Hardly there is someone on this planet who cannot recognize the soothing and refreshing aroma of Cinnamon! Cinnamon is a wonderful spice and a favorite flavor for beverage & desserts.
Cinnamon has an extremely long history in traditional Asian medicines. Ayurveda mentions this aromatic bark as a potent medicine along with nutritional benefits. Like ginger, it is universal medicine.
The easy availability, medicinal benefits, and suitability of Cinnamon to the people with a weaker constitution make it an ideal herb for multiple home remedies.
Cinnamon – All you need to know
Cinnamon in Sanskrit is known as Twak. The word ‘Twak’ means the best kind of tree bark.
Cinnamon is a medium-sized evergreen tree. The peculiarity of the tree is its bark which we commonly call Cinnamon. The bark which we use is thick, smooth, and deep yellowish-brown colored.
Leaves of the cinnamon tree are leathery, shiny, hard, and ovate. Flowers are numerous with long stalks and slightly unpleasant smell. Fruits of the cinnamon tree are somewhat fleshy, dark purple and oblong shaped.
Although more than a hundred types of cinnamon species exist in the world, commercially three kinds of Cinnamon are mainly available in the market, Ceylon, Chinese and Indian cinnamon.
In Ayurvedic medicine, Ceylon cinnamon or Cinnamonum zeylanicum is used which also known as True Cinnamon.
The dried bark is the primary medicinal part of the cinnamon tree. It does have a characteristic pungent taste with a little bitter-sweet aftertaste. It is light to digest and shows quick action.
Cinnamon has a pungent post-digestive effect and is of heating nature. It pacifies aggravated Vata and Kapha doshas in the body.
What are the benefits of Cinnamon?
Ayurvedic herb, Cinnamon has been used since ages in various parts of the world for multiple purposes. Due to its sweet and delicate flavor, it has been extensively used in the preparation of different types of sweets and desserts.
The essential oil of Cinnamon is used in cosmetics which show that Cinnamon is already a part of our daily life. But its medicinal benefits are not much renowned. Ayurvedic texts have expounded on the following benefits of Cinnamon.
- Develops pleasant and refreshing in the mouth which makes it useful in removing bad breath
- Due to its antimicrobial action, it is also beneficial in oral health and mouth disorders like toothache, tooth decay, oral infections, and inflammation
- Cures thirst related problems, nausea, vomiting reflexes, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, flatulence, indigestion, and diarrhea
- Cleans urinary bladder and being diuretic in nature treats the problems encountered while passing urine
- Clears throat by expelling excessive mucus and phlegm. Relieves sore throat, common cold, and cough related respiratory disorders
- Has a coagulant effect therefore useful in hemorrhagic complications especially in uterine hemorrhage as it increases the blood flow to the uterus and regenerates uterine tissues
- Possess antibacterial, anti-fungal, insecticidal properties thus fight against internal as well as external infections and heal infected wounds & ulcers
- Removes impurities from the blood and hence, treats acne and itching
- Shows anti-spasmodic effect hence is useful in alleviating menstrual cramps as well as joint pains
- Regulates blood sugar making it an excellent choice for diabetics
- Reduces excessive lipids and bad cholesterol levels thus reducing the risks of heart diseases
- Rich in iron, manganese, calcium, and fiber, therefore, fulfills the requirement of these essential trace elements
How to use Cinnamon?
We all know using Cinnamon as a spice, let’s understand how to use it as a medicine.
Common cold & Cough
- In case of cough, mix powder of Cinnamon, cardamom, long pepper, arrowroot, and sugar in successively double quantity. Add little honey & ghee and take it thrice a day. It is also useful in asthma, chest pain, and hoarse throat
- To treat chronic cough and influenza make a decoction by adding 2g ginger, 4g cinnamon stick, 600mg of powdered cloves in one liter of water. Boil it for 15 minutes and drink four tablespoons of this decoction in every 3-4 hrs
- In the cold with a sore throat, boil a cup of water with ½ teaspoon of Cinnamon and black pepper powder. Take it after adding some honey
- Rinse your mouth daily with a cup of water mixed with a teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- Chewing a small piece of Cinnamon for 5-10 minutes also relieves bad breath, and it also makes your teeth strong
- Mix one teaspoon of cinnamon powder with little water and apply this paste on the forehead
- Mix the paste of cinnamon powder, bay leaf, and sugar with rice water. Using this solution as a Nasya (snuff) cures headache due to aggravated pitta dosha
- In dental cavities, apply cotton wool soaked in cinnamon oil to the affected tooth. It relieves pain and treats the cavities
- To get rid of toothache chew some cinnamon pieces for a few days. This also strengthens the gums
- Use herbal toothpaste having Cinnamon as an ingredient daily. It will help in keeping your teeth healthy and strong
- In case of eczema and ringworm make a paste of cinnamon powder & honey in equal quantity and apply on the affected part
- To remove blackheads and acne mix ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon powder with lemon juice or honey and apply on affected area
- To brighten up your skin complexion apply the paste of cinnamon powder with honey and wash it when dries
To improve voice boil ½ teaspoon of Cinnamon and black pepper powder in a glass of water. Add honey and drink it twice a day
Make a paste of 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder with water and little honey. Massage it on the joints to get relief from pain
Take 600m to1g of cinnamon powder with water. It is an old remedy which could be used in dysentery as well
Nausea & vomiting
- Chewing a little cinnamon bark relieves the feeling of nausea and vomiting
- Boil 2-3 cinnamon pieces with 1-2 cardamom, 2 cloves & candy sugar and sip this drink slowly. It relieves nausea, vomiting and improves appetite
The cinnamon powder should be taken daily as a spice in your diet. Or else consume 500g of cinnamon powder with water or honey every day. This will cure as well as prevent digestion related problems, cold & cough, diabetes, obesity, dental caries, etc.
What is the recommended dose of Cinnamon?
Using Cinnamon in foods and fruit juices is the best way to enjoy the benefits of this wonderful spice. However, due to its hotness, it should be used in a limit.
Ayurveda recommends using the cinnamon powder in a dose of 500mg to 2g per day. If you are using cinnamon oil for the external application, then apply 3-6 drops of it.
People suffering from Pitta disorders like hyperacidity, gastritis, burning sensation, bleeding disorders, etc. should avoid using Cinnamon. For pregnant women and lactating mothers, it is safe to use in low doses.
What do recent studies say about Cinnamon?
- Cinnamon has demonstrated prominent action in animal models of inflammation and arthritis and therefore can be considered as a potential anti-rheumatic agent with disease-modifying response
- Effectiveness of cinnamon oil has been proved in the prevention of carbon tetrachloride-induced damages on the male reproductive system
- The methanol extract of Cinnamon possesses anti-hypertensive and organ protective effects that may result from its ability to increase the production of nitrous oxide and to regulate cholesterol levels
- Cinnamaldehyde, an active & significant compound in Cinnamon has anti-hyperglycemic and anti-hyperlipidemic actions and hence, could be useful in the Ayurvedic treatment of Type-2 Diabetes
- An investigation revealed that nano-particles loaded with cinnamon extract exerted antibacterial activity against the tested bacteria
Cinnamon is a valuable herb for strengthening our body. It keeps you away from many common diseases. It is especially suitable for persons with weaker constitutions. This aromatic herb is beneficial and easy to add to your diet as a spice and beverage. This calming herb not only takes care of your body but also reduces anxiety, depression, and stress. Cinnamon is indeed a great healer for our ailing body and mind.