by KG Stiles, LMT, RBT, CBP, CAT
CINNAMON BARK (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) – A powerful antiseptic oil with a strong pungent, spicy aroma and reddish brown color. Cinnamon has a long tradition of use, having been produced in Sri Lanka for more than 2,000 years.
Research shows that virus, bacteria, and fungus cannot survive in the presence of cinnamon oil. Cinnamon bark oil has even stronger antiseptic properties than Cinnamon Leaf and readily kills bacterial and fungal infections.
Historically Cinnamon has been used in the Middle East and the Orient for combating viruses and infectious diseases. It has been used as a treatment for fever, diarrhea and menstrual irregularities, as well as indigestion, cramps, nausea, vomiting and colic. Inflammations of the throat and pharynx may also be relieved through its use. Inhalation of Cinnamon has proven effective for relieving respiratory infections.
In Ayurvedic medicine Cinnamon is used to relieve many common complaints such as those already noted and to balance the various doshas or body types: Vata, Pita and Kapha.
The trees are cut every two years to just above ground level. The bark is harvested from the new shoots, then dried. The outer bark is stripped away, leaving the inner bark, which is the primary part of the herb used for medicinal purposes. The medicinal value of the herb is attributed to the oil extracted from the inner bark as well as the leaves.
Cinnamon bark is one of the most popular food flavorings and a valued commodity on the world market. Because it kills the bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease Cinnamon Bark is a common ingredient in many common oral hygiene products like toothpaste, mouthwash and breath fresheners. It is also used for making perfume, soap, chewing gum, lip stick, nasal spray, cough syrup and soda pop drinks.
Cinnamon Bark continues to be a valued treatment for various common ailments. As in ancient times modern day herbalists continue to prescribe cinnamon bark as a remedy for nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and indigestion. Chinese herbalists recommend it for asthma sufferers when their symptoms are brought on by cold, digestive disturbances, backache, or menstrual related difficulties.
Cinnamon bark is known to regulate blood sugar levels and may reduce the amount of insulin required for glucose metabolism by diabetics. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) researchers found a dose of 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon to be beneficial in regulating blood glucose levels.
I rely on Cinnamon Bark in my health care practice to keep the air fresh and clear of “bugs” and for preventing the spread of infection. Clients absolutely love its fresh, clean scent and enjoy the benefits it so readily bestows that of preventing and relieving cold and flu symptoms.
Cinnamon’s powerful scent is a definite pick-me-up! It is useful for relieving “brain fog,” common among chronic pain sufferers, as well as the winter “blahs.”
Cinnamon Leaf essential oil enhances circulation making it excellent for warming you when you are feeling chilled down to your bones! Try 1-8 drops of Cinnamon Bark or Leaf essential oil blended in 1 ounce of Jojoba oil and massage your feet with a small amount of the mixture then put on your socks and enjoy warm happy feet all day!
Keep warm when engaging in winter outdoor sports by rubbing a small amount of this same mixture on your chest and abdominal area, as well as over the lung area on your back.
CAUTION: An intensely powerful oil to be used with respect and extreme caution. Generally not for skin applications except in weak dilutions of less than 1%. May cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. Due to its stimulating properties should be avoided during pregnancy, by lactating mothers, or young children.