Do you sometimes feel like life is wearing you down? Does fatigue over-take you in the afternoon and the need to stay in bed battle you in the mornings? Is there sometimes confusion of what choice to make, path to take? We all experience variants of these feelings and emotions during the course of our lives, and there is a spice that can makes things ever so much nicer. That’s right, there’s a superstar in your cupboard long loved by those in Eastern lands for its aromatic, lifting qualities. From relieving mucous to improving the flow of vital life-force energy, cardamom is the star that can take you far.
Long renowned as a classic Ayurvedic spice, cardamom has been assisting digestive troubles and aiding the troubled mind for thousands of years. As the pod, powdered herb, seed, essential oil or tea, cardamom is often referred to as the ‘queen of spices’ by those who know its fame as a healer and enhancer of both body and mind. Cardamom has long been added to coffee in Turkey to cut out the negative effects of caffeine and reduce the acidic properties of coffee. Traditional Middle Eastern coffee is made with equal parts of both cardamom and coffee beans with clove, saffron and sugar lovingly added for a stimulating, soothing spicy coffee beverage like no other. Can you handle it?
Like most herbs and spices, cardamom can affect both physical conditions as well as mental and emotional attitudes. In Ayurveda, cardamom is trusted to balance all of the body types, or doshas. It is both pungent and sweet, bringing new vision to the mind and happiness to the heart. Cardamom is thought to increase pranic flow – or the vital energy in the body the Chinese refer to as ‘Qi’ or Chi. In this way it is the ultimate yogic spice. Studied for so many benefits, cardamom is not only delicious and delightful to the senses, it is showing itself to be a true superstar in the world’s cupboard of spices.
Impotency and Aphrodisiac
The sweet, stimulating qualities of cardamom are bound to excite you as you inhale, drink, or rub its beautiful oils and essence into your being. For raising sexual potency and power, a pinch of aromatic cardamom can be added to a night-time brew of nut milk(almond, coconut or other) and honey to get the blood pumping. Do this for several nights per week to increase stimulation and avoid premature release. Both masculine and feminine alike love the scent of cardamom, either alone or mixed with cinnamon, and can be burned in a bedroom candle or lovingly sipped before interlude. Cardamom body oil rubbed into your partner makes a sensual gift to raise the attention of any lowered eye. You can also try a cardamom sweetened bath, or chew some potent pods together for variety in sensual experimentation.
Digestion and Assimilation
It has already been mentioned that cardamom assists in digestion, which it most certainly does – in so many ways. In addition, cardamom works even deeper to allow for the digestion of ideas and input from the mental world to assimilate more fully into the mind and heart of an individual. If one struggles with indigestion, of either body or mind, a simple remedy of cardamom in honey, perhaps mixed with a bit of ginger and cloves, will assist in relief and integration of whatever food particles or thought forms have been presented for ingestion. Cardamom alleviates bad breath and a sore throat and is a wonderful pre or post-meal enzyme simulator.
Respiratory and Mucous
Right along side of olives, cardamom has an uncanny ability to break up and remove mucous from the system. The spicy nature of cardamom greatly benefits the respiratory system, alleviating headaches caused by sinus pressure, colds and flu symptoms and lower intestinal constipation often accompanying upper respiratory conditions. In Ayurvedic medicine, cardamom is referred to as ‘the most powerful mucous destroyer’ and with good reason. It is this same mucous-forming distress in coffee beverages which can be bypassed by adding cardamom to the mix.
There is so much more that could be said about cardamom, for it is widely versatile in its benefits and qualities. It was used as a perfume in Greek and Roman times. Egyptians used this spice as a tooth cleaner, a perfume and a breath freshener among other uses. Today, we largely use cardamom in dishes for flavor and spice, though there is so much more that could be benefited from this superstar in the cupboard.
If you are challenged with negative thoughts about life or your body, the scent or taste of cardamom oil or herb can lift your mental disposition above depression and self-worthless spotted dialogue. Let the stimulating, refreshing scent of this precious spice bring you peace of mind, calmness of emotional turmoil and spiritual centeredness. Since cardamom balances the body, it can be a great meditation aid to bring about a clear mind and open heart.
Look for the green or black pods, the ones with the strong aroma (as cardamom pods tend to lose their scent and essential oil potency after several months of sitting), and avoid the lighter, yellowish pods which will no doubt be lacking in flavor and smell. The best way to savor the aroma and the flavor is to stone crush the black seeds sitting tucked inside the pods, add to dishes, body oil or tea. Enjoy!
There’s a superstar in your cupboard, or at least the ought to be. If you don’t have any cardamom currently, it might be time to go on a little fragrant journey to the herb and spice shop and procure some today! Delight will surely follow.
Written by: Stasia Bliss