Cardamom Essential Oil Benefits, Uses, & Sourcing with doTERRA | Co-Impact Sourcing Series


When I smell Cardamom it reminds me of my favorite cup of chia tea, pumpkin season, and fall inspired baked goods – it’s a warm and calming aroma and makes me want to eat the whole bottle. doTERRA’s Cardamom essential oil is safe to consume internally, as are all their oils that have supplemental nutrition facts on the back of the bottle.

Each essential oil has emotional and physical benefits, the emotional benefits of Cardamom are too good not to share. 
“Cardamom is the oil of objectivity. It helps individuals regain objectivity, mental sobriety, and self-control. It assists individuals who frequently feel frustrated or angry with other people. Cardamom can help individuals stop blaming others.” (This quote comes from the Essential Emotions: 10th Edition Book. All essential oils have both physical and emotional properties. This book is great for breaking down the emotional properties of each essential oil.)

Cardamom is great oil for when we are ready to take responsibility, allow what is, and let go of things outside of our control; plus it smells delicious. 

In a previous article of mine, Co-Impact Sourcing with doTERRA | What Makes doTERRA Essential Oils Different, I share the impact doTERRA had on the communities where each essential oil is sourced. doTERRA has a goal of positively tripling their impact by 2030. There are ten oils specifically that have the largest impact on the growers, distillers, and communities from which they are sourced – Cardamom is one of those ten oils. In this article I will be sharing the uses, benefits, DIY ideas, and how you can help make a positive impact right from your home by purchasing Cardamom essential oil. 


Cardamom is one of the most expensive spices in the world. The only spice in the world that is more expensive than Cardamom currently is Saffron. The reason Cardamom is so expensive is because the plant takes two or three years to produce pods after being planted and then the plant does not produce a ton of those pods. The essential oil, however, can be produced in a way that creates a lot more product with less plant material. Cardamom essential oil has the same great flavor as the spice, but the essential oil has some added benefits.   
Cardamom is a close relative to Ginger and commonly known to be an expensive cooking spice used to enhance the flavor of traditional Indian sweets and teas. As such, it is a deliciously good idea to add a few drops to your own cooking and baking endeavors to kindle an exotic hint of Indian flavor. Cardamom essential oil is especially good with breads, smoothies, and desserts.
It grows best in the shade and the average cardamom plant lasts seven years. It generally starts to bear fruit two to three years after planting and produces 10 to 20 cardamom seeds in each seedpod. Normally, it is harvested from September through February. Most cardamom is sold to the spice market.

Benefits and Uses  

Primary Benefits of Cardamom: 
  • May help maintain overall gastrointestinal health when taken internally*
  • Internal use may soothe the digestive system
  • Consume to promote clear breathing and respiratory health
  • Flavorful spice for cooking and baking
Respiratory Health 
The respiratory benefits of Cardamom are another hallmark of its therapeutic attributes. To experience them, diffuse Cardamom essential oil, inhale it directly from the bottle, or apply a few drops topically to your chest area for respiratory support that will have you breathing deeply and clearly and create within you a newfound sense of mental clarity and openness to the experiences and people in your surroundings. 
Because of these deeply useful attributes, Cardamom is one of the key ingredients in the wildly popular and effective doTERRA Breathe Respiratory Blend. Breathe was formulated years ago before doTERRA had Cardamom essential oil, but once they were able to produce Cardamom oil, Breathe was reformulated to include Cardamom in its blend. 
AirX is another repiratory blend from doTERRA that contains Cardamom. If you are not familiar with AirX it was created for highly polluted large cities, so people in those cities could diffuse this in their home to give their lungs a little added detox from the city’s pollution. I have used this during a year when Colorado was experiencing a lot of wildfires and the air quality was very poor. I like to diffuse this whenever I go to a hotel room in my Pilot Diffuser, just to detox the air in the room a bit. 

The Pilot Diffuser is doTERRA's portable travel diffuser, read: doTERRA Essential Oil Diffuser Review, to learn more about the many diffusers doTERRA has. 
Cardamom is also in doTERRA’s Breathe Respiratory Drops, which were formulated to soothe and cool nasal airways. These drops work quickly when experiencing respiratory issues. 
You will find more diffuser blends below, but one that I love for respiratory health is: Eucalyptus, Lime, and Cardamom. Lime is a natural expectorant that helps you get everything up when you are feeling congested. Eucalyptus opens the airways and combined with Cardamom the two are a powerful duo. 


Digestive Health 
In addition to making food taste good, Cardamom essential oil also helps food feel good by aiding in digestion and relieving the occasional feelings of stomach discomfort that may arise after overindulging or eating something that does not sit well with your digestive system.
You can get the digestive health benefits of Cardamom by adding it to your drinks or your baked goods. 
  • Add to teas, coffee, and protein shakes 
  • Add to baked goods like pumpkin bread, scones, cookies 

Note: For drinks I find that a whole drop of Cardamom can be overpowering, I personally recommend dipping a toothpick in the bottle and swirling that into your coffee or tea before trying an entire drop. You can also experiment with the flavor by adding a drop to a spoon and tasting it that way. 

I have an entire article on essential oil infused teas. Read, Tea Time With doTERRA Essential Oils | Essential Oil Infused Tea Recipes, to see how to add essential oils including Cardamom to your tea for added health benefits and a yummy flavor. 
Cardamom can be found in doTERRA’s DigestZen, which is their digestive blend. DigestZen Essential Oil can be used to support healthy digestion when used internally and can soothe occasional upset stomach. It can also be used to reduce gas and occasional indigestion. You can add this to a veggie capsule and take it like a regular pill. For more information on supporting digestive health, check out my article: doTERRA Digestive Wellness Program Overview | 90 Days to Better Digestion

You can find more benefits and health protocols for Cardamom and other essential oils in the Modern Essentials Handbook

Recipes Using Cardamom

Chocolate Cardamom Protein Smoothie 
Peanut Butter Cookies 
  • Note if you are not ready for the Cardamom flavor, try Clove oil. Clove oil is one of the strongest antioxidants on the planet.
Blueberry Cardamom Scones 
Cardamom Mustard Chicken Wings 

Diffuser Blends Using Cardamom 


Behind the Bottle

Cardamom is sourced from Honduras and Guatemala. 

2021 Sourcing Impact:
  • People empowered with sourcing jobs:
    • Guatemala: 99
    • Honduras: 78
  • Lives Supported (estimate):
    • Guatemala: 475
    • Honduras: 288
Why Guatemala? 
India and Guatemala both grow Cardamom, but India’s Cardamom is mostly used to support the local spice industry and Guatemala exports most of their Cardamom crop. The plant grows well in both climates and locations, but it makes more sense for doTERRA to partner with Guatemala to source Cardamom. 
Why Honduras? 
Parts of Honduras have a similar climate to Guatemala. While Honduras has not been producing Cardamom as long as Guatemala, Cardamom offers significant income to farmers who traditionally have cultivated banana and sugar cane. 
The Harvesting and Distillation Process
The essential oil comes from the cardamom seeds inside the seedpods. The outer shell of the pod is green, thin, and papery. Inside are the seeds, which are small and black. They are dried for about 36 hours before being sold—either as a spice or for distillation. After drying, the cardamom pods are only a fifth of their fresh weight. The seeds are then steam-distilled for several hours to produce the essential oil.

People Empowered: Building Supplier Capacity
doTERRA Co-Impact Sourcing supports training for cardamom farmers in Guatemala, which teaches farmers the best practices for growing cardamom including seed selection, planting, harvesting, and plant care. Farmers are provided with bi-weekly training sessions and hands-on experience so they can see the positive effects of these techniques in their own fields. As a result of these trainings, farmers should have a higher quality and increased quantity of cardamom, and therefore, also receive a higher price for their product.

Meet the people empowered behind every bottle of doTERRA Cardamom. 

Impact Stories
The doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation has provided a variety of community development projects in Guatemala. At Mario Mendez Montenegro Kindergarten School in Huehuetenango, we were able to provide new bathrooms with toilets for the children, including a new roof to keep them dry during rain. We repaired an old fence and put in a brand-new colorful picket fence around the play area. The building and classrooms were all in need of fresh paint, so everything was repainted—and with bright, beautiful colors and playful designs.

In the Polochic valley, a partnership with CHOICE Humanitarian funded an exciting project—the Sika’abe Training Center. In Q’eqchi, “Sika’abe means “seek your path.” The focus of this training center will be to break the cycle of poverty by providing vocational training to locals in a variety of areas from construction, woodworking, and welding, to hospitality, to agriculture.

Healing Hands also provided enough funds for one-year salary to hire a new doctor in anticipation of a newly-build, self-sustained hospital in Guatemala. The foundation has supported a variety of other projects as well, including Days for Girls training and kits.
When you purchase Cardamom essential oil from doTERRA you get to be a part of the positive impact doTERRA is making in Guatemala and Honduras. You get a say in where your money goes and be part of the Co-Impact Sourcing model. doTERRA allows you to participate in conscious consumerism when you purchase their essential oils. 

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