Medicinal Uses of Cinnamon

· February 5, 2015

This article focuses on an aromatic plant whose use dates back thousands of years. The medicinal uses of cinnamon have been known for centuries; the most well-known variety is “cassia cinnamon” that offers the most curative properties.

According to Ayurveda, it works to treat a large range of respiratory, digestive, and reproductive illnesses.  It is widely used in chocolate and coffee, and is really quite delicious.  Learn much more about the medicinal uses of cinnamon below.

Characteristics of Cinnamon

The tree that produces cinnamon is perennial and can measure up to 50 feet tall.  It has a double bark and very aromatic branches.  Its natural habitat is in Southern India or in Sri Lanka, but it is now also cultivated in other warm climates.  Cinnamon comes from the inner bark layer of the tree.  It provides us with a large amount of calcium, potassium, vitamin A, carbohydrates, fibers, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.cinnamon2

The use of this aromatic is very old, since the age of the Egyptians, according to the drawings on the pyramids.  It was imported from China 2,000 years before Christ, and was used to embalm mummies.  Later, in Greece and Rome, it was used to improve digestion.  Studies show that it was, together with cardamom and pepper, the first species to be used in the Mediterranean region.  It appears in the Bible several times and in the Orient, it is said that it began to be used in the year 2,700 B.C..  In India, it is also over 1,000 years old.

Its use in the West was related to the wealthy upper class, as it was very expensive.  In the Middle Ages, the Genoese and Venetians sold it through the Muslims.  In the 19th century, it began to be cultivated in other areas of the world, and today, it is commonly consume with coffee or chocolate.

The Medicinal Uses of Cinnamon

We can say that this aromatic has many different uses due to its properties and benefits.  Its internal use helps the digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and reproductive systems:

  • Digestive system:  due to its carminative, antiemetic, and antiulcer properties, it stimulates salivation and gastric juices.  It is used in cases of aerophagia (avoid excess of flatulence by drinking one tablespoon of cinnamon stick per liter of water), difficult digestion (consume a teaspoon of the powder before meals), acidity (sprinkle over foods), lack of appetite (drink a tea with one tablespoon of cinnamon stick per liter of water before meals), and vomiting (sprinkle a quarter teaspoon of powdered cinnamon over foods).cinnamon3
  • Respiratory system:  Due to its expectorant, antibacterial, and antiinflammatory properties, it is used in cases of bronchitis, colds, and cough (drink two drops of essence in a cup of warm water with a tablespoon of honey).
  • Cirulatory system:  It has an antithrombotic properties as well as helps prevent sclerosis, as it improves blood circulation.  It works to treat problems in the toes and hands caused by the cold, and it is very effective in treating chillbains (drink several cups of infusions with a tablespoon of cinnamon stick per liter of water).
  • Reproductive system:  It is good for counteracting menstrual pains and to regulate the period (drink as a tea prepared from a tablespoon of cinnamon stick), it is a great aphrodiasiac, it stimulates the libido, and helps in cases of erectile dysfunction (drink a tea with half a tablespoon of cinnamon in a cup of water).cinnamon4

External Uses of Cinnamon

The diverse preparations that can be bought or made at home serve to treat many illnesses that are related to fungi and bacteria.  For example:

  • Vaginal infectionsIt neuteralizes Candida Albicans.  Make a wash with the liquid that results from an infusion of a liter of water and a tablespoon of crumbled cinnamon stick.
  • Fungus on the feet or nails:  Soak your feet in an infusion of two tablespoons of cinnamon stick dissolved in some liters of warm water.
  • Respiratory infections:  Gargle an infusion of cinnamon to treat tonsilitis, laryngitis, and pharyngitis.
  • Mouth sores:  Make a mouthwash with the tea of half a teaspoon of cinnamon per cup of water.
  • Bad breath:  The components of cinnamon block the development of bacteria from leftover food particles.  Gargle with a mixture of several tablespoons of this aromatic in a liter of water.cinnamon5

Other Benefits of Cinnamon

The tradition of Chinese medicine that in addition to the medicinal uses already mentioned, cinnamon’s properties can be used to treat:

  • rheumatism
  • arthritis
  • osteoarthritis
  • aches due to cold
  • kidney problems
  • blood circulation
  • inflammatory disease
  • diarrhea
  • diabetes
  • indigestion

Counter-indications of Cinnamon

Due to its hot and spicy properties, it greatly stimulates blood circulation, and is therefore prohibited for those people with problems with clotting or a tendency to bleed.  Its consumption should also be either avoided or carefully limited in pregnant women.  In doubt, always consult a physician; although it is a natural herb, it can have undesired effects on the body.

Photography courtesy of Trophy Geek, Cinamon Vogue, Mc Kay Savage