(Cinnamomum verum, Cinnamomum aromaticum, C. cassia, C. verum, C. zeylanicum)
Energetics: Drying but the more it soaks it becomes moistening. Warming
Taste: Sweet. Spicy.
Parts Used: Dried inner bark of the shoots the form of whole sticks, powder or chips.
Key Components: Volatile oils. Tannins. Iron. Magnesium. Mucilage. Zinc. Coumarins (Cassia has more of this which is a blood thinner).
Preparations & dosage: Essential oil. Decoction (pulls out mucilage). Tincture (using both alcohol AND glycerin best fixes the tannins). Powder (encapsulated or stirred into food) (letting powder sit in something like apple sauce can also pull out a fair amount of mucilage). Encapsulated. Herbal oil for topical use. Medicinal dose is 1-6g per day.
Foundational: Astringent. Aromatic. Stimulant. Demulcent (When soaked for longer times).
Primary: Carminative. Mild Emmenagogue.
Secondary: Anti-Fungal. Antiviral. Antioxidant. Antimicrobial.
Uses: Add to cooling foods to balance. Chronic diarrhea, indigestion, gas, dysentery. Excellent warming digestive aid, especially in situations of slugging digestion, over-eating and bloating. It increases circulation and moves stagnant digestion. For digestive issues try cinnamon spiced milk. Taken for diarrhea can tone loose bowels and reduce likelihood of dehydration. Boost vitality. Improve circulation. Clear congestion. One of the best herbs for stabilizing blood sugar (Type 2 diabetes & insulin resistance). Lowers fasting blood glucose, lowering HbA1c, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Can benefit women with PCOS with fasting insulin and insulin resistance when 1-1/2g of cinnamon is taken over a period of 12 weeks. Sluggish & painful periods. Best taken as a preventative starting a few days before cramping is expected to start. Cinnamon tincture has been successful in stopping uterine bleeding when given every 15 minutes. Colds and flus when a person feels cold (even to the touch), clammy and shivery. A good, warm circulatory herb for those with chronically cold hands and feet (possibly Raynaud’s Disease). Can help balance a person with a warm upper and cold lower body. Astringent and antimicrobial properties make it an excellent choice for dental care. I use it in a tooth powder recipe along with activated charcoal and Licorice and I LOVE it! Makes my teeth so clean and my teeth and gums feel healthier than they have in ages! It can alleviate tooth-aches (a drop of cinnamon essential oil works well here). The antioxidant properties can help relieve inflammation that is caused by oxidative stress (physiological stress on the body that is caused by the cumulative damage done by free radicals inadequately neutralized by antioxidants and that is held to be associated with aging *Miriam Webster*). Also an excellent choice simply to improve the flavor of less tasty herbs/formulas.
Identification: Verum grown in Sri Lanka & India. It’s cousin Cinnamomum cassia is native to China. It is a more fragrant, stronger & warmer but the 2 can be used interchangeably.
Growing: Found in warm moist climates of the tropical areas. Prefers sandy soil. Needs a lot of space in the garden as it grows into a large tree or shurb.
Contraindications: Not recommended in large quantities during early pregnancy due to the emmenagogue properties, HOWEVER there has also never been a reported case of miscarriage due to cinnamon. Culinary dosage is considered very safe. Regularly ingesting more than one teaspoon of cassia (the kind typically found in the grocery store spice aisle) cinnamon powder per day could pose a health risk to some individuals including those with liver problems, those taking anticoagulant medicines or those about to undertake surgery. Avoid if taking blood thinners as it is quite an effective blood thinner itself. IF you are going to ingest a lot of cinnamon per day, serum is the safest.
Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: Rosemary Gladstar. Pg 64-69;
Cinnamon Consumption Improves Clinical Symptoms and Inflammatory Markers in Women With Rheumatoid Arthritis: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29722610.
Glycated haemoglobin and blood pressure-lowering effect of cinnamon in multi-ethnic Type 2 diabetic patients in the UK: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20854384/
Insulin Resistance Improvement by Cinnamon Powder in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo Controlled Clinical Trial: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29250843.
Antibacterial activity evaluation of selected essential oils in liquid and vapor phase on respiratory tract pathogens: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30053847
Antibacterial Effects of Cinnamon: From Farm to Food, Cosmetic and Pharmaceutical Industries: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4586554/
Antibacterial properties and major bioactive components of cinnamon stick (Cinnamomum burmannii): activity against foodborne pathogenic bacteria: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17567030
Chemistry, biogenesis, and biological activities of Cinnamomum zeylanicum: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21929331
Cinnamon and Chronic Diseases: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27771918
Cinnamon: a multifaceted medicinal plant: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24817901