Black cardamom
Black cardamom fruit as used as spice
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Amomum
A. subulatum
Binomial name
Amomum subulatum

Cardamomum subulatum (Roxb.) Kuntze

Amomum subulatum, also known as black cardamom, hill cardamom,[2] Bengal cardamom,[2] greater cardamom,[2] Indian cardamom,[2] Nepal cardamom,[2] winged cardamom,[2] big cardamon,[3][4] or brown cardamom, is a perennial herbaceous plant in the family Zingiberaceae. Its seed pods have a strong, camphor-like flavour, with a smoky character derived from the method of drying.


The pods are used as a spice, in a similar manner to green cardamom pods but with a different flavour. Unlike green cardamom, this spice is rarely used in sweet dishes. Its smoky flavour and aroma derive from traditional methods of drying over open flames.


At least two distinct species of black cardamom occur: Amomum subulatum (also known as Nepal cardamom) and Amomum tsao-ko. The pods of A. subulatum, used primarily in the cuisines of India and certain regional cuisines of Pakistan, are the smaller of the two, while the larger pods of A. tsao-ko (Chinese: wiktionary:草果; pinyin: cǎoguǒ; Vietnamese: thảo quả) are used in Vietnamese cuisine and Chinese cuisine, particularly that of Sichuan province.

Agricultural production

The largest producer of black cardamom is Nepal, followed by India and Bhutan.

Medical use

In traditional Chinese medicine, black cardamom is used for stomach disorders and malaria.[citation needed] In the traditional medicine of Nepal & India, the decoction of Amomum subulatum rhizomes is used in the therapy of jaundice.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Sabu, M. (2019). "Amomum subulatum". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2019: e.T117284774A124280890. Retrieved 25 June 2024.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Amomum subulatum". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Big Cardamom: Products". Archived from the original on 2021-06-17. Retrieved 2019-06-09.
  4. ^ "Big Cardamom Cultivation in Bhutan - Production - Consumption".
  5. ^ Tewari D, Mocan A, Parvanov ED, Sah AN, Nabavi SM, Huminiecki L, Ma ZF, Lee YY, Horbańczuk JO, Atanasov AG. Ethnopharmacological Approaches for Therapy of Jaundice: Part I. Front Pharmacol. 2017 Aug 15;8:518. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2017.00518.