In Ayurveda and Sidha systems of medicine cardamom finds application as a component of several therapeutic formulations. Charakasamhita, the ancient Indian medical text, describes the use of cardamom as an antidote for food poisoning. This forms a constituent of Bhrahmi rasayana, which is used as a treatment for inflammations. Also used as a component of many balms, ointments and therapeutic oils used against cramps, rheumatic pain, inflammations etc. In Ayurvedic texts the properties of cardamom seeds are described as aromatic, acrid, sweet, cooling, stimulant, carminative, diuretic, cardiotonic and expectorant. Cardamom is used as an ingredient in preparations used for the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, hemorrhoids, renal and vesicle calculi, cardiac disorders, anorexia, dyspepsia, gastropathy, debility and vitiated conditions of vata. But no pharmacological investigations were carried out to validate the above properties. An aqueous extract of seeds is given to nursing mother to treat ringworm infection of child (Aloskar et al., 1992). Roasted seeds are boiled with betel leaves and the extract is used to treat indigestion and worm trouble. However, such uses of cardamom in the indigenous system of medicine have not been evaluated pharmacologically.
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