Type of plant: Perennial herb of the rush type, with blade-type leaves, small yellow flowers with violet tips, and capsules containing reddish brown seeds
Part used: Seed pods
Method of extraction: Steam distillation
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Data: Originating in Asia, cardamom was used by ancient cultures as both a medicine and a spice for at least 2,000 years before first being distilled in Europe in the sixteenth century. The seeds are dried before distillation. Cardamom remains an important component of traditional medicine in India and China and in some Middle Eastern countries. It is used as a digestive aid, for flavoring, and as an aphrodisiac.
Principal places of production: Guatemala, India, Sri Lanka
When buying look for: A colorless to pale-yellow liquid with a warm, soft, spicy aroma with subtle citrus notes
Therapeutic properties: Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, calmative, carminative, nervine, pectoral, stomachic
Therapeutic uses: Indigestion, intestinal cramp, flatulence, dyspepsia, nausea, gastric migraine, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, Crohn’s disease, muscular cramp and strains, muscular spasm, bronchial congestion, exhaustion and mental fatigue; strengthening, fortifying
Blends well with: Bay (West Indian), benzoin, bergamot, black pepper, cedarwood, cinnamon leaf, clove bud, coriander seed, fennel (sweet), geranium, ginger, grapefruit, ho wood, jasmine, lavandin, lemon, mandarin, marjoram (sweet), may chang, nutmeg, orange (sweet), palmarosa, petitgrain, pimento berry, rosewood, sandalwood, turmeric, valerian, ylang ylang
Precautionary advice: No contraindications known. GRAS status.