Green cardamom is regarded as the third most expensive spice after saffron and vanilla. It is the dried fruit. When dried it is the seed that is the source of essential oil and sweet aroma. Seeds contains 6 to 7% of essential oil i.e. Terpineol and linalool both free alcohols and esters along with 1-8 cineole gives an unwelcome camphoraceous note. It is sun-dried (preferred in India).
Cardamom reduces the air and water elements, increases appetite and soothes the mucous membrane. It relieves gas and heart-bum caused by garlic and onion. Ground cardamom seed mixed with ginger, cloves and coriander, is an effective remedy for indigestion. A tea made from cardamom is valuable in headache caused by indigestion. Its powdered seeds mixed with a tablespoon of banana leaf and amla juice taken thrice a day, will serve as an excellent diuretic for the treatment of gonorrhoea, cystitis, nephritis, burning micturation or urination and scanty urination. This can be used as a remedy in the treatment of depression.
In Indian people use cardamom to sweeten and clean their breaths after meals. Many chew on it after dinner to help settle their stomach and aids digestion. Cardamom also prevents nausea and vomiting. It soothes colicky babies, induces sweating and cools the body during summer months. Arabs traditionally used cardamom as an aphrodisiac. In Scandinavia, it is used to mask the smell of an alcohol, fish and garlic.
Green cardamom is much preferred by the Imperial (Mughal) cuisine with its subtle blend of sweet fragrances. Its flavour is highly liked in sweets, milk products and masala tea. It is also used in savory foods like biriyani and meat curries. In Gulf countries it is used to make Kova, which is cardamom flavored coffee decoction.