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Herb of the Month


(Botanical Name - Amomum subulatum)

Description: A clustering ginger with stems growing up to 5ft tall. Leaves are found on the upper portion of the stem. This is an evergreen plant with the old stems dying down after a few years. The rhizomes are a dull red in color. Flower buds appear in  spring from the base of the rhizome. The peduncle is short and the buds encased in tight red bracts. Flowers appear from spring through mid summer. Individual flowers stay open for three days and more and new ones open successively. An inflorescence stays in flower for over a month.

Habitat: This species is native to the Eastern Himalayas and inhabits cool forest areas near mountain streams and damp forest floors. Grows fast and vigorously during the summer monsoon months.

The seed capsules are harvested in autumn and dried and these aromatic dried capsules are sold in markets. Amomum subulatum is an important economic crop in the Eastern Himalayas and specially in the District of Darjeeling and state of Sikkim where it is cultivated in large areas.

Parts Used : Seeds, burk

Plant family : Zingiberaceae (ginger family).

Sensory quality : Cardamom has a fresh and aromatic aroma. By virtue of the traditional drying procedure over open flames, the spice also acquires a strong smoky flavour.

Healing options:   

Medicinally the seeds are credited with stimulant, stomachic, alexipharmic and astringent properties and are prescribed in the the treatment of common cold & cough, leucorrhoea, indigestion, vomiting, biliousness abdominal pains and rectal diseases. It is used in gastrointestinal and genito-urinary complaints. It is also very effective in female white disease. A decoction of seeds is used as a gargle in affections of the teeth and gum with melon seeds.

Common cold & cough :

Elaichi is an effective remedy for cold & cough caused due to throat irritation. Three peepers sucked with a pinch of caraway seeds and crystal of common salt with Elaichi powder helps dilution of thick cough and its allied problems like bronchial congestion providing a demulcent and soothing effect on respiratory tract. It prevents reflex coughing and stimulates normal mucous secretion.


The bark of the tree is useful in leucorrhoea. Its decoction should be used as vaginal douche for treating this disorder. Effective in general weakness, paleness, blood deficiency, muscular and nervine weakness associated with leucorrhoea. It is also a  natural and effective source of calcium.

Urinary Infections:

Useful in urinary infections as demulcent. It used in diuretic in case of gravel in kidneys followed by promotion to elimination of bile and also useful in congestion of liver.

Teeth Disorder: 

Chewing of fresh bark of this tree daily, helps strengthen loose teeth and arrest any bleeding from the gums. Dirty teeth can be cleaned effectively by brushing them with a powder of cardamom.


A decoction of the bark, mixed with rock salt, should be used as a gargle in treating tonsillitis.

Ayurvedic Supplements that contains Badi -elaichi:


Cold soothe tea

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Leuconil tablets

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