What is Cinnamon Essential Oil?
Cinnamon essential oil is the warm, dry, herbaceous and spicy aromatic substance obtained from the bark of the plant Laurus cinnamomum (Cinnamomum verum or Cinnamomum zeylanicum), which belongs to the Lauraceae botanical family. It is an evergreen tree, 10 to 15 meters high, native to Sri Lanka.
Today, cinnamon plants are grown in different countries of Asia and are shipped around the world in the form of cinnamon essential oil or spices.
It is believed that more than 100 varieties of cinnamon are grown all over the world, but two types are undoubtedly the most popular: Ceylon cinnamon and Chinese cinnamon.
Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known to man. It was valued in ancient Egypt not only as medicine and flavoring of beverages, but also as an agent for embalming.
It is also mentioned in the Bible.
The cinnamon spice was so precious that it is considered more valuable than gold in some fragments of history.
Cinnamon essential oil blends well with other essential oils such as cardamom, ginger, benzoin, bergamot, clove, frankincense, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin, marjoram, nutmeg, orange, peppermint, Peru balsam, petitgrain, rose, vanilla and ylang ylang.
History of Cinnamon Essential Oil
Cinnamon has a very long and interesting history, in fact, many people consider it to be one of the oldest spices in human history.
It was highly valued by ancient Egyptians and has been used in Asia by practitioners of Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to help cure all kinds of diseases, from depression to weight gain.
Whether in the form of extract, liquor, tea or herb, cinnamon has provided relief to people for centuries.
Throughout history, cinnamon has been associated with protection and prosperity. It is said to have been used by bandits who desecrated tombs (as part of a mixture of oils) to protect themselves from the plague during the 15th century, and traditionally it is also associated with the ability to attract wealth.
In fact, if you were lucky enough to have cinnamon during ancient Egyptian times, you were considered a rich person. Records show that the value of cinnamon could have been equivalent to gold.
Many studies have proven the wide variety of pharmacological effects of cinnamon oil, such as its antioxidant capacity, its anti-inflammatory action, antiplatelet aggregation and how it improves blood circulation.
A 2011 study, by the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Kyung Hee University in Korea, showed that a 70 percent methanol extract of cinnamon oil, had significant antioxidant activity useful for improving immune function in the fight against stress oxidative
With the ability to positively stimulate iNOS, a key enzyme responsible for the production of nitric oxide (NO), cinnamon plays an important role in the fight against free radicals and inflammation, which we know is at the root of most Of diseases.
Cinnamon also has the ability to inhibit platelet aggregation by suppressing the release of arachidonic acid.
There are two different types of Cinnamon Oil
The cinnamon plant is used in many different ways to produce medicinal products. For example, you are probably familiar with the common cinnamon spice that is sold in almost all grocery stores. Cinnamon oil is a bit different because it is a much more potent “extract” from the plant that contains special compounds that are not found in the dried spice.
There are two main types of cinnamon oils available in the market: bark oil and cinnamon leaf oil. While they have some similarities, they are different products with different uses. The cinnamon bark oil is extracted from the outer bark of the cinnamon tree. It is considered very powerful and has a strong and perfumed smell. Cinnamon bark oil is generally more expensive than cinnamon leaf oil.
Cinnamon leaf oil has an odor like musk and spicy, and tends to have a lighter color. While cinnamon leaf oil may appear cloudy and yellow in color, the cinnamon bark oil has a dark reddish brown color that most people usually associate with the traditional cinnamon spice.
Both are beneficial, but cinnamon bark oil can be more powerful.
Properties of Cinnamon Essential Oil
Cinnamon essential oil contains a high concentration of antioxidants, which makes it effective as a natural digestive aid, stabilizer of blood sugar and a great boost for circulation. It is also commonly used to fight cardiovascular diseases and infections.
According to some studies, the list of benefits of cinnamon is extensive. For its part, cinnamon essential oil has antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet and antiviral properties, which makes it very useful to improve our immune system.
Chemical Composition of Cinnamon Essential Oil
The main active ingredients of cinnamon essential oil, responsible for its beneficial effects include: eugenol, cinnamaldehyde, phellandrene and methyleugenol.
On the other hand, the principal beneficial component of cinnamon oil is believed to be cinnamaldehyde, which comprises approximately 60 percent of the substance.
15 Benefits of Cinnamon Essential Oil for health
1. Eliminates stress
Cinnamon essential oil can be very useful to eliminate stress after a long and tiring day. Inhale directly by rubbing onto the palms or putting a 1-2 drops on your wrists or a handkerchief. The spicy aroma is sure to invigorate your senses.
2. Cinnamon oil has beneficial effects against diabetes and hypercholesterolemia
According to researchers from the Department of Human Nutrition at the Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland.
The intake of cinnamon helps reduce the blood sugar figures in diabetics. With only half a teaspoon, it can also help to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.
3. Soothes articular, muscular and rheumatic pain
This oil produces an antispasmodic effect that helps to treat muscle aches, sprains, rheumatism and arthritis.
Its anti-inflammatory properties make cinnamon a great muscle relaxant. The inflammatory processes proper to exercise (responsible for muscle pain), are inhibited by the cinnamyl alcohol and eugenol present in cinnamon.
4. Insomnia and physical exhaustion
It can also reduce drowsiness and is useful if you are physically and mentally exhausted.
The cinnamon essential oil has been used in rural Spain in the past to induce sleep in children. It was a relaxant that rural mothers used to sleep children when going to the countryside to work.
5. Respiratory viral infections
Cinnamon oil offers benefits against respiratory infections, such as coughs and colds when spread with a vaporizer. Additionally, it can help treat bronchitis and chest congestion.
6. Cleans blood and promotes circulation
Many of the benefits of cinnamon bark oil are related to its ability to dilate blood vessels. Cinnamon bark can help improve the function of nitric oxide, which causes an increase in blood flow and low levels of inflammation.
Cinnamon oil can naturally help keep arteries clean and free from dangerous plaque buildup thanks to their circulation stimulation capabilities.
Consequently, this helps ensure that the cells of the body receive adequate oxygen supply.
7. Relieves digestive discomfort
Cinnamon essential oil has gastric benefits, mainly due to its eugenol content. Additionally, works well to relieve nausea, gas expel, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea.
It is not suitable for people suffering from gastroduodenal ulcer. In high doses it can cause nervous alterations.
8. Improves heart health
The inner surface of the arteries, called the endothelium, is where nitric oxide normally occurs, but when the plaque builds up, it causes a disease called atherosclerosis, which makes it less able to produce nitric oxide.
Because cinnamon helps encourage the production of nitric oxide, it is beneficial for people with heart disease or who have suffered a heart attack or stroke. It also contains antiplatelet compounds that further benefit arterial health.
9. Natural aphrodisiac
Poor circulation can also have negative effects, causing decreased libido and erectile dysfunction. One of the main causes of decreased libido are aged and clogged arteries, which make it difficult for the reproductive organs to receive enough blood, oxygen and nutrients.
Cinnamon essential oil compounds act the same as prescription medications, but from nature.
For erectile dysfunction, for example, Viagra works by stimulating nitric oxide enzymes to increase blood flow. This makes cinnamon oil a natural remedy for impotence.
In addition, popular belief recognizes it to help impotence, in the case of men specifically. In fact, Cinnamon has been used since ancient times for different purposes, but thanks to its aphrodisiac power, it gained its universal fame.
10. Helps heal skin conditions
For effective treatment of skin conditions such as rashes, acne and infections, you can dilute cinnamon essential oil with a carrier oil (such as argan, sunflower, hemp, castor or rose hip oil) and apply it on the affected area.
11. Weight loss
Cinnamon is gaining reputation for being a fat-burning food and a valuable tool for weight loss. Thanks to its ability to balance blood sugar levels and improve the taste of food without adding sugar.
On the other hand, it is effective in stopping an unbridled appetite.
Unstable blood sugar levels can lead to overeating, lack of energy and weight gain, but adding cinnamon oil to fruits, tea, oatmeal, baked goods or smoothies helps slow the rate at which glucose is released in the blood.
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12. Reduces ulcers
Cinnamon essential oil contains a beneficial compound called eugenol that can help reduce ulcers.
Eugenol is able to combat some of the gastric effects of a poor diet and thus, reduce the pain associated with ulcer symptoms, the number of ulcers that develop, and its intensity in terms of causing lesions on the skin or mucous membranes, which are normally, difficult to heal.
13. Fights parasites
Studies have found that cinnamon oil inhibits the growth of certain harmful parasites, which makes it an excellent treatment against these.
Along with other oils such as thyme, oregano and cumin, cinnamon essential oil is considered one of the best oils to stop the growth of the mycelial parasite, even when used in small quantities.
14. Relieves sore throat
Cinnamon oil can help prevent the accumulation of mucus and clear the nasal passages. Try taking a combination of hot water with lemon, honey and cinnamon oil first thing in the morning. With this remedy you will reduce the discomfort, it will energize you and improve your immune functions.
These ingredients also work together to fight inflammation and reduce pain, making it a perfect solution for sore throat, or to heal sores in the mouth, toothache or colds.
15. Prevents and relieves headaches
Because the active compounds in cinnamon oil help increase circulation by opening blood vessels, the headache can be reduced by diffusing cinnamon essential oil at home or by inhalation, so it is a remedy for headache easy to use.
How is Cinnamon Essential Oil applied?
You should always dilute the cinnamon oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil (avoids its use in cases of acne), rose hip oil, almond oil, argan oil, etc. in a ratio of 1:1 before applying it directly to the skin.
Coconut oil has its own long list of benefits for the skin and immune system, so these make a good combination.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recognizes cinnamon oil as safe for consumption, but the ingestion of any essential oil is only recommended when using a very high quality oil. This way you know exactly what you are consuming.
Look for therapeutic and organic grade oils, which ensures that it has been tested and meets all criteria, plus it will be free of chemical toxins and solvents.
To use cinnamon oil internally, you can add a drop to a glass of water or take it as a dietary supplement by mixing it with honey or in a smoothie.
You can also add a small amount (a few drops) of cinnamon oil to your recipes, but avoid heating it to very high temperatures and cooking it for too long, as it depletes its antioxidants and active ingredients.
Because its flavor is like a very strong version of cinnamon spices, you can use the oil wherever you would use cinnamon powder.
Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner.
Add a few drops to your diffuser and diffuse throughout the day to uplift your spirit or calm your mind. Diffuse at night in your bedroom to promote a better night’s rest or to ease your thoughts. Or add a few drops to your pillow to inhale while you sleep.
Apply 1 to 2 drops of cinnamon essential oil in the palms of your hands and rub them together to spread the oil. Cup them over your nose and take 4-6 deep and slow breaths to reduce feelings of stress, depression or anxiety.
Safe and effective uses of Cinnamon Essential Oil
Uses of cinnamon leaf oil
In this article we have talked about the cinnamon bark oil and its medicinal uses, but we must not forget that there is also the oil of cinnamon leaves, since it is a totally different product. Even, their color and aroma differ.
Cinnamon leaf oil has a pungent odor and a yellowish glow that distinguishes it from the reddish color of cinnamon bark oil.
The cinnamon tree bark oil provides a concentrated, high quality essential oil. In addition, it is delicately refined and therefore very expensive for daily use, which is why many people prefer cinnamon leaf oil, as it is lighter, cheaper and ideal for regular use.
On the other hand, cinnamon leaf oil also has many interesting uses. Here we name some of them:
- Ingredient for soaps: It is used in the manufacture of soaps for its properties and its exquisite aroma.
- In aromatherapy: Mixed with other softer oils.
- As a disinfectant: With its strong germicidal properties, cinnamon oil works as a natural multi-purpose and non-toxic disinfectant.
- To gargle like a mouthwash: Add one or two drops to a glass of purified water and gargle with it.
- Insect repellent: Did you know that the aroma of cinnamon leaf oil can deter annoying domestic insects, such as black ants, mosquitoes, cockroaches and flies? Simply spray or diffuse the oil around your house. You can also spray it on your mattresses and sheets to get rid of bed bugs.
- Hair care: Add it to your regular shampoo to keep your hair healthy and, in children, help kill lice. Use one drop per 250 ml of Shampoo.
- To aromatize spaces: You can make your own natural deodorant environment using a diffuser. By combining therapeutic aromas such as cinnamon, orange, lemon and cloves. At the same time, you will experience a relaxing sensation of grounding, and help detoxify the air.
Where to buy Cinnamon Essential Oil?
As usual, good quality oils, that is, 100% pure and not mixed with other substances, can be found in specialized natural herb stores.
If you can not reach a trusted naturist or herbalist shop near you, here are some recommendations:
Scent Characteristics: Sharp, spicy-sweet, bright scent with a slightly earthy and woodsy aroma.
Our 100% Pure Essential Oils are extracted from the root, bark, wood, seed, fruit, leaf, or flower of a freshly harvested plant.
We source only the finest quality essential oils from highly regarded suppliers and distillers from around the world, many with whom we’ve worked with for decades.
Many of our oils are steam-distilled or cold-pressed, therefore retaining the essential odor, aroma, taste, medicinal, and therapeutic properties of the plant, resulting in a superior quality, and highly concentrated essence. Shop here.
Tips for a better performance and duration of your oils:
- Store them in a dark glass bottle, never plastic, not even when blended with a carrier oil.
- Keep them in cool, dark places, away from sources of heat and light.
- Maintain the container that holds it tightly closed, since they are very volatile and also, their properties would be lost or modified.
Warnings and side effects when using Cinnamon Essential Oil
You should not ingest the oil without the supervision of a qualified health professional. It can cause irritation, especially in your mucous membranes.
Make sure you do not have any allergic reaction to cinnamon before using it topically. Perform a patch test by applying a small amount of the diluted oil on the skin to see if allergic reactions occur.
Pregnant women and breastfeeding, should avoid using cinnamon essential oil. Also, do not apply this oil to children under 6 years old.
Use it sparingly and well diluted. Cinnamon essential oil can lead to side effects such as skin irritation, mouth sores, dizziness, vomiting and diarrhea.
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Contraindications of Cinnamon Essential Oil
Cinnamon oil has a high concentration of active ingredients, it is the substance that contains all these chemical compounds that come together in the cinnamon plant.
This is why the contraindications of cinnamon oil are greater than those of cinnamon itself, the oil is stronger and therefore must be consumed with greater caution, moderation and care.
When the oil is not consumed in the recommended measures or in the right way it can cause:
- Stomach problems
- Skin reactions
- Inflammation in the throat
- Respiratory problems
- We must also take special care with the use of this oil in children and in people who consume medications such as antibiotics and anticoagulants, since cinnamon essential oil could cause adverse damages.