Cardamom is popular as a culinary spice for its warmth and pungency, but very few people know about its many therapeutic benefits. I fell in love with cardamom when a group of small-scale farmers and distillers in Ecuador gave me a sample to try. Since then, it has been one of my favorite oils, and I have used it as a key ingredient in many of my aromatherapy products including Fiesta Blend
, Romance Blend
, Memoria Blend, Headache Begone Roll-On
and Digestive Body Oil
. Here’s why.
What is cardamom?
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) is a perennial herb that is cultivated in south India and Sri Lanka. The plant belongs to the same family as ginger, and shares the same “warming” properties of the aromatic root. Cardamom was one of the major spices traded between civilizations, and the herb traveled via the Middle East to Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Today, it is widely used in Asian, North African and Middle Eastern cuisines, and its medicinal properties have been mentioned in ancient Vedic texts, which date back to 3000 years!
While the Egyptians used cardamom in perfumes and incense, Dioscorides
, the Greek physician, pharmacologist, and botanist, described its use in the treatment of sciatica, coughs, spasm, abdominal pains and the retention of urine. In India, cardamom is traditionally used as a digestive aid, as a spice added to food, and on its own as a medicament. However, its most widespread — and by far most interesting — use is as that of an aphrodisiac. 
Cardamom Essential Oil – Uses in Aromatherapy
Despite its strong and pungent fragrance, Cardamom essential oil
is a non-toxic and gentle oil, that is at once mysterious and exotic. 
Cardamom essential oil’s effect on neurotransmitters is very much like pharmaceutical antiemetics, which makes it very effective against nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy and chemotherapy. 
The relaxant effects of cardamom essential oil come from its mild local anesthetic action, which makes the oil very useful in the management of strong intestinal cramps, common cold, and bronchial ailments. A blend of Cardamom, German Chamomile, Fennel, and Ginger oils can relieve symptoms of colic in infants. 
Cardamom Essential Oil for Digestive Problems
Cardamom’s potent carminative and antispasmodic properties help provide relief against indigestion, nausea, abdominal distension, colic, and flatulence, while its relaxant properties can provide a quick fix to annoying hiccups.
To alleviate digestive discomfort, combine five drops of Cardamom
, five drops of Orange
, and five drops of Ginger
essential oils with one fluid ounce of Carrier Oil
. Apply the blend to the abdomen area and massage clockwise. For best results, apply a warm wet towel and a hot water bottle over the area. Rest for 15 minutes and feel your tummy slowly relax and heal itself.
Cardamom Essential Oil for the Nervous System
Cardamom has been described as an effective aid for headache relief, and a gentle tonic for the nervous system. It is also recommended for nervous exhaustion and depression because it has the dual ability to calm and sooth during phases of nervous tension, and enhance concentration during periods of sluggishness.
Cardamom Essential Oil for Emotional Well-Being
Are you burdened with worries? Has stress affected your ability to focus and concentrate? Do you find yourself lost in thoughts and second-guessing everything? Cardamom is excellent for days when you find yourself emotionally overwhelmed and drained, which may in fact be symptoms of nervous exhaustion.
Cardamom essential oil can help you unwind and strengthen your resolve in the face of challenges and responsibility — especially the sort that tests your endurance. Use the oil to enhance positive attributes such as clarity, direction, motivation, enthusiasm, confidence, courage, and purpose; and counteract negative attributes like apathy, confusion, inflexibility, intolerance, unreasonableness, sluggishness, and rigidity.
Cardamom Essential Oil for Sexual Health
Gabriel Mojay, in his Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, says that at a more profound level, we can think of cardamom oil’s aphrodisiac qualities as a means to revive our “appetite for life”.
The spicy scent of cardamom stimulates the mind into clarity, yet is subtly sexual in nature, awaking and enlivening the sensual side of a person. The erotic nature of this oil can be used to ignite dormant passions in relationships and encourage intimacy by removing barriers of frigidity and loss of libido.
Have you tried Cardamom essential oil? Tell us how it helped you!
 Aromatherapy: An A-Z: The Most Comprehensive Guide to Aromatherapy Ever Published
 Medical Aromatherapy: Healing with Essential Oils
 Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Practice
 The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy
 Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit: Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance with Essential Oils
Related aromatherapy articles:Fragances for Love
© 2013, Cristina Proano-Carrion,
This information is based on traditional use of aromatherapy and it does not intend to diagnose or treat any condition. This information should not be used as a substitute for medical counseling with a health care professional. No part of this article may be reproduced in whole or in part without the explicit written permission of Aromandina.