Cinnamon oil is one of the most popular and versatile essential oils utilized for flavoring and medicinal purposes. Its healing properties can really do magic.
Cinnamon bark oil (Cinnamomum verum) is derived from the plant of the species name Laurus cinnamomum and belongs to the Lauraceae botanical family. Native to parts of South Asia, today cinnamon plants are grown across different nations throughout Asia
There are different methods of extracting cinnamon oil from the various parts of the plant. Depending on the parts used and the process, there is a variation in the strength and quality of the oil. Usually the bark and leaves are used to extract the oil. Aromatherapists prefer cinnamon bark for it is said to produce better quality oil.
The first method of extraction is the distillation process which is the most popular. The leaves or barks are placed in a steam distiller that resembles a pressure cooker. The cinnamon is subject to high pressure steam that causes oil globules to get released and then evaporate. The vapors pass through a cooling pipe where they condense and turn into liquid again. The water is separated from this liquid and the cinnamon oil retained.
The pressing method is used to extract cinnamon oil from the leaves. The leaves are chopped into tiny bits and then pressed mechanically. The liquid is then separated from the oil. However, this type of cinnamon oil has a short shelf life.
Maceration is an extraction process that is used to produce cinnamon oil meant for topical application or for massages. The plant material is soaked in vegetable oil and then heated to boiling point. After this the liquid is strained and the essential oil separated. This is not pure but infused essential oil.
History of Cinnamon Oil
Cinnamon has a very long, interesting history; in fact, many people consider it one of the longest-existing spices in human history. Cinnamon was highly valued by ancient Egyptians and has been used by Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine practitioners in Asia for thousands of years to help heal everything from depression to weight gain. Whether in extract, liquor, tea or herb form, cinnamon has provided people relief for centuries.
Throughout history, the cinnamon plant has been tied to protection and prosperity. It’s said to have been part of a mixture of oils used by grave-robbing bandits to protect themselves during the plague in the 15th century, and traditionally, it’s also associated with the ability to attract wealth. In fact, if you were lucky enough to have cinnamon during ancient Egyptian times, you were considered a wealthy man; records show that the value of cinnamon might have been equivalent to gold.
Types of Cinnamon Oil. Which is Better?
There are two primary types of cinnamon oils available on the market: cinnamon bark oil and cinnamon leaf oil. While they have some similarities, they’re different products with somewhat separate uses. Cinnamon bark oil is extracted from the outer bark of the cinnamon tree. It’s considered very potent and has a strong, “perfume-like” smell, almost like taking an intense whiff of ground cinnamon. Cinnamon bark oil is usually more expensive than cinnamon leaf oil.
Cinnamon leaf oil has a “musky and spicy” smell and tends to have a lighter color. While cinnamon leaf oil might appear yellow and murky, cinnamon bark oil has a deeper red-brown color that most people usually associate with cinnamon spice. Both are beneficial, but cinnamon bark oil may be more potent.
Effect & Actions of Cinnamon Essential Oil
Effects of cinnamon oil on internal systems and organs
Usage of Cinnamon Oil in Cosmetology
Cinnamon Oil to Treat Acne. It has high antioxidant properties that help in fighting signs of aging on the skin. The oil helps in reducing wrinkles, fine lines and helps in keeping the skin firm for longer. The oil also has astringent properties which help in reducing excessive secretion of oil from the sebaceous glands. So, it helps in curbing outbreak of acne and pimples. Cinnamon essential oil also helps in curing scabies disease on the skin.
Cinnamon Oil to Get Rid of Dandruff. Cinnamon oil’s antimicrobial properties also come to the fore in fighting against dandruff. Dandruff can erupt due to infections (especially fungal) or lack of maintenance of the scalp. Massaging cinnamon oil on the hair can also help to keep the scalp clean as the oil is popular for its antiseptic properties.
Cinnamon Oil for Hair Growth. It also stimulates hair growth when the oil is applied in the temples, the nape of the neck, or the crown of the head. Rubbing cinnamon oil in these regions helps to channel blood circulation to the scalp region and enhance hair growth.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon Oil
Cinnamon Oil to Reduce Pain. It has strong analgesic properties which make it very effective for relieving pain. People suffering from arthritis and pain in the joints can be highly benefited with the use of this oil. A few drops of the oil can be used in the form of a warm compress for relief. The oil also reduces inflammation.
Cinnamon Oil to Control Diabetes. Cinnamon controls the level of blood sugars in the body. Diabetics can digest food more effectively without the need of much insulin externally induced in the body. This is because the insulin available in the body is better utilized by the body with the help of ingestion of cinnamon oil. It is especially useful for people suffering from Type 2 diabetes. In some cases it is also being used to lower triglyceride levels and control serum cholesterol.
Cinnamon Oil to Cure Wounds. It can be used on minor cuts and wounds for healing. However, it should be used on a carrier oil is high dilution if it has to be directly applied on the skin. It facilitates healing by stopping the flow of blood from the wounds .
Cinnamon Oil Fights Cancer. Based on research, cinnamon oil has shown promise as a means of treating gastric cancers, melanomas and tumors. Studies suggest that sugar probably facilitates the sustenance of cancer cells and cinnamon oil can help control the body’s blood sugar levels, resulting in a detrimental effect on the cancer cells. Cinnamon oil contains Eugenol, a chemical constituent that researchers in a particular study used to develop nutraceuticals that effectively helped combat human colon cancer cells
Cinnamon Oil to Improve Brain Function. It boosts the activity of the brain and makes it a good brain tonic. It helps to remove nervous tension and memory loss. Research at the Wheeling Jesuit University in the United States has proved that the scent of cinnamon has the ability to boost brain activity. The team of researchers, led by Dr. P. Zoladz, found that people who were given cinnamon improved their scores on cognitive activities such as attention span, virtual recognition memory, working memory, and visual-motor response speed.
Cinnamon Oil to Prevent heart Disease. It is believed that the calcium and fiber present in cinnamon provide protection against heart diseases. By including a little cinnamon in your food, you can help prevent coronary artery disease and high blood pressure.
Contraindications in usage of cinnamon oil
- Cinnamon oil can provoke allergy. So, a patch test should be conducted before applying it on skin in diluted form.
- The oil should not be applied in large concentration on the face or other sensitive areas of the body.
- The oil extracted from bark should be completely avoided on the skin.
- The oil is very hot and can cause skin burns if used without dilution the concentration should be as diluted as 1 part of cinnamon oil with 50 parts of other blends of oil.
- The oil can also cause irritation to the mucus membranes in the nose thus should not be used in a diffuser or as inhaler.
- The oil should not be administered in any for form children less than 5 years of age.
- Not recommended for pregnant women.
Blends well with: juniper, cinnamon, basil, nutmeg, mint, rosemary, citronella, bergamot, orange, grapefruit, lemon.