The word Cardamom usually reminds us of Indian cuisine or perhaps even desserts from the Middle East or Scandinavia. Do you know that Cardamom offers plenty of other uses apart from just being a fragrant ingredient in delicious food? Check out some of the reasons why you should try Cardamom aromatherapy.
Origins of Cardamom
The plant originates from India where it has been used medicinally for thousands of years. It is also used to season food and in religious rituals. In Ayurvedic medicine, Cardamom has been used to treat various conditions that range from digestive issues to bad breath and even stress. It is thought to bring balance to all three energies, known as doshas, that circulate in the body to determine its physiological processes. Cardamom is a warm spice and has been used in India for a long time to increase digestive heat.
History of Cardamom
The main part of the Cardamom plant is its pod. It has a greenish tint and shaped like a football. The pod is often used in cooking but after the pod dries, the seeds are ground into a powder which is very commonly used. For Cardamom essential oil, it is also extracted from the seeds of the plant. Cardamom is currently the third most expensive and valuable spice after saffron and vanilla. It used to be developed in plantations by British colonists in the 1800s in its native Southern India region. In the early 1900s, Cardamom was introduced to Guatemala by a German businessman where it is considered even more valuable than coffee. Guatemala today, is the world’s largest producer and exporter of Cardamom.
Reasons to Use Cardamom in Aromatherapy
- Cardamom has a scent that is believed to improve focus and to strengthen mental function.
- It is considered as a calming tonic that can relax the mind and emotions and soothe nerves.
- When mixed with massage oils, Cardamom’s antiseptic properties can soothe muscles. This is useful when massaged onto the abdomen or belly to provide ease to an upset digestive system or stomach.
- Cardamom has a pleasant scent that can relieve nausea and vomiting that can be associated with pregnancy or chemotherapy.
- Its scent can help users to feel more grounded or focused.
- Cardamom is an aphrodisiac that can revive appetite. Its spicy scent helps to clear the mind and its earthiness can awaken our senses.
- The scent of Cardamom promotes respiratory health and can relieve coughs.
- In Ayurveda, Cardamom tea is used to treat depression. Its scent is known by many to improve mood.
Blending Cardamom with Other Oils
Cardamom can be blended with a variety of other oils such as cedar, bergamot, rose, clove, cinnamon, ylang ylang, and orange. You can experiment with this range of essential oils to achieve the right scent that suits your personal preferences. The blends can be used as a perfume or for aromatherapy. Always mix your preferred essential oils with a carrier oil to avoid putting them directly onto your skin which may cause adverse reactions.