Cinnamon belongs to the family Lauraceae, native to the countries of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. Cinnamon is a bushy, evergreen tree with thick leaves and greenish to yellow flowers that grow in clusters. The spice, the dried inner bark, is a popular ingredient commonly used in flavoring baked goods and beverages. It has a fragrant aroma with a warm, sweet flavor. Its essential oil can be extracted from its leaves and bark and is used to flavor food, liquor, and make perfume and drugs.
There are two varieties of cinnamon from which the oil is derived. The Cassia cinnamon is where most of the commercial oil is extracted from, while the Ceylon cinnamon is the more expensive variety.
Cinnamon essential oil can also be extracted from the different parts of the plant through steam distillation. The two types of cinnamon oil available in the market are the cinnamon bark oil and the cinnamon leaf oil. The cinnamon bark oil has a strong, fragrant smell with a deep brown color. It is also considered as the more expensive oil. The cinnamon leaf oil has a musky and spicy scent and is lighter. Of these two types, the cinnamon bark oil is considered being more potent.
Traditional Uses of Cinnamon Essential Oil
In ancient Egypt, cinnamon was used in embalming and is also included in many religious practices. It was a highly prized commodity during the ancient times and was even more valuable than gold at one time.
Cinnamon is also one of the key ingredients in the four thieves vinegar concoction that was made by the grave robbers in the 15th century to protect themselves from the plague.
Cinnamon was also associated with protection, prosperity, and was believed to attract wealth.
Benefits of Using Cinnamon Essential Oil
As in aphrodisiac
Cinnamon essential oil has shown to promote sexual drive. It has also been used to treat reproductive problems such as sexual dysfunction and impotence.
For weight loss
Cinnamon has the ability to balance the body’s blood sugar level. It the rate of glucose release in the blood through its ability to balance the blood sugar level cravings for sweets.
Cinnamon essential oil is also known to help burn fats and help lose weight. Cinnamaldehyde, a compound in cinnamon, has the ability to convert fat cells to energy by burning them. This can easily lead to the prevention of obesity.
Relieve sore throat
Cinnamon oil’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties makes it an excellent oil to help fight infections like sore throats. By lessening the inflammation, pain is also eased.
Gets rid of unwanted odors
Cinnamon essential oil is a natural home deodorizer. It keeps the house smelling warm and gives out a relaxing feeling. It can be used as a room spray or in a diffuser to help detoxify the air around the house.
Boosts the mood
Cinnamon essential oil can be diffused or applied on the skin. The relaxing scent that the cinnamon gives help lower the feelings of stress and anxiety and helps boost the mood. A blend of cinnamon oil with tea tree oil or lemon oil can help elevate energy levels.
For healthy skin, hair, and lips
Cinnamon essential oil’s anti-inflammatory property can treat common skin rashes, blisters, and acne. It can be added to facial creams or diluted in carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and applied to the skin. It can be used with a facial wash to reduce redness and swelling. Its antimicrobial property is also beneficial for keeping skin conditions from getting infected. The oil is also effective in soothing dry skin and moisturizing it. It can also reduce the signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines.
The oil can also promote hair growth and health. It keeps the hair stronger and prevents buildup of excessive oil and dirt that causes dandruff. It prevents the hair thinning and hair loss. A few drops of cinnamon oil on shampoo or diluting it on almond oil can be used to massage the scalp and keep the hair shiny.
Cinnamon oil diluted in coconut oil can be used to promote circulation of blood on the lips and gives a plumping effect.
Relief for respiratory problems
Cinnamon is known to work against microbial agents that cause respiratory diseases. It acts as a decongestant and can help relieve symptoms of colds, severe coughs, and sneezing and boosts the immune system.
For pain relief
Cinnamon has a warming property which helps soothe muscles and ease pain. Massaging cinnamon essential oil diluted in carrier oil soothes inflammation that causes muscle and joint pains.
Cinnamon oil can also be used for pains related to menstruation. It can be added to a hot compress which can alleviate pain from menstruation by dealing with the soreness and promoting blood circulation.
Against fungal infections
Fungi can cause nasty infections in the body. Candida albicans is a strain of fungi responsible for toenail fungus and other fungal infections. Cinnamon oil combines with a carrier oil can be applied to affected areas to treat fungal infections.
Works against parasites
Cinnamon essential oil’s ability to slow down the reproduction of certain harmful parasites such as Plasmodium falciparum, a parasite that causes malaria. Cinnamon oil works against parasites by upsetting the amino acid biosynthesis of the organism which they need in order to thrive.
Safety Tips and Precautions
Oil from the cassia cinnamon contains the compound coumarin, which can cause damage to the liver and kidney, especially when used too much.
For people who suffer from diabetes, using cinnamon essential oil should be avoided without a doctor’s recommendation.
The oil should be diluted in carrier oil before using it topically to avoid skin irritations. Do not use it on bathwater as cinnamon oil does not mix with water and can burn and irritate the skin.