Essential Oil of the Month: Cinnamon!

Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savoury foods. While Cinnamomum verum is sometimes considered to be “true cinnamon”, most cinnamon in international commerce is derived from related species, known as “cassia” to distinguish it from “true cinnamon”.

Its flavor is due to an aromatic essential oil that makes up 0.5% to 1% of its composition. This essential oil is prepared by roughly pounding the bark, macerating it in seawater, and then quickly distilling the whole. It is of a golden-yellow colour, with the characteristic odour of cinnamon and a very hot aromatic taste. The pungent taste and scent come from cinnamic aldehyde or cinnamaldehyde (about 90% of the essential oil from the bark) and, by reaction with of oxygen as it ages, it darkens in colour and forms resinous compounds. Other chemical components of the essential oil include ethyl cinnamate, eugenol (found mostly in the leaves), beta-caryophyllene, linalool, and methyl chavicol.

The name cinnamon comes through the Greek kinnámōmon from Phoenician.

Cinnamon has been known from remote antiquity. It was imported to Egypt as early as 2000 BC, but those who report that it had come from China confuse it with cassia.

The Hebrew Bible makes specific mention of the spice many times.  It was so highly prized among ancient nations that it was regarded as a gift fit for monarchs and even for a god.

Uses:

Cinnamon bark is widely used as a spice. It is principally employed in cookery as a condiment and flavoring material. It is used in the preparation of chocolate, especially in Mexico, which is the main importer of true cinnamon. It is also used in many dessert recipes, such as apple pie, doughnuts, and cinnamon buns as well as spicy candies, tea, hot cocoa, and liqueurs. True cinnamon, rather than cassia, is more suitable for use in sweet dishes. In the Middle East, it is often used in savory dishes of chicken and lamb. In the United States, cinnamon and sugar are often used to flavor cereals, bread-based dishes, and fruits, especially apples; a cinnamon-sugar mixture is even sold separately for such purposes. Cinnamon can also be used in pickling. Cinnamon bark is one of the few spices that can be consumed directly. Cinnamon powder has long been an important spice in Persian cuisine, used in a variety of thick soups, drinks, and sweets.

Leaves of Cinnamon, Pithoragarh, Himalayas, India

Leaves of Cinnamon, Pithoragarh, Himalayas, India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Perfumery Note: Middle

Cinnamon Essential Oil is peppery, earthy, spicy, bright yet slightly woodsy. Oil distilled from the bark of the cinnamon tree is preferred over the oil distilled from the leaves. Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil, however, tends to be much more costly.

A known circulatory, lymphatic, and immune stimulant cinnamon pure essential oil relieves painful muscles and stiff joints. During the winter months rely on Cinnamon Leaf to warm you. Excellent when you are feeling chilled down to your bones Cinnamon Leaf’s scent is a definite pick-me-up! Use if for “brain fog” and to relieve your winter “blahs” Cinnamon Leaf’s warm fragrance makes it excellent for warming your mind and emotions and to dispel feelings of loneliness. During the winter months enjoy Cinnamon Leaf’s warming and elevating scent in your aroma diffuser!

Cinnamon Oil Uses: Constipation, exhaustion, flatulence, lice, low blood pressure, rheumatism, scabies, stress.  Its high aldehyde content makes it a useful antimicrobial and antiseptic.  Analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, astringent, carminative, digestive, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic, vermifuge

Blends Well With: Benzoin, bergamot, cardamom, clove, frankincense, ginger, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin, marjoram, nutmeg, orange, peppermint, peru balsam, petitgrain, rose, vanilla, ylang ylang.

Cinnamon is often used in Ayurveda Medicine:

 

Energetic Principles :
A) Taste:- Pungent, sweet
B) Post digestive effect:-sweet
C) Potency:- Hot
Attributes – light, rough, penetrating
Action on Dosha – Anti-Tridosha. It is often recommended for people with the kapha constitution.

English: cinnamon bark Cinnamomum verum. Franç...

English: cinnamon bark Cinnamomum verum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Warming Cinnamon, Ginger, Clove, Sweet Orange Massage Oil

4 TBSP Carrier Oil (I like Grapeseed Oil)

10 drops each:  Sweet Orange & Ginger Essential Oil

5 drops each of:  Cinnamon & Clove Essential Oil

Slightly warm blend before massaging into the body.

Do not take the essential oil internally.

Essential Oil should not be applied directly to the skin but in carrier oils, putting the oils directly on the skin is too harsh due to their concentrated form. Add a few drops of cinnamon oil to the carrier oil.

If you are pregnant, receiving cancer treatment, or have a weakened immune system the use of essential oils is not recommended!

While essential oil will not go rancid, carrier oils can. Store your carrier oils in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Disclaimer

While I’ve attempted to use credible sources for information, this is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If there is a disparity between the information presented within this blog and the advice given by your medical professional, please follow the medical professional’s advice as he/she will know you and your medical circumstances.

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