Greater cardamom like
true Cardamom is a plant in the family Zingiberaceae. Its pods are used
as a spice, in a manner similar to the green Indian cardamom pods. The
seeds are aromatic and pungent with sharp pleasant taste and contain the
glycosides, petunidin 3, 5-diglucoside and
leucocyanidin-3-O-ß-D-glucopyranoside, and a new aurone glycoside,
subulin. The seeds on steam distillation yield a dark brown, mobile
essential oil (2.5%) having the characteristic odor of cineol.
Medicinally, the seeds
are credited with stimulant, stomachic, alexipharmic and astringent
properties, and are prescribed for the treatment of indigestion, vomiting,
biliousness, abdominal pains and rectal diseases. A decoction of the seeds
is used as gargle in afflictions of the teeth and gums. With melon seeds,
they are used as diuretic in case of gravel of the kidney. They promote
secretion of bile and useful in liver congestion. The oil from the seeds
is aromatic, stimulant, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.