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Aromatherapy Works Blog - recipes

The Versatility of Cardamom.

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Spring is in the air and it’s time to open the windows and open our hearts to new beginnings and renewed energies. I’d like to share a spice with you that can revitalize your energy as we shift into Spring. Cardamom has been one of my favorite spices for a very long time. I love the smell of cardamom bread as it reminds me of Easter time and Spring. On my recent trip to Sri Lanka, I learned to appreciate it more as an essential oil because of its many healing properties.

Steenbergs Cardamom pods lg

We ate the cardamom pods in a breakfast porridge in Sri Lanka with rice and raisins. It was warm and comforting and I savored every bite. Later I would learn about how it warms the heart space. I believe that’s part of what I felt when I was eating that delicious breakfast dish. I not only felt nourished but nurtured at the same time.

Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) is spicy sweet, pungent with camphoraceous notes. The essential oil is distilled from the seed pods. It is an aromatic perennial shrub that can grow up to 6-12 feet high. It has strong shoots or long stems with long semi-floppy leaves. At the base, strong skinny, stick-like stems grow that produce pods or fruits that encase the cardamom seeds, as well as white-purplish flowers. It grows well in warm moist climates like Sri Lanka.

Among its many properties, it is an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, digestive aid, diuretic, nutritive and stimulant. Physically, it aids with acid reflux, digestive comfort, GI issues, liver function, PMS and over-exertion. Mentally, cardamom encourages concentration, relieves confusion, depression, exhaustion, nervous exhaustion, overthinking and worry. Emotionally this wonderful spice has the ability to soothe a cold heart, build confidence, relieve anxiety, restore vital Chi energy and inner passion, dispel emotional “starvation,” lack and self-neglect.

Cardamom has been used in Ayurvedic medicine in India and culinary practices for centuries. Today it is most popular in Chai tea. It has been called the “Queen of Spices.” The Greeks, Romans, and Chinese have all used this aromatic spice and Egyptians used it as a breath freshener. In my own experience, cardamom has provided emotional comfort and allowed me to open my heart and feel loved and nurtured.

CV17-line

In my Aroma Acupoint Therapy training, I learned two specific points to apply cardamom essential oil to allow the heart to open. The first point is CV17. This point can be found on the sternum in the middle of the chest at nipple level. Place a drop of cardamom essential oil on your fingertip and then touch CV17 and hold gently and take 4-5 deep gentle breaths.

The second point is HT 7 on the wrist. Place 20 drops of Cardamom essential oil in a 1/3 oz. roller-ball container and top off with sweet almond oil. Apply to HT7 on the wrist to warm the heart, release lack and neglect, and invoke self-love and self-forgiveness. Reapply throughout the day.

acupuncture points for heart

Raise your vibration by using Cardamom spice and Cardamom essential oil in some of the recipes that follow, and open your heart to new experiences.

Rejuvenates the Spirit and Open your Heart

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Rose Hydrosol
  • 3 drops Bergamot

  • 3 drops Neroli
  • 3 drops Cardamom
  • 3 drops Spruce
  • 4 drops Sweet Orange

Directions: Mix essential oils and add to spray bottle filled with rose hydrosol. Shake well before each use. Spritz in a room or in your car to provide an uplifting atmosphere. Breathe deeply! CAUTION: Avoid contact with eyes.

A mind/body nourishing blend to warm the heart, restore the mind and nurture the body.

Ingredients & Materials:

  • 4 oz. glass jar

  • 1/4 oz. unscented carrier oil (for example, sweet almond or jojoba oil)
  • 3.5 oz. Epsom or sea salt


Essential Oils:


  • 4 drops Ginger

  • 4 drops Nutmeg

  • 2 drops Cinnamon Leaf
  • 3 drops Cardamom

  • 3 drops Lavender


Instructions: Add 2 oz Epsom Salt or Sea Salt to the 4-oz. jar followed by the essential oils. Mix well using a stir stick. Add another 1 oz. of Epsom salt or sea salt and mix together. Add in the unscented carrier oil and mix well. Add in more Epsom or salt to fill the jar and mix well. Label and store in a cool, dark place avoiding direct sunlight.

To use: Apply 3 tablespoons to your skin during a bath or shower, using small circular motions towards the heart to stimulate the blood and lymph circulation and exfoliate dead skin cells. This will leave skin glowing and youthful and open your heart space.

Digestive Support Eases digestion and may assist in preventing gas and bloating.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. unscented lotion
  • 1 drop Bergamot
  • 3 drops Cardamom
  • 3 drops Roman Chamomile
  • 2 drops Sweet Orange

Directions: Blend essential oils in 2 oz of unscented lotion.
 Rub on your belly before every meal and before bed.

Chai blend: Here is both a drink and a wonderful diffuser synergy. The essential oils of these particular plants are in their seeds, roots, and bark; all fairly hard in texture and in need of heat to coax forth the aromatic oils. As a diffuser, the warm aroma of Chai makes any nest feel cozy and inviting, also staving off a sluggish mind and negative emotions. As a drink, these aromatics have a similar effect with the added benefit of increasing digestive function, decreasing physical congestion and warming the heart. It is also a great pick-me-up in the middle of the day. If you are sensitive to caffeine this formula is just as delicious without the tea or you could use Rooibos tea that is caffeine free. I recommend keeping a pot of this going over low heat all day, adding the milk and honey to your teacup as you are ready to drink it. This is especially nice as it offers a feeling of comfort and opens the heart space as well.

Ingredient:

  • 7 cups Water
  • 1 Tbsp Fennel Seeds
  • 6 Green Cardamom Pods
  • 12 Cloves
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1/4 inch Ginger Root, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 tsp Black Peppercorns
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Tbsp of Black Tea
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 cup of coconut milk or almond milk

Directions: In a saucepan, combine the first eight ingredients, spices and water, cover and bring to a medium boil for five minutes. Turn off the heat and let it steep for ten minutes. Warm your brew to just below boiling and add the tea leaves. Add honey and nut milk. This recipe makes about eight cups. Note: You can find these spices here.

Inhaler: Heavenly Spice

  • 12 drops Cardamom
  • 5 drops Cinnamon Leaf
  • 10 drops Ginger

Directions: Place all essential oils on a cotton inhaler blank wick and seal. Use as often as needed to uplift, clear the heart and support your emotions.

Sesame Chai Green Smoothie. Here is a great smoothie to get your spice game on with cardamom.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Water 

  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds 

  • 1 Tbsp Lime Juice 

  • 2 cups Kale Leaves 

  • 1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt 

  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 

  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cardamom 

  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg 

  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves 

  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric 

  • 1 cup Frozen Blueberries
  • 4 drops of Stevia to taste as needed

Directions: Blend all ingredients, except the frozen fruit, in a high-speed blender until smooth. Add the frozen fruit and blend until creamy. 


I hope that as Spring unfolds your heart will open up along with the beautiful flowers, showing the world your true authentic self and becoming all that you can be.

Happy Spring!

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