Medicinal Use: flatulence; nausea; colon cancer; culinary

          Cardamon has several applications in holistic practices. It's used in alternative medicine or Ayurveda as a carminative to prevent flatulence. A carminative refers to something used to either prevent the formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract or help move the gas, ending it once and for all. Research done in laboratories suggest that the regular consumption of it may help prevent colon cancer. In Ayurveda medicine it's combined in a formula known as "Unmadnashak Ghrita" and used as a mild sedative. Sedatives are used to reduce irritability or excitement.[2] Cardamon can be used to relieve nausea. Two pinches of it and 1/2 teaspoon of honey are combined in 1/2 cup of plain yogurt, or stirm it in to warm milk and slowly sip.[1]

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Culinary Use


            These green seed pods are dried while the seeds inside them are used in Indian and other Asian cuisines either whole, or ground. This particular variety is the most commonly cultivated species available. The ground seeds are also an ingredient in many Indian curries. These seeds are the main source of flavor in "massali chai". Massali Chai is a tea made with spices that is popularly enjoyed in certain areas of the world. It's also used to flavor coffee and even tea. In Turkey, these seeds are used to flavor a black Turkish tea known as kakakule in Turkish.[1]

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           Ayurveda medicine, and alternative medicine in general dates back to nearly the beginning of human existence. Human kind has always embraced this form of natural healing. Today we know more about these ancient healing tools than ever before. Science has given us the ability to take a closer look at what's actually happening with these plants. It turns out that much of the modern pharmaceutical medicine would not even exist without these plants. For example, Penicillin comes from a naturally occuring fungus. Morphine is extracted from the Poppy plant, and Aspirin is made thanks to a tree known as White Willow.

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I strongly encourage anyone who is studying fields in school related to medicine or the production of medicine to research this herb. Phytochemist study and extract compounds from these sacred plants. This field has given us many breakthroughs in the way of understanding these herbs and their mechanisms of action. There is much research and proof on the effectiveness of many herbs. Never the less, I believe our society should further embrace the study of these sacred plants. Why is it the FDA will not evaluate naturally occurring herbs that have been used for centuries as medicine?

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References & Resources:
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[1] Gottlieb, B., & Dollemore, D. (1995). New choices in natural healing: Over 1,800 of the best self-help remedies from the world of alternative medicine. Emmaus, Penn.: Rodale Press.

[2] Cardamom. (2014, August 30). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:34, September 9, 2014, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cardamom&oldid=623454457

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