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Herb of the Month: Cardamom, the Queen of Spices

By Maryann Readal, Secretary, The Herb Society of America

cardamomCardamom, Elettaria cardamomum, is called the Queen of Spices because of its many uses as a medicine and as a flavoring in food and drink. It is an important ingredient in Indian cooking and in Scandinavian baking. And– it is the third most expensive spice in the world.

In the ginger family, cardamom is native to India. It grows in my Zone 8b garden but will not flower and produce seeds since it does not have the right growing conditions. Those conditions are rainforest – hot, humid, and shady. Still, its leaves are very aromatic.

Today, Guatemala is the largest producer of cardamom in the world.

To learn more about the Queen of Spices and find recipes using it, go to The Herb Society of America’s Herb of the Month web page.

Each month since 2013, The Herb Society has featured an herb on its Herb of the Month web page, making a wealth of herbal information available to anyone wanting to learn more about herbs.