Cinnamon

Cinnamomum zelanicum, Lauraceae. The dried inner bark of the shoots is the part of the plant used.

The bark is collected commercially throughout the tropics.

Functions of cinnamon

Cinnamon is a delicious aromatic spice that is a warming remedy for colds and winter chills and deficiency of vital energy. It acts as a tonic for the whole body. It:

  • will stimulate circulation and cause sweating, preventing and resolving cold and flu, and catarrh.
  • helps reduce fevers and acts as a relaxant reducing anxiety and stress and relieving cramps and colic pain.
  • contains eugenol in the volatile oil which relieves pain. It can be used in a liniment for arthritis or to deaden the nerve ending in a toothache or for headaches, muscle pain and neuralgia.
  • is an antiseptic mouth wash.
  • has tannins which have an astringent action. It can be used to stem nosebleeds, heavy periods, and for resolving diarrhea and catarrh.

Notes on cinnamon

  • Avoid cinnamon in large doses during pregnancy or lactation, only use as a spice or food condiment.
  • Avoid infusions in large amounts if you have an ulcer, as cinnamon can be irritating to the stomach lining.
  • Contact dermatitis, in susceptible individuals, has been reported after using cinnamon containing ointments.
  • Undiluted essential oil should not be applied directly to the body.

Dosages

Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1 teaspoonful of the powdered bark and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. The plant material is then strained out. Make sure the tea has cooled slightly before drinking it. This should be drunk three times per day or as required.

References

Duke, J. A. 2000, Anti-aging Prescriptions. Rodale.

Hoffmann, D. 2000, The New Holistic Herbal. Element Pub.

Hoffmann, F. and Manning M. 2002, Herbal Medicine and Botanical Medical Fads. The Haworth Press.

McIntyre, A. 1995, The Complete Women's Herbal. Henry Holt Reference Books.

Mills, S. Y. 1989, The A-Z of Modern Herbalism: A Comprehensive Guide to Practical Herbal Therapy. Thorson.

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