Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil <br/><em>Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Cinnamomum verum</em>
The allure of cinnamon is compelling, drawing us back in time to mysterious Arab traders and ancient Ceylon. Here, off the southern tip of India, we stand in the path of the ancient Incense Route. Ceylon’s dense, mostly untamed verdant foliage nearly obscured one of the world’s most important spices, cinnamon. The local Ceylonese knew the beauty of cinnamon, though, and bartered it to Arab, Chinese, Phoenician, Indian and Indonesian traders along the Incense Route.
It became a popular and revered spice, flavoring the wine of ancient Phoenicians in the Levant and perfuming the embalmed in ancient Egypt. It was part of Old Testament-era anointing ceremonies and ancient Roman funeral pyres. It became a status symbol in Europe during the Middle Ages and generally set the Europeans atwitter to find the source of this amazing spice.
Today, we are just as entranced with cinnamon bark and cinnamon sticks as our forebears. It permeates every element of our daily life, from baked goods and pastries to room deodorizers and chewing gum. It is even making its way into our medicines, salves and lotions to address a number of ailments, aches and pains.
Confronting Cinnamon Confusion
Finding authentic cinnamon bark is actually a bit complicated. It is often confused with cassia, which is native to China. Sometimes, you’ll see them called Ceylon cinnamon or cassia cinnamon. While there are some similarities between the two, authentic cinnamon has a more delicate, sweet taste, and it offers slightly more intense health benefits. Real cinnamon is usually more expensive than cassia.
When it comes to cinnamon essential oil, there is yet another confusion. Some cinnamon essential oils are derived from the leaves of the cinnamon tree. Cinnamon leaf essential oil is lighter in color than cinnamon bark oil, and it has a muskier, spicier smell than the bark oil. Of the two oils, cinnamon bark oil is considered the more powerful and beneficial.
Relish the Cinnamon Bark Benefits
- Circulation. Cinnamon bark oil contains a chemical that thins blood, so it’s commonly used as a natural way to improve blood flow and circulation. For the dual benefit of aromatherapy and a circulation boost, massage the oil into your skin. The improved circulation derived from cinnamon also makes it a natural aphrodisiac.
- Immune System. A 2011 study showed that cinnamon oil fights oxidative stress, helping to improve your body’s immune function.
- Blood Sugar. Promising studies over the past several years demonstrate that cinnamon oil may help to stabilize blood sugar by affecting insulin release.
- Muscle Pain. Cinnamon oil contains an anti-inflammatory component that helps to alleviate muscle and joint pain.
- Congestion. The strong, stirring scent of cinnamon actually clears nasal passages and helps to ward off the buildup of mucous. Together with cinnamon’s anti-inflammatory effect, these benefits can make cinnamon oil a good way to fight sore throats and cold symptoms.
- Skin. Cinnamon oil is a frequent addition to natural skin-care lotions because of its delightful smell and its antimicrobial effect. It’s also a natural way to fight skin acne and topical skin infections.
- Mouth Freshener. Cinnamon is anti-microbial, antibacterial and beautifully scented, making it a great way to freshen your breath and promote good oral health.
- Room Deodorizer. The enchanting smell of cinnamon is an ideal room fragrance. Simply add a few drops to water and spray the mist around your space.
- Root and Sacral Chakras. Grounding, freeing cinnamon is beneficial for awakening and balancing both of your lowest chakras. It brings warmth, protection, security and love, all things needed to help you feel grounded and in control of your emotions.
- Prosperity, Protection. Cinnamon oil attracts love, wealth and safety to your life and can be used to anoint a variety of charms and mojo bags meant to attract those states.
Cinnamon oil can be slightly irritating to skin and some mucous membranes, so it’s always a good idea to be cautious in the amounts you ingest. The oil lowers blood sugar, so those with diabetes and hypoglycemia should use with caution; it should not be taken internally for two weeks prior to surgery.
- Botanical Name: Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Cinnamomum verum
- Common Method of Extraction: Steam distillation
- Plant Part Typically Used: Bark
- Color: Clear to dark yellow
- Consistency: Slightly oily
- Perfumery Note: Middle
- Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium
- Aromatic Description: warm, sweet, spice and woody