Cardamom
Elettaria cardamomum

Family: Zingiberaceae

Chemical composition:

A typical chemical composition of cardamom is reported as follows:

a-pinene (1.5%), B-pinene (0.2%), savinene (2.8%), myrcene (1.6%), a-phelladnrene (0.2%), limonene (11.6%), 1,8-cineole (36.3%), y-terpinolene (0.5%), linalol (3.0%), linalyl acetate (2.5%), terpinen-4-ol (0.9%), a-terpinol (2.6%), a-terpinyl acetate (31.3%), citranellol (0.3%), nerol (0.5%), geraniol (0.5%), methyl eugenol (0.2%), trans-nerolidol (2.7%)                                            [S.Battaglia-The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy Second Edition)

Therapeutic Actions: Antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cephalic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic, tonic.

Cardamom essential oil is extracted through steam distillation from the seeds or dried pods of Cardamom.  The aroma is slightly sweet, spicy, exotic and warming. It has wonderful comforting woody undertones.  It has been used for centuries in ayurvedic and chinese medicine to treat fevers and infections.

This beautiful and gentle aromatic essential oil gives you the feeling of being in a warm kitchen with a huge pot of comfort food on the stove.  When we feel secure and comfortable, we usually experience that our tummy’s are satisfied and settled.  One of the primary benefits of Cardamom essential oil is that it eases indigestion, stomach cramps, bloating and improves metabolism.

And it is far gentler on children than Peppermint to help ease stomach upsets.  In fact a great blend for helping ease children’s stomach upsets is 1 drop Cardamom and 2 drops Mandarin in 10ml of a carrier oil such as Grape Seed, Coconut or Sweet Almond Oil.  For adults the amount of drops can increase to 4 drops Cardamom and 2 drops Sweet Orange (instead of Mandarin).

Cardamom is also beneficial in easing muscular and respiratory spasm, helping with asthma, congestion and coughs.  Use a few drops in a diffuser or in a massage blend, rubbing into the chest and back. It is also wonderfully helpful in treating colds and flu. Put a drop or two of Cardamom oil in a basin of warm water and inhale the steam to relieve cold symptoms.

Cardamom has strong grounding and calming properties being beneficial for depression, fatigue and exhaustion.  It is soothing, uplifting and a couple of drops of Cardamom and Lavender in a diffuser are helpful.  A beautiful blend after a long day is a drop of Rose, a drop of Neroli and two or three drops of Cardamom in 5ml – 10ml of Carrier Oil and massaged over the abdomen / heart / throat area.

The Cardamom pods and seeds are rich in vitamins and micronutrients and studies at the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute have shown that dietary cardamom had a positive result in counteracting colorectal cancer to an extent of 48%. There are many health benefits to incorporating this incredible spice into your diet.