We have started harvesting cinnamon from our cinnamon tree. The flavour is rich and strong…we always knew it was good but read below to see just how good this is for your health!
Modern herbalists prescribe cinnamon bark as a remedy for nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and indigestion. Chinese herbalists recommend it for asthma brought on by cold, some digestive problems, backache, and menstrual problems.
The medicinal value of the herb is attributed to the oil extracted from the inner bark and leaves. The cinnamon bark harvested from the young branches is primarily used for culinary purposes. In fact, the cinnamon sticks commonly used in cooking are actually pieces of rolled outer bark.
The active ingredients of the bark contain antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, antispasmodic, and antifungal properties. Japanese research has shown cinnamaldehyde, one of the constituents of cinnamon bark, to be sedative and analgesic. Eugenol, another component, contains pain-relieving qualities.
Cinnamon bark is helpful in strengthening and supporting a weak digestive system. Research reports that cinnamon bark breaks down fats in the digestive system, making it a valuable digestive aid. It is used to treat nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ulcers, acid indigestion, heartburn, lack of appetite, and abdominal disorders.
A traditional stimulant in Chinese medicine, cinnamon bark has a warming effect on the body and is used for conditions caused by coldness. The twigs of cinnamon enhance circulation, especially to the fingers and toes.
Cinnamon bark contains antiseptic properties that help to prevent infection by killing decay-causing bacteria, fungi, and viruses. One German study showed that the use of cinnamon bark suppressed the cause of most urinary tract infections and the fungus responsible for vaginal yeast infections. It is also helpful in relieving athlete’s foot .
Cinnamon bark is a frequent ingredient in toothpaste, mouthwash, and other oral hygiene products because it helps kill the bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease . Inflammations of the throat and pharynx may be relieved through its use.
Cinnamon bark is also known to control blood sugar levels in diabetics. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) researchers have found that cinnamon bark may reduce the amount of insulin required for glucose metabolism. A dose of 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon per meal for diabetic patients may help to regulate their blood sugar levels.
The spice has also garnered quite a reputation as an aphrodisiac. A study at the Smell and Taste Research Foundation in Chicago tested medical students’ reactions to various aromas by attaching measurement devices to the students’ penises. The smell of hot cinnamon buns generated the most blood flow of all the scents.
Cinnamon bark promotes menstruation. It has been used to treat menstrual pain and infertility. Women in India take it as a contraceptive after childbirth.
Other conditions in which cinnamon bark may be helpful include fevers and colds, coughs and bronchitis, infection and wound healing, some forms of asthma, and blood pressure reduction.
Cinnamon bark is available in several forms from Chinese pharmacists, Asian grocery stores, and health food stores: fresh or dried bulk, pill, tincture, and as an essential oil.
In Chinese medicine, cinnamon is usually taken in combination with other herbs. Below are some typical dosages for cinnamon alone.
Tincture: Take up to 4 ml with water three times daily. Tea: Take 1 cup 2-3 times daily at mealtimes. Crushed: Take 1/2 tsp (2-4 g) daily.
- Cinnamon bark may cause an allergic reaction in some individuals.
- Cinnamon bark is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.
- Do not take essential oil of cinnamon bark internally unless under professional supervision. Internal ingestion may cause nausea, vomiting, and possible kidney damage.
- Essential oil of cinnamon bark is one of the most hazardous essential oils and should not be used on the skin. External application of the oil may cause redness and burning of skin.
- Cinnamon bark should not be given to children under two years of age.
- Cinnamon bark is considered toxic if taken in excess.
Mild side effects include stomach upset and diarrhea. Large doses can cause changes in breathing, dilation of blood vessels, and convulsions. Excessive use of cinnamon bark may cause red, tender gums; mouth ulcers; inflamed taste buds; and a severe burning sensation in the mouth.
Encyclopaedia of Alternative Medicine –