From London's Ghost Acres

Cardamom is a spice made from the dried seed capsules of cardamom plants. It is used in an assortment of remedies, and is listed in the Compendium as a Stomachic and Cordial.

British Pharmacopoeia 1867

Cardamoms Cardamomum

“The dried capsules of the Malabar Cardamom, Elerraria Cardamomum…. Cultivated in Malabar.”[1]

Characteristics “Seeds obtusely angular, corrygated, reddish=brown, internally white, with a warm aromatic agreeable taste and odour, contained in ovate-oblong triangular pale-brown coriaceous ribbed pericarps.”[2] Preparations include:

  • Extractum Colocynthidis compositum
  • Pulvis Cinnamomi compositus
  • Pulvis Cretae Aromaticus
  • Tinctura Cardamomi composite
  • Tinctura Gentianae composite
  • Tinctura Rhei
  • Vinum Aloes

Preparations of Cardamom

Compound Decotion of Aloes / Decoctum Aloes Compositum [3]

  • Extract of soctrine aloes (120 grains), myrrh (90 grains), saffron (90 grains), carbonate of potash (60 grains), extract of liquorice (1 oz), compound tincture of cardamoms (8 fl oz), and distilled water
  • dose: ½-2 fl oz

Compound Extract of Colocynth / Extractum Colocynthidis Compositum [4]

  • Colocynth pulp (6 oz), extract of socotrine aloes (12 oz), resin of scammony (4 oz), hard soap in powder (3 oz), cardamom seeds in fine powder (1 oz), proof spirit (1 gallon)
  • done: 3-10 grains

Aromatic Mixture of Iron / Mistura Ferri Aromatica [5]

  • pale-cinchona bark, in powder (1 oz), calumba root, in coarse powder )1/2 oz), cloves, bruised (1/4 oz), fine iron wire (1/2 oz), compound tincture of cardomoms (3 fl oz), tincture of orange peel (1/2 fluid ounce), and peppermint water
  • Dose: 1-2 fl oz

Compound Mixture of Senna / Mistura Sennae Composita [6]

  • sulphate of magnesia (4 oz), extract of liquorice (1/2 oz), tincture of senna (2 ½ fl oz), compound tincture of cardamom (10 fl drachms), and infusion of senna
  • dose 1-1 ½ fl oz

Compound Powder of Cinnamon / Pulvis Cinnamomi Compositus (syn: pulvis aromaticus) [7]

  • cinnamon bark, in powder (1 oz), cardamom seeds, in powder (1 oz), ginger in powder (1 oz)
  • dose: 3-10 grains
  • included in the preparations of Pilula Aloes et Ferri, and Pilula Cambogiae composita

Aromatic Powder of Chalk / Pulvis Cretae Aromaticus (syn confection aromatic) [8]

  • cinnamon bark, In powder (4 oz), nutmeg powder (3 oz), saffron, in powder (3 oz), cloves, in powder (1 ½ oz), cardamom seeds, in powder (1 oz), refined sugar (1 oz), refined sugar, in powder (25 oz), and prepared chalk (11 oz)
  • dose: 10-60 grains

Compound Tincture of Cardamoms / Tinctura Cardamomi Composita [9]

  • cardamom seeds, freed from their pericarps and bruised (1/4 oz), carawar fruit, bruised (1/4 oz), raisins (2 oz), cinnamon bark, bruised (1/2 oz), cochineal, in powder (60 grains), proof spirit (1 pint)
  • dose: ½ - 2 fl deachms
  • used in the preparations of Decotum Aloes compositum, Mistura Ferri Aromatica, Mistura Sennae composite, Tinctura Chloroformi composita

Compound Tincture of Chloroform / Tinctura Chloroformi Composita [10]

  • chloroform (2 fl oz), rectified spirit (8 fl oz), compound tincture of cardamom( 10 fl oz), mixed
  • dose: 20-60 minims

Compound Tincture of Gentian / Tinctura Gentinae Composita [11]

  • gentian root, cut small and bruised (1 ½ oz), bitter-orange peel, cut small and bruised (3/4 oz), cardamom seeds, freed from the pericarps (1/4 oz), proof spirit (1 pint)

Dose_ ½-2 fl drachms

Tincture of Rhubarb / Tinctura Rhei [12]

  • rhubarb root, in coarse powder (2 oz), cardamom seeds, freed from the pericarps, and bruised (1/4 oz), coriander fruit, bruised (1/4 oz), saffron (1/4 oz), and proof spirit (1 pint)
  • dose: 1-2 fl drachm (stomachic), 4-8 fl drachms (purgative)

Wine of Aloes / Vinum Aloes [13]

  • socotrine aloes (1 ½ oz), cardamom seeds, freed from the pericarps and bruised (80 grains), ginger, in coarse powder (80 grains), sherry (2 pints)
  • dose: 1-2 fl drachms

A Compendium of Domestic Medicine, 1865

Classified by Savory as a Stomachic and Cordial [14]

Remedies Containing or to be used with Cardamom

  • Acid, Phosphoric, Diluted: compound tincture of cardamom included in a mixture used by Dr. Neligan when treating “phosphatic deposits from urine.” [15]
  • Bark, Peruvian: tincture of cardamom is included in a draught that is used to cure a fit of ague, after sulphate of quinine had been administered and no change was noticed. [16]
  • Dandelion: compound tincture of cardamom is included in mixture used to treat “chronic affections of the liver.”[17]
  • Ether, Compound Spirit of Hoffman’s Ether: compound tincture of cardamom is included in a mixture used to treat flatulent colic.[18]
  • Extract of Logwood: tincture of cardamom is included in the solution that is used to administer extract of logwood to patients suffering from diarrhoea.[19]
  • Gentian Root: compound tincture of cardamom included in draught used to treat dyspepsia “attended by acidity.”[20]
  • Rhubarb, Turkey: a compound tincture of cardamom-seeds can be administered in a mixture to treat “many disorders to which children are subject,” that are caused by acid in the stomach and intestines.[21]
  • Tincture of Cardamoms: “a powerful stimulating carminative” used to treat spasms of the stomach[22]
  • Tincture of Cardamoms, Compound: “is also a useful and elegant carminative and cordial,” to be administered in the same dose and instances as a tincture of cardamom.[23]

Diseases Treated with Cardamom

General Diseases

  • Cholera, Morbus: compound tincture of cardamoms included in a mixture proposed by the Board of Health “during a prevalence of cholera.”[24]
  • Flatulency: cardamom is one of the listed carminatives that can be used to treat flatulence.[25]
  • Gout: compound tincture of cardamom is included in one of the recommended mixtures provided by Dr. Copland. A compound tincture of cardamom is also included in a purgative recommended by Savory to be taken in the morning during an attack of gout.[26]
  • Dyspepsia, or Indigestion: tincture of cardamoms is included in “Abernethy’s mixture for dyspeptic persons.”[27]
  • Water-brash: a compound tincture of cardamom can be used along with a list of other tincture, tonics, bitters, and mixtures, but Savory indicates that Dr. Jenner’s Absorbent Lozenges provide better relief.[28]


  1. General Medical Council of Great Britain, British Pharmacopeia, (London: Spottiswoode & Co.,1867), 70
  2. GMCGB, 71
  3. GMCGB, 96
  4. GMCGB, 117
  5. GMCGB, 210
  6. GMCGB, 212
  7. GMCGB, 262
  8. GMCGB, 291
  9. GMCGB, 324
  10. GMCGB, 326
  11. GMCGB, 332
  12. GMCGB, 339
  13. GMCGB, ??
  14. Savory, John. A Compendium of Domestic Medicine (London: John Churchill and Sons, 1865), 395.
  15. Savory, 7
  16. Savory, 27
  17. Savory, 53
  18. Savory, 60
  19. Savory, 66
  20. Savory, 69
  21. Savory, 125
  22. Savory, 156
  23. Savory, 156
  24. Savory, 224
  25. Savory, 233
  26. Savory, 234
  27. Savory, 244
  28. Savory, 261