Botanist's Glossary

Cardamom - Elettaria cardamomum

  • Description
    • Cardamom (Zingiberaceae family) is a tall herbaceous perennial (growing to 2 to 3 meters), closely related to ginger. It grows wild in the damp forests of the tropical mountains of Southern India and Ceylon. The spice comes from its tiny seeds, which are black when mature, and is popular both in India and elsewhere around the world.
  • Traditions
    • Cardamom is one of the oldest spices in the world. It was known as the "Queen of Spices" by the Chinese, who considered it a cure-all. Cardamom was often used in perfumes, in both Egyptian and Latin civilizations. It was an important remedy in Medieval medicine. The Arabs believed it to be an aphrodisiac.
  • Properties
    • Cardamom extract is obtained by hydrodistillation of the seeds. It is used as a toner as it boosts microcirculation.