An aromatic tall 2-4 metre perennial, reed-like herb with silk-like blade leaves. 1-2 years after planting, flowering begins between the blades on long stems of flowers with purple tips, followed by a 3 sided yellow-green pod. The fruit pod contains a compact condensed pod of aromatic brownish-black seeds, approx. 15-20. The seeds are collected and steam distilled when the pods are harvested before reaching maturity. 5 years are required for the cardamom plant to reach optimum productivity, with a productive lifespan of up to fifteen years.
Cardamom is a universal domestic spice and is also a member of the useful Ginger family. Used extensively in India, Europe and Middle Eastern countries. It has also been used in both Chinese and Indian medicine for over 3,000 years.
Rich in nutritional and healing properties, It has been suggested, that Cardamom is the third most expensive spice in the world, after saffron and vanilla. It was considered the “queen of spices” due of its delicious aroma and high market value. There are two main origins for Cardamom - India and Guatemala. Choice is purely individual, as long as the fragrance of essential oil has two characteristic : the freshness of citrus notes and the warmth of spicy notes.
May be particularly helpful for the digestive system, helps soothe colic, cramp, flatulence, dyspepsia and nausea - even nausea in pregnancy. It warms the stomach and helps with heartburn, indigestion and vomiting. Aids in easing coughs, bad breath, and alleviate the pain of toothaches. May help relieve mental fatigue and nervous strain, increase clarity, concentration and sensuality, combining refreshing, uplifting, and stimulating the mind. Extensively used as a fragrance in soaps, cosmetics and perfumes.
Safety Precautions : Flammable.
Blends well with : Bergamot, Black Pepper, Caraway, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Cloves, Frankincense, Labdanum, Neroli, Orange, Rose, and Ylang Ylang. Spice and Citrus oils are favourable, and Oriental bases, in general.
FACT : In India and Pakistan, it was used to communicate with the gods: The capsules were burned as incense, along with sandalwood, during religious rites. Cardamom was also used as an active antidote for scorpion sting and snake bites. Also, the seeds and its oil, helped to treat respiratory ailments, gastrointestinal disorders, and oral infections.