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Elattaria cardamomum

The green pods of the Cardamom plant, a relative of ginger, are packed with tiny black seeds that exude an intense and very distinctive aroma. Indian cookery has long incorporated these seeds in numerous dishes. It is an ingredient of the famous spiced Indian tea known as chai, which is rumoured to have aphrodisiac properties. In Turkey and Greece the seeds are sometimes baked into bread or added to coffee (allegedly in order to counteract the anaphrodisiac effects of coffee). Along with Fennel seeds they are often chewed to sweeten the breath. In India and Arab countries, Cardamom is most valued for its aphrodisiac properties - it is the most frequently mentioned spice in the stories of the Arabian Nights and in Greek mythology Medea and her daughters are said to have used it in their love charms and potions. Its aroma is stimulating, warming and invigorating.

Medical herbalism does not make much use of Cardamom these days, but it can be helpful to remember that this common spice has excellent carminative properties, which will quickly soothe griping pains of flatulent colic and dyspepsia. Ayurveda also recommends them in cases of painful urination.

Cardamom is used in love and sex magic. It may be used in love philtres and amulets to attract a lover. The scent is complex and sensual. It stimulates and arouses the base chakra. As an ingredient of incense it may bring clarity to a situation where selfishness destroys love, or the mind is confused and the heart torn between two lovers.

Cardamon, Cardamum.