Cinnamon is well known for being both delicious tasting and an aromatic delight. Cassia, or (Cinnamomum cassia) has been around for centuries, even documented as a traded spice from Egypt as early as 2000 B.C. It’s alluring scent and taste has beguiled fans of the sweet spice for centuries.
Arabian traders, anxious to keep their source of the spice secret, would often make up elaborate tales of where the cinnamon could be found, ranging from exotic phoenixes guarded by bats, to extremely unreachable heights to climb protected by rabid birds. Each tall tale was created to discourage anyone else from searching for their own supply.
Fortunately, European explorers, tired of the expense and limited supply, scoffed at these tales and set out on a mission to find their own source of cinnamon. Today most cinnamon is either Ceylon, which is typically a bit sweeter and slightly more rare, or Cassia which is far more common.
Cinnamon is as versatile as it is spice-licious, and you can get cinnamon oil health benefits just from breathing in its sweet and spicy scent.
Cinnamon Essential Oil
There are two kinds of oils typically created from cinnamon: cinnamon bark oil, which tends to have a more sweet scent and lingering perfume-like fragrance, and cinnamon leaf oil, which is slightly muskier and lighter in color.
Cinnamon bark oil is made from the plant of the species Laurus cinnamomum. It is created from the bark of any number of 250 different trees or bushes of cinnamon trees (or Cinnamon zeylanicum) across Asia, Indonesia, and Australia, although it is native to Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India.
Cinnamon Oil Health Benefits
While consuming cinnamon in its spice form in food is a great way to add many antioxidants to your diet and to provide ample blood-sugar-stabilizing properties, inhaling the fragrance in essential oil form can provide a different and complementary addition to your health and wellness arsenal.
Cinnamon is often utilized as a stimulate. It has been shown to increase concentration, as well as to reduce symptoms of headaches and irritability. Ingesting therapeutic-grade cinnamon essential oil can help with digestion, stabilize blood sugar, and increase circulation mostly because of its ability to dilate blood vessels. It’s also commonly used to help fight infections as it is a natural immunotherapy agent and an anti-inflammatory.
Cinnamon Oil for Disease Prevention
A recent study testing the popular essential oil, On-Guard by Doterra Essential Oils, which contains cinnamon, suggests that it can help protect against viral infections. This study concluded that the use of essential oils against viral infections (particularly influenza) could slow the progression or spread of the disease. Cinnamon essential oil can also potentially relieve symptoms and impact the duration of the sickness.
Cinnamon oil is also a natural antibacterial agent. The research concludes that cinnamon has more antibacterial properties than most other spices, even in a low concentration or dosage. In fact, it had more antibacterial abilities than the 21 other essential oils tested. This is one essential, essential oil to have in your arsenal of cold and flu season preventative medicine.
How to Use Cinnamon Oil
Essential oils are different from ground or whole herbs due to their strong potency. Cinnamon oil (and any essential oil) is a highly concentrated version of the spice that contains a more intense dosage of all the nutrients that are found in the dried version. It can be inhaled through a diffuser (a few drops in water) or it can be added in its concentrated form to smoothies or tea (consumption of cinnamon essential oil is FDA approved).
Please be aware: not all essential oils are created equally!
Please consult your doctor or essential oil provider before consuming any essential oils. You must find a pure, high-quality cinnamon oil made without additives, and limit your dosage to the recommended amount.
Additionally, many people may have side effects to cinnamon ranging from an allergic reaction to other health issues, so always consult a physician before consuming any essential oils or spices as supplements.
Applying Cinnamon Essential Oil Topically
Applying the oil topically in some type of carrier oil (like fractionated coconut oil, for example) can help relax tight muscles and provide relief for joint pain as well as possibly relieve symptoms of painful menstrual cramps.
However, both bark and leaf oils can be irritants and can provide a heating or warming sensation. Cinnamon has been observed to heat or warm the skin on contact. And in some rare cases, it can even redden or burn. Please consult with an essential oil specialist before applying topically.