Cardamom – Sweet and Spicy

cardamom podsCardamom. It may be new to you, or you may have enjoyed it in Indian cooking. It is in the same plant family as spicy ginger, but with a sweetness more like cinnamon.

Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) was well-known in ancient times. Egyptians added it to perfumes and incense while Romans used it after they over-indulged at a feast. Currently you will find cardamom used in cooking for its spicy-sweet taste as well as its ability to ease digestive problems.

In modern times we have shown that the Romans had the right idea using cardamom to benefit the digestive system. Research was performed to test the essential oil of cardamom on gastric ulcer lesions. The oil significantly inhibited the lesions and is considered protective to the stomach. It is also used in therapy for heartburn, dyspepsia, gas, nausea and as a laxative.

The essential oil offers a warm note to a perfume and is considered an aphrodisiac with energizing properties. It would be a good choice to diffuse in a burner on Valentine’s Day. Or it can be part of a blend. “Any of the following essences may be used to perfume the room: patchouli, rose, jasmine, clove, sandalwood, cinnamon, cardamom – all are …conducive to the fantasy…Allow your imagination to be moved by the heat and the fragrance.” You can also use equal parts sandalwood and cardamom, or try this blend:
Love and Romance
3 drops blood orange (Citrus sinensis) essential oil
2 drops cardamom essential oil
2 drops cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) essential oil
1 drop rose (Rosa damascena) absolute