(Ellettaria cardamom urn)

Family: Zingiberaceae

Description: Cardamom is perennial, reedlike herb with long, blade-shaped leaves and yellow flowers with purple tips, which are followed by oblong red-brown or green seedpods. The essential oil is steam-distilled from the dried, ripe seeds.

Countries of origin: India, Sri Lanka, Guatemala

Characteristics: Cardamom has warm, sweet, spicy top notes and woody, balsamic undertones. It blends well with most other spices, citruses and florals, and also with frankincense, sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli, cedarwood and rosewood.

Main therapeutic properties: Antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, digestive, diuretic, rubefacient, stimulant, stomachic, tonic.


Cardamom is one of the best overall tonic essential oils. As well as having a general overall tonic effect on the body, it is a good tonic of the nerves and the subtle energies. Cardamom is indicated for both digestive and respiratory problems, particularly those of a damp origin or nature, such as chronic bronchitis, flatulence and colic. Overall, it is warming, gentle and penetrating.
Psychologically, cardamom is fortifying, uplifting and good for nervous exhaustion, depression of the lethargic type, and mental fatigue. It fortifies those who feel over-burdened with cares, worries and responsibilities; lifts the spirits: and inspires courage and fortitude. Cardamom is associated with the earth element and is grounding for those who tend to feel ‘spaced out’.