This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics - Vegetable Kingdom", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica And Therapeutics: Vegetable Kingdom.
Active Ingredients. - Cardamom seeds are fragrant; the taste is warm, pungent, and highly aromatic. Their principles are extracted by water, and still more easily by alcohol. The important one is a volatile oil of sp. gr. 0.945, which is present in the proportion of about 4.5 per cent., and rises with the water on distillation. It is colorless, possessed of an agreeable and penetrating odor, and of a strong, burning, camphoraceous, and slightly bitter taste; this, however, as well as the scent, is lost by exposure to the atmosphere. In addition to the volatile oil, cardamom seeds contain a fixed oil, some coloring matter, salts, and other unimportant ingredients.
Physiological Action. - Cardamoms well illustrate the aromatic qualities of the seeds of the Zingiberaceae. They are gratefully fragrant and pungent, carminative and stomachic, and, compared with many other substances of their class, less heating and stimulating.
Therapeutic Action. - Combined with bitters, cardamoms are serviceable in dyspeptic cases; and combined with purgatives, they check flatulence and griping, for the prevention of which last they are particularly useful. The tincture is advantageously combined with stomachic infusions; and in cases of flatulent colic, and in gouty and spasmodic affections of the stomach, it may be usefully employed as an adjunct to ether, opium, or other antispasmodics. For rendering mineral waters and saline solutions easy and agreeable to the stomach there is probably no more suitable or appropriate drug.
Preparations And Dose. - Tinct. Cardamomi; Tinct. Card. Co., of either 3 j. - ij- (4. - 8.).