Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) essential oil is used in perfumery, aromatherapy and holistically. It originated in the western forests of Ghats in Southern India, and is part of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. The aroma of this oil is spicy, woody, rich with a subtle sweetness.
In eastern medicine Cardamom has been used to help reduce muscular and respiratory spasms, improve digestive health, as a diuretic, stimulant, and antiseptic.
The raw material (seeds and pods) from which the essential oil is made is a common spice found in cuisines from countries such as India, Africa, Asia and South America. For food, the seeds are ground into a powder, offering a warm, lightly sweet, spicy, balsamic woody taste with nuances of floral and citrus with a peppery, herbal aftertaste.
Most Cardamom is farmed and produced in Guatemala, by over 350,000 families. Guatemala is the largest producer of cardamom seeds in the world, with India as the second largest.
The Cardamom plant is grown for three years before the fruit (seed/pod) is ready to be harvested, at which point the Cardaomom plant is an annual crop, harvested once a month.