- Distillation Method:
- Country of Origin:
- Plant Part:
- Latin Name:
- Elettaria cardamomum
- Certified Organic
About the Oil: This essential oil is one of the delightful surprises in our collection. An interesting aromatic for the perfumer, it is also often requested by those making flavored syrups for coffee and other drinks. Therapeutically revered as a digestive tonic, Cardamom essential oil is also a potent aphrodisiac.
Note: CO2 extracts generally include some larger molecules compared to their steam-distilled counterparts. Some may not be suitable for use in a nebulizing diffuser (unless blended with a thinner oil) – though most will be just fine in an ‘ultrasonic’ unit. Learn more about CO2 extracts on our Making Essential Oils page.
Drops per mlBlending Tips
ABOUT THE PLANT
Native to Sri Lanka and Southern India, Cardamom is reed-like perennial herb that grows to heights of 13 feet with small yellow flowers and violet tips producing small yellow fruits that contain the reddish-brown seeds used to make essential oil. Known as 'grains of paradise' in the Middle East, these seeds serve as the basis for an array of traditional culinary Indian and European dishes.
ABOUT THE OIL
The same warming properties found in the spice also make the essential oil useful in massage oil formulas. The lovely aroma is found to be uplifting, invigorating and refreshing, adding a little spice on its own or to blends. Our Cardamom essential oil is CO2 ‘Total' extracted. The CO2 distillation process works best in relation with this herb to preserve its warm, spicy nature. Other processes can render the oil 'flat' and ruin its complexity.
Cardamom has been used for over 3,000 years in Chinese and traditional Indian (Ayurvedic) medical practices and was adopted by Greek physicians in the 4th century BC, including Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine. The essential oil has traditionally been used as a tonic to the digestive, pulmonary and urinary systems. It has also been used for centuries as a component of many sensual aphrodisiac blends.
THERAPEUTICS DESCRIBED BY AROMATHERAPY SPECIALISTS
From Chrissie Wildwood’s The Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy1:
- Nerve Tonic
From Salvatore Battaglia’s The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy2:
- General tonic effect on the body
- Digestive aid
- Balances the nervous system
- Combat nervous exhaustion
- Warming & enthusiastic
- Instills inspiration
PROPERTIES OF CARDAMOM REPORTED IN PEER-REVIEWED RESEARCH
- Lowers blood pressure6
- Pain reliever8
SUMMARY OF RESEARCH STUDIES
- Cardamom essential oil showed comparable antioxidant activity to common synthetic antioxidants in vitro. It also exhibited strong antimicrobial activity.3
- An in vitro study reported that cardamom fights human pathogenic bacteria with the same effectiveness as prescription antibiotics.4
- Ethanol and acetone extracts of cardamom exhibited strong antibacterial activity against numerous bacterial strains that are known to have a role in the development of dental cavities, including Streptococcus mutans, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae.5
- In a clinical trial with patients diagnosed with stage 1 hypertension, cardamom powder was administered twice daily over a 3-month period and was found to significantly decrease systolic, diastolic and mean blood pressure and reduce blood-clotting activity. The clinical subjects also exhibited a substantial increase in antioxidant status.6
- A study in rats showed that cardamom essential oil can significantly reduce the development of gastric ulcers from experimental administration of ethanol and aspirin.7
- Cardamom extract was found to significantly reduce pain-related behaviors in mice.8
1 Wildwood, Chrissie. Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy. Healing Arts Press, 2000.
2 Battaglia, Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. International Centre of Holystic Aromatherapy, 2003.
3 Singh, Gurdip, et al. “Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activities of Essential Oil and Various Oleoresins of Elettaria Cardamomum (Seeds and Pods).” Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, vol. 88, no. 2, 2007, pp. 280–289., doi:10.1002/jsfa.3087.
4 Arora, D. S., and G. J. Kaur. “Antibacterial Activity of Some Indian Medicinal Plants.” Journal of Natural Medicines, vol. 61, no. 3, July 2007, pp. 313–317
5 Aneja, K. R. and Joshi, Radhika. "Antimicrobial Activity of Amomum subulatum and Elettaria cardamomum Against Dental Caries Causing Microorganisms." Ethnobotanical Leaflets, vol. 2009, iss. 7, article 3., 2009
6 Verma, S. K., et al. “Blood Pressure Lowering, Fibrinolysis Enhancing and Antioxidant Activities of Cardamom (Elettaria Cardamomum).” Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics, vol. 46, no. 6, Dec. 2009, pp. 503–506.
7 Jamal, A., et al. “Gastroprotective Effect of Cardamom, Elettaria Cardamomum Maton. Fruits in Rats.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 103, no. 2, 2006, pp. 149–153., doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.07.016.
8 Kumar, Manish. “A Review on Analgesic: From Natural Source.” International Journal of Pharmaceutical & Biological Archives, vol. 1, no. 2, 2010, pp. 95–100.
Indicated for problems associated with the earth element. Ideal for persons burdened by worries and by responsibilities that test our endurance.
- Diffuser, steam inhalation. A blend with thyme may help to relieve lung congestion.
- Rub on the stomach, solar plexus, or bottoms of feet. Use with a carrier oil to make a massage blend.
- Adding a few drops while cooking can add wonderful flavor, although given the potency of the oil, one or two drops should suffice.
Cardamom essential oil's aroma is noted for its uplifting qualities that can bring calm and clarity. This CO2 oil is deep yellow, rich and of medium viscosity primarily of a middle note that has the aroma of freshly dried cardamom pods. It has a rich and complex aroma: warm and moderately spicy, it hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, orange oil and camphor upfront, followed by menthol, and a slight herbaceous undertone.
Cardamom blends well with other oils and is not generally used alone.
Cardamom essential oil is a non-toxic, non-sensitizing, non-irritant if used correctly and in proper dosage. If ingesting the oil, consultation with a healthcare professional is recommended. Always test a small amount of essential oil first for sensitivity or allergic reaction.
If pregnant or breastfeeding, please use under a doctor's care.