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Cardamom Seed
Elettaria cardamomum

Plant Origin: Guatemala
Method: Hydrodiffusion from seeds
Cultivation: Grown using organic methods
Chemical Family: Monoterpene ester
Aroma: Rich, spicy, sweet, woody
Note (Evaporation Rate): Middle
Key Constituents from GC/MS Analysis: Lot# CAM-103
alpha terpinyl acetate + gamma terpinyl acetate 38.71%
1,8-cineole 29.45%
linalyl acetate 5.55%
sabinene 4.84%
sabinene 4.28%
linalool 4.41%
Children? Don't apply on or near the face of infants or young children. See Safety information below.
Pregnancy/Breastfeeding? Suitable

Therapeutic Uses 
Cardamom seed essential oil was one of the most prized spices in ancient Greece and Rome and is mentioned in one of the oldest known medical records dating from 16th century B.C.

Cardamom essential oil may support, aid, ease, soothe, reduce, calm, relax, promote and/or maintain healthy function of the following:
Appetite, stimulating 
Breath, bad
Cramps, intestinal 
Digestion, diarrhea, gas, heartburn, indigestion, nausea, sluggish
Emotional upset 
Mental fatigue 
Muscle injury 
Nervous tension 
Neuromuscular spasms
Oral, bad breath
Respiratory, lung, sinus infection 
Sinus, infection 
Spasms, coughs, intestinal, neuromuscular 

Aromatherapy Literature Notes and Research
Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D wrote in The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils that 1 drop in a glass of water can be used for digestion and to ease emotional upset. Alternatively, a drop or two in a capsule with carrier oil taken before eating may stimulate digestion, help with ulcerated colitis, divericulitis, constipation and so on (Dr. Eric Zielinski).

Cardamom shows a significant decrease in the lipid peroxidation level of the liver and increased glutathione levels. These findings indicate the potential of cardamom as a chemopreventive agent against two-stage cancer. PubMed Abstract: Chemopreventive Effects of Cardamom on Chemically Induced Skin Carcinogenesis

PubMed Article: Chemopreventive Effects of Cardamom on Chemically Induced Skin Carcinogenesis is Swiss Albino Mice

Application Suggestions (See Essential Oil Usage for more information and a dilution chart.)

Topical: Dilute with a carrier oilunscented lotion or unscented cream and apply on area of concern or as desired. Consider using a roll-on applicator for ease of application of prediluted oil. Do not apply to or near the face of infants or children - see Safety note at the end of the page. When tested at 4% dilution on 25 volunteers, Cardamom was neither irritating or sensitizing (Tisserand).

Inhalation: Diffuse or use a personal Nasal Inhaler

Internal: Cardamom is suitable for internal use within safe parameters if such use is deemed appropriate. We feel that internal use is rarely *needed* and should only be used with respect for how concentrated the oils are. HEO does not advocate internal use of essential oils without appropriate knowledge and understanding of how to administer, for what purpose, how much, which essential oils, safety concerns and so on. In our experience, essential oils are generally more effective used topically with proper dilution or inhaled. Kurt Schnaubelt Ph.D. notes that "French aromatherapy literature contains many references to using oils orally." He goes on to note that "generally 1 drop is always enough when ingesting essential oils." A potential toxicity hazard could occur when untrained people use essential oils orally and ingest too much. Keep in mind that while medical doctors or health care practitioners may prescribe essential oils for internal use, they are trained and experienced in the safe application of essential oils. It is not a matter of using "French aromatherapy" or "British" methods, it's a matter of experience and appropriate application. Click here for information about internal usage.

Schnaubelt notes that Cardamom is suitable to take 1 drop in water to help digestion and ease emotional upset.

The following anecdotal testimonies have not been reviewed by the FDA.
The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure disease.
Information shared on the HEO website is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice given by your trusted health care provider.
We believe that essential oils are provided by the Lord to support our health and well-being.
The Lord is our wisdom, protector and healer.
(Genesis 1:29-30, Ezekiel 47:12) 
1. I used Cardamom EO in Coconut Oil for a form of Vicks. I slapped it on my chest and feet. Kept me from coughing during the night. - Jessie

Hopewell Essential Oil blends with Cardamom
Cardamom is non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing.

Cauton: Do not apply to or near the face of infants or children. Cardamom is high in 1,8-cineole. Essential oils high in 1,8-cineole can cause CNS and breathing problems in young children, and should not be applied to or near their faces under ten years of age (Tisserand, pages 656-657, 273). Tisserand writes: "Any oil with 40% or more 1,8-cineole should not be applied to the face of infants or children or otherwise inhaled by them" (page 109). Appropriately diluted for the child, the blend will fall well-within the range of safe use, as it would contain far less than 40% 1,8-cineole. Regarding inhalation/diffusing, Tisserand writes: "For children of 5 years old or less, direct inhalation should be avoided. Direct inhalation includes inhaling essential oils from the hands, a cotton ball, a nasal inhaler, a bowl of hot water or similar. Indirect, or ambient inhalation, is safe for young children, and includes any method that vaporizes essential oils into the air (page 658).”

Avoid contact with the eyes and other sensitive areas. Essential oils are both lipophilic and hydrophobic. Lipophilic means they are attracted to fat— like the membranes of your eyes and skin. They are also hydrophobic, meaning they do not like water. Applying a carrier oil will create another fat for the essential oil to be attracted to other than the membranes of the eyes or skin. Tisserand suggests: "With essential oils, fatty oil has been suggested as an appropriate first aid treatment, though the advantage of saline [eyewash] is that the eyes can be continually flushed, and this is less easy with fatty oil.” We are not aware of a case where essential oil in the eyes caused permanent injury or long-term discomfort, but if you feel concerned, please call your health care provider. 
Battaglia, Salvatore, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 2002, pages 174-175.
Davis P., Aromatherapy An A-Z, C.W. Daniel Company Ltd, 2000.
Essential Oil Desk Reference, Essential Science Publishing, 2009.
Rose J, 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols, Frog Ltd, 1999.
Shirley and Len Price, Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, Third Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2008.
Purchon, Nerys; Cantele, Lora, Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness, 2014, page 42.
Schnaubelt, Kurt, The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils, 2111, page 133.
Tisserand, Robert; Young, Rodney, Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals, Elsevier Health Sciences UK 2nd Edition 2014, pages 232, 273, 656-658.
Wildwood, Chrissie, Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy, Bloomsbury Publishing, 1996.
Worwood, Valerie Ann, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, New World Library, 2016, pages 574-575.