White et Maton.
Habitat. Malabar, cultivated. India, Mountains, 750-1,500 M. (2,500-5,000°) elevation; Ceylon, Annam, Siam. .
Syn. Cardam. Sem., Cardamomum, U. S. P. 1900, Malabar, Ceylon or Bastard Cardamom; Br. Cardamomi Semina, Cardamom Seeds, Cardamomum (Minus) Malabari (am)-cum; Fr. Cardamomes, Petit Cardamome; Ger. Fructus (Semen) Cardamomi (Minoris), Malabar-(Malabarische) Kardamomen, Kleine Karda-momen.
El-et-ta'ri-a. L. fr. Elettari - i. e., native name of plant in Malabar.
Car-da-mo'mum. L. fr. Gr.
blameless, classic name.
PLANT. - Perennial herb; stems green, 2-4 M. (6-12°) high, tapering, shining, covered with leaf-sheaths; leaves .3-.8 M. (1-2 1/2°) long,
Fig. 60. - Eletlaria Cardamomum: A, leaf with ligule, b; B, bracts; C, flower, natural size; D, flower with calyx and corolla-tube partially removed; F, G, capsule form; H, seed with arillus, a; J, cross-section of seed 8 times enlarged; K, longitudinal section 5 times enlarged; p, perisperm; em, embryo; e, endosperm.
2.5-12.5 Cm. (l-5') broad, lanceolate, flower stalk from stem base lies on the ground; flowers, in rainy season, Jan.-May, greenish-white; rhizome tuberous, woody, fibrous roots below, scars above; fruit capsule, ellipsoidal, triangular, 10-20 Mm. (2/5-4/5') long, G Mm. (1/4') broad, pale buff, striate, 3-locular, pericarp thin, leathery, nearly tasteless. Seeds, 10-20, oblong-ovoid, 3-4-sided, dorsal surface convex, 3-4 Mm. (1/8-1/6') long, one side longitudinally grooved, reddish-gray-brown, coarsely tuberculated, portions of membranous aril adhering; section - thin reddish-brown seed-coat, large white peri-sperm, central greenish endosperm enclosing small embryo; mostly agglutinated in groups of 2-7; odor aromatic; taste aromatic, pungent. POWDER, greenish-brown; microscopically - angular fragments of cells of reserve layers and seed-coat, endosperm and perisperm cells filled with starch grains, .001-004 Mm. (1/25000-1/625') broad, stone cells, rosette aggregates, spiral tracheae, lignified bast-fibres. Seeds constitute 75 p. c. of the fruit, keep best in the pericarp, from which they should only be removed just prior to using. Solvents: diluted alcohol; boiling water. Dose, gr. 5-15 (.3-1 Gm.).
Adulterations. - Seeds: Rare - those of various varieties and allied species taken from the pericarp; Entire fruit - with orange seeds, green coffee, etc.; Powder: Starch, sodium carbonate, ginger (recognized by its larger starch grains), etc.
Fig. 61. - Malabar cardamom: a, short; b, medium; c, long.
Fig. 62. - Cardamom seed: transverse and longitudinal section, magnified 5 diam.
Commercial. - Plant grows wild but mostly by cultivation in Malabar (W. Mysore) and Ceylon, on spaces cleared in mountain forests affording shade, or on betel-nut plantations, and yields the fourth year and many thereafter. Fruit is gathered mostly in dry weather, Oct.-Dec, preferably prior to maturity to minimize splitting, then dried artificially on tiers of trays in curing houses (brownish), or better in the sun, guarding against rain and excessive heat exposure, that cause the moist seeds to swell and rupture pericarp (yellowish); the slower the drying, the less the splitting. Bleaching is effected by exposing to sulphur fumes, or to dew and sunlight, the finest by washing with alternating solutions of lathery soap-berry and astringent acacia pods, finally drying in the sun. Value is determined by size, color, plumpness, smoothness (the best being creamy white, smooth, silky) and are assorted through sieves into 4 kinds: (a) Shorts, 12 Mm. (J') long, 6 Mm. (J') broad, plump, heavy; (6) Mediums, 18-25 Mm. (3/4-1') long, (6 Mm. (1/4') broad, paler buff, finer ribbed; (c) Longs, 25-31 Mm. (1-1 1/4') long, 4 Mm. (1/6') broad, rarely imported; (d) Tiny, least desirable. There are several varieties: 1, Mysore (Ceylon-Mysore, Alleppi), shorts, best, bleached and unbleached (greenish), exported from Alleppi, Calicut; 2, Malabar, shorts, mediums, high grade, preferred by some, exported from Ceylon, India (Bombay), brown, striated; 3, Madras, usually mediums, pale buff, exported from Madras, Pondicherry; 4, Man-galore; 5, Ceylon Mangalores, round, valuable. The Ceylons are the wild-grown fruits of Ceylon, and the Siam of Cochin, Annam, Tonquin (Tonking) combined; the shorts of all varieties are best and most desired; imported in chests, 60-100-200 pounds (27-46-91 Kg.). The shelled seeds, owing to rapid deterioration, should not be a commercial article.
Constituents. - Volatile oil 5 p. c, fixed oil 10 p. c, potassium salts 2.5 p. c, starch 3 p. c, nitrogenous mucilage 1.8 p. c, yellow coloring matter .4 p. c, ligneous fibre 77.3 p. c, manganese .8 p. c, ash 6-8-15 p. c.
Volatile Oil (oleum cardamomi). - Mostly in the testa; has odor and taste of the drug, somewhat camphoraceous, sp. gr. 0.900; contains terpinene, C10H16, possibly dipentene, a body of the composition C10H18O (terpi-neol?), and acetic and formic acids. It is obtained by distillation or extraction with ether. The latter method gives more durable oil, but one mixed with fixed oil, it being soluble also in ether; this latter, however, may readily be separated. The distilled oil easily deteriorates by age.
Preparations. - 1. Tinctura Cardamomi. Tincture of Cardamom. (Syn., Tr. Cardam.; Fr. Teinture de Carda-mome; Ger. Kardamomentinktur.)
Manufacture: 15 p. c. Similar to Tinctura Veratri Viridis, page 101; menstruum: diluted alcohol. Dose, 3j-2 (4-8 Ml. (Cc.)).
2. Tinctura Cardamomi Composita. Compound Tincture of Cardamom. (Syn., Tr. Cardam. Co.; Fr. Teinture de Cardamome composee; Ger. Zusammengesetzte Kardamomentinktur.) Manufacture: 2 p. c. Similar to Tinctura Aloes, page 110 - using cardamom seed 2 Gm., saigon cinnamon 2.5 Gm., caraway 1.2 Gm., cochineal .5 Gm., macerating with 75 Ml. (Cc.) of a mixture of glycerin 5 Ml. (Cc.), diluted alcohol 95 Ml. (Cc.), finishing with diluted alcohol q. s. 100 Ml. (Cc.). Dose 3j-2 (4-8 Ml. (Cc.)).
3. Extractum Colocynthidis Compositum, 5 p. c. 4. Pulvis Aromati-cus, 15 p. c 5. Tinctura Gentianae Composita, 1 p. c 6. Tinctura Rhei, 3 p. c
Unoff. Preps.: Compound Elixir. Fluidextract. Infusion, dose, ℥j_2 (30-60.Ml. (Cc.)). Compound Infusion. Compound Spirit, 10 p. c (vol. oil), +.
Properties. - Carminative, stomachic, stimulant, aromatic, condiment.
Fig. 63. - Ceylon cardamom: a, capsules; b, transverse section of capsule; c, seeds; d, section of seed with embryo; magnified.
Uses. - Adjuvant or corrective to cordials, tonics, purgatives, flavoring liquors, cakes, breath, etc. Allied Plants: