A well-known Indian condiment, cardamom has a warm, slightly spicy taste, and can be added to sweet and savoury dishes alike. Its seeds combine well with other remedies to improve flavour and to soothe an upset digestive system. They also add zest to coffee, making a subtler stimulant than coffee alone. This thermogenic herb helps boost metabolism and may boost the body's ability to burn fat.
For a digestive soothing beverage, make cardamom tea by simmering 1 1/2 tsp (7ml) of cardamom seeds in 12 ounces (350ml) of water for 8-10 minutes and then adding 2 tsp lemon or orange juice, and a little bit of honey.
The traditional way to make cardamom coffee is with equal parts cardamom seeds and coffee beans, flavoured with sugar, cloves and saffron.
Chewing on the seeds is an effective remedy for bad breath.
The seeds' warming and slightly antiseptic action extends to the throat and chest, making it a good addition to gargles for sore throat, and in chest problems such as asthma and bronchitis.
Take 2–4ml a day, or max. 30ml per week of a 1:3 tincture.
It can be propagated by rhizomes planted about 5 cm below the soil surface in spring. It should be grown in a generously enriched, moist, well drained soil in a sunny position.
Cardamom requires approximately 3 years of growth to produce capsules containing seeds. After the flowers mature, they will gradually dry out as capsule develops. These can be collected when capsules begin to turn green, and later dried on screens over the course of 6-7 days.