A friend of spicy dishes, the essential oil of cardamom has great benefits that go well beyond the simple taste pleasure. It acts favourably on stress, the digestive sphere and the respiratory tract. Keep it always in your bag if a heavy meal is on the cards, or a wintery virus or simply, a difficult time ahead.
A little bit of history about cardamom essential oil
- Botanical name: Elettaria cardamomum
- Mode of extraction: distillation of grains through water vapour
- Active components: 1,8 cineole, alpha-terpenyl acetate
Cardamom was introduced in western Asia followed by the Mediterranean basin, while the Egyptians and Greeks recognised its aromatic virtues and used it in the production of perfumes.
Indians wisely put it to use to attenuate troubles of the digestive sphere or the respiratory tract.
In neighbouring China, cardamom was considered ideal for intestinal problems.
Much later, during the Middle-Ages, in Europe, cardamom was part of a mixture of spices used in the making of hippocras, made from red wine, sugar and spices.
Today, the “grain of angels” is used to make a precious essential oil that flavours many dishes as well as to maintain a healthy intestine and respiratory tract.
Around the world:
In Turkey, it is very common to add a grain of cardamom in every cup of tea or coffee to neutralise the effect of caffeine.
In Southern Asia, it is used in dental infections, sore throats, coughs and other pulmonary problems, when suffering stomach pain, to ease digestion and in cases of colic. It is also considered as a good general tonic and has aphrodisiac properties. It helps to neutralise the smell of garlic when chewed after a meal.
In Europe, it is mainly used in gingerbread and Scandinavian cooking.
High concentration in 1,8 cineole, in terphenyl acetate and linalol.
- Terpenic oxides: 1,8 cineole (20-25%)
- Terpenic esters: terpenyl acetate (> 30%), linalyle acetate (5-6%)
- Monoterpenes (7%) : sabinene, myrcene, limonene, alpha et beta-pinenes
- Monoterpenols (7%) : linalol (3-4%), alpha-terpineol
Cardamom essential oil: properties and usages
- Digestive tonic: it stimulates appetite and aids digestion, favouring the expulsion of intestinal gas and stimulating appetite +++
- Neuro-muscular antispasmodic (terpenyle acetate) this molecule acts at the level of the nervous system and intervenes in the process of the triggering of spasms +++
- Anti-catarrh, expectorant (1,8-cineole) it frees the respiratory tract and liquifies bulky secretions ++
- Antiseptic, anti-infectious, feeble antibacterial and vermifuge, especially against intestinal parasites.
- Mental stimulant transmits clarity and joy
- Encourages spiritual development, brings inspiration and helps develop some perceptions
- Harmonises emotions and dissolves mental rigidity (gets rid of old beliefs, transforms mental pictures, helps to free oneself of collective ideas and thoughts that bring stagnation…)
- Helps to assimilate in greater depth acquired knowledge
- Allows absorbing and overcoming choc, wounds and traumas
- A blockage between chakras of the solar plexus and the neck caused by a difficulty in changing one’s thought process: cardamom opens the 5th chakra and strengthens its connection with the 4th and 3rd.
Why use Cardamom Essential Oil?
- Digestive, anti-spasmodic tonic: in cases of difficult digestion and intestinal gas.
- Carminative: when lacking appetite.
- Anti-parasite: when plagued by intestinal worms
- Expectorant: for the bronchi, the throat and the nose
- Anti-inflammatory et analgesic: when suffering menstrual pain, urinary tract spasms or infection.
- Nerve soothing: when experiencing stress and anxiety.
How to use it?
Oral route / skin / Bath / hair / Cosmetics / Diffusion
Cardamom essential oil: practical advice
- Bronchitis, cough / on your skin
Dilute 70 drops of cardamom EO (expectorant) and Ravintsara or Eucalyptus globulus (antiviral/decongestant) in 30ml of VO. Apply 6 to 7 drops of this mixture on the chest, throat, and upper back by rubbing gently. Then, repeat several times a day.
- Bloating, flatulence / on your skin
Dilute 70 drops of cardamom EO in 30ml of VO.
Apply 5 to 6 drops of this mixture on your abdomen and/or lower abdomen. Then, massage in a circular motion to allow the oil to penetrate the skin.
- Bloating, flatulence, slow and difficult digestion
From the age of 8 onwards: place 1 drop of cardamom EO (anti-spasmodic) and Peppermint or lemon on a neutral tablet or in a teaspoonful of olive oil. Take 1 tablet punctually after a heavy meal, 1 or twice a day for 7 days.
From the age of 8 onwards: by cutaneous route, 1drop of cardamom diluted in 4 drops of VO. Then apply by massage of the abdomen 3 times a day.
Cardamom EO is much appreciated in cooking and is part of the composition of curry. It flavours both salty and sweet oriental dishes (tarts, cakes, stewed fruit, fruit salads, gingerbread…).
A few ideas
Dilute 1 or 2 drops of cardamom EO in a little honey, milk, cream or oil to:
- Make an aromatic oil that will improve vegetables, rice…
- Prepare honey perfumed with cardamom to sweeten tea, desserts, cakes.
- Flavour dishes with fruit, such as cooked apples: compotes, crumbles…
- Mix with other essential oils such as cinnamon and ginger to make a spicy syrup or gingerbread.
- Well-being diffusion
Pour a few drops of cardamom EO and a few drops of wild lavender EO or citrus EO in your diffuser.
Enjoy the spicy, vanilla perfume of cardamom and you will feel relaxed and content. Cardamom can also be used to purify ambient air.
To harmonise emotions: Diffuse 5 drops of cardamom + 5 drops of true lavender.
To develop mental clarity: mix 10 ml of macadamia oil + 0.5 ml of cardamom. Then apply the mixture on the abdomen, the solar plexus and the neck.
To develop mental clarity and free oneself of some pictures and thoughts: apply one drop of cardamom EO on the abdomen (diluted in 3 drops of VO), the solar plexus; also the neck chakra and the coronal chakra and smell the bottle regularly.
All routes are possible: cutaneous route, oral route, inhalation and diffusion.
Cardamom essential oil is irritating to the skin. Dilute it at 5% in VO before using it on the skin (5% of EO and 95% of VO).
Cosmetic: no known usage
Do not use cardamom essential oil if:
- suffering from gallstones,
- suffering from convulsions,
- you are being treated with chemotherapy or by medication with a feeble therapeutic margin.
Do not use it for a prolonged duration.
Not recommended for the first 4 months of pregnancy.
Medical advice: make sure you ask your doctor’s opinion before using cardamom if you suffer from asthma or epilepsy (epileptogenic in high doses)
Cardamom essential oil contains a few biochemical allergenic components:
- linalol (≤ 8 %) ;
- limonene (≤ 4 %) ;
- geraniol (≤ 2 %) ;
- geranial + neral (≤ 2 %).
Note: it is preferable to test an essential oil before using it (two drops in the crook of your elbow during at least 24 hours to check if there is any reaction).
Cardamom essential oil is very appreciated in cooking, it stimulates digestion and is antispasmodic. A general tonic, it is also anti-catarrh and useful in cases of bronchial problems. It brings clarity and joy to people who wish to go forward on a spiritual path and helps to rid oneself of inculcated mental images while enabling one to listen more deeply to one’s intuition.