It is believed that the West got its first taste of cardamom when Alexander the Great brought it back from India. It was used widely in Europe to treat digestive problems. Because this herb is considered an aphrodisiac, Culpeper assigned it to Venus, but it is all Mars warming and stimulating. It is often described as sweet and feeling a “grateful warmth”. It can be frequently found in love charms (or perhaps better to say lust charms), but as a Mars herb, it can be equally effective in magical protection. It is a stimulant to the mind and warming to the body, said to uplift the spirits, calm the nerves and help clarify thinking.
This magic herb is an ingredient in some Dark Age versions of “kyphi”, the ancient Egyptian incense that became a medicine and is often given as a substitute for cinnamon, which is a good match in terms of its strength of warmth. Pliny mentions it as an ingredient in the Egyptian perfume called “Metopium” and the Romans incorporated into perfumes as well, often combining it with saffron and myrrh. Cardamom is still often found in perfumes, especially “masculine” ones and it is especially nicely combined with orange, cinnamon, cloves and caraway.