Botanical Name: Elettaria cardamomum
Part Used: Dried fruit
Process: Steam Distillation
Plant Description: Native to Asian subtropics and particularly southern India. Wild and cultivated Cardamom plants grow in India, Sri Lanka, Laos, Guatemala, El Salvador and Central America; the essential oil is distilled primarily in India, Europe, Sri Lanka and Guatemala. Guatemalan Cardamom is regarded as being the highest quality. Much of the spice is grown in the northern Guatemalan highlands by small family owned farms around the city of Cobn and exported to the Middle East. The plants are large perennial reed-like herbs with blade-shaped leaves growing to a height of 12 feet or more. They grow prolifically in moist mountain jungles via horizontally spreading rhizomes and are easily cultivated by local inhabitants who clear away other growth to allow the Cardamom plants to proliferate. In their fourth year of growth, the plants flower and produce fruit. The seeds are enclosed in hulls which are ideally not removed until just before distillation in order to help retain the volatile oils contained in the seeds.
Oil Description: Colorless to pale golden yellow liquid that darkens when exposed to daylight. The aroma of Cardamom is extremely tenacious and is initially slightly medicinal, giving way to a warming, sweet-spicy bouquet with a woody-balsamic backnote.
Historical/Traditional Uses: Cardamom was supposedly first distilled in the 1540s by Valerius Cordus, a noted German botanist who was the author of one of the greatest pharmacopoeias in history. In addition to its long standing use in cooking, Cardamom has been used for at least several thousand years in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to treat digestive, urinary and pulmonary issues; in more recent times it has been employed extensively in the soap, perfume, and flavor industry.
Applications (Uses and Indications): In aromatherapy, Cardamom is indicated for loss of appetite, halitosis, nausea, indigestion, heartburn, intestinal cramping, etc.; helpful for mental fatigue and nervous tension. It has been employed in aphrodisiac preparations for its suave stimulating effect. In perfumery, Cardamom lends a warm, sweet and spicy note to florals such as rose. It blends well with bergamot, cedarwood, cinnamon, clove, coriander, frankincense, labdanum, orange, and ylang ylang, and imparts warmth to oriental and chypre bases.
Contraindications (Safety and Precautions): Cardamom essential oil is non-toxic, non-sensitizing and non-irritating.
Standard Safety Precautions: Always dilute essential oils before using. Keep essential oils out of the eyes and mucous membranes; in case of contact, DO NOT use water, instead place a drop or two of vegetable oil on a tissue to gently wipe out of eye or off area of contact. In severe cases, seek professional help immediately. Keep out of the reach of children. In case of ingestion, call 911 immediately.
The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made as to any medicinal value of this or any products from Ancient Ways Botanicals. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. For external use only. You are responsible for understanding the safe application of these products.