10 Cardamom Oil Benefits That Are Just Incredible

Did you know that cardamom is one of the world’s oldest spices? Yes. And besides being old, it was once popular in ancient Rome. Apart from its incredible history, cardamom oil benefits are equally astonishing.

From common digestive troubles to deadly diseases like cancer, cardamom has been proven effective and healing.

Fact: Cardamom is the second most expensive spice in the world whereas saffron is the first.

So, let’s understand cardamom essential oil in depth.

What Is Cardamom Oil?

what is cardamom essential oil

Cardamom essential oil is extracted from dried cardamom seeds via the process of steam distillation. The oil is aromatic and medically popular for treating day-to-day to deadly health issues such as fighting bad breath, preventing cavities, easing headaches, and severe cold. (1)

Scientific Name Of Cardamom Oil

The botanical name of cardamom is Elettaria Cardamomum.

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History Of Cardamom Oil

 Cardamom is one of the most extensively used and expensive spices in the world. It is a member of the Zingiberaceae family and is most used in the Middle East, North Africa, and India.

Due to its well-established digestive uses and flavoring properties, cardamom is admired as a flavoring & spicy ingredient in curries and confectionery products. (2)

Cardamom is crowned as a medicinal herb in the Indian Ayurvedic medical practice too. The Chinese medicine predominantly used Cardamom for treating intestinal infections, stomach problems, gastrointestinal (digestive tract) disorders, constipation (difficulty in passing stools), and dysentery (loose stools).

In folklore medicine, they treated digestive disorders with a natural drink prepared by boiling Cardamom seeds (roasted) with betel nuts.

The active constituent of cardamom is volatile. Its aromatic compounds are responsible for its aroma and therapeutic properties.

Color, Consistency, and Smell Of Cardamom Oil

  • The color of cardamom oil is clear.
  • The consistency of cardamom oil is thin.
  • The smell of cardamom oil is Sweet with a spice-like aroma.

Properties Of Cardamom Essential Oil

  • Antiseptic - Prevents infections
  • Antimicrobial - Fights bacteria
  • Aphrodisiac - Increases libido
  • Astringent - Reduces excess oil formation
  • Digestive - Aids digestion
  • Stomachic - Promotes appetite
  • Stimulant – Enhances the activity of the central nervous system
  • Diuretic - Boosts the production of urine
  • Flavoring – Adds taste or flavor to a dish
  • Preservative - Prevents food spoilage
  • Antidepressant – Eases depression
  • Decongestant – Clears blocked airways due to cold
  • Antidiarrheal - Cures diarrhea
  • Detoxifier - Cleanses your body by eliminating toxins
  • Antioxidant – Inhibits the process of oxidation
  • Antihypertensive - Normalizes high blood pressure
  • Gastroprotective - Protects your stomach
  • Antifungal – Effective against fungal infections
  • Carminative - Eliminates excess gas
  • Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation
  • Immunomodulatory - Increases immunity
  • Insect repellantRepels insects and bugs
  • Insecticidal - Kills insects
  • Tonic - Boosts overall health
  • Expectorant - Helps you to spit out sputum
  • Diaphoretic - Induces sweating
  • Antiplatelet - Prevents unwanted clotting
  • Antitumor - Prevents the growth of abnormal or tumor cells
  • Anticancer - Prevents the growth and spread of deadly cells

Besides the above, other properties of cardamom oil include:

  • Reduces spasms
  • Neutralizes the side effects of chemotherapy (one of the treatment options for cancer)
  • Reduces nausea/ vomiting sensation
  • Eases hoarse voice
  • Checks loss of taste
  • Neutralizes the effects of tobacco on your body
  • Nullifies the effects of mild poisons and insect bites
  • Wards off bad breath
  • Heals infections of mouth and toothaches
  • Supports weight loss
  • Relieves headaches
  • Helps in normalizing your blood pressure
  • Heats up your body and promotes sweating
  • Fights fatigue (extreme tiredness)
  • Boosts your metabolism (the rate at which your body burns calories)

Chemical Compounds In Cardamom Oil

The major compounds found in cardamom essential oil include:

  • Sabinene
  • Terpinene
  • Limonene
  • Cineol
  • Eugenol
  • Geraniol
  • Nerol
  • Nerodilol
  • Linalool
  • Borneol
  • Heptenone
  • Beta terpineol
  • Alpha-terpineol
  • Alpha-pinene
  • Terpinyl acetate
  • Cymene
  • Myrcene
  • Methyl heptenone
  • Neryl acetate
  • Heptacosane
  • Linalyl acetate
  • Phellandrene
  • Methyl eugenol
  • A-terpineol acetate
  • Citronellol
  • Terpinolene
  • Terpinen-4-oil
  • Trans-nerolidol

benefits of cardamom essential oil

Health Benefits Of Cardamom Oil

  • Kills the microbes
  • Prevents food from spoilage
  • Effective insecticide
  • Fortified with antioxidants
  • Addresses digestive issues
  • Fights halitosis (bad breath)
  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Well-known antispasmodic
  • Fights cancerous cells
  • Reduces inflammation

1. Kills the microbes

A study investigated the antimicrobial effects of cardamom oil on yeast, fungus, and nine bacterial strains. The results stated that cardamom essential oil is as effective as 28.9% phenol.

The study also concluded that the MIC (Minimum Inhibitory Concentration) of cardamom oil is 0.5–0.9 mg ml, and at that concentration, it doesn’t even disturb the flavor of foods to which you add the oil.

*MIC is the concentration at which the oil inhibits the action and growth of microbes. The research concluded that cardamom oil is active against these bacteria:

  • Bacillus cereus
  • Escherichiacoli
  • Salmonella typhi

Another research states that the compound Terpinen-4-ol in cardamom oil makes it active against various infectious fungi such as Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans, A.flavus, and A.fumigatus. No wonder it is useful in treating yeast infections and urinary tract infections. (3, 4, 5)

2. Prevents food from spoilage

The compounds monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and flavonoids in cardamom oil inhibits the growth of food-spoiling microbes. (6)

So, the next time you want to preserve your food, add 2-3 drops of cardamom essential oil to it.

3. Effective insecticide

Cardamom essential oil acts against stored product pests such as bruchid beetleCallosobruchus maculatus Fabricius, the red flour beetleTribolium castaneumHerbst, the flour moth, and Ephestia kuehniella Zeller.

Cardamom has both contact and fumigant action, which means that it harms/kills the insects when it comes in contact with them – be it touch or smell (fumes/vapors).

When cardamom was studied for its insecticidal properties, the reports concluded that after 12 hours of application, cardamom oil gets more toxic to insects. Thanks to the presence of linalool, terpineol, limonene, carvacrol, and myrcene in it. (7)

4. Fortified with antioxidants

Elettaria Cardamomum oil is an effective antioxidant. Antioxidants are the substances, which prevent unwanted diseases by neutralizing the harmful free radicals.

Your body generates free radicals when it comes in contact with chemicals, pollution, and harmful radiations.

When researchers assessed the parameters of cardamom, they found that its stability, peroxide number, refractive index, specific gravity, and rancid odor concluded that cardamom EO is an effective antioxidant for cottonseed oil. (8)

At 1000 ppm (parts per million), cardamom oil did not adversely affect the organoleptic (taste, smell, etc.) properties of cottonseed oil. In addition to the phytonutrients, Cardamom essential oil is rich in vitamins C, B, protein, and iron that make it a complete scavenger of free radicals.

During another study, the researchers administered 3 grams of cardamom powder in two divided doses for 12 weeks to 20 volunteers. At the end of the study, the participants had 90% more antioxidants, which proved that cardamom boosts antioxidant levels in the body. (9)

5. Addresses digestive issues

Cardamom essential oil is a natural digestive aid and has been used from ages. It addresses issues such as loss of appetite, flatulence (or gas), and colic pain.

Cardamom aids in healthy digestion by producing an energizing effect on your body. This is mainly due to its natural phytonutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

Fact: Cardamom helps you to overcome the effects of overeating. It also helps you to fight gluten intolerance (allergy to wheat).

Cardamom essential oil reduces gastric lesions (ulcers), confirms a study conducted on mice, published in the year 2006, in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. The researchers assessed the effects of cardamom oil on gastric ulcers which were induced by ethanol and aspirin in mice. The reports said that cardamom oil is effective in reducing them. (10, 11)

6. Fights halitosis (Bad Breath)

The antibacterial effects of Elettaria Cardamomum oil fights bad breath. It also prevents caries or cavities by boosting the flow of saliva.

A few consider cardamom as a natural mouth freshener and they chew it after food. Cardamom fights bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, which are responsible for oral infections. (12, 13)

7. Lowers high blood pressure

Elettaria cardamomum essential oil normalizes BP in stage 1 hypertensives. Stage 1 hypertension is when the Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP) raises above 80 mmHg and below 89 mmHg or when Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) goes above 130 mmHg and below 139 mmHg.

Blood pressure is the pressure with which your blood flows to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your body.

  • DBP is the pressure with which the oxygenated blood enters your heart from the lungs.
  • SBP is the pressure with which your heart pumps the oxygenated blood to different parts of your body.

During a study, the researchers evaluated the antihypertensive potential of cardamom on Stage 1 hypertension.

Twenty, newly diagnosed individuals with hypertension stage 1 enrolled for the study. The researchers asked them to have 3 grams of cardamom powder in two divided doses for 12 weeks. They recorded their blood pressure initially at 4-week intervals for 3 consecutive months.

The results were impressive. Cardamom powder significantly decreased both systolic and diastolic blood pressures. Also, everyone who enrolled for the study experienced a feeling of wellbeing without side effects. (14)

8. Well-known antispasmodic

A paper published in the pharmacological research in 1996 confirms that Cardamom essential oil has antispasmodic effects. Thus, the oil cures muscular and respiratory spasms, thereby, giving relief from asthma, whooping cough, hiccups, and intestinal cramps all of which result due to muscle spasms.

Cardamom also has a warming action, which assists in clearing cough and cold. (15, 16)

9. Fights cancerous cells

The oil of Elettaria cardamomum helps in fighting cancer cells. Cancer is a deadly disease where the cells turn abnormal and spread from one part of the body to the other. It is fatal and thus, needs immediate attention.

During a study, the researchers evaluated the anticancer potential of cardamom on skin cancer of the mouse.

They gave 0.5 mg of cardamom powder to mouse orally for a period of 15 days. The study concluded cardamom significantly reduces the incidence of cancer, the growth, as well as the spread of cancer. The study also confirms cardamom improves liver health.

Another study mentioned in the Journal of Medicinal Food in the year 2010, confirmed that cardamom boosts the anticancer potential of the human body. They prevent nitric oxide production by macrophages, which plays a huge role in preventing cancer. (17, 18)

10. Reduces inflammation

In a 2017 study, a few researchers studied 17 types of proteins, which are the biomarkers of inflammation. They confirmed Elettaria cardamomum oil prevented the movements of cells and other factors responsible for inflammation.

Thanks to the compounds eucalyptol and 1, 8-cineole, which are the major and active constituents found in cardamom essential oil and are responsible for its anti-inflammatory activities. (19)

What Blends With Cardamom Oil?

Cardamom essential oil blends the best with:

How To Use Cardamom Oil?

how to use cardamom oil

  • Mouthwash: Add 2 drops of cardamom oil to a glass of water and rinse your mouth with it. It helps you to get rid of bad breath and further, fights all types of dental infections, including cavities.
  • Purify water: To disinfect your drinking water, you can add a couple of drops of cardamom oil to the same.
  • Bath: Add a couple of drops of cardamom essential oil to your bathwater to disinfect your skin and hair. Cardamom oil fights fungi better than antifungal medicines.
  • Pain: Mix 2 drops of cardamom oil with 2 drops of neroli oil, and 2 ml of coconut oil and apply it over the affected area for relief.
  • Cold & Blocked Nose: To ease your cold and blocked nose, dilute cardamom oil with a suitable carrier oil and massage it over the troublesome areas.
  • Congestion: Inhale the vapors of cardamom essential oil by mixing 3 drops of it in a pot of steaming water. This is steam inhalation method. It alleviates congestion, chest infections, cold, flu, headaches, and chronic (or long-standing) cough.
  • Sore Throat: Mix 1 drop of cardamom oil and 1 drop of cinnamonoil in a glass of warm water. Use this mixture to gargle. Doing this will ease sore throat, throat infection, and pharyngitis (respiratory infection) in some time.
  • Aromatherapy: Diffuse a few drops of cardamom essential oil to fight fatigue, stress, and depression.
  • Massage: You can also massage the diluted oil over the energy centers of your body to obtain an emotional balance.
  • Digestion: You can add a drop of cardamom oil when you cook smoothies, breads, meats, or salads to promote digestion.
  • Concentration: As cardamom oil boosts mental alertness and assertiveness, you can drop a few drops of oil in your working room when you have a crucial decision to make.
  • Anti-aging: Combine 2 drops of Cardamom oil and 2 drops of Orange oil in 2ml of Jojoba oil. Massage it gently over your wrinkles to fight aging.
  • Stomach issues: Massage using a mixture made of 2 drops of Cardamom oil along with 2 drops of Ginger oil & 2 ml of Sesame oil over your abdomen for getting rid of diarrhea, gastrointestinal problems, indigestion, nausea, headaches, morning sickness, nervous digestive upsets, colic pain, and vomiting.

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Side Effects Of Cardamom Oil

Warning: Never start using any essential oil without talking to your doctor first.

  • Take extra caution if you are on any medication, have allergy, or are suffering from any disease.
  • Avoid using this oil if you are a senior citizen.
  • Avoid using this oil if you are pregnant, nursing, or a senior citizen. Using cardamom oil in pregnancy or during lactation may harm the baby due to excess warmth.
  • Remember to keep the oil out of the reach of children.
  • Due to its 1, 8 cineole content, Cardamon Oil may cause nerve and breathing problems in young children. Remember not to use the oil on or near the face of infants and children. Also avoid the contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.
  • Excess consumption of cardamom EO can lead to over dosage, though. Following are the symptoms of overdosage:
    • Restlessness
    • Irritation and loose stools due to excessive heating up of the body
  • Remember to dilute suitably before using the oil to avoid irritation.
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