Botanical name: Elettaria cardamomum
Family Name: Zingerberaceae
The sweetly aromatic cardamom is the fruit of a tropical plant related to ginger, and is one of the world's most expensive spices, after saffron and vanilla. It is native to Southern India and also grown in Guatemala, which is the largest producer and exporter of this spice in the world. Growing cardamom is extremely labor intensive. These tall, bushy plants with straight stems, symmetrical dark green pointed leaves, and lightly colored flowers, flower for eight or nine months of the year. Each pod, or capsule, ripens slowly, and must be plucked when it is three-quarters ripe. The seeds inside each pod are considered the spice.
Cardamom is an incredibly rich and aromatic spice with a distinct, citrusy, spicy flavor. Cooks all over the world combine cardamom with cloves and cinnamon. The seeds can be ground fresh and added to curries, rice dishes, breads, and sweet pastries. Cardamom is an integral ingredient in chai tea blends and is also added to coffees and liqueurs. When drank as a tea it has carminative actions that help to relieve gas and bloating. It acts as an antispasmodic, decreasing stomach and intestinal cramping. Cardamom is often added to digestive bitters formulas and can be used in combination with other warming herbs such as ginger and cinnamon to enhance circulation. Also known as the “Queen of Spices,” cardamom is said to be an aphrodisiac and enhance libido.
All of our loose leaf herbs are Certified Organic. Please come stop by the shop and enjoy our Apothecary in person if you live in, or are visiting Colorado!