Herbs & Plants Herbs & Plants (Spices)


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Botanical Name : Cinnamomum aromaticum
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Cinnamomum
Species: C. verum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Laurales

Synonyms:Cinnamomum zeylanicum,Cinnamomum verum

Common Names:Cinnamon, “true cinnamon”, Ceylon cinnamon or Sri Lanka cinnamon,Cinnamomum cassia, called Chinese cassia or Chinese cinnamon.

Habitat :Cinnamon is native to Asia, it  is an evergreen tree originating in southern China, and widely cultivated there and elsewhere in southern and eastern Asia (India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam,Combodia & Sreelanka). It is one of several species of Cinnamomum used primarily for their aromatic bark, which is used as a spice. In the United States, Chinese cassia is often sold under the culinary name of “cinnamon”. The buds are also used as a spice, especially in India, and were once used by the ancient Romans.

The tree grows to 10–15 m tall, with greyish bark and hard, elongated leaves that are 10–15 cm long and have a decidedly reddish colour when young.The leaves are ovate-oblong in shape, 7–18 cm (2.75–7.1 inches) long. The flowers, which are arranged in panicles, have a greenish color, and have a distinct odor. The fruit is a purple 1-cm drupe containing a single seed.  click to see the pictures
Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known on earth.
The use of cinnamon can be traced back to Egypt around 3000 B.C., where it was used as an embalming agent, to China around 2700 B.C., where it was used medicinally by herbalists. In traditional Asian medicine, cinnamon has long been used to treat blood pressure and poor blood circulation

click to see

Cinnamon is also known by the names Sweet Wood, Cassia and Gui Zhi. The parts of this plant used medicinally are the dried inner bark of the shoots, and the oil distilled from the bark and leaves. Cinnamon is an ancient herbal medicine mentioned in Chinese texts as long ago as 4,000 years. Cinnamon was used in ancient Egypt for embalming. In ancient times, it was added to food to prevent spoiling. During the Bubonic Plague, sponges were soaked in cinnamon & cloves, and placed in sick rooms. Cinnamon was the most sought after spice during explorations of the 15th and 16th centuries. It has also been burned as an incense. The smell of Cinnamon is pleasant, stimulates the senses, yet calms the nerves. Its smell is reputed to attract customers to a place of business. Most Americans consider Cinnamon a simple flavoring, but in traditional Chinese medicine, it’s one of the oldest remedies, prescribed for everything from diarrhea and chills to influenza and parasitic worms. Cinnamon comes from the bark of a small Southeast Asian evergreen tree, and is available as an oil, extract, or dried powder. It’s closely related to Cassia (Cassia tora), and contains many of the same components, but the bark and oils from Cinnamon have a better flavor. Cinnamon has a broad range of historical uses in different cultures, including the treatment of diarrhea, rheumatism, and certain menstrual disorders. Traditionally, the bark was believed best for the torso, the twigs for the fingers and toes. Research has highlighted hypoglycemic properties, useful in diabetes. Cinnamon brandy is made by soaking crushed Cinnamon bark a “fortnight” in brandy. Chinese herbalists tell of older people, in their 70s and 80s, developing a cough accompanied by frequent spitting of whitish phlegm. A helpful remedy, they suggest, is chewing and swallowing a very small pinch of powdered cinnamon. This remedy can also help people with cold feet and hands, especially at night. Germany’s Commission E approves Cinnamon for appetite loss and indigestion. The primary chemical constituents of this herb include cinnamaldehyde, gum, tannin, mannitol, coumarins, and essential oils (aldehydes, eugenol, pinene). Cinnamon is predominantly used as a carminative addition to herbal prescriptions. It is used in flatulent dyspepsia, dyspepsia with nausea, intestinal colic and digestive atony associated with cold & debilitated conditions. It relieves nausea and vomiting, and, because of its mild astringency, it is particularly useful in infantile diarrhea. The cinnamaldehyde component is hypotensive and spasmolytic, and increases peripheral blood flow. The essential oil of this herb is a potent antibacterial, anti-fungal, and uterine stimulant. The various terpenoids found in the volatile oil are believed to account for Cinnamon’s medicinal effects. Test tube studies also show that Cinnamon can augment the action of insulin. However, use of Cinnamon to improve the action of insulin in people with diabetes has yet to be proven in clinical trials. Topical applications of Cinnamon include use as a hair rinse for dark hair, and as a toothpaste flavoring to freshen breath. As a wash, it prevents and cures fungal infections such as athletes foot. It is also used in massage oils. You can also place Cinnamon in sachets to repel moths. Its prolonged use is known to beautify the skin and promote a rosy complexion. The common name Cinnamon encompasses many varieties, including Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum saigonicum, which are used interchangeably with.

Click to see

This well known spice is also a medicinal plant. The best cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka. In the wild, cinnamon trees can grow to 60ft tall, but when cultivated, they are kept cropped shorter so there is always a supply of new shoots. Young shoots are cut and the bark removed. The outer bark is peeled away, the inner bark is left to dry. It curls as it dries into the familiar cinnamon “quills”.

click to see the pictures

In traditional Asian medicine, cinnamon has long been used to treat blood pressure and poor blood circulation. Cinnamon even contains an antioxidant, glutathione. It has been used as a carminative (relieves wind in the digestive system), and to relieve nausea and vomiting.
It reduces muscle spasms and is slightly astringent, so is good for tummy upsets and painful periods.

Cinnamon encourages the digestive system to work efficiently and improves the appetite so is a good herb to use after a flu or other illness to aid convalescence. It is warming and improves circulation, so is good to take if you suffer cold hands and feet, or chilblains.

Recent research has shown that cinnamon is very effective in reducing blood sugar levels. People suffering late-onset diabetes (Type II), especially if it is mainly controlled by diet, are now being recommended to add a teaspoon of cinnamon to their daily diet. It is nice sprinkled on porridge in the mornings (and oats are good for lowering blood sugar too, so it is a good combination).

Therapeutic: Analgesic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, carminative, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant. germicide, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, styptic, vermifuge.
Internal: – Amenorrhea, candida, circulation (slow), colic, cough, diarrhea, exhaustion, flatulence, infection, intestinal parasites, stress and typhoid.
It is used to treat colds, sinus congestion, bronchitis, dyspepsia
high pitta, bleeding disorder.
External:– bites, colds, coughs, influenza, lice, rheumatism, scabies, tinea (athlete’s foot), toothache, warts & calluses.

Medicinal properties of cinnamon:
It acts on plasma, blood, muscles, marrow and nerves.
It affects circulatory, digestive, respiratory and urinary systems.
Cinnamon has been associated with the ability to prevent ulcers, destroy fungal infections, soothe indigestion, ward off urinary tract infections, and fight tooth decay and gum disease. The pharmaceutical industry currently uses cinnamon in toothpaste and mouthwash as a natural flavoring.

It is a stimulant, diaphoretic (increases perspiration), carminative (helps prevent gas formation), expectorant, diuretic (increases urine production), and painkiller.

As per Ayurveda:It is katu, sheeta veerya, laghu, beneficial in derabged kpha, expectorant, spermicidal, antidysentric and remover hoarseness of voice.

Parts used: Leaves and bark.

Therapeutic uses:
In the form of oil used externally in the treatment rheumatism, neuralgia, headache and toothache.
It is internally used in common gastro-intestinal symptoms such as dyspepsia, flatulence, diarrhoea, nausea vomiting; useful in menorrhagia, gonorrhoea, tuberculosis and enteric fever.

A must for cold days in autumn and winter
Ayurvedic Cinnamon Insoles not only warm your feet but also strengthens your immune system.
*Warm feet in winter
*Regulated foot temperature
*Stimulated blood circulation
*Distaunched heavy legs
*Smelly feet forever
*Calluses & painfully cracked heels

Fight old age Type II diabetes
To regulate blood sugar levels

Not to be worn in final stages of pregnancy.Due to a toxic component called coumarin, which can damage the liver, European health agencies have warned against consuming high amounts of cassia. Other possible toxins founds in the bark/powder are cinnamaldehyde and styren.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


One reply on “Cinnamon”

you're providing great information about plants I need to know about that are not in my common herbal western reference books. I make ayrurvedic skin balms on a to a very small but growing client base and I have been to south india Kerala many many times.

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