Amomum villosum (or A. xanthioides)
The fragrant, acrid-tasting grains-of-paradise fruit, otherwise known as cardamom, is prescribed for a variety of abdominal complaints. Grains-of-paradise fruit is considered a stimulant, and great value is placed on its aroma. Chinese herbalists often add it to fruits such as baked pears to reduce the production of mucus in the body. The choicest fruits are large, solid and extremely aromatic. Classified in traditional Chinese medicine as an acrid, warm herb, grains-of-paradise fruit grows in the Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Guanxi and in several areas of Southeast Asia, where it is harvested in August and September.
Taken internally for:
Cardamom is available in bulk or powder from Chinese pharmacies, Asian markets and some Western health food stores.
Combinations: Mixed with atractylodes (white) and codonopsis root, it is used to treat morning sickness. And for other types of discomfort during pregnancy, herbalists prescribe a mixture with mulberry mistletoe stems. It is generally added to combinations near the end of the cooking period, and should be crushed before it is used.