People have been chewing cardamom seeds or rinsing their mouths with cardamom extract for thousands of years in the everlasting quest to get rid of bad breath, according to a report appearing in the Kathmandu University Medical Journal. But does this substance really work? It's doubtful.
New Vision, a Uganda-based website, notes that many Africans use the stuff to "cure" halitosis, as well as to treat a host of medical conditions. However, this does not mean that cardamom is a panacea for palate odors.
To be sure, cardamom is fragrant. It is a spice related to ginger. People in India often chew it with cinnamon and clove as a way to reduce oral odor, according to an article in the Journal Of Ethnopharmacology. That said, virtually any pungent, scented substance can temporarily mask bad breath.
Eliminating the smell is another feat entirely. Often, even widely used toothpastes do not eradicate halitosis, since many do not neutralize odor molecules. It may be best to skip the cardamom and switch to a specialty breath freshening rinse or tablet, especially one combined with an oral care probiotics kit.