You might find that the fragrant scent of cardamom fills more than your chai latte mug this season. It’s in your beauty cabinet, too. The captivating seed, and one of the most intriguing ingredients in Indian cooking and the Ayurvedic apothecary, is a rising star in beauty because of its bonus holistic benefits.
“Cardamom is a highly aromatic seedpod native to southern India. It’s known for its wonderful culinary, skin, and medicinal properties,” says Pratima Raichur, a doctor of Ayurvedic medicine with a specialty in beauty.
And blended with plant butters, oils, and scrubs in these chic artisanal products, you’ll be reaping its warm vibes all season. Here’s how… —Melisse Gelula
(Photo: Laura Schwamb for Pratima)
The best way to wake up? Slathering on this invigorating coffee-cardamom scrub in the shower. It’s also an excellent way to make sure your skin stays softer than a chenille throw. It’s a star in the burgeoning apothecary-style line, which is made by hand, in small batches—and with seriously good vibes. Thanks to Colorado-based founder Brandy Monique, it comes with tons of cool factor and energetic qualities that urbanites need (but aren’t listed on the label). As for the ingredients that are, expect organic cane sugar, fair-trade Peruvian and Indonesian coffee beans, and enticing—yet gender neutral—aromas of black pepper, vanilla bean, and rosemary oil essence. Prepare to have to share it.
You had us at coconut butter—but the cardamom seals the beauty deal. “Cardamom is soothing to sore muscles and joints and has a mild pain-relieving effect,” say herbalist-founders, Sarah Buscho and Marina Storm of cult-fave California brand Earth Tu Face. That makes the quickly absorbing salve great for the gym bag or the dressing table. The sweet-spicy scent blends a little too beautifully with the coconut and cinnamon, like something you’d add to your smoothies. “We always take in account both the healing properties and scent blending,” they say knowingly. You’ll be the best scented thing leaving the gym.
(Photo: Earth Tu Face)
“In Ayurveda, cardamom is used for its healing benefits, from soothing digestive issues to lowering blood pressure,” explains Pratima spa and beauty founder, Dr. Raichur. “As an aromatic spice, it is wonderful in cooking and for the famous Indian chai.” And in beauty products like her stunning Love Oil, where whole herbs, spices, and cinnamon sticks dance like a beauty snow globe? “It’s soothing and invigorating, with sweet qualities that add healthy radiance to the skin, assist in relaxing the muscles, and act as a powerful aphrodisiac,” she says. Find the mistletoe?