Herbs Profile

Cardamom (Elaichi)

elaichiThese aromatic seed pods are filled with soothing, relaxing and antispasmodic essential oils. A premium digestive aid and mucus reducer.


Common name Cardamom (E), Elaichi (H) Sanskrit Ela , Suks ma- Ela Latin Elettaria cardamomum–Fructus (Zingiberaceae)



  • Rasa (taste) Pungent, sweet
  • Vırya (energy) Cooling
  • Vipaka (post-digestive effect) Sweet
  • Guna (quality) Light, dry
  • Dosa effect VPK−, P+ in excess
  • Dhatu (tissue) Plasma, blood, nerve
  • Srotas (channel) Digestive, respiratory, circulatory, nervous


4% volatile oil: Borneol, pinene, humulene, camphor, eucalyptone (Mills 1991)


  • Dıpana Stimulates digestion
  • Pacana Digestive
  • Sulaprasamana Alleviates intestinal spasms and pain
  • Kasahara Stops coughing
  • Svasahara Prevents asthma
  • Anuloma Redirects the flow of vata downwards
  • Chardinigrahan.a Prevents nausea
  • Hikkanigrahan. a Stops hiccups Sirovirecana Cleanses the orifices of the head
  • Vajıkaran.a Increases sexual potency


Carminative, expectorant, diaphoretic, aromatic, antinausea, diuretic


Digestion Specifically in weak digestion, borborygmus, bloating, flatulence, colic, intestinal pain and indigestion. Cardamom stimulates agni without aggravating pitta and clears excess kledaka kapha from the stomach. Being anuloma it helps to regulate samana vayu and direct apana vayu downwards; hence beneficial for nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, burping and acidity (Frawley & Lad 1994).

Lungs Cough with mucus and asthma with wheezing; it clears avalambaka kapha and regulates vata. Good for sore throats and freshens the breath (Paranjpe 2001).

Urine Recommended for painful, burning urination (mutrakrcchra) and aggravated vata in the lower abdomen (Bhavaprakasa).


* Fennel, cumin, ginger for digestive upsets and intestinal spasms.

* Cinnamon, pippali, clove, haritaki for kapha lung problems.

* Honey for coughs from kapha.

* Gokshura, coriander, punarnava, shilajit for painful urination.


Aggravated pitta, ulcers and general  excessive heat signs.


No drug–herb interactions are known


250mg–6g per day or 1–10ml of a 1:3 @ 45% tincture.


  • Cardamom is a perennial that thrives in the tropical jungles of south-west India and Sri Lanka.
  • Ayurveda distinguishes two types: suksma (small) and brhat (large). Large is Amomum subulatum and has similar properties to cardamom.
  • Very high in sattva and prana. It regulates the flow of prana in the digestive tract, specifically samana and apanavayu.
  • It is excellent at antidoting the mucus-generating and ama-genic quality of dairy products.
  • Good to use with children’s digestive upsets and respiratory congestion.
  • It is a useful herb to add to prescriptions including ‘heavy’ and ‘wet’ herbs, usually tonics (i.e. shatavari, bala, ashwagandha), to aid their assimilation.
Common name Cardamom (E), Elaichi (H) Sanskrit Ela- , Su-ks.ma- Ela- Latin Elettaria
cardamomum–Fructus (Zingiberaceae)

About the author

Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari

Experienced holistic doctor, healer, teacher, and writer
Specialized in Ayurvedic detox (Panchakarma)
Trained in India and Nepal, the original lands of Ayurveda
Graduate in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) from the Institute of Medicine at Tribhuwan University in Kathmandu.
Professional member of Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA)
Owner of Sunshine Ayurveda

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