Cardamom, (also known as amomum cardamomum, bai dou kou, great cardamom and large cardamom), is an herb often used to treat stomach and intestinal problems such as upset stomach, intestinal spasms, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Cardamom is also sometimes used as an alternative medicine to treat cold and flu symptoms, urinary problems, gallbladder problems (other than gallstones) and liver disorders, according to WebMD.
Gallstones are hard deposits of cholesterol and other bile components that form in the gallbladder, according to WebMD. Most people with the condition do not experience symptoms. Some gallstone sufferers do experience stomach pain. According to the Web site, people with gallstones should not take Cardamom, as it may increase gallstone pain and the risk of gallstone complications such as bleeding or infection.
Cardamom may interact with blood-thinning drugs such as aspirin, anticoagulants and anti-platelet drugs. This interaction may increase the risk of bleeding, according to HealthLine. The herb may also interfere with the process of certain liver medications, HIV drugs and antidepressants.
Some people may experience cardamom allergy, according to HealthLine. Although few adverse affects have been reported, according to the Web site, the most likely adverse response is allergic contact dermatitis (hives or an itchy rash). Other allergic responses include shortness of breath, chest or throat tightness and chest pain. Respiratory allergic reactions require emergency medical attention.
Fetal and Infant Complications
The effects of cardamom on developing fetuses are unknown, so WebMD advises that pregnant women avoid cardamom (other than that found in food). There is limited scientific evidence as to whether cardamom has negative effects on babies, so women who are breast-feeding should avoid large amounts of the herb as well.
References and ResourcesWebMD: Cardamom
ResourcesHerbal Supplements Guide
Gourmet Sleuth: Cardamom
Encyclopedia of Spices: Cardamom