In Winter, when temperatures really drop, warmth can often be found in the kitchen. During the cold months, I find myself gravitating toward the warming spices of Cinnamon, Ginger, Cumin and Cardamom. Native to India, Nepal, Bhutan, Guatemala, and Sri Lanka, Cardamom pods slowly ripen before they are harvested and then dried for just one day to preserve their beautiful color and pungency. A prized spice for food, medicine, and perfume in eastern cultures for thousands of years, it is known as the ‘Queen of Spices’ in India. This aromatic fruit boasts bold and complex flavor of Ginger, Black Pepper, Clove, Eucalyptus, and Lemon.
Whole Cardamom pods, lightly crushed can be used to flavor everything from curries, rice dishes to desserts. The fragrant seeds can be removed from the pod and ground in a spice grinder -in most cases, best to buy small quantities and grind your own whole spices to ensure fresh flavor. But you can purchase it pre-ground to have on hand to quickly add a bit of spiciness to your culinary life. A classic ingredient in Chai tea, it’s also lovely in coffee. The seeds can also be chewed as a natural breath freshener and digestive aide.
Whisperings throughout history rumor that Cleopatra found the scent of Cardamom so alluring that she made incense from the seeds to perfume her palace when Marc Antony came to visit. An intriguing ingredient in Indian cooking and the Ayurvedic apothecary, the traditional Winter spice is also a rising star in modern beauty due to its holistic benefits. Aesop, Earth Tu Face, FIG + YARROW, Pratima, and Red Flower -personal favorites and best in botanical boutique beauty, each carry a unique and luxurious Cardamom beauty product that uses synergistic qualities to add healthy radiance to the skin, assist in relaxing the muscles, and awaken the senses. Chic, artisanal, apothecary-line botanicals to enjoy the spicy warmth of invigorating Cardamom, that will simultaneously soothe and inspire you throughout the season.
Red Flower Cardamom Amber Oil, One hundred percent botanically based and essential oil derived, a highly concentrated aromatic blend of Cardamom, Bergamot, Rose, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, Amber, Patchouli, Vetiver, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Sweet Orange and Apricot Oil prepared in the Hammam Tradition, that leaves the skin calm, nourished, relaxed, deeply scented, and radiant by increasing circulation and warmth. Ideal for balancing sensitive, dry Winter skin. A winner in packaging, as this dry oil comes in spray form for ideal application. Red Flower -potent, luxurious eco beauty products with the perfect balance of ritual, well-being and aesthetics.
Earth Tu Face Virgin Coconut + Cardamom Body Butter, Cardamom, an anti-inflammatory used for centuries for its myriad health benefits and sweet sublime fragrance, is paired beautifully in this Body Butter by the herbalists behind Earth Tu Face with its deeply hydrating and nourishing ingredients: Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Unrefined Cocoa Butter, Sunflower Seed Wax, Organic Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Cinnamon Leaf, and Non-GMO Vitamin E. A rich and heady treatment that will protect, soften and rejuvenate the skin. The Pure Coconut Oil base means this Body Butter is solid below 76 degrees -a sign of a high quality, unadulterated oil. An ideal preparation for the Winter season beauty ritual.
FIG + YARROW Cardamom + Coffee Body Scrub, Prepare to swoon, Organic Cane Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Vitamin E, fair-trade Peruvian and Indonesian Coffee Beans, and enticing, yet gender neutral, aromas of Cardamom and Rosemary Oil Essence combine for a seriously indulgent body pampering experience in this Body Scrub from FIG + YARROW -a star in the burgeoning artisanal skincare line. Dedicated to the treatment of the whole self, FIG + YARROW products are crafted in small batches, mindfully formulated for efficacy and pleasure, marrying wildcrafted and organically grown herbs and botanical essences to create a healthfully indulgent experience.
For more Botanical Beauty see Queen of Flowers previous post Power Of Roses