Cinnamon is generally used as a spice and is sometimes included in the production of chocolate. The medical properties of cinnamon come from cinnamon oil. This oil has a pungent taste and scent, and is known to promote digestive health.
Two teaspoons of cinnamon contain just 11 calories and 38 percent of your daily-recommended value of manganese. Cinnamon can quell loss of appetite and nausea, but is not to be used during pregnancy. Cinnamon can be found ground or in essential oil form.
The medicinal parts are the cinnamon oil extracted from the bark, the cinnamon bark of younger branches, and the cinnamon leaf oil.
Flower and Fruit
The flowers are whitish-green, inconspicuous and have an unpleasant smell. They are about 0.5 cm long; arranged in loose, axillary or terminal panicles; and covered in silky hairs. The fruit is berrylike, ovoid-oblong, short-thorned, and half-enclosed by the attached epicalyx.
Leaves, Stem, and Root
The plant is a heavily foliated evergreen tree 6.5 to 12 m tall with a pale brown bark in thin quills, several rolled inside one another. The branches are cylindrical with a gray-brown bark. The tough leaves, which are opposite and splayed horizontally to leaning, are initially red then turn green. They are about 12 cm by 5 cm, roundish-ovate or ovate-lanceolate to oblong, more or less acuminate and entire-margined. The leaves smell like cloves.
Cinnamon is indigenous to Sri Lanka and southwest India.
Cinnamon consists of the dried tree bark, separated from the cork and outer rind, of young shoots growing on the branches of Cinnamomum verum. The tree is widely cultivated, and the harvested bark is dried in the shade.
Not to be Confused With
Confusion can arise with other powdered cinnamon varieties.
Actions & Pharmacology
Volatile oil: chief components - cinnamaldehyde, weiterhin eugenol, cinnamylacetate, cinnamyl alcohol, o-methoxycinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid
Diterpenes: cinnzeylanol, cinnzeylanin
The cinnmaldehyde in the cinnamon bark's essential oil is antibacterial, fungistatic, and promotes motility. It has a mildly positive estrogen effect on the genital system of animals in tests, although the constituent responsible is unidentified. Cinnamon increases gastric secretions slightly and is an insecticide due to the diterpenes cinnzeylanin and cinnceylanol.
Indications & Usage
Approved by Commission E:
- Loss of appetite
- Dyspeptic complaints
In addition, folk medicine internal uses include flatulence and exhaustion.
Uses in Indian medicine include toothache, nausea and vomiting, and dyspepsia.
Use of the drug is contraindicated during pregnancy.
Precautions & Adverse Reactions
No health hazards or side effects are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages. The drug possesses a medium potential for sensitization because of the cinnamaldehyde content.
The drug is not to be administered to pregnant women.
Mode of Administration
Comminuted drug for infusions; essential oil, as well as other galenic preparations for internal use. Bath additives, drops and compound preparations for external use.
- Extract – 1:1
To prepare a tea, pour hot water over 0.5 to 1 g cinnamon bark and strain after 10 minutes. A tincture is made from a maceration of 200 parts cinnamon bark + 100 parts 70% ethanol V/V (öAB90).
2 to 4 g drug; 0.05 to 0.2 g essential oil. One cup of tea/infusion is taken 2 to3 times daily at mealtimes
Protect from light and moisture in non-synthetic containers.