Essential Oil of the Month: Cardamom
As the Autum chill fills the air, we naturally crave comfort in all things warm and spicy. Picture yourself relaxing in a cushy chair by a glowing fire, your feet wrapped in soft, cozy socks, and a delicious mug of Chai tea warming your hands. What is that sweet, spicy, pungent smell arising from the tea? It’s Cardamom! (among other spices).
Many of us will recognize Cardamom from our spice cabinets, in curries or sweet breads. Aside from its culinary uses, as an essential oil, Cardamom brings us so many wonderful benefits for body and spirit:
- Anti-inflammatory properties help reduce pain and swelling
- Analgesic properties relieve muscle soreness and spasms
- Antimicrobial and antifungal properties fight bacteria and fungus
- Calms nerves
- Aids digestion
- Expectorant – helps with coughs and colds
- Helps focus the mind
- Nourishes hair and scalp
- Sweetens breath
- Strengthening and fortifying
- Creates a feeling of warmth and comfort
Supports our feelings of self-worth and self-love
- Helps us release negative thoughts and patterns
- Ignites our appetite for life
- Inspires courage
- Beneficial for meditation
- Eases worry and over-thinking
- Is said to bring luck, prosperity, and romance
History of Cardamom:
Cardamom has been used by ancient cultures for over 3,000 years. In fact, it is said to be one of the oldest known oils used in ancient aromatherapy.
In India it is mentioned in Ancient Ayurvedic texts dating back to 1400-1600 BC, the Charaka Samhita and Susrutha Samhita. It was used in massage and for certain medicinal purposes.
Important in Ayurvedic medicine, Cardamom’s sweet and pungent tastes - and smells - make it suitable for all three dosha types – Vata, Pitta and Kapha (the three energies that define every person's makeup). Referred to as tridoshic, Cardamom is thought to promote prana (lifeforce energy).
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Cardamom is used to stimulate Qi-energy (vital life force). It strengthens the Qi energy in the stomach, spleen, and pancreas, making it particularly useful for digestion, relieving indigestion, nausea, and the like. In addition, it can strengthen Qi- energy in the lungs, making it useful for coughs and colds.
Cardamom was also mentioned in Ancient times by many famous authors – from Ancient Greeks such as the great physician Hippocrates, considered the Father of Western Medicine, to Ancient Greek physician and pharmacologist Dioscorides, whose work, De materia medica, was considered the foremost pharmacological text for 1500 years.
Ancient Romans consumed Cardamom after their lavish banquets to aid digestion. Even today it is sometimes used to sweeten the breath after eating. Romans also used Cardamom in perfumes and their infamous baths.
Cardamom’s sensual scent and aphrodisiac qualities have been utilized in love potions in many cultures to enhance love, passion, and desire. It is most notably mentioned in The Tale of the Arabian Nights and Shayk Nafzawi’s The Perfume Garden of Sensual Delight.
In Aromatherapy, Cardamom essential oil offers physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits. It opens the heart, lifts the spirits, helps us release old patterns, restores our emotional body, and helps us embrace a zest for life.
For a Body Oil: Mix into 2 ounces of carrier oil
(such as jojoba or sweet almond oil)
- 2 drops Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata)
- 3 drops Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
- 5 drops Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Add ½ cup carrier oil (such as jojoba or sweet almond oil) to 1 cup turbinado sugar. Mix well, then blend in:
- 5 drops Cardamom Cananga odorata
- 6 drops Rose Maroc essential oil Rosa centifolia
- 2 drops Rose Geranium essential oil Pelrgonium
- 3 drops Vanilla Bourbon Vanilla planifolia
Try our products that feature Cardamom
PRECAUTIONS: Not for use during pregnancy or nursing, or for children under the age of 5. Use with caution if you have sensitive skin and always in proper dilution. As with all essential oils, if you are on medication or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using.