Cinnamon Bark Oil
Cinnamon Bark Oil and Powder
I have to yet see a person who does not like the scented aroma and rich flavor of cinnamon. This nature’s wonder is generally found in tropical countries such as India and Sri Lanka also formerly known as Ceylon. But now this shrub is grown in almost every tropical region of the world that has a conducive environment for the cultivation of this herb. Since it was mainly found in India, it was used in its traditional medicines known as Ayurveda. The scientific name of cinnamon is Cinnamomum zeylanicum. True cinnamon is Ceylon Cinnamon and is the preferred variety in Europe and Mexico. It is milder than cassia but has a more subtle and complex flavor than cassia. Cassia cinnamon has much higher levels of coumarin. This is a toxin that can be moderately damaging to the liver and kidneys.
Most cinnamon spice sold in North America is actually not true cinnamon. It is a closely related spice called cassia or Cinnamomum cassia and is also known as “Chinese Cinnamon”. Beware of the fact that FDA permits spice traders to label cassia as cinnamon.
There are many negative studies out there perpetrated by the pharmaceutical industry which report that cinnamon is ineffective, but on the contrary, there are numerous health benefits associated with using it. Cinnamon is derived from a tropical, evergreen tree that has highly fragrant bark, leaves, and flowers. Extracted from bark, Cinnamon bark oil contains strong cleansing and immune support properties. It has a high content of cinnamaldehyde (an organic compound that gives cinnamon its flavor and odor).
Cinnamaldehyde is also used as a fungicide and has been used effectively on over 40 different crops. This organic compound is typically applied to the root systems of plants. It has a low toxicity and therefore, is ideal for agriculture. Cinnamaldehyde is an effective insecticide, and its scent is also known to repel animals. The oil, however, can irritate the skin due to which it should be diluted with other oils such as fractionated coconut oil.
Benefits of Cinnamon Bark Oil
Cinnamon bark and oil have been used in a variety of ailments:
High Blood Pressure
This research was carried out in Canada, where scientists reviewed and evaluated the effects of short-term administration of cinnamon on blood pressure regulation. They found that cinnamon significantly decreased systolic blood pressure by an average of 5.39 Hg. Diastolic blood pressure was also reduced.
Reduction of Blood Sugar
True cinnamon is being investigated for potentially controlling sugar levels in patients with diabetes. Researchers in India investigated water soluble polyphenols to evaluate their effect on insulin and blood sugar. The polyphenol enhanced extracts offer a good antioxidant potential while also being safe. Lab rats experienced reduced blood sugar after being treated with the polyphenol enhanced extracts during the experiment. A similar benefit was obtained by a group of human volunteers with chronically elevated fasting blood sugar levels who were not using insulin or any other medication to control blood sugar levels.
University of California researchers recorded a lowering of blood sugar levels using cinnamon.
A thorough article about determining the blood glucose lowering effect of cinnamon on HbA1c, blood pressure and lipid profiles in people with type 2 diabetes is discussed here.
Cinnamon helps in the prevention of memory loss and also increases brain activity and therefore, can be considered to be a good brain tonic. Those who used cinnamon had pronounced memory function and could process more information rapidly. These results were verified using cognitive tests.
Scientists from California found that cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin in cinnamon protect the neurons from oxidative damage that can lead to cognitive dysfunction and Alzheimer’s disease.
For Arthritis and Pain Relief
The cinnamon bark has been used for centuries in India in Ayurvedic medicine against inflammation and pain related disorders. It decreases inflammation, edema, pain reactions and therefore, can be considered a potential anti-rheumatic agent.
Cinnamon Oil, the Pathogen Killer
Cinnamon oil is a very strong antiseptic and can kill viruses, fungi, and bacteria in less than an hour. Therefore, it has been classified as one of the strongest anti-pathogen in nature.
For Weight Watchers
Scientists in Pakistan carried out a research where a water based extract from the cinnamon bark was given to obese rats for 5 weeks. The rats showed an altered behavior in the following two ways:
- The rats voluntarily reduced their intake of food
- An increase in a neurotransmitter known as 5-HT Serotonin (5-Hydroxy tryptamine) was recorded.
Such elevated level of serotonin is observed in people with anorexia. Thus the desire to overeat was reduced.
Diabetic Kidney Disease (Nephropathy)
Kidney’s main function is to remove waste from the blood and return the cleaned blood back to the body. When kidneys fail, the remove of waste and maintenance of the level of fluid and salts that the body needs is compromised. One cause of kidney failure is diabetes mellitus. This eventually leads to kidney failure. To prevent nephropathy, Chinese researchers developed the novel idea to use cassia for the prevention of this disease due to diabetes.
- Menstrual cramps and heavy menstruation
- Yeast infections
- Digestive problems
- Respiratory problems
There are warnings that too much of the spice may cause liver damage. The most common forms of cinnamon powder you find in most stores, is cassia which contains high levels of coumarin. It can trouble the liver as this organ is responsible for much of the body’s filtering processes. In fact, the European Union has created guidelines for the maximum content of coumarin in food items.
Ceylon cinnamon (cinnamon verum) is expensive and thus used much less frequently; unless labeled (and priced) accordingly, cassia cinnamon is the kind your supermarket will most likely stock. Ceylon cinnamon is likely safer in very high doses than cassia. Though both types of cinnamon are considered by the FDA to be safe for human consumption, but specific quantities are not mentioned.
Ceylon cinnamon contains only trace amounts of coumarin. Researchers found that on average, cassia cinnamon powder had up to 63 times more coumarin compared to Ceylon cinnamon powder, while cassia cinnamon sticks contained 18 times more than Ceylon cinnamon sticks.
If you are using a lot of cinnamon, then you should use Ceylon because it will lower the risk of liver damage. More on this can be found in this article. Ceylon as shown in the picture (right) is less common and more expensive as previously mentioned. Ceylon is also lighter in color, tastes lighter and has less of a spicy flavor. In powdered form, the two types are hard to distinguish, but in stick form they look different; Cassia is comprised of a thick layer of rolled bark while Ceylon has thinner, more fibrous-looking layers.
A teaspoon of Cassia cinnamon powder contains 5.8 to 12.1 mg of coumarin. The preferred daily intake for humans is 0.1 mg/kg body weight, hence one teaspoon a day might exceed the limit for smaller individuals. A more detailed study for the intake of cinnamon on a daily basis is discussed here.
How I use Cinnamon Bark Oil and Powder
I am now using powdered Cinnamomum zeylanicum on a daily basis but soon will transition to Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum Verum) – the more expensive one. Half a teaspoon appears to be sufficient for my needs. I make my own smoothy with lots of other goodies in addition to cinnamon powder.
It’s oil, I use for clearing my throat of any oncoming or even existing throat infections. The recovery time is phenomenal! Last time I used it, my throat was cleared in a matter of just a few hours. If you choose a good quality, therapeutic grade of oil, all you need is one drop under the tongue (not on the tongue as it will sting). The saliva in your mouth takes care of the rest and makes sure your whole throat is covered by this fantastic gift from our Creator.
If you need to know which brand of oil I use, please sign up: