Cardamom is a member of the ginger family and popular in the culinary world today as a cooking spice It is also beneficial to the digestive and respiratory systems in a variety of ways. The essential oil comes from a steam distillation process of the seed. In aromatherapy, is distinct scent can promote a positive mood. Due to its high 1,8-cineole content, the essential oil helps promote clear breathing and respiratory health.
In aromatherapy, cardamom helps improve blood circulation to the lungs helping with breathing difficulties. Tests show diffusing cardamom essential oil also helps reduce stress and in promoting blood circulation in the body (Nitte University in Mangalore, India research).
The cardamom plant is a perennial, native to Southeast Asia. Though the plant is popular in several areas throughout the world, it is one of Guatemala’s top export products, and the labor-intensive harvesting process makes it one of the most expensive spices worldwide.
Traditional Indian sweets and teas make use of cardamom for its cool, minty aroma and flavor. Chewing the cardamom seeds is an excellent breath freshener. The flavors and aroma found in cardamom are due to the essential oil which is a favorite chewing gum ingredient.
Cardamom Essential Oil History
Also spelled Cardamon or Cardamum, Cardamom is probably one of the world’s oldest spices. We can trace its use to around 2000 BC. Ancient Egyptians used Cardamom for many medicinal purposes, in both rituals, and for embalming. Chewing cardamom pods was a way to help keep their breath minty and to help clean their teeth. Since cardamom has a sweet flavor, it was once thought to possess aphrodisiac properties.
Greeks and Romans made cardamom a main ingredient in perfumes for the because of its strong aroma. In cooking, cardamom is popular in both sweet and savory dishes in Scandinavia and Middle Eastern countries.
Historically, the medicinal use of cardamom goes back thousands of years for treating indigestion, asthma, and bad breath. The Koreans make a traditional cardamom tea for medicinal purposes.
Cardamom Essential Oil Uses
Today, we know cardamom has profound effects on the respiratory system due to its high 1,8-cineole content, which promotes clear breathing and respiratory health. dōTERRA extracts Cardamom essential oil Cardamom seeds grown in Guatemala. The primary benefits and uses of cardamom are:
- Diffuse or apply topically to promote feelings of clear breathing.
- Diffuse or inhale for a sense of openness and mental clarity.
- Promotes clear breathing and helps maintains respiratory health.
- In cooking, add to bread, smoothies, meats, and salads to enhance food flavor and aid digestion.
- Flavorful spice for cooking and baking for great Indian flavor.
- Helps alleviate occasional feelings of stomach discomfort and maintain overall gastrointestinal health.
- If having trouble with stomach gas, add 1 drop to water, or 1-3 drops to a veggie capsule. You can also massage the essential oil over the lower abdomen.
- Take a drop or two internally to help alleviate occasional feelings of stomach discomfort after over indulging in a meal.
- Use internally as part of a daily health regimen to support healthy gastrointestinal function.
- Apply to the chest while planting flowers or cutting grass.
- Delivers a cooling sensation on the skin.
- In cases where ginger and peppermint may be too strong for a child or sensitive individuals, use cardamom instead.
Directions for Use
You can diffuse Cardamom essential oil, rub it on your skin and take it internally.
- Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
- Internal: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid. You can also place two drops in a Veggie Capsule and take with water.
- Topically: Apply one to two drops to the desired area. You may want to dilute with Fractionated Coconut Oil or other natural oil to minimize any skin sensitivity.
As with all essential oils, please be aware of possible skin sensitivity. Keep Cardamom essential oil out of the reach of children. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician before using Cardamom oil.