Welcome to the Herb of the week! Here you can find short presentations of favorite herbs, common uses and some extra information related to Chinese and Greek herbal medicine.
This week’s herb is my favorite cardamom. It is the third most expensive spice in the world and has a strong, unique taste, with a strong aromatic, resinous aroma.
In Chinese Medicine, black cardamom is more commonly used. Green and black cardamom have common actions. The black cardamom is warmer in nature than the widespread green cardamom. Of course, since we are still in the winter season, we are referring to warm herbs. For very intense toning we use black cardamom. The taste of black cardamom is more smoky than green cardamom which is more exotic.
Cardamom affects the spleen, stomach and kidneys. It stimulates digestion and we use it in cases of Dampness excess, when the stomach and spleen can not convert food due to stagnation or excessive dampness. It’s very good for morning sickness during pregnancy. When we use it with other tonic herbs it helps not to create stagnation in the body.
In T.C.M. it is used:
- To transform dampness.
- Especially for cases of cold and dampness, even more intense in the stomach and spleen.
- To enhance the appetite.
- For cases where there is excessive cold, whether it is a pathology due to excessive Yin or Yang deficiency.
- For movement of qi and body fluids.
In western herbal medicine is known herb for its action on the digestive system in terms of acidity, flatulence, indigestion and stomach aches. It may help when there is vomiting or a tendency to vomit. Because it is so fragrant it can be used for bad breath. In case of cold, it helps the mucus to become more fluid, so it soothes the numbness. It helps in detoxification because it is a diuretic as a decoction and the essential oil in massage. Chewing cardamom seeds helps those who are trying to quit smoking, as it reduces the desire for nicotine. It lifts the mood and protects against depression.
Ways of consumption are of course in food, although it is not common in Greek dishes so often, but also in decoctions.
- Cardamom with dried rosebuds and goji berries. This combination is very aromatic, stimulates digestion and can help in cases of dysmenorrhea. Leave in boiling water, we do not need to remove them. It is consumed lukewarm.
- Cardamom with mint and ginger for morning sickness during pregnancy. Leave in boiling water for 5-10 minutes and consume it lukewarm.
- Cardamom with dried mandarin peel for bloating from indigestion. We leave it in boiling water, we do not need to remove it, and we consume it lukewarm.
- Cardamom with fennel seeds for bad breath. You can chew the seeds together or drink a decoction where you have boiled 1 kg. from each and drink lukewarm. This combination helps with digestive problems, bloating and indigestion and helps regulate the gut.
- In food, cardamom goes extremely well in pumpkin soup along with fresh ginger, but also in rice.
- A very special taste option is the Turkish coffee with cardamom powder (ground cardamom) which is very common in Egypt.