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Abalone Shell (shi jue ming)
Abutilon Seed (dong kui zi)
Acanthopanax Bark (wu jia pi)
Achyranthes (niu xi)
Aconite (fu zi)
Acorus (shi chang pu)
Adenophora Root (nan sha shen)
Agkistrodon (bai hua she)
Agrimony (xian he cao)
Ailanthus Bark (chun pi)
Akebia Fruit (ba yue zha)
Albizzia Bark (he huan pi)
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Alum (bai fan)
Amber (hu po)
Ampelopsis (bai lian)
Andrographis (chuan xin lian)
Anemarrhena (zhi mu)
Antelope's Horn (ling yang jiao)
Apricot Seed (xing ren)
Areca Peel (da fu pi)
Areca Seed (bing lang)
Arisaema (tian nan xing)
Ark Shell (wa leng zi)
Arnebia (zi cao or ying zi cao)
Arnica (arnica montana)
Artichoke Leaves (Cynara scolymus)
Ash bark (qin pi)
Ashwagandha (withania somniferum)
Aster (zi wan)
Astragalus (huang qi)
Aurantium (zhi ke [qiao])
Bamboo Juice (zhu li)
Bamboo Shavings (zhu ru)
Belamcanda Rhizome (she gan)
Benincasa Peel (dong gua pi)
Benincasa Seed (dong gua xi/ren)
Benzoin (an xi xiang)
Bilberry (yue ju)
Biota Leaf (ce bai ye)
Biota Seed (bai zi ren)
Bitter Melon (ku gua)
Bitter Orange Peel (ju hong)
Black Cohosh (sheng ma)
Black Plum (wu mei)
Black Sesame Seed (hei zhi ma)
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Bulrush (pu huang)
Bupleurum (chai hu)
Burdock (niu bang zi)
Camphor (zhang nao)
Capillaris (yin chen hao)
Cardamon Seed (sha ren)
Carpesium (he shi)
Cassia Seed (jue ming zi)
Catechu (er cha)
Cat's Claw (uncaria tomentosa)
Cephalanoplos (xiao ji)
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Centipede (wu gong)
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Chinese Gall (wu bei zi)
Chinese Raspberry (fu pen zi)
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Clam Shell (hai ge ke/qiao)
Clematis (wei ling xian)
Cloves (ding xiang)
Cnidium Seed (she chuang zi)
Codonopsis (dang shen)
Coix Seed (yi yi ren)
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Coriander (hu sui)
Corn Silk (yu mi xu)
Cornus (shan zhu yu)
Corydalis (yan hu suo)
Costus (mu xiang)
Cranberry (vaccinium macrocarpon)
Cremastra (shan ci gu)
Croton Seed (ba dou)
Curculigo (xian mao)
Cuscuta (tu si zi)
Cuttlefish Bone (hai piao xiao)
Cymbopogon (xiang mao)
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Deer Antler (lu rong)
Dendrobium (shi hu)
Devil's Claw (harpagophytum procumbens)
Dianthus (qu mai)
Dichroa Root (chang shan)
Dittany Bark (bai xian pi)
Dong Quai (tang kuei)
Dragon Bone (long gu)
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Drynaria (gu sui bu)
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Elder (sambucus nigra or sambucus canadensis)
Elsholtzia (xiang ru)
Ephedra (ma huang)
Epimedium (yin yang huo)
Erythrina Bark (hai tong pi)
Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus)
Eucommia Bark (du zhong)
Eupatorium (pei lan)
Euphorbia Root (gan sui or kan sui)
Euryale Seed (qian shi)
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Oyster Shell (mu li)
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Patrinia (bai jiang cao)
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Polygala (yuan zhi)
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Poppy Capsule (ying su qiao)
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Prinsepia Seed (rui ren/zi)
Prunella (xia ku cao)
Prunus Seed (yu li ren)
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Pumpkin Seed (nan gua zi)
Purslane (ma chi xian)
Pyrite (zi ran tong)
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Realgar (xiong huang)
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Red Peony (chi shao)
Red Sage Root (dan shen)
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Sanguisorba Root (di yu)
Sappan Wood (su mu)
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Tsaoko Fruit (cao guo)
Turmeric (jiang huang)
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Tussilago (kuan dong hua)
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Uva ursi (arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
Vaccaria Seed (wang bu lui xing)
Valerian (jie cao)
Veratrum (li lu)
Viola (zi hua di ding)
Vitex (man jing zi)
Walnut (hu tao ren)
Watermelon (xi gua)
White Atractylodes (bai zhu)
White Mustard Seed (bai jie ze)
White Peony (bai shao)
Wild Asparagus (tian men dong)
Windmill Palm (zong lu pi/tan)
Xanthium (cang er zi)
Zedoary (e zhu)

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Cardamon Seed (sha ren)

What is cardamon seed? What is it used for?

Also known as amomum, cardamom is a perennial herb that is part of the ginger family. Native to southern India, cardamom now grows throughout China and other parts of Asia, including Laos and Cambodia.

Depending on the area in which it is grown, cardamom can reach a height of 20 feet, with flowering shoots that may climb vertically or horizontally. The shoots bear numerous flowers with greenish petals and purple veins.

In addition to their culinary uses, cardamon seeds are used in many herbal remedies. Between 15 and 20 seeds are contained in one cardamom fruit. The fruits are picked just before ripening, then dried in the sun or cured. The seeds are then removed, dried in the sun, and crushed or pulverized for use when raw.

In traditional Chinese medicine, cardamom is considered warm and pungent, and is associated with the Lung and Stomach channels. Its functions are to remove dampness, promote the flow of qi, warm the spleen and stomach, and arrest vomiting and diarrhea. It helps treat abdominal distention caused by poor appetite, can reduce the incidence of nausea and vomiting in children.

How much cardamon should I take?

The typical dose of cardamom seed is between 3 and 6 grams, crushed and powdered. It is best used as a powder in combination with other herbs. Some practitioners also include cardamom seed as part of a tea or decoction.

What forms of cardamon are available?

Whole, dried cardamom seeds can be found at some Asian markets and select herbal shops. Powdered cardamom is also widely available.

What can happen if I take too much cardamon? Are there any interactions I should be aware of? What precautions should I take?

As of this writing, there are no known drug interactions or adverse side-effects associated with cardamom. However, it should be used with caution by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and should not be given to children without first consulting a health care provider. As always, make sure to speak with a licensed health care practitioner before taking cardamom or any other herbal remedy or dietary supplement.


References

  • Cohen I, Tagliaferri M, Tripathy D. Traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of breast cancer, part three. Available online.
  • Gao YB. Zhong Guo Tang Niao Bing Fang Zhi Tie Se (The Characteristics of the Prevention and Treatment of Diabetes in China). Heilongjiang Science & Technology Press, Harbin, 1995, p. 518.
  • Heal C, Allsop M. Cooking With Spices. Vermont: David & Charles, 1983.
  • Murray M. The Healing Power of Herbs. The Enlightened Person's Guide to the Wonders of Medicinal Plants. Prima Publishing, 1992, pp. 203-09.
  • Yang M, Chen K, Chen Shih J. Yang-gan-wan protects against mice induced by anti-fas antibody Jo2. American Journal of Chinese Medicine Summer/Fall 2000.
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