Ammomum subulatum Roxb.

Amomum subulatum Roxb.

Botanical Name:         Amomum subulatum Roxb.Amomum subulatum Roxb.

Kingdom:                      Plantae

Order:                           Zingiberales

Family:                          Zingeberaceae

Genus:                          Amomum

Local Name:                  Bari illaichi

Sinshi Name:                 Wadaphota

Parts Used:                    Whole plant

English Name:               Black cardamom


Amomum subulatum Roxb. is a perennial crop with leafy stem of about 20 leafy shoots1. Leaves are sword shaped and dark green in color. Fruit are long and capsulated bearing 10-15 seeds per cell2. Flowers are white and globose.Single clump have 20-45 inflorescences while eachinflorescence has30-50 flowers3.


A. subulatumis cultivated in North-Eastern and the central Himalayan region of India. It is native to Nepal,Bangladesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, China, Bhutan, and Myanmar. It is also commonly cultivated in Pakistan4.


  1. Seeds of AmomumsubulatumRoxb. (Black cardamom) areboiled in goat milk, a cup of this milk is taken orally once in a day for 3-4 days for the treatment of measlesinDistricts Khairpur, Kashmore, and Sukkur (Sindh).
  2. Ground seeds A. subulatum with 1-2 tablets of Disperinein goat milk to makepaste, this paste is applied topically for the treatment of measlesin the District Sukkur (Sindh).
  3. Seeds of A. subulatumandCuminumcyminum L. (Cumin) are boiled in milk and is taken orally for 3-5 days for the treatment of measles inDistrictsSajawaland Dadu(Sindh).
  4. Seeds of A. subulatum and crystal sugar are boiledin goat milk and this milk is taken orally for the treatment of measles in the District khairpur (Sindh).
  5. Seeds of A. subulatum,Carumcopticum L. (Bishops weed), and CinnamomumverumJ.Presl (Cinnamon) are boiled in goat milk. This milk is taken orally forone week for the treatment of measlesin the DistrictsGhotki and Sukkur (Sindh).
  6. Seeds ofA. subulatum,CarumcopticumL. (Bishops weed),Piper nigrum L. (Black pepper), andFoeniculumvulgareMill. (Fennel seeds)are boiled in goat milk. This milk is taken orally for one week for the treatment of measlesin the District Ghotki (Sindh).
  7. Seeds of A. subulatum,MenthaspicataL. (Peppermint)are boiled in milk. This milk is taken orally for the treatment of measlesin the DistrictKhairpur (Sindh).
  8. A. subulatum,Menthaspicata(Peppermint),andjaggery are boiled ingoat milk. This milk is taken orally for the treatment of measlesin the District Khairpur (Sindh).
  9. A. subulatumis boiled in goat milk with jaggery and crystal sugar and taken orally for threedays for the treatment of measlesin District Ghotki (Sindh).


Seeds of A. subulatum,Citruluscolocynthis(L.) Schard (Bitter apple),Terminaliabellirica(Gaertn.Roxb. (Beleric),and Curcuma caesiaL. (Black turmeric) are mixed together to form paste and taken orally for sevendays for the treatment of pyodermain DistrictKashmore (Sindh).


Carumcopticum(Bishops weed),A. subulatum, and jaggery are mixed in milk andtaken orallyonce in a dayfor the treatment of pustules in District Naushehroferoz (Sindh).

Prickly heat:

  1. subulatum,Cassia angustifolia Mill. (Cassia senna), and crystal sugar are crushed together to make powder.Two teaspoon of thispowder is dissolve in one cup milk and taken orally once in a day, for 5-6 days, for the treatment of prickly heat in DistrictTharparkar (Sindh).

Chemical Constituents

Oil of A. subulatum contains 4-terpineol, δ-3-carene, trans-sabinene hydrate, 1-phellandrene, α-terpinene, 1-terpineol, bicyclogermacrene, isopinocarveol, ledenoxid-II, longifolenaldehyde, and α-terpenylacetatesubulaurone. Five important chemical constituents which are responsible for aroma of A. subulatum are DL-limonene, 1,8-cineole, β-myrcene, α-pinene, and α-basabolol5.

Chemical Structure:

Amomum subulatum

Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/Scientific Studies

Seeds of A. subulatumare aromatic and act as alexipharmic, stimulant, stomachic, and astringent. A. subulatumis used to treat vomiting, malarial disorders, stomach pain, belching, and drunkenness from alcohol. Traditionally, it is used for the prevention of digestive disorders, throat troubles, congestion of lungs, and inflammation of eyelids. It is active against respiratory infections such as pulmonary tuberculosis. Seed decoction is used as gargle in gum and teeth affections.Seeds act as antidote in case of snake bite and scorpion sting. Leaves are burnt into ashes and then mixed with mustard oil to make a paste, and taken orally for curing cough and for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases6,7.

Methanolic extract of seeds showed analgesic, antiulcer, and hepatoprotective effect. Ethanol and aqueous extract showed anti-inflammatory activity. Acetonic and alcoholic (Methanol and ethanol) extracts showed antimicrobial inhibitory activity against Streptococcus mutans,S. aureusCandida albicans, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Antioxidant activity of A. subulatum is due to the presence of chemical constituents such as1,8-ceineoil, α-terpineol, protocatechualdehyde, and protocatechuic acid7.


  • Arora, M. (2013).Pharmacognostic and Pharmacological Studies of Journal of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2(1), 30-32.
  • Gopal, K., Baby, C., and Muhammad, A. (2012). AmomumsubulatumRoxb: An Overview.

         International Research Journal of Pharmacy, 3(7).

  • Ritender, M. B., Bhatt, M., Juyal, V., and Singh, A. (2013). AmomumsubulatumRoxb: A Critical Review of Pharmacological and Phytochemical Data. International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Phytopharmacological Research, ISSN (Online) 2249-6084.
  • Sharma, E., Sharma, R., Singh, K. K., and Sharma, G. (2000). A boon for mountain populations: Large cardamom farming in the Sikkim Himalaya. Mountain Research and Development, 20(2), 108-111.
  • Joshi, R., Sharma, P., Sharma, V., Prasad, R., Sud, R. K., andGulati, A. (2013). Analysis of the essential oil of large cardamom (Amomumsubulatum) growing in different agro‐climatic zones of Himachal Pradesh, India. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 93(6), 1303-1309.
  • Vavaiya, R., Patel, A., andManek, R. (2010). Anti-diabetic activity of Amomumsubulatum fruit constituents. Int. J. Parm. Innov, 2, 50-65.
  • Bisht, V. K., Negi, J. S., Bhandari, A. K., andSundriyal, R. C. (2011). AmomumsubulatumRoxb: Traditional, phytochemical and biological activities-An overview. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 6(24), 5386-5390.