Cardamom Essential Oil: Uses, Benefits, and Blends
One of nature’s wonders, cardamom essential oil is not only emotionally balancing and restorative but has wonderful effects on both mood and digestion. As ever, since there are lots to say about this oil's benefits, we have also included some cardamom essential oil blend recipe ideas at the end.
Scientific Name: Elettaria cardamomum
Composition of Oil: 1,8-Cineole, a-Terpinyl Acetate, Linalyl acetate, (+)-Limonene, Linalool
Plant Part: Seeds
Scent: Spicy, sweet, and woody
Perfumery Note: Middle
Initial Aroma Strength: Medium
Extraction Method: Steam Distilled
Suitable Blending Oils: Rose, Orange, Bergamot, Cinnamon Bark, Clove Bud, Caraway, and Cedarwood
Beautiful, enchanting cardamom essential oil is wonderful for digestive and emotional healing. Let’s take a look at its chemistry to get some hints at other ways we might be able to use cardamom essential oil dynamically.
Cardamom Essential Oil Benefits: Component Breakdown
- 1,8-Cineole - acts as an antispasmodic for the respiratory system. It soothes conditions such as asthma and bronchitis, but as it slows breathing, it should not be used close to small children’s faces.
- a-Terpinyl Acetate - May contribute to cardamom’s antioxidant benefits.
- Linalyl acetate - Soothing, relaxing and uplifting.
- (+)- Limonene - appears mainly in essential oils that have been expressed from citrus fruit rinds, but also in some conifer resins. It is very good at cleaning things, able to dissolve oily residues, so is often found in cleaning products. In the same way, it has mild effects on thick conditions in the body, like phlegm, and can sometimes be indicated for bronchitis. Limonene also has a vital part to play in the insecticidal actions of trees.
- Linalool - A component appearing in many essential oils, clinical trials demonstrate linalool to have anti-inflammatory and anti-depressive properties.
According to the Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Third edition, Volume 1 – Foundations and Materia Medica, by Salvatore Battaglia, cardamom essential oil benefits are antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cephalic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, general tonic, stimulant, and stomachic.
Historical Uses of Cardamom Essential Oil
According to Elizabeth Ashley, in The Complete Guide to Clinical Aromatherapy and The Essential Oils of The Physical Body, historical cardamom essential oil uses include:
- Abdominal pains
- Urinary retention
- Digestive problems esp. Heartburn
Introducing Cardamom Essential Oil
Cardamom essential oil is extracted from the seeds of a leafy plant indigenous to Southeast Asia, which is now cultivated mainly in Guatemala, Malaysia and Tanzania. The herbaceous perennial belongs to the same family as ginger and can grow to as large as 2-5m in height.
The seeds, which are taken out of the pods, betray a secret of cardamom essential oils healing. Look closely, they appear like tiny brains in the palm of your hand, revealing the secrets of its action on the mind.
Energetics of Cardamom Essential Oil
Cardamom essential oil has an entirely balancing action, almost working in polarity. It is relaxing yet invigorating; reassuring yet inquisitive; decisive yet flexible.
Few plants find their way into every ancient pharmacopeia, yet hieroglyphs from as early as 700BCE tell of how the ancient Egyptians added cardamon to their food to make it easier to digest. According to the Ebers Papyrus, just as we do today, they chewed on the seeds to freshen their breath. Traditional Chinese Medicine tells how it regulates the flow of qi through the body and harmonizes the flow of shen.
Roughly translated, the shen relates to the spirit of a person, their character, their personality and their will. Disharmony in shen relates to emotional and mental disturbances. Harmonizing shen, cardamom essential oil makes you feel happy, positive and calm. It has a very leveling energy. Its best keyword would be “contentment”. The ability to sit down for a while and relish how far you have come. It has the feeling of satisfaction of a job well done and ticked off the list.
Digestive Support From Cardamom Essential Oil
As ever we can see how this calmness, this stability, this gentleness on the physical body might alleviate a churning tummy. Gently, cardamom essential oil settles nausea and vomiting, eases flatulence and is carminative to spasmodic conditions.
People suffering from nervous indigestion of conditions such as acid reflux may find cardamom a lovely help to their condition.
Of course, cardamom has a huge advantage over many of the other pungent digestive oils, such as coriander (Coriandrum sativum), cumin (Cuminum cyminum), turmeric (Curcuma longa) or dill (Anethum graveolens), that can leave you smelling like you spent the day working at the local curry house; cardamom has a rich, sweet, radiant, almost floral fragrance about it.
A beautiful way to conjure cardamom essential oil benefits in your mind is to imagine having been to a Bedouin feast on your holidays. The ferocious sun has gone to bed but the heat of the day still hangs lazily in the desert air. Your dinner has been rich, spicy and fruity, accompanied by lashings of wine. It’s romantic, heady and exotic, and now comes out the dark, thick Turkish coffee laced with cardamom; languid, seductive and delicious. Work seems far away, bed feels very close and yet you will be calm, relaxed yet wakeful. A very good aphrodisiac intoxicant.
Cardamom Essential Oil in Ayurveda
Ayurvedic medicine bases its actions on how the plant is likely to influence the three doshas.
Cardamom Essential Oil and Vata Dosha
Vata dosha conditions tend to be cold, dry, brittle, light and airy. From a mental perspective, it's like the air steals the memory and makes thoughts too light to stick, so when vata dosha is prevalent, a person becomes forgetful and scattered. Their skin becomes dry and flaky, their emotional stability deserts them, making them fearful, sad and teary.
Cardamom Essential Oil and Pitta Dosha
Pitta dosha is hot, sharp, oily, so thoughts are fast and incisive, but words can also be cutting. The skin is reactive and greasy, sensitive, inflamed and sore. Genito-urinary conditions in particular are fiercely hot and spiteful. Digestion is fast, fluid and aggressive, often resulting in diarrhea.
Cardamom Essential Oil and Kapha Dosha
Kapha dosha is slow, heavy, plodding, stable and reliable, but thick, solid and rigid. In cases of excess Kapha, we’ll see poor digestion, constipation, lethargy, sluggish lymphatic function and thick mucus conditions like phlegm or catarrh.
Cardamom is an important spice in Ayurveda because it is considered to be tridoshic - that is, it acts positively on all three doshas.
It warms Vata and nourishes its dryness. Flaky, brittle skin is nurtured and thoughts are calmed and grounded.
It adds the metabolic fire of Agni to Kapha conditions, melting them and making them more fluid. It softens and dissolves mucus, allowing it to flow away. It invigorates the Kapha personality, so beloved for being steady and full of stamina, but cardamom essential oil gives them a bit more fire in their belly to go faster and be a bit more dynamic.
If anything, be slightly careful of using cardamon on pitta dosha, because it simply pushes their heat up. Whilst it will slow their hurrying, take the edge off their sharp tongues and even soothe their burning bits...it is still hot. Use particularly carefully with menopausal ladies who are hot flashing. They won’t thank you for that extra heat.
Cardamom Essential Oil’s Benefits for Appetite
Clearly, cardamom spice has a mouthwatering effect of appetite, but this can be seen through the doshas too. Vata people forget to eat. They are too flighty, too forgetful and are flibberty gibbets. Pitta people couldn’t ever imagine a crime so heinous as skipping a meal! People with dominant pitta doshas are hungry all the time and enjoy every rich and spicy food you can imagine. Kaphas love food, especially pastries and stodgy stuff, but the fat sits heavy with them so they struggle to digest it, accumulate it round their middles, and then struggle to go to the toilet.
Cardamom essential oil encourages appetite in vatas, reduces it in pittas, soothing the violent attacks they inflict on their digestive systems, and just makes things travel a bit easier through the Kapha system. This applies either in abdominal massage oils, or even a drop on an aromapendant round the neck. Cardamom essential oil volatiles are strange and mysterious things.
Cardamom Essential Oil for Skin
Use cardamom essential oil for hot, reactive conditions such as sunburn or rosacea, but neutralize its heat with cooling oils such as rose (Rosa damascena), neroli (Citrus auriantum var amara) or blissfully soothing yarrow (Achillea millefolium).
Cardamom Essential Oil Uses: For Wholesale Purposes
Cardamom Essential oil Uses for Aromatherapists
This essential oil has a high volume of 1-8 cineole making it wonderful as an antibiotic agent. As suggested, cardamom's magic comes mostly from its actions on digestion and on the emotions but also has a strong action on the respiratory system. Given its antispasmodic nature and its ability to cut through mucus, it is an unusual but effective choice for coughs.
Be mindful of the safety advice from Tisserand and Young 2013. As an oil high in 1,8 cineole, cardamom essential oil has the potential to slow respiration, so only use on children’s backs, and avoid use close to their faces.
Cardamom Essential oil Benefits for Soapmakers
Again, most important is that it makes you feel happy, relaxed and content. It seems little, but actually, who wouldn’t want that?!
Cardamom Essential Oil Uses For Natural Perfumery
The wealth of the ancient spice routes was ever enhanced by Greece’s love of fragrant ingredients for their rich perfumes. Today, nothing has changed, just as they loved cardamom two thousand years ago, it still stands at the heart of chypre and oriental perfumes designed to draw the blinds in the evening and seduce.
Cardamom essential oil has a rich, spicy resinous flavor which is profoundly sexy and very masculine.
Cardamom notably appears in two important men’s fragrances. Pour L’homme was the only Chanel men’s fragrance to hit the market during Gabrielle Chanel’s lifetime. Launched in 1955, you first discern lemon, neroli and petitgrain in a pretty citrus triad, but then the arresting cardamom heart note stops you in your tracks, before drying down to reveal raunchy cedarwood, oakmoss and vetiver at the base.
The Cartier fragrance house uses cardamom essential oil in their deliciously exotic Declaration d’Un Soir. This unusual fragrance for men is made of roses but is made less flowery by the hot spices of pepper, cardamom, nutmeg and then smoothed by a hint of seductive sandalwood.
For women’s natural fragrances inspiration, why not try emulating Jo Malone’s enchanting Gardenia, Cardamom and Myrrh?
Cardamom Essential Oil Blends: DIY Recipes
Cardamom Essential Oil Recipe for Indigestion
- 10ml Grapeseed carrier oil (Vitis vinifera)
- 1 drop Cardamom essential oil (Elettaria cardamomum)
- 1 drop Roman Chamomile essential oil (Anthemis nobilis)
- 1 drop Ginger essential oil (Zingiber officinalis)
Method of use: Massage over the upper abdomen before and after each meal, and as and when needed
Safety: Not suitable for use on small children or in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
Soothing Cardamom Essential Oil Recipe for Sunburn
- 50ml Aqueous Cream
- 3 drops Cardamom essential oil (Elettaria cardamomum)
- 2 drop Peppermint essential oil (Mentha piperita)
- 3 drops Yarrow essential oil (Achillea millefolium)
Method of use: Use as and when required.
Safety: Cardamom is high in the constituent 1,8 cineole, which can slow respiration in minors, so try not to use too close to very small children’s faces. Not suitable for use in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
Romantic Cardamom Essential Oil Diffuser Blend
- 1 drop Cardamom essential oil (Elettaria cardamomum)
- 1 drop Rose Geranium essential oil (Pelargonium roseum x asperum)
- 1 drop Ylang Ylang essential oil (Cananga odorata)
Safety: Not designed for topical use.
Since cardamom essential oil is high in 1,8 cineole, be careful not to apply it near small children’s faces. 1,8 cineole can slow respiration in minors. Best to apply onto the backs of under 6’s.
Why Choose Vinevida?
At VINEVIDA, we love botanicals and the planet they come from. We believe in stocking the best at affordable prices and supplying to the discerning, which is why we are also members of both the Alliance of International Aromatherapists and the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy. In recognition of our excellent standard of product, we are proud to hold a 2021 Certificate of Registration as a Cosmetic Products Establishment with the U.S. Drugs and Food Administration.
Our joy at seeing people make beautiful things means we stock from the smallest amounts to the largest. Our wholesale essential oil prices begin with our smallest carrier oil of 10ml to our largest of 396lb, meaning any manufacturing company can afford to stock as many or as few oils their business can accommodate without running the risk of spoilage of some of nature’s most precious commodities. Why not see if you can save money by buying your cardamom essential oil in bulk?
Don’t forget too, we like to look after our customers with reasonable prices and excellent customer service and reward the loyal ones with money off discounts over the year.
Why not check out if you qualify for our loyalty scheme and start saving today with an environmentally friendly choice of oil for skin, hair, massage oils, and soapmaking. Add VINEVIDA Cardamom Essential Oil to your cart today.