CINNAMON, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Cinnamomum cassia

CINNAMON

Latin name:          Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Cinnamomum cassia

English names:   Cinnamon

Sanskrit name: Tvaka, Utkaöa

Medicinal parts used: Inner bark, powder from dried leaves and oil from leaves, roots or bark

Cinnamon is a small tree that grows in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam, and Egypt. It’s one of the oldest known spices. To prepare it, the bark of the cinnamon tree is dried and rolled into cinnamon sticks, also called quills. Cinnamon can also be dried and ground into a powder. The characteristic flavour and aroma of cinnamon comes from a compound in the essential oil of the bark called cinnamonaldehyde.

Cinnamon tree can grow 20–25 feet high. The bark is rough, brown and brittle. Leaves are glossy and dark-green, 4–7 inches long with several veins running parallel along them. The flowers are small and grow in hairy clusters. Although there are four main varieties of cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon are the most popular.

Therapeutic use:

  • In traditional Chinese medicine, Cassia cinnamon is used for colds, flatulence, nausea, diarrhoea, and painful menstrual periods.
  • It’s also believed to improve energy, vitality, and has blood thinning components that stimulate circulation.
  • In Ayurvedic, cinnamon is used as a remedy for diabetes, indigestion, and colds, and it is often recommended for people with the kapha Ayurvedic type.
  • Cinnamon constricts and tones tissues.
  • It relieves pain and stiffness of muscles and joints and relieves menstrual discomfort.
  • It has anti-inflammatory compounds that may relieve arthritis.
  • Attacks urinary tract infections, tooth decay and gum disease.
  • It has antimicrobial and can kill E coli.
  • Helps blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes.
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