|Page: Cinnamon Oil Uses|
The long history of cinnamon oil bears the fact that it is indeed very useful to man. Cinnamon was mentioned in many ancient texts dating as far back as 4,000 years ago as an important ingredient in making incense and perfumes.
It was also used in ancient China as early as 2,800 B.C. for culinary and medicinal purposes. Moses, in the Old Testament of the Hebrew Bible prescribed it for use in anointing, and a writer in Proverbs described its use as a perfume. Recent scientific research has revealed that cinnamon oil offers many health benefits and can be used to treat many ailments that plague the common man.
Where Does Cinnamon Oil Come From?
Cinnamon oil is the essential oil extracted from the bark and leaves of the cinnamon tree. This tree is indigenous to Asian countries like India and Sri Lanka but is now grown in many tropical countries around the world. The essential oil from the bark of the tree is prized more than the oil from the leaves because it is much more potent and effective. Cinnamon bark oil is extracted by first buffeting and pounding the bark and soaking it in sea water, then distilling the liquid immediately. The same process is done with the leaves in order to extract the oil.
What’s So Important About Cinnamon?
Cinnamon oil was able to establish its reputation as a very beneficial substance because it contains different active agents which can be put to use in many ways. The chemical components of this essential oil include linalool, eugenol, beta-caryophyllene, methyl chavicol and its signature chemical cinnamaldehyde. The cinnamaldehyde content is about 60% of the oil and is the reason for its aromatic scent. Apart from the aforementioned substances, cinnamon oil also contains ethyly cinnamate, anethole and cinnamyl acetate. The precise combination of these substances in cinnamon oil enables it to be used for medicinal as well as culinary applications.
Where Cinnamon Oil Can Be Used
With all these active components in cinnamon oil, it is only natural for it to be used in many different ways. Below are some of the practical uses of this powerful substance.
1) Medicinal Applications
• As a strong and effective anti-bacterial agent and anti-cancer agent – cinnamon oil has powerful antibacterial and anti-cancer properties. A research study published in “Food and Chemical Toxology” in November 2010 identified nine active agents in cinnamon oil. The essential oil effectively hindered the activities of 21 species of bacteria and 4 Candida fungus species. Cinnamon oil also showed that it has direct toxic effects and encouraged the apoptosis or programmed cell deaths of cancer cells in tissue cultures. This research study demonstrated the capability of cinnamon oil in the prevention and cure of some infections and some types of cancer.
• As an anti-inflammatory agent – a research study also showed the ability of cinnamon oil to prevent or reduce inflammation. The study showed the anti-inflammatory effects of cinnamon oil extracted from the leaves of the plant where the extract inhibited nitric oxide, the chemical substance that triggers inflammation. The essential oil also inhibited lipid oxidation and the immune system activity associated with atherogenic plaque formation. The study concluded that cinnamon oil has significant anti-inflammatory properties and can be used as a natural anti-inflammatory agent.
• As an acne treatment – cinnamon oil was shown to be the best anti-bacterial substance that can inhibit P. acnes – the bacteria that causes acne. This was published in the April 2010 issue of “Molecules”, a medical journal. At 5% concentration of cinnamon oil, all the P. acnes bacterial were killed in a span of 5 minutes. In addition, this study also showed that cinnamon oil has more toxicity to human prostate cancer cells than breast or lung cancer cells.
• As a diabetes treatment – cinnamon can help lower blood sugar levels and can be very effective as part of a diabetes treatment plan.
2) Practical Uses In The Home
• As a room freshener – the aromatic scent of cinnamon oil can be effective as an air-freshener. Place a few drops of this oil in a bowl and place the bowl on your coffee table to achieve the desired effect.
• As a room spray – mix a few drops of cinnamon oil with water or vodka and put it in a spray mist. Spray it in the room where you want to dispel any strong odor.
• Light bulb diffuser – by placing a drop of cinnamon oil on your light bulbs, every time you put the lights on, the aroma of cinnamon will be gently diffused in the room.
• As a treatment for respiratory problems – you can use small amounts of cinnamon diluted in water as a relief from colds, flu, influenza and other respiratory problems.
• As a treatment for digestive problems – a small amount of cinnamon oil diluted in water will also help solve your digestive disorders and diarrhea.