The ABCs of Essential Oils: Cardamom

Updated: May 21, 2019


Known in the culinary world as the “queen of spices,” Cardamom (Elettaria Cardamomum) is considered to be one of the most expensive spices in the world because of it’s difficult and labor-intensive harvesting process. Native to Southeast Asia, the rich clay-like soil, and hot, humid, rainy weather conditions give this spice perfect growing conditions that contribute to the balance of therapeutic chemical components found in Cardamom essential oil. But, with most of the world’s Cardamom supply grown for the spice market, only one percent is distilled for essential oil use. While you can primarily find this spice served in traditional Indian curries, sweets and teas,  it can also be found as a secret ingredient in Scandinavian pastries for it’s cool, yet minty aroma and flavor. Like it’s close relative Ginger, Cardamom is usually known to have calming effects on the digestive system. However, because of it high monoterpenoid ester content, Cardamom is a fantastic choice for calming the whole body and mind. Because of it’s high 1, 8-cineole content, Cardamom essential oil is also great for directly targeting those nerve endings to assist the body in relieving minor muscle soreness, as well as having a profound effect on the respiratory system. This being when used within proper usage guidelines, of course. Emotionally speaking, Cardamom is known as The Oil of Objectivity. It helps bring mental clarity and balance to those with a long history of outward aggression or anger by helping the individual break down these emotions of frustration and anger, and redirecting the energy to the solar plexus, the center of responsibility.


BOTANICAL FAMILY: Zingiberaceae (ginger)

AROMATIC DESCRIPTION: Sweet, Spicy, Fruity, Warm, Balsalmic, with Floral Undertones

APPLICATION METHODS: Aromatic, Topical, Internal

EXTRACTION METHOD: Steam distilled from seeds


COMPLIMENTARY OILS:

  • Blends With: Bergamot, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Clove, Fennel, Ginger, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Wild Orange, and Ylang Ylang

  • Substitutions: Eucalyptus, Ginger, or Rosemary depending on the use


PRIMARY BENEFITS:

  • Supports healthy digestion by easing indigestion and constipation.

  • Promotes clear breathing and soothes congestion.

  • Assists the body with the menstrual cycle.

  • Calms nerves.

  • Soothes occasional sore throat.

  • Assists with cooling the body from a fever.

  • Promotes openness and mental clarity.

  • Makes a flavorful spice for cooking and baking.

  • Soothes pregnancy related nausea and morning sickness.


PRIMARY USES:

  • Take internally to help alleviate occasional feelings of stomach discomfort and diarrhea.

  • Apply behind ears to help ease feelings of morning sickness.

  • Breathe in for a sense of openness and clear head.

  • Apply to chest while cutting grass.

  • Take 1-2 drops internally after over indulging at dinner.

  • Apply topically to soothe occasional muscle aches.

  • Dilute and apply to temples and back of neck to help soothe occasional headaches.


EMOTIONS ADDRESSED:

  • Negative: Easily frustrated, blaming, unable to think clearly, objectifying others

  • Positive: Respectful, self-control, tolerant, patient

CAUTIONS: Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.