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The uses and benefits of cinnamon essential oil
Cinnamon is not only an aromatic spice, but also a health and beauty ingredient. Cinnamon used to be native only to certain parts of South Asia, but today, cinnamon plants are available all over Asia and shipped internationally, whether in the form of cinnamon essential oil or spice.
Because of its very long and interesting background, many believe cinnamon to be one of the longest-existing spice in history. It has been treasured by ancient Egyptians and used by the Chinese in medicinal practices for thousands of years. Cinnamon is believed to help heal many types of illnesses or conditions from diseases to weight gain and depression.
Cinnamon is believed to have over 100 varieties with the two most popular being Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia or Chinese cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is known as the “true” cinnamon and has a lighter and less bitter taste. Cassia cinnamon is the regular cinnamon that is more widely used. Cinnamon is available in forms such as extract, herb or tea, or liquor.
Cinnamon essential oil is different compared to ground or whole herbs because oil is more potent. Cinnamon oil is an excellent source of beneficial antioxidants.
Just how beneficial is cinnamon? Let’s take a look:
- It possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-diabetic and anti-cancer properties
- Cinnamon is known for fending off heart disease
- It also addresses high cholesterol levels
- Cinnamon can help with neurological health disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
- Enhances nitric oxide functions which dilate blood vessels, increases blood flow and lowers inflammation
Very scientific right? Just the first line of benefits is already a handful of great things this plant can do. Did I mention that it also stimulates libido? Yep. It does.
The two primary types of cinnamon oil available on the market are cinnamon bark oil and cinnamon leaf oil, with its source being self-explanatory. Although technically from the same source, these two are different products and have separate uses.
Cinnamon bark oil, which is extracted from the outer bark of a cinnamon tree, is very potent and contains a smell similar to perfumes. It is more expensive than its counterpart leaf oil.
On the other hand, cinnamon leaf oil tends to have a lighter color and a musky and spice-like smell.
Uses of cinnamon essential oil
Cinnamon oil, specifically, has a number of uses such as:
- Pure cinnamon oil in food will keep blood sugar levels stable because it acts like insulin. In doing so, sugar cravings are curbed, overeating is avoided, mood swings eliminated and chronic fatigue prevented.
- Cinnamon oil is also used as a natural aphrodisiac by effectively boosting sexual libido and addresses erectile dysfunction.
- Because of its natural anti-inflammatory properties, cinnamon oil is an effective remedy for rashes and acne. It can be mixed with coconut oil and applied to the skin in order to take advantage of its antimicrobial capabilities.
- Cinnamon oil combined with a carrier oil like almond oil is an excellent hair treatment.
- Cinnamon oil can also be used on the lips to naturally plump them by boosting circulation.
- Cinnamon oil limits the growth of certain harmful parasites, thus it is an excellent parasite treatment.
- Mixed with edible fluids like lemon water and honey, cinnamon oil soothes a sore throat and boosts the immune system.
- Everyone loves the scent of cinnamon especially during the fall and winter seasons. Cinnamon oil with other therapeutic scents makes a natural home deodorizer and freshener.
How to use cinnamon essential oils and its blends
As an aroma diffuser
Cinnamon oil can be used for its aroma and diffused using an air purifier or humidifier. Imagine a home smelling of cinnamon throughout the day. How relaxing! You can also opt to inhale the oil directly from the bottle or applying to the skin and clothes like perfume and smelling it from there.
As a topical product
Using cinnamon oil as a topical product is also a common alternative for this miracle spice. When using this spice topically, it must always be diluted with a carrier oil like the most popular coconut oil. The common ratio is 1:1 and can be applied directly on the skin from there. Coconut oil is another essential oil with its own list of benefits so adding this with cinnamon makes a super topical product for the skin
As a cooking ingredient
A few drops of cinnamon oil will add some extra health benefits to food. Just make sure to not heat the oil in very high temperatures nor cook it for too long because it will cancel out the benefits. Cinnamon oil tastes like a stronger version of cinnamon spice so it can be used as a substitute.
As a dietary supplement
Cinnamon oil can be ingested but it must be made from a reputable brand that uses very high-quality ingredients. A tip would be looking for an oil that is of therapeutic grade and organic. Those that have been tested and free from chemical toxins, fillers or solvents are the ones that are safe for ingestion. It can be mixed with honey, water or a fruit smoothie before consumption.
Another alternative to ingesting cinnamon is through ready-made supplements.
It provides healthy blood sugar support within the right amounts. This Ceylon cinnamon supplement promotes heart health, fixes joint pains and helps with weight management.
Blends and recipes
Honey and cinnamon oil face wash
1 tablespoon pure coconut oil
3 tablespoons raw honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
20 drops cinnamon essential oil
2 capsules of live probiotics
Mix all the ingredients together and blend well using a hand mixer. Pour into a bottle and store in a cool place. This all-natural face wash fights infections, bacteria, inflammation, swelling and redness.
2 drops Orange Essential Oil
2 drops Clove Essential Oil
2 drops Cinnamon Essential Oil
2 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
2 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
Can be placed in a diffuser, air purifier or in a spray bottle. It is a perfect immunity booster and air purifier especially for days of coughing and sneezing.
The dangers of using cinnamon essential oils
Too much of anything is bad for us or ignorantly using a product can lead to adverse effects. So aside from the countless benefits of cinnamon oil, we must also be aware of its dangers.
Cinnamon, especially Cassia cinnamon, is high in coumarin which is a compound that can be toxic to the kidneys and liver when overdosed. More severe cases also include coumarin creating cancerous tumors in the lungs, liver and kidneys. Although it is still unclear how exactly this compound causes the tumors.
Furthermore, cinnamon oil is not for everyone so a skin test is essential before using the product as part of your skincare routine in order to ensure no allergic reactions occur.
Weaker stomachs need to be careful when intaking cinnamon in any form because of the risk of diarrhea or nausea after intake.
There have been cases when a person starts having breathing problems after inhaling cinnamon essential oils. This is a danger that must be watched out for because it may lead to losing consciousness.
Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde which, as mentioned earlier, can cause allergic reactions. Consumed in large amounts, it can create mouth sores, tongue or gum swelling, or a burning and itching sensation in the mouth. Only those who are allergic to cinnamaldehyde experience these effects.
Too much cinnamon also leads to low blood sugar. Consuming cinnamon helps lower blood sugar, yes; but too much may cause it to drop too low which is also dangerous. This condition is called hypoglycemia and leads to fatigue, dizziness and possible fainting.
With the dangers out of the way, let us now look at the healthy quantity of cinnamon intake. From the scary side effects mentioned above, the common trend is that they only appear if too much is consumed or if one is allergic cinnamon. How much is too much, then?
The tolerable daily intake of coumarin is 0.05 mg per pound or 0.1mg per kg of body weight. We are free to consume this much a day without the risk of side effects. In actual cinnamon conversion, this would equate to 1 tsp of Cassia cinnamon or 2.5 tsps of Ceylon cinnamon per day.
Cinnamon essential oil is an absolutely NO for pets
Not missing out on pets, please do not use a cinnamon essential oil on pets. While some people advocate on the use of essential oil for pets, cinnamon is considered toxic and strictly to avoid for pets.
If you are using a diffuser in an enclosed room, please do not put your pets in the same room.
Let’s face it, cinnamon is delicious and it smells so good. Plus it is linked to so many health benefits. Of course, it must be taken in moderation. For someone who wants to increase metabolism, lower blood sugar, or lower stress levels, it doesn’t mean that consuming or using more will increase effectiveness. Cinnamon works its best within the tolerable daily intake, so we have nothing to worry about.