Cinnamon

Latin:  Cinnamomum burmanii, aromaticum, zeylanicum and cassia

Family:  Lauraceae

Parts Used:  Leaf and bark

Taste/Energetics:  Pungent, sweet, heating

Properties:  Stimulating, astringent, restorative, diaphoretic,  carminative, antispasmodic, antimicrobial

Actions:  Ah cinnamon.  As one of the most popular herbs it has been used for thousands of years dating back to early Egyptian civilization.  With its stimulating, uplifting and warming qualities it has long been added to meals, beverages, cosmetics and medicines.  In India one of the most famous warming spice blends that contains cinnamon is Garam masala.   Meaning “sweet wood”, cinnamon  has numerous effects including improving digestion, blood and “qi” circulation and has a nice warming and salutary effect for those who feel cold and lethargic.  It is helpful for the onset of a cold by inducing sweating and can help fight off infections.  Its stimulating qualities make it helpful for those who have arthritic and rheumatic pain and feel damp and stuck.  Externally it can be added to liniments for aching muscles, restless legs and neuralgia.  Finally, it has been shown to be useful in the treatment of diabetes and has the ability to help control blood sugar levels.

In terms of mental health, this is an herb that is wonderful to offer to people who appear cold, detached, withdrawn and depressed.  It helps warm, move the energy and uplift the spirit.  It is a nice herb to add to meals or as part of a chai so the person really tastes the energetics of cinnamon first on the tongue and then in the belly.  It can also be used as an essential oil in blends for its warming and stimulating qualities.

Dosage:  1/2 to 1 teaspoon powder in meals or one to two twigs added to teas each day.  As essential oil,  2-3 drops essential oil in 10 ml of carrier oil.

Contraindications:  Can be overheating and drying when taken for prolonged periods.

Further Reading:  

Cinnamon monograph  by Rosalee de la Foret