Home Recipes Benefits of Cardamom (Iliki in English) – Spices of Malindi

Benefits of Cardamom (Iliki in English) – Spices of Malindi

by komzinski
Benefits of Cardamon (Iliki) - Spices & foods of Malindi

Many households in Malindi, towns on the Kenyan coast, and the East African Coast, in general, like to use the cardamon also spelled as cardamom, locally known as iliki in Swahili as it adds a good smell and aroma to food.

Is it Cardamom or cardamon?

The debate on the difference between cardamom and cardamon has been there for a while. You being here is evidence enough that you are looking for an answer, so is it cardamom or cardamon? Simply put, cardamom is just an alternative spelling for cardamon!


cardamom (cardamon) iliki on malindians spices

History of iliki

Iliki(Cardamom) has famously been known as the Queen of Spices since time immemorial. The reason behind this reference is not certain. But it is believed to be attributed to its popular and wide usage. Iliki was known for its wide use for a pleasant aroma and when it was added to soups and stews and when it was used in bread and other baked products such as croissants.  it was believed to be also used for its minty flavour to freshen breath.

First encounters of Iliki (Cardamom) were found in Sanskrit where iliki was referred to as “Ela”. Sanskrit, the language in which the world Rigveda book was compiled, is both a classical and ancient language in India. Sanskrit is believed to have been used between 650 B.C. to 1500 B.C. During those ages among other spices and ingredients in sacred rituals as sacrificial fires that were used to solemnize Hindu weddings. It was also believed that it was used as essence in embalming procedures.

Iliki (Cardamom) use in Ancient Greek and Roman Empire

Texts have been seen with references of iliki(Cardamom) from the Ancient Greek and Roman Empire. It is related that the wealthy and upper class citizens of these empires used Iliki(cardamom) as aphrodisiac and perfume. Iliki (cardamom)was also used in the medical world. It was used to help digestion. This is believed to be the biggest reason why both the Greek and Romans imported ship loads of Iliki(cardamom) from India.

Nutritive Content of Cardamom (iliki in English)

However, apart from good aroma also has many nutrients including vitamins A and C, minerals such as calcium, potassium, sodium, copper, zinc, and magnesium.

According to the U.S. Agriculture and Nutrition unit(USDA), it states that every 100grams of cardamom or iliki has 68 grams of carbohydrates, 11 grams of proteins, and two grams of fiber.

It also gives the kidney the ability to remove the waste and help keep a clean digestive tract.

It also helps to remove the gas, heartburn, and bloating in the stomach and the problem of constipation.

This can be used when cardamom or iliki is ground into powder form. Use one tablespoon of hot water in a cup of tea. Drink every day for two weeks you’ll see good results in your body.

Another study done by the Pharmacy of King Saud University in Said Arabia determined that it has a great ability to improve blood veins in the heart and thus protect it against various heart diseases.

It also removes mouth disease that smells bad and treats mouth wounds.

Use the flour mixed with the water of movement and then don’t put it in your mouth every morning and evening for three weeks.

Medicinal Value of Cardamom (iliki in English)

This spice also plays a vital role in urinary tract healing for infections in patients with sexually transmitted infections. Use one spoon of flour in light porridge in a cup of tea every day for two weeks.

It also helps protect cancer and blood pressure if you use it based on instructions from health professionals.

It also has the ability to manage asthma in its early stages when it is mixed with cinnamon as well as helps reduce throat pain.

Where to buy Cardamom

The different types of iliki Recipes

There are tonnes of delicacies made with iliki on the Kenyan coast let alone the whole world. Iliki is used in drinks, soups & stews or even meals.  when using it for food, it can be grounded or used wholly depending on the recipe or the taste intended to evoke.

Best iliki tea recipes

You may also like


mema October 4, 2021 - 8:23 pm

so good content.!.. but what is the value..? whats the call to action?… you should atleast tell me where can i buy it in Malindi, how can i grow it or where i can get seedlings for that ..do you have any of that information.

komzinski October 6, 2021 - 3:23 pm

Thanks for your amazing feedback. Your comment is a pivotal point to our website. It has made us overhaul our goal for the site. Initially, we were targeting to just providing helpful information to our readers. But we have seen that we can do beyond that. You can now have options to where you can buy cardamom (iliki).

Savoury Culinary Journey through Mombasa Swahili Cuisine - AboutMombasa May 10, 2023 - 5:25 pm

[…] bread that is typically served for breakfast. The dough is made with coconut milk and cardamom (iliki), giving it a fragrant and slightly sweet flavor. Once fried, the mahamri is typically served with […]


Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More