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Authors

  1. Singletary, Keith PhD

Abstract

The spice cardamom, also known historically as the "queen of spices," is produced from the seeds of the plant Elettaria cardamomum, which is cultivated commercially on plantations in the south of India, Sri Lanka, Central America, and Southeast Asia. It enhances both sweet and savory dishes in many regions around the world. In ancient traditional medicines, cardamom was used to alleviate digestive disorders and obesity, and even today, it is used in local cultures for individuals with ailments such as bronchitis, depression, dysentery, influenza, and infections. This narrative review discusses human investigations of cardamom's effects on blood glucose and lipid regulation, inflammation and hypertension, and gastrointestinal discomfort of pregnancy. To date, the limited and inconsistent outcomes from these trials are insufficient to support recommendations for human use. Related animal studies are also summarized, and recommendations for future research are highlighted.