Native to the tropical forests of India, cardamom is a perennial herbaceous plant with thick rhizomes. The reed-like stems are formed of long, overlapping leaf sheaths. The mature fruit is a capsule-like pod that protects some twenty small, black, aromatic seeds. Cardamom is a very old spice, one used since ancient times to flavor and purify dishes. It was considered the “queen of spices” due of its delicious aroma and high market value. In India and Pakistan, it was used to communicate with the gods: The capsules were burned as incense, along with sandalwood and cascarilla, during religious rites. The fragrance of essential oil has two characteristic facets: the freshness of citrus notes and the warmth of spicy notes.