The pods are used as a spice, in a similar manner to the green Indian cardamom pods, but with a different flavor. Unlike green cardamom, this spice is rarely used in sweet dishes. Its smoky flavor and aroma derive from traditional methods of drying over open flames.
Used in traditional Chinese medicine, in addition to being a treatment for stomach disorders, black cardamom is used to treat malaria. It is also chewed as a mouth freshener, has anti-inflammatory properties, and may be used to treat respiratory problems.