Cardamom Facts

Cardamom is the third most expensive spice in the world as each fruit must be hand-picked. Known as the “Queen of Spices,” cardamom is a favorite in Indian both for its culinary and medicinal value. The word “cardamom” is derived from the Latin cardamomum, which is the Latinisation of the Greek καρδάμωμον (kardamomon), a compound of κάρδαμον (kardamon), “cress” + ἄμωμον (amomon), which was probably the name for a kind of Indian spice plant. It is a robust, perennial herb growing to 4 m high with branched subterranean rhizomes from which arises 10–12 erect leafy shoots (consist of leafy sheaths) and flowering shoots. 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. Growing cardamom is extremely labor intensive.

Name Cardamom
Scientific Name Elettaria cardamomum
Native India and Sri Lanka originating in the forests of the western Ghats in southern India.
Common/English Name Cardamon, Cluster Cardamom, Lesser Cardamom, Malabar Cardamom, Round Cardamom, Siam Cardamom, Ceylon Cardamom, Cardamon Seeds
Name in Other Languages Arabic : Hhabb El Hâl, Habbu Al Hal, Hhamâmâ, Hhabbahân, Habbu Al Han, Hel Bava, Qâqullah Saghîrah, Qaqilah;
Armenian : Shooshmir, Shushmir;
Bosnian : Grbat, Kardamomi, Srdiš;
Brazil : Cardamão, Cardamomo ( Portuguese );
Burmese : Bala, Pala, Panlat, Hpa-La; phalazee
Chinese: Ts’ao-k’ou
Croatian : Grbat, Kardamomi, Srdiš, Vrtni Prpr;
Czech : Kardamom Pravý;
Danish : Ceylon-Kardemomme, HvidKardemomme, Kardemomme, Malabarkardemomme;
Dutch : Echte Kardamom, Kardemom, Paradijszaadsoort of Var;
Eastonian : Harilik Kardemon;
Finnish : Kardemumma;
French : Cardamomier, cardamone, elaiti, Cardamome, Cardamome Blanche, Cardamome De Ceylan, Cardamome Du Malabar, Cardamome Verte, Cardamomier, Petite Cardamome
German : Cardamomen, Cardamomp fl anze, Grüner Kardamom, Kardamom, Kleine Kardamomen, Malabarkardamom;
Greek : Kardamo;
Hebrew : Hel
Hungarian : Kardamom, Kardamomum, Kis Kardamom, Malabári Kardamom;
India : Chhoti Elachi

  • Bengali: Elachi
  • Gujerati: Elaychi, Lila Alchi
  • Hindu: Elachi, Elaichi, Chhoti Elaichi, Ilaayacii
  • Kannada: Yelakki
  • Malayalam: Elathari, Ellaykka, Yelakkai 
  • Marathi: Hirvi Velchi, Velchi, Velchil, Veldoda, Veldola
  • Oriya: Alaichi
  • Punjabi: Elaychi, Hari Ilaichi
  • Sanskrit: Ela, Ellka, Suksmaila
  • Tamil:  Aila Cheddi, Elakkai, Yelakkai
  • Telugu: Elakkayi, Yealak Kayulu, Yelakulu
  • Urdu: Elaichi, Ilaychi

Indonesia : Kapol, Kapolaga ( Sudanese ), Kapulaga Sabrang;
Italian : Cardamone, Cardamomo, Cardamomo Medio, Cardamomo Minore;
Japanese : Karadamomo, Karudamon, Shouzuku;
Khmer : Krâkô Sabt;
Korean : Sodugu;
Laotian : Hmak Hnengx;
Malaysia : Buah Pelaga, Kapulaga;
Norwegian : Kardemomme;
Persian : Hel, Kakilahe-Khurd;
Polish : Kardamon Malabarski;
Portuguese : Cardamomo;
Russian : Elettariia Kardamon;
Serbian : Grbat, Kakule, Kardamona, Kardamomi, Mirisavci, Srdiš, Srđiš;
Sinhalese: enasal
Slovakia : Kardamom;
Sri Lanka : Enasal ( Sinhalese );
Spanish : Cardamomo;
Swedish : Kardemumma;
Tamil: Elam
Thai : Luk Krawan, Luk Kravan, Luk Grawan, Krawan Thet;
Turkish : Hemame, Kakule, Hiyl, Küçük Kakule;
Vietnamese: Tiểu Ðậu Khấu.

Plant Growth Habit Robust, herbaceous, perennial herb
Growing Climate It does not tolerate direct sun. It thrives best in areas with uniform warm temperature.
Soil Prefers a rich, loamy, well drained, slightly acidic soil rich in organic matters. For best results, fertilize or amend soil with minerals phosphorus and potassium.
Plant Size 4 m Tall
Leaf Long, dark green leaves 30-60 cm (1-2 ft) long, 5-15 cm (2-6”) wide distichous, petioles up to 2.5 cm long; lamina up to 1 cm × 15 cm, lanceolate, acuminate, lightly pubescent or glabrous below; ligule to 1 cm long, entire. The underside is paler and may have a covering of tiny hairs.
Flower Borne on a flowering stalk that can reach over 1 m in length. The pale green flowers contain both male and female parts. One of the petals is white and streaked with violet.
Fruit Shape & Size Oblong, oval or oblate, 2–5 cm long, with faint longitudinal striations, roughly triangular in cross section. Each fruit has 3 chambers filled with small aromatic seeds, each about 3 mm long. Fruits and seeds dry to a straw-brown color.
Fruit Color Pale green to yellow
Flavor/Aroma Intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance.
Taste Strong, unique spicy-sweet taste
Seed Small, 3 mm long, rugose, reddish brown to brownish black, aromatic, with thin mucilaginous aril
Varieties/Types
  • True or green cardamom
  • Black cardamom
  • Malabar
  • Mysore
  • Vazhukka
  • Njallani
Major Nutrition Manganese, Mn 28 mg (1217.39%)
Iron, Fe 13.97 mg (174.63%)
Total dietary Fiber 28 g (73.68%)
Zinc, Zn 7.47 mg (67.91%)
Magnesium, Mg 229 mg (54.52%)
Carbohydrate 68.47 g (52.67%)
Copper, Cu 0.383 mg (42.56%)
Calcium, Ca 383 mg (38.30%)
Phosphorus, P 178 mg (25.43%)
Potassium, K 1119 mg (23.81%)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 21 mg (23.33%)
Protein 10.76 g (21.52%)
Total Fat (lipid) 6.7 g (19.14%)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.23 mg (17.69%)
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.198 mg (16.50%)
Selenium, Se 8.2 µg (14.91%)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.182 mg (14.00%)
Health Benefits
  • Anti-Carcinogenic Properties
  • Good for Cardiovascular Health
  • Blood Pressure
  • Control of Cholesterol
  • Depression
  • Digestive System
  • Urinary problems
  • Antimicrobial Properties
  • Anti-Spasmodic Properties
  • Dental Diseases
  • Asthma
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties
  • Detoxification
  • Improved Blood Circulation
  • Good for Nausea and Vomiting
  • Aphrodisiac Properties
  • Sore Throat
  • Hiccups
  • Bad Breath
  • Cavities
  • Diabetes
Calories in (100 gm) 311 K cal