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cardamom(kär`dəməm): see gingerginger,
common name for members of the Zingiberaceae, a family of tropical and subtropical perennial herbs, chiefly of Indomalaysia. The aromatic oils of many are used in making condiments, perfumes, and medicines, especially stimulants and preparations to ease stomach distress.
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(Elettaria cardamomum), a perennial herbaceous plant of the family Zingiberaceae. It has creeping root-stock. The leaves are lanceolate and are arranged in two rows along the vegetative shoots; they measure 2-4 m tall. The flower stalks, measuring up to 60 cm long, end in panicles with pale green blossoms. The fruit is a trilobate capsule with reddish-brown seeds of irregular shape. The seeds are used as a spice in cooking. They contain 3.5-7 percent oil, which is used in food and tobacco products. The oil is also used in medicine. Cardamom grows wild in the rain forests on the mountains of southern India. The plant is cultivated primarily in India, Sri-Lanka (Ceylon), Indochina, and South China.