 1 minute.

Cleansing the Stomach

Cardamom offers more than its delightful and appetizing flavor, it is chock full of medicinal benefits. Cardamom is highly aromatic. Like perfume, it has a strong smell. This aromatic quality is the source of its use as an herbal pharmaceutical for centuries. Aromatic spices are a powerful friend to those with a myriad of digestive difficulties, from belching to vomiting and sluggish digestion. When food stagnates or moves up, cardamom moves it back down. It accelerates the gastric emptying rate, meaning it relaxes the stomach valves that prevent your food from entering the small intestine. That makes aromatic spices especially useful when your 'eyes are bigger than your stomach, ' i.e. after thanksgiving or any heavy meal that bogs down your digestion, making you feel like there is a brick in your stomach. In the process, cardamom relieves nausea and has been used as an aid in morning sickness.

Muscle Relaxant

Remember the "fresh and clean as a York Peppermint Patty" commercials of the 80's? Peppermint, like cardamom, is a strong aromatic. All aromatics have a fresh and clean quality to them that is also somewhat shocking. This shocking quality literally numbs muscle tissue - forcing it to relax. That's why so many muscle balms - such as the Chinese formula Tiger Balm and Bengay are highly aromatic, familiar scents to anyone who has spent time at the gym.

Cardamom is no exception - it relaxes your muscle tissue, and is a calming antispasmodic useful in colic, asthma, and the throbbing pain of a headache (caused by a spasm in blood vessels). Aromatic herbs like cardamom and peppermint are so important, at Joyful Belly we consider cardamom to be the 'missing 7th taste of Ayurveda'.

Other Benefits

Cardamom is also Ayurveda's most powerful mucus destroyer. As with all aromatics, cardamom is a diaphoretic that opens your pores, encouraging a mild sweat that cleanses the skin, aids low grade fevers, and cleanses the lymphatic system. It is a bronchodilator - helping to improve breathing is asthmatics.

Use in Herb Formulas

Additionally, cardamom acts as a carrier herb, assisting in the digestion and assimilation of heavier herbs used in tonic formulas. Heavy herbs like shatavari, ashwagandha, vidari, and bala are made more accessible with cardamoms digestive assistance


Love for cardamom resonates through history - for instance, ancient Egyptians chewed cardamom to whiten their teeth and sweeten their breath. Cardamom helps take the edge off of caffeine in the famous drink Turkish coffee. Cardamom is a member of the ginger plant family along with turmeric.

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buying & preparation

The spice can be purchased as a grayish powder, in the form of the whole light-green pod, or as the tiny uncrushed seed within the pod. The essential oils (the fresh taste and the medicinal value) evaporate quickly after it is ground. For this reason, we recommend the uncrushed seed. If you buy whole pods, peel the outer layer of skin from the pod. Then grind in a coffee grinder or crush with a mortar and pestle just before use.

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Cardamom is a fresh and wonderful garnish in beverages and on fruits. The unmistakable accent of cardamom is a key ingredient of Indian chai, a spicy tea with ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Cardamom is common in many desserts like rice pudding, where it reduces the mucus-forming qualities of dairy products. In Scandinavian countries, this versatile, pleasant and aromatic spice is perfect accompaniment to a lamb roast, helping protein digestion. As a strong spice, we generally use 1/8tsp per person in recipe.

About the Author

John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.

John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.

Comments & Impressions of 'Cardamom'

Do you like 'cardamom'? Why or why not? What makes it unique? Is there something you'd like to know about 'cardamom'?

(5.00 out of 5 stars) 8 reviews

I adore cardamom! I'm always looking for new ways to use it.

Dear John, I thoroughly love your website and your sharing of information on Ayurvedic Joyful Belly. Your notes and helpful tips are so clearly put across and exciting to. Many thanks for an amazing insight and site Warmest regards Swaze E

sounds brilliant to me

Ever since I've started eating Indian foods I have loved the taste of cardamom. I use the golden milk and it didn't call for cardamom but I put it in the drink anyway. It added so much to the warm drink for me. Thank you for the article. Rose

Excellent information, thank so much!

I had no idea Cardamon had all these benefits. Fascinating information. You are so generous to share your wealth of knowledge with others. Deep appreciation. :-) Donna, Me.

- donna j dyer, Casco, ME, 02-06-13 (Reply)

What do you think about the use of black cardamom? I made my purchase of it by mistake. an this be used in the same way, and does it have the same effect as the green pod? thanks! Cassandra, NY

- Cassandra, NY, 02-06-13 (Reply)

I never used cardamom. If I'm Pitta imbalance, can I still used it?

- Mikeila, Birmingham, 02-07-13 (Reply)

Wow, love Cardamon and wasn't aware of all its benefits...thanks for this article!

thanks for sharing!

Can someone have cravings for cardamoms? How safe is it to eat around 3/4 cup cardamom a day?

3/4c cardamom is a very large dose. We would recommend limiting to 1/2 tsp three times a day for most constitutions. Pitta should limit to 1/4tsp. Pitta can eat small amounts of cardamom only.

Hi, I just wanted to pass this in as I like Cardamom, for fellow sensitive individuals (ie I avoid green tea

- A, NJ, 02-19-16 (Reply)