Oil of Cardamom.

Botanical name: 

Related entry: Cardamom

Oil of Cardamom. N. F. IV. Oleum Cardamomi.—"A volatile oil distilled from the seeds of Elettaria Cardamomum White et Meton (Fam. Zingiberaceae). Preserve it in small, well-stoppered, amber-colored bottles, in a cool place, protected from light." N. F.

This oil has been introduced into the National Formulary IV. It is used in the preparation of compound spirit of cardamom, which is an ingredient in compound elixir of cardamom. It is also used as a flavor in other elixirs. It is to be regretted that cardamom seeds were not used instead of this oil which is largely adulterated. In fact oil of cardamom has been found in the market made from oils which contain no oil of cardamom whatsoever. The high price of cardamom seeds and the small percentage of volatile oil found in them offers an extraordinary inducement to adulterators. Care must therefore be used to employ only the oil which complies strictly with the requirements of the National Formulary IV. It is described as follows:

"Oil of Cardamom is a colorless or very pale yellow liquid having the characteristic, aromatic, penetrating and somewhat camphoraceous odor of cardamom, and a persistent, pungent, and strongly aromatic taste.

"It is very soluble in alcohol and readily soluble in four volumes of 70 per cent. alcohol, forming a clear solution.

"Specific gravity: 0.924 to 0.947 at 25° C. (77° F.).

"It is dextrorotatory, the angle of rotation varying from, +22° to +44°, in a 100 mm. tube, at 25° C." (77° F.) N. F. (See A. J. P., 1910, 167.)

Oil of cardamom is not used medicinally but solely for pharmaceutical purposes.

The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.