Sukshmaila

Botanical Name : Elettaria cardamomum Maton

Family : SCITAMINAE , Zingiberaceae.

Introduction :

Ela  is famous for  aromatic content in Indian Medicine and tradition. It shows abortifacient property

Names in different Indian languages :

English : Lesser Cardamom

Hindi : Elaci

Kannada : Elakki

Malayalam : Elam ,cittelam

Sanskrit : Ela,Trutih

Tamil : Elam

Telugu : Elakkayalu

Unani : Heel Khurd

Folk : Ilaayachi

Synonyms :

Elaa, Sukshmailaa, Kshudrailaa, Bhrngaparnikaa, Tutthaa, Draavidi, Prithvikaa, Triputaa, Truti, Upkunchikaa

Classification according to Charaka, Susrutha & Vagbhata :

Charaka

Svãsahara, Angamarda prasamana, katuka  skandha,sirövirecana

Susrutha

Elãdi

Vagbhata

Elädi, Trijätaka, Cãturjãtaka

Varieties & adulterants – (CV – controversy, AD – adulterants) :

1. small

2. large – Ammomum subulatum.

3. Entada scandens. [CV]

4. Gardenia gummifera  [CV]

Morphology :

A annual herb; rootstock thick, Leafy stem, 2.5 to 4 cm long.

Leaves— Oblong-lanceolate, pubescent beneath.

Flowers— in panicle (produced direct from the root stock). Bracts 2-3 flowered.

Flowers— shortly pedicel; calyx cylindrical, membranous, shortly lobed; corolla-tube ,lip larger than the corolla-segments, white sheathed with violet.

Fruit— subglobose or oblong capsules. Flowering and fruiting during May to July.

Distribution & Habitat :

Cultivated in Kerala, Tamilnadu and Karataka.

Chemical constituents :

cineole and alpha-terpinylacetate, with limonene, alpha-terpineol, sabinene, linalool.Bornneol, càmphene, p-cymene, geraneol, heptane, D-limonene, linalool, menthone, methylheptenone, myrcene, nerol, nerylacetate, a.- & 13-pinenes, saibenene, a- & -terpeneols, n-alkanes, ascaridole, camphor, citral, citronellal, farnesol, sitosterol, thujene etc

Properties :

RASA- Katu, Madhura

GUNA- Laghu, Ruksa

VIRYA- sita

VIPAKA- Katu

Note— Narahari described Ela dvaya as sita virya while Bhãvami quoted Brhat Ela as Usna virya.

Karma : Kapha-vatahara, sukra, näsaka, Dipana,Hrdya

Carminative antiemetic, stomachic, orexigenic, anti-gripe, antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, antiseptic

Indication :

Hrdroga,kasa, Svãsa, Mütra Krcchra, Chardi, Arsas, visarpa

flatulence, loss of appetite, colic, bronchitis, asthma,  headache, gout

Part used :

Seeds, oil

Dosage :

Powder 2-4 g

External uses :

The oil of cardamom seeds is useful in the treatment of toothache.

Internal uses :

Digestive system : It is a mouth freshener, deodorant and antidipsetic. Seeds and oil are appetizer. digestive and laxative. A whole cardamum burnt in charcoal is a good carminative. It is useful in oral disorders, abdominal pain and piles. Antiemetic but Vagbhatta includes it in emetic class).

Circulatory system : Useful in general weakness.

Respiratory system : Because of its expectorant property, it is used in cough, asthma and other respiratory disorders.

Urinary system : Seeds are diuretic, useful in dysuria.

Temperature : Useful in burning sensation.

Important Yogas or Formations :

Eladi cürna, Eladiarista, Elädi Kasaya, eladi taila.                          

Therapeutic Uses :

(1) Hrdroga—  Eala and Pippalimula are taken with honey (V.S.).

(2) Mutrakrcchra— Ela is given, along with Dadhi manda (water over the curd)— (G.N.).

(3) Timira— Ela powder is soaked in goats urine for three days and applied as collyrium (C.S.Ci. 26).

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