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Cardamom pods, whole (Elettaria cardamomum)The sweetly aromatic cardamom is the fruit of a tropical plant related to ginger, and is one of the world's most expensive spices, after saffron and vanilla. Cardamom coffee or gahwa is a symbol of Arab hospitality. Cardamom flavors ground meat in Norway and baked goods in Sweden. Cooks all over the world combine cardamom with cloves and cinnamon. Cardamom lends its distinctive flavor to chai, and is a wonderful addition to Ashwagandha tea. There are three seeds in each pod. Remove seeds from the pod, and grind before use. Magically, cardamom pods are used to insure abundance and wealth. The primary medicinal use of cardamom is as a carminative, to prevent flatulence. Preliminary findings from laboratory research suggest that regular use of cardamom might help prevent colon cancer, and in the Ayurvedic formula Unmadnashak Ghrita, cardamom, along with brahmi, gardenia, asafetida, and ghee, may be a mild sedative.