Cardamom tincture with and without alcohol, recipe and benefits


Cardamom is an ingredient of many Indian spice mixtures (curry, garam masala, etc.). It is also used to make tinctures, vodkas and liqueurs.

Cardamom facilitates protein digestion, prevents the reproduction of viruses, regulates the functions of the digestive system, stimulates the appetite and supports the absorption of food.

How to make cardamom tincture at home? You will need 1/2 oz (15 g) of cardamom seeds, juice from 3 lemons, grated zest of 1 lemon, 3 qt (around 3 liters) of 50% alc/vol (100-proof) vodka. 

Crush the cardamom seeds in a mortar, pour them into an airtight jar and pour the vodka over them. Squeeze the lemon juice, close the jar tightly and leave it in a warm place for 2 weeks. After that time, pour off the tincture and filter, pour it into dark glass bottles and close tightly. Set aside for a minimum of 1 month.

Cardamom seeds and tincture

Do you want to know more about cardamom tincture? Keep reading – I will cover uses, benefits, dosage, contraindications and at the end of the article, you can also find a list of equipment that might be useful (here link to my article about supplies) when you will be making a cardamom tincture by yourself. I’m making tinctures from 2001 and have gathered and read dozens of books about them, so the information that you will find in this article should be helpful 🙂

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Where to buy cardamom for tincture?

If you are not using fresh seeds you can find dried cardamom on Amazon here – Spicy World Green Cardamom Pods 3.5oz (100g)

Dried cardamom for tincture

Cardamom tincture uses, what is it good for

According to webmd.com some uses of cardamom and cardamom tincture may include:

  • bronchitis,
  • common cold and other infections,
  • constipation,
  • cough,
  • gallbladder problems,
  • gas,
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS),
  • liver problems,
  • loss of appetite,
  • sore mouth and throat,
  • urinary problems.

Cardamom tincture benefits 

Cardamom is a popular spice which, due to its healing properties, is used not only in cooking, but also in natural medicine. Cardamom is a proven method, incl. for colds, slimming, as well as for potency and refreshing breath. Check what are other benefits of cardamom and cardamom oil.

Essential oils contained in cardamom tincture have a relaxing effect on the stomach and stimulate the secretion of digestive juices, so it should be reached by people with digestive problems and gastritis. In addition, cardamom destroys harmful H. pylori bacteria, which are the cause of ulcers.

In case of stomach problems, you can use not only powdered cardamom, but also cardamom tincture, which has antispasmodic and aseptic properties. It is enough to dissolve 4-5 drops of tincture in milk with honey and drink it 3 times a day.

Cardamom also helps with respiratory conditions, including bronchitis and asthma. Cardamom will relieve cough, clear a stuffy nose, and strengthen immunity.

Cardamom contains many vitamins and minerals like.: 

  • vitamin C, 
  • thiamine, 
  • riboflavin, 
  • niacin, 
  • vitamin B6, 
  • calcium, 
  • iron, 
  • magnesium,
  • phosphorus, 
  • potassium,
  • sodium,
  • zinc.

Cardamom tincture dosage

Most sources suggest using 1 tablespoon after main meals, 2-3 times a day. To warm up the body – add a small amount of the tincture to strong and sweetened hot tea. 

Cardamom tincture recipe and preparation

Another recipe for cardamom tincture requires crushing about 1/10 oz (3 g) of cardamom seeds in a mortar. Place them in an airtight jar and  pour 2 qt (about 2 liters) of vodka (60% alc/vol or 120-proof). Add juice from 2 lemons. Close the jar tightly and keep it in a warm place for 14 days. After this time, filter tincture and pour into dark glass bottles. Keep them in a dark, cool place for 2 months, after that time it is ready to use. When it matures longer, it loses much of its sharpness and becomes tastier. 

The tincture strengthens the stomach, stimulates the secretion of digestive juices, eliminates gas, and increases the appetite. It is recommended for the treatment of asthma and headaches.

Cardamom tincture recipe without alcohol

Alcohol tinctures are probably the most potent way to get healing and balancing benefits of herbs for our use.

But if you can’t or don’t want to consume alcohol, or you should not give it to kids, as a substitute you can make a glycerin-based, alcohol-free herbal extract, also called an herbal glycerite. Such extract is not as strong or long-lasting as alcohol tinctures, but it takes only up to 3 days to make it.

Recipe to prepare cardamom glycerite without alcohol: put 1 tablespoon of seeds in a jar, fill to the top with glycerine. Cover and put in a slow cooker (or Instant Pot with a slow cooker feature) that’s lined with a towel and filled with water — run on low for 3 days. After that remove and strain, keep in a dry and cool place in dark glass bottles.

Cardamom tincture contraindications and side effects

According to webmd.com side effects from cardamom tincture are rare but if you have gallstones, do not take cardamom in amounts greater than those typically found in food as cardamom seed can trigger gallstone colic (spasmodic pain).

Remember that before taking this tincture as a medication you should always consult a specialist, information that I have gathered from books and webmd.com should be consulted with a healthcare professional as each tincture can have different effects on different people. 

What type of alcohol is used for cardamom tincture?

Most spirits used for drinking will work, but vodka or other grain alcohols that are at least 40% alcohol by volume work best. When using dried cardamom, your best bet is to stick to an 160 or 180-proof alcohol (80-90%), as it does not have a lot of juices left, and it is best for extracting any water that’s left in the fruit out of it.

How long does cardamom tincture last?

When stored in a cool, dry place, cardamom tincture lasts at least three years, if not longer. If you use dark bottles, it will last longer because the light will not damage it. If your area is humid or hot several months out of the year, try storing it in the refrigerator during the hot and humid season.

Recommened edequipment – what you may need to have to make such tincture at home

I hope that you have found my article useful. Below I’ve gathered all items that I am using when making my tinctures, some of them, like airtight jars, are necessary, some are just handy, you do not need to have them all to be able to make a good tincture.  

recommended tincture equipment
Tincture equipment examples
  1. Airtight jars.
  2. Mortar for herbs – granite.
  3. Mortar for herbs – stainless steel.
  4. Funnels for filling bottles.
  5. Large bottles, dark glass.
  6. Medium bottles, dark glass.
  7. Small bottles with dropper, dark glass.
  8. Cloth for tincture filtering.
  9. Coffee filters for tincture filtering.
  10. Alcohol meter to check how strong is your vodka/spirit.
  11. Tincture press for better extraction.

    Here you can also find a more detailed post with list of equipment that might be useful.

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Damian from PolishTinctures
Best regards from Kraków!

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Other names of cardamom

It is also known under such names: Kardamon, Amomum cardamomum, Bai Dou Kou, Cardamome, Cardamome de Malabar, Cardamome Verte, Cardamom Essential Oil, Cardamomo, Cardamon, Cardomom, Cardomomier, Cardomomi Fructus, Dou Kou Hua, Ela, Elaichi, Elettaria cardamomum, Green Cardamom, Huile Essentielle de Cardamome, Indian Cardamom, Kardamomen, Kardamompflanze, Lesser Cardamom, Malabar Cardamom, Mysore Cardamom, Small Cardamom, True Cardamom.

Sources: if you would like to check more info about the cardamom here you can find a webmd.com article about it

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