Cardamom : a silver lining
I first moved away from Rhode Island in October of 2015, at the age of 25. As someone who struggled with depression + frequent out-of-the-blue panic attacks + didn't have a driver's license until that autumn, this was a huge, life changing experience. I was terrified, but also felt that if I didn't leave Providence that year, that I would not live another year.
I packed up my station wagon, filled to the brim with succulents, hoyas + herbal transplants, + drove down the east coast to Savannah, GA, where a dear friend had settled the year before. I felt embraced by this incredibly beautiful city, with it's spanish moss dripping from every ancient branch + myrtle trees thick with lipstick kiss blooms.. yet it all felt so paralyzing.
Everything I had known, my whole support system, was a 15 hour drive away + I was terrified of driving on the highway alone, let alone getting on an airplane. I began to isolate, sleeping late, stretching my mornings into the afternoon, my nervous system ravaged with home sickness.
It came in painful waves of panic and nausea. I never knew home sickness could actually make you sick! I spiraled into the darkest depression I had known since many years before, leaving me gasping for air in a searing pool of quick sand. I could not continue to take it for much longer.
Then a miracle arrived in the mail. My friend had traded some of her magic for beautiful herbal concoctions from a friend of hers in Vermont. This luxurious package contained many gems including a glorious bottle of tulsi mead + a CARDAMOM TINCTURE!
Up until then, my only experience of cardamom was through chai blends and curry dishes. I had no idea of it's instant, miraculous abilities to lift one out of the darkest pit, disperse + release the despair, + settle the pangs of insufferable homesickness, but it did. Within moments of taking a few drops of this tincture, I had come back to life. I felt connection again, I wanted to live again. I even left my room + went to a show at a friend's house! And talked to people! It was simply the most dramatic experience I had ever had with an herb at that point, + it's shocking to me that so few people know of it's magic.
My favorite way of working with cardamom is grinding the seeds into my morning tea. If you are more of a coffee person, you can grind the seeds right up with the beans, + cardamom actually has medicinal properties that help negate the negative effects of caffeine!
Making a tincture is another powerful way to work with cardamom, as you just read. I learned from a teacher of mine at VCIH this past year that cardamom is an excellent herb to include in an acute trauma formula. It helps to bring you back into your body and be in the present moment. Cardamom is also a wonderful carminative herb, aiding in digestion + relaxing the GI tract.
I feel that this little seed has the energy of the metaphorical "silver lining" that one can look for in any grey cloud. It brightens the darkest of places in a cooling, calming way. I'm eternally grateful for what this plant has shown me. I hope you enjoy working with cardamom too!
Cardamom is one of the herbs included in my Heart Song tincture, which can be found here.