Alaa, Elachi, Carda- mom, Elatarria cardamomum Maton

Sanskrit: Elá

Alaa

Hindi: Elachi

English: Carda- mom

Latin: Elatarria cardamomum Maton (E. repens)

Part Used: Seeds

Habitat: Found throughout  N o r t h e r n , Western, and Southern India, Sri Lanka, and Burma (Myanmar).

Energetics: Pungent, sweet-hot-pungent VK- (P+

in excess Large elá) In the U.S. only the small or choti elá is available. Choti elá is slightly cold and better for Pitta than for Váyu and Kapha).

Tissues: Blood, marrow, nerve, plasma

Systems: Circulatory, digestive, nervous, respira- tory

Action: Carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, di- gestive stimulant, stomachic

Uses: Main digestive herb. Absorption of nutri- ents, asthma, bronchitis, colds, cough, excellent for stomach complaints, hoarseness, indigestion, loss of taste, helps the spleen and pancreas, reduces Kapha in lungs and stomach, stimulates the mind, with milk it reduces mucus formation, detoxifies caffeine in coffee, nervous digestion, vomiting, headache, belching, acid indigestion, nausea, expels Váyu in colon and digests foods in colon, con- valescing from diarrhea, biliousness, respiratory disorders, involuntary urination.

Spiritual Uses: Sattwic, gives clarity and joy

Precautions: Ulcers, high Pitta

Preparation: Infusion (don’t boil seeds), powder, milk decoction

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