"Cardamom gives us wisdom when we are overburdened with responsibilities, when we need to tap into our generosity of spirit to allow our heart to be open and expansive in order to be gracious in our dealings with others," writes aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood in Aromatherapy For the Soul.
Worwood says the emotional benefits of cardamom essential oil (Elettaria cardamomum) are to encourage clarity, concentration, direction, motivation, straightforwardness, enthusiasm, confidence, and courage.
Plant family: Zingiberaceae
Production: Steam distilled from the dried ripe seeds of the perennial cardamon herb.
Aroma: Spicy, woody, sweet.
Perfume/Aromatic note: Middle
Is cardamom safe to use during pregnancy? Possibly not. Consult a professional.
Is cardamom essential oil safe for children? The high 1,8 cineole content of cardamon essential oil may cause CNS (central nervous system) and breathing problems in young children, according to Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition. Some sources recommend using the oil only with children over age 5.
Cautions: Do not use cardamon on or near the face of infants and young children.
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: The scent of cardamom is emotionally invigorating. It eases stress and anxiety and has aphrodisiac properties.
Aromatherapy for Dummies: Cardamom is an invigorating oil and an aphrodisiac. The essential oil may help ease digestive problems, coughs, muscle spasms, and swelling caused by inflammation.
The Heart of Aromatherapy: Use cardamom for respiratory support, clearing mucous and congestion, reducing swelling, soothing sore muscles and joints, encouraging circulation and warmth, supporting digestion, easing nausea, and feeling confident, energized, and uplifted.
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Cardamom may help relieve indigestion, flatulence, nausea, gastric migraine, constipation, IBS and some other digestive disorders, muscle cramps and strains, muscle spasm, bronchial congestion, exhaustion, and mental fatigue. The oil is strengthening and fortifying.
375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols: Cardamom essential oil is a tonic and stimulant beneficial for the stomach.
The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition): Use cardamon to help relieve bad breath, colic, stomach cramps, indigestion, flatulence, heartburn, vomiting, mental fatigue, and nervous strain.
Aromatherapy For Healing the Spirit: In Traditional Chinese Medicine cardamom stimulates the flow of digestive Qi and helps relieve indigestion, nausea, abdominal distention, colic, hiccups, and flatulence. This uplifting oil can help relieve poor concentration, overthinking, and worry, especially when they are combined with nervous exhaustion.
Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume 2: Psychologically, cardamom promotes self-confidence, courage, emotional stability, and integration. Physically, the essential oil relaxes hypertonic/tense and warms cold conditions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the essential function of the oil is to nourish the Heart Blood, regulate the Qi, and harmonize the Shen.
The Essential Guide to Aromatherapy and Vibrational Healing: Spiritually, cardamom helps in receiving channeled messages. Mentally, the oil reduces mental fatigue, improves thought processes, and offers mental clarity. Emotionally, the essential oil helps you align with the ability to integrate everything happening around you. This digestive oil assists you in digesting life and in realizing you only need keep what nourishes you emotionally and mentally and release what no longer serves your higher good.
Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Cardamom promotes generosity and graciousness with others. The oil is especially useful for the second chakra to promote creativity and sensuality, to warm the emotions, and to help us see the general goodness in people.
Essential Oils Handbook for Aromatherapy Practice: In ayurvedic aromatherapy, cardamom is sweet, pungent, and hot. It decreases all three doshas.
Rocky Mountain Oils suggests the following uses for cardamom:
Joint Care Oil
Pour the arnica oil into a 2-ounce glass bottle. Add the essential oils. Close bottle and shake gently. Massage a little of the blend onto joints as needed.
Source: The Heart of Aromatherapy
Combine ingredients in a dark glass bottle. Shake and use a little of the blend on damp skin after a shower or bath. Source: 150 Ways to Use Essential Oils from Eden's Garden
Upset Tummy Inhaler
Photo Credit: Chhe, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons