Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)

Cardamom is one of the oldest known spices.  As one of the most valuable spices, because of its rich aroma and therapeutic properties, it has a variety of uses.  The ancient Egyptians used Cardamom as perfume. Its smooth characteristic is a popular additive to coffee in Middle Eastern countries where people believe it detoxifies caffeine. It can also be used in Indian chai, where it is a mild stimulant.

Cardamom is farmed only in Sri Lanka, China, Laos, Nepal, Vietnam, parts of India, and Guatemala.  The taste of Cardamom is warm and spicy. The seeds are crushed or ground to produce medicinal essential oil or tinctures. The ground Cardamom seeds are used in cooking, baking, and spiced drinks ~ as far north as Scandinavia!

Green Cardamon. Photo credit: scyrene / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Green Cardamon. Photo credit: scyrene / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Family Name:  Zingiberaceae  (a member of the Ginger family)

Other common names:  Alpinia Cardamom, Malabar Cardamums, Kakelah Seghar, Capalaga, Gujatatti Elachi

Active Constituents:  The seeds contain important minerals such as calcium, sulfur, and phosphorus.  The seeds are 5% volatile oil consisting of acetic and formic acids (which give Cardamom its aromatic and medicinal properties).  Cardamom contains IC3 (indole-3-carbinol) and DIM (diindolymethane : phytochemicals well-known as cancer fighters). In addition, Cardamom contains an abundance of antioxidants which offer protection against stress, common sickness and aging. Those interested in Cardamom may also find interest in Anise, Fennel, Coriander, Cumin, and Cinnamon.

Therapeutic Actions:  As a mild stimulant, slightly antiseptic, aromatic, analgesic, antispasmodic, encourages appetite, diuretic, aroma therapy to counter depression and to reduce stress.

Therapeutic Applications:  Cardamom relieves gas and bloating, soothes digestion (upper digestive system), settles nausea, neutralizes bad breath (halitosis), slightly antiseptic action for throat issues (add to gargle for sore throats), for chest issues (bronchitis and asthma), assists tooth / gum / oral disorders, addresses urinary problems, male tonic due to androgenic compounds in the seeds and even more beneficial when combined with Damiana (Turnera diffusa) and Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng).  Research shows it may assist in the prevention of certain cancers such as breast and prostate cancers.

CAUTIONS:  There are no side effects currently known. Seek advice of a qualified health care professional if pregnant or nursing.

Magickal:  Feminine, Venus, Water

Astrological:  Primary = Libra, Taurus

Used to inspire love and “lust” ~  in the Middle Eastern countries used as an aphrodisiac!

Recipe for “Wine Potion” courtesy of A. J. Drew, (Page 182):

Soak ground Cardamom seeds in sweet red wine overnight.
Imagine yourself in your lover’s arms as you drift off to sleep.
On the next day, strain the seeds from the wine, sweeten with local honey and serve warmed during a romantic meal.

Other ways Cardamom seeds can also be used for enhancing incense and sachets to promote love and love-making.

When performing a love spell, use the following love bath soak to enhance your visualizations:

3 parts Rosemary
2 parts Lavender
1 part Cardamom
1 part Yarrow

As you begin to incorporate Cardamom in your own cooking, remember its magickal representations of Venus and the Feminine to enhance works you visualize. You may find new ways to use Cardamom once you have tasted this charming herb and be comfortable in adding to some of your favorite recipes.

This information is for educational purposes only.  The information is not meant to replace the consultation of a licensed health-care professional.  This author and CoG-OCLC are not to be held responsible for the use or misuse of the information contained within this blog.

References:
Chevallier, Andrew (2007). Herbal Remedies: Visual Reference Guides. Metro Books, Pgs. 122.
Drew, A.J. (2005). A Wiccan Formulary and Herbal. New Page Books,Pg. 182.

Internet Websites:
http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-cardamom.html    Cardamom: Benefits and Information
http://www.webmd.com/…/ingredientmono-61  Cardamom: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, and Warnings – WebMD

Photography:

Green cardamom. Photo credit: scyrene / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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