Cardamom and Warfarin

Publication Date: 
By: Alere Staff

  Originating in Eastern Asia where it grows wild in the western forests of India, cardamom, or cardamon, is one of the world’s most ancient spices. The ancient Egyptians once chewed on cardamom seeds to clean their teeth and the Greeks and Romans used its strong aroma as a form of perfume.1 Since then, cardamom has found various uses in both cooking and natural remedies. As it is a popular spice found in cultures around the world, as a patient on warfarin it is good to note whether or not it will affect your INR.

The Price of the Spice 

An herb that is known by different names, cardamom is one of the more expensive spices, behind both vanilla and saffron. The spice comes from the ground seeds found in the pods of the cardamom plant and can be used in dishes ranging from risottos to cakes and cookies.1 The spice is even used to add to the flavor of teas and coffees. 

Cardamom is known for more than just its flavor. Throughout the centuries, cardamom has been known for helping with digestion issues such as heartburn, constipation and even irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).2 Cardamom is also found in remedies for people suffering from a common cold, cough, bronchitis, sore throat or are prone to infections. While these people may find cardamom soothing, there has been insufficient evidence that the spice has any effectiveness on these ailments.2 However, cardamom’s properties have been used for the flavoring and basis for some medicinal formulas.1 

Cardamom and Warfarin 

Not much is known about how warfarin and cardamom interact or whether the spice can have an effect on a warfarin patient’s INR level. There have been studies, though, that have shown an interaction with warfarin about one third of the time.3 In general, though, cardamom is considered likely safe for most people when taken orally. More research will have to be done to find if it has any real effect.2,3 It is always a good idea to be safe and let your treating physician know when you start or stop any vitamins, supplements and medications. If you have any concerns about interactions, they can guide you or adjust your dose as needed. 

References:

  1. Cardamom. The Epicentre. 2016. Retrieved October 18, 2016 from the website: http://theepicentre.com/spice/cardamom/.
  2. RxList. Cardamom. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. 2016. Retrieved from the website: http://www.rxlist.com/cardamom/supplements.htm.
  3. Al-Arifi MN. Et al. Evaluation of Knowledge  of Health Care Professionals on Warfarin Interactions with Drug and Herb Medicinal in Central Saudi Arabia. Pak J Med Sci. 2016 Jan-Feb;32(1):229-33. doi: 10.12669/pjms.321.8902.