Cinnamon helps dry dampness, stimulates the digestive tract, and has activity against staph infection and botulism. It also stimulates circulation, and its prolonged use is known to beautify the skin and promote a rosy complexion. It is especially helpful for people who are always cold and have poor circulation.
Topically, cinnamon can be used in foot baths to treat athlete’s foot and as a bath herb in treatments for chills and sore muscles. As a steam inhalation, it is beneficial in cases of colds, coughs, and sore throat. It can be prepared as a wash to get rid of fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot. It is often included in massage oils for its warming properties, and it is often included in toothpaste for its ability to freshen breath and inhibit bacteria.
Most of the “cinnamon” sold commercially is actually a blend of cinnamon and cassia, but if you were to sample plain cassia and plain cinnamon, you would find cassia’s flavour bitter, while cinnamon is warm and “sweet”. Cassia also has a stronger scent, and it is darker (reddish brown versus tan). “Cinnamon sticks” made of true cinnamon look like quills (a single tube); “cinnamon sticks” made from cassia are rolled from both sides toward the centre so that they end up looking like scrolls.
true cinnamon, Ceylon Cinnamon; cannelle (French); Ceylonzimt, Kaneel, Zimt (German); cannella (Italian); canela (Spanish); thit-ja-boh-gauk (Burmese); yook gway, (Chinese); dal-chini, darchini, dhall cheene, kulmie darchini (Indian); Tvak (Sanskrit); kaju manis, kayu manis, manis djangan (Indonesian); kayu manis (Malay); kurundu (Sinhalese); karuvappadai (Tamil); op chery (Thai)
Cinnamon is the second most widely used warming stimulant in Chinese medicine, used by Chinese herbalists much as Western herbalists have used cayenne. In India, it is taken after childbirth as a contraceptive. It has a slight emmenagogic action—stimulating the uterus and encouraging menstrual bleeding. The bark is also administered by Ayurvedic doctors for anorexia, bladder disorders, and as a tonic for the heart. Japanese research in the 1980s showed that cinnamaldehyde was sedative and analgesic. It is also thought to reduce blood pressure and fevers.
Carminative, aromatic, antidiarrhoeal, antiemetic, antimicrobial
Dyspepsia, intestinal colic, flatulence, diarrhoea, common cold, influenza, nausea, diabetes
Fibroids and Menstrual problems.
Before the twentieth century, cinnamon tinctures were the standard remedy for uterine bleeding. Certain forms of cinnamon have been found to inhibit a substance in the blood called thromboxane A2, which causes platelets in the blood to clump together and form clots. Inhibiting thromboxane leads to less clotting and more normal blood flow. This action, paradoxically, reduces uterine bleeding by stimulating blood flow away from the uterus.
Perhaps the most common medicinal application of cinnamon is for the relief of intestinal gas. Both teas and tinctures are equally effective in quelling flatulence.
Blood-sugar control, Weightloss.
Studies have shown that consuming 1⁄4 teaspoon a day of cinnamon lowers diabetes risk by up to 29%. Cinnamon speeds weight loss by balancing blood sugar and warding off food cravings, A unique plant compound increases cells’ ability to absorb and use sugar, an effect shown to reduce appetite stimulating blood glucose fluctuations by up to 29%. The same compound that gives cinnamon its flavour has also been shown to increase metabolism. It works by inducing thermogenesis (the rate at which calories are burned to generate body heat). The antioxidants in cinnamon neutralise free radicals before they can cause damage to cells. This, in turn, reduces the cellular inflammation that has been shown to increase belly-fat storage and trigger fatigue.
- Administration of a cinnamon treatment for 1 week improved oral candidiasis in five patients with HIV infection.
- In Germany, the Commission E supports using cinnamon to treat loss of appetite, dyspeptic complaints (e.g., mild, spastic conditions of the gastrointestinal tract), bloating, and flatulence.
Dosage (Divided Daily)
• Dried Powder: 500 – 3,000mg
• Tincture: 3 – 6 mL (1:2)
Patients with known allergy to cinnamon, cinnamon bark oil, cinnamaldehyde or Peru balsam.
Interactions with other drugs
Balch, P. A., & Bell, S. J. (2012). Prescription for Herbal Healing (2nd ed.). New York, N.Y.: Avery.
- Bone, K. (2003). A clinical guide to blending liquid herbs: herbal formulations for the individual patient. St. Louis, MI: Churchill Livingstone.
- Herbalpedia (2013)
- Mars, B. (2007). The desktop guide to herbal medicine: the ultimate multidisciplinary reference to the amazing realm of healing plants, in a quick-study, one-stop guide. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Pub.
- Mills, S., & Bone, K. (2000). Principles and practice of phytotherapy: modern herbal medicine. Edinburgh; London: Churchill Livingstone.
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