Cardamom may not jump to mind when you think of essential oils. IMHO, it’s certainly one of the unsung heroes of the oily world; this one is handy to have around for everything from coughs to inflammation to tummy troubles. The “Queen of Spices” (how’s that for a nickname?), Cardamom is native to India, but also grows in Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Guatemala, and has a spicy, fruity, balsamic aroma that is similar to Ginger. Its place as royalty comes from its exotic, peppery flavor and the fact that you can use Cardamom to naturally treat such a wide variety of issues and ailments.
In Ayurvedic medicine, Cardamom is touted for being tri-doshic because it’s good for balancing out the three doshas (in English this basically means Cardamom is good for *all the things* because it contains qualities that support the air, fire, and water elements of your body).
According to traditional Chinese medicine, Cardamom is good for both the lung and stomach meridians (“meridians” are the non-physical highways that energy travels along…these are the pathways acupuncture uses for treatments).
You guys, I will never tire of the “coincidences” of this research. It doesn’t come as a surprise to me that ancient medicinal modalities like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine have the same findings here. The plants are the plants, the science is the science, the research is the research. Turns out these old healing theories not only agree with each other, but are being supported by modern scientific findings and we are turning back towards these time-tested plants and herbs to support our health today.
Here are 5 ways to use Cardamom:
1. Gastrointestinal Health
If you or your child are experiencing tummy troubles, from an illness to simply overdoing it at dinner, dilute a few drops of Cardamom in some Fractionated Coconut Oil and rub it over your belly button. If you or a friend is suffering from morning sickness, you can use Cardamom the same way to ease the nausea. And you can take Cardamom internally (with a full glass of water) to support your gastro system, too.
Cardamom is one of the most expensive spices, behind Saffron and Vanilla. But you can sub in your Cardamom essential oil for the same wonderful warm, spicy aroma. Use Cardamom in the kitchen for curry dishes, traditional Indian sweets and teas, pastries, and sauces.
3. Clear Breathing & Respiratory Health
For everyone from adults to young babies, Cardamom is great for supporting the respiratory system. Create a salve* by melting Coconut Oil in a bowl over warm water; in a glass jar, add 6 parts Lavender, 3 parts Cardamom, 2 part Cypress, and 1 part Lime and then combine completely with the melted Coconut Oil. Let this mixture harden at room temperature or in the fridge. Use a teaspoon rubbed into your shoulders and back and chest to help open your airways and support clear breathing. (*Dilute more for smaller children and use stronger salves for adults.)
Yup, you read that right. You’re welcome. Ayurvedic medicine also holds Cardamom as a powerful aphrodisiac and claim it’s beneficial in treating impotence and erectile dysfunction. One of the chemical constituents of Cardamom is cineole, which increases blood flow around the body. Historically and in modern alternative therapies, Cardamom is used to offset low libido.
One of my favorite ways to use my essential oils is during meditation. Cardamom is great in the diffuser with citrus oils like Wild Orange or Lemongrass to create an atmosphere of calm focus. You can also use a couple drops of Cardamom diluted in Fractionated Coconut Oil on your chest and shoulders during your meditation session and use the warmth of this exotic spice to generate clarity and perspective. In Desire Mangandog’s book, I Am Fabulous: Blends for Emotional Well-Being, she recommends this oil in her Clarity blend and says, “Cardamom provides perspective on why you have been unclear. Awareness alone can create positive change. That understanding will prevent you from returning to old patterns that no longer serve you.”