The genus Cinnamomumis an evergreen tree originating in the southern Chinese provinces where it is widely cultivated. Cinnamomum is also grown elsewhere in southern and eastern Asia as well as Australia. A member of the Bay/Laurel family, cinnamon is warm and stimulating, drying and demulcent, and sweet and aromatic.
Cinnamon is derived from various species and has been used as a spice since ancient times - imported to Egypt as early as 2000 BC. It is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs in traditional Chinese medicine, particularly for chest related ailments. Over the past 20 years, cinnamon has been found to have potential antioxidants, antimicrobial activity, and to play a role in glucose and lipid control.
C.cassia/aromaticumis one of several species of Cinnamon used for its aromatic bark, which is scraped from the inside to create the greatly praised spice. C.cassiais the most common type of cinnamon used in the United States and Europe.
C.verum/zeylanicum, also known as *Ceylon cinnamon* is a close relative to C.cassia, tan-brown in color and contains many tight sticks with soft layers. These features provide a highly desirable quality and texture. C. verumis generally considered to have a more delicate flavor that is more suitable for baking and desserts. C.verumalso has far less potential to cause for harm when consumed regularly.
Cinnamon as a medicinal plant that has different chemical properties depending on which species and features of the plant are being utilized and contains a range of bioactive substances including cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, and styrene.
Cinnamon bark oildistilled from the C.verumtree possesses the delicate aroma of the spice with a sweet and pungent taste. Cinnamon bark oil is employed mainly in the flavouring industry where it is used in meat and fast food seasonings, sauces and pickles, baked goods, confectionery, cola-type drinks, tobacco flavours and in dental and pharmaceutical preparations. Perfumery applications are far fewer than in flavours because the oil has some skin-sensitizing properties, but it has limited use in some aromatherapies. In traditional medicine, cinnamon bark is reportedly used for the treatment of a wide range of conditions, including digestive disorders, diabetes, and respiratory tract infections.
Cinnamon bark oil has the highest levels of Cinnamaldehyde (about 40%-60%). Cinnamic aldehyde is an enzyme inhibitor and immunologic drug, as well an anti-inflammatory. Cinnamaldehyde is widely accepted as being an effective antiviral and is effective against theadenovirus. Respiratory illnesses caused by an adenovirus infection can range from common cold symptoms to pneumonia, croup, and bronchitis. It has also been administered orally to treat folks with depression. Cinnamaldehyde has been used to counteract bacterial infections and is a highly regarded antifungal agent in combating athlete’s foot.Cinnamon bark oil is considerably more expensive than the leaf oil and probably the most highly priced of all essential oils. Anything over 60% cinnamaldehyde is considered very good quality.
Cinnamon Leaf Oil distilled from the leaves of the C.verum trees have lower levels of cinnamaldehyde (about 15%), but has higher levels of Eugenol (about 40-75%). The leaf oil has a warm, spicy, but rather harsh odour, lacking the rich body of the bark oil. It is used as a flavouring agent for seasonings and savory snacks. As a cheap fragrance it is added to soaps and insecticides. The leaf oil is not as refined as the bark oil or smell as nice, but it’s much cheaper and great for topical applications, especially to kill antibiotic resistant bacteria. If you have gone for a hospital stay, this is the thing to take because it is effective against so many antibiotic resistant bacteria. Topical application of eugenol delayed the development of herpesvirus induced keratitis in mice. Cinnamon Leaf oil with over 70% Eugenol is considered very high quality.
C.cassiacontains coumarin, the parent compound of warfarin, a medication used to keep blood from clotting. Due to concerns about the possible effects of coumarin, in 2006, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment warned against consuming large amounts of cassia cinnamon and European health organizations even banned C.cassiafor a while because of its effects on the liver and kidneys if taken in large doses. Unlike c.cassia, C.verumhardly contains any coumarin. C.cassia contains approximately 1% coumarin, while Ceylon contains only 0.004%, or 250 times less. This is so low that it's often undetectable.
The high coumarin levels measured by control authorities in cinnamon capsules indicate that the manufacturers use c.cassiacinnamon. Depending on the dose recommendation, the taking of capsules with cinnamon powder can lead to exceeding of the TDI (tolerable daily intake) of 0.1 milligram coumarin per kilogram body weight that can be ingested daily over a lifetime without posing a risk to health. Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) of coumarin used to be 0.2 mg/lb (0.5 mg/kg) of body weight has now been greatly reduced to 0.05 mg/lb (0.1 mg/kg).
Exceeding the upper limit for coumarin is easily possible if you are consuming a lot of C.cassia cinnamon. In many cases, just 1-2 teaspoons could bring someone over the daily limit. Therefore, if you regularly eat a lot of cinnamon or take a supplement that contains it, then it should be C.verumand not C.cassia.
There is a unique botanical constituent molecule calledIND02that binds to HIV-1 proteins and impaires HIV interaction on target cells. This could explain the decreased HIV replication observed after IND02 treatment and thus could enhance immune responses against HIV.
Multiple sclerosis(MS) is an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system in the myelin parts are targeted by the immune system resulting in demyelination of the axons. Cinnamon treatment remarkably restored myelin levels and protected myelin-specific genes in the spinal cord of mice. Studies have also found the possible future treatment of Parkinson’sDiseasein humans.
C.cassiahas an insulin like effect in the blood and may help stabilize blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes. The cinnamon extract seems to have a moderate effect in reducing fasting plasma glucose concentrations in diabetic patients with poor glycaemic control. It has been recommended that diabetics use approximately 1 teaspoon daily of cassia cinnamon or 1-4g in a capsule per day in divided doses.
C.cassiacontain more toxic elements including coumarin, styrene, benzene, 1,1′-(2-butene-1,4-diyl)bis-, benzene, 1,1′-(1,2-cyclobutanediyl)bis-, palmitic acid, stearic acid, 4-phenylbutyl chloride, and (2,3-diphenylcyclopropyl) methyl phenyl sulfoxide, which are present in C.verumin negligible amounts.
Feeding studies and clinical trials involving cinnamon products and their extracts have given different or inconsistent test results. Khan et al. found that cinnamon improves glucose and lipid levels of people with type 2 diabetes.However, Loon’s group did not reach this same conclusion.Both groups claimed to use C.cassia in their studies, but neither group attempted to identify the cinnamon samples by source or characterize the composition of the cinnamon samples. Thus, it is impossible to tell how different their respective samples are chemically and if the cinnamon used was actually C.cassia or not.
Medicinal doses are not recommended during pregnancy. Cinnamon (especially the oils) can induce premature labor or uterine contractions. It is even suggested that pregnant women should avoid smelling cinnamon oil.
Taking commercial antibiotics with cinnamon may create a conflict. It is like taking a double dose of antibiotics. It is best you stop taking Cinnamon when taking prescription antibiotics and consult your Doctor.
The preteen/teenager *cinnamon challenge* poses a serious choking hazard and death risk.
Cinnamon is known to increase your heart rate. Similarly, undiluted Cinnamon oil can cause rapid heart rates especially in children. Remember Cinnamon oil is especially powerful and should be diluted to less than 2% before use. At those levels it is safe for use by most people.
The volatile oils in cinnamon can also cause skin rashes and chemical burns.
You can’t really swallow some Cinnamon Bark Oil or Leaf Oil hope it does the trick. Cinnamon Oils are so powerful, that more than a drop or two might burn your insides. If you do take Cinnamon Bark Oil or leaf oil you should consult a medical professional. And only use good quality Cinnamon Oil. Technically both Cinnamon leaf oil and bark oil can be taken internally provided they are steam distilled to a high quality with high levels of cinnamaldehyde (in Cinnamon Bark this should be 40% and up) or high levels Eugenol (in cinnamon leaf oil this should be 70% and up).
The recommended dosage of cinnamon according to the US Department of Health is 6 grams (2.5g = 1 teaspoon) daily for 6 weeks or less. At this level of cinnamon appears to be safe for most people. We recommend you follow these directions with a week of rest from cinnamon every 6 weeks. This will allow any toxicity to be purged from your system or you could try 5 days and 2 days of rest from cinnamon on the weekends.
References & Resources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16634838 https://academic.oup.com/labmed/article/40/11/669/2657533 https://virus.stanford.edu/uda/fluscimed.html https://retrovirology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1742-4690-9-S2-P220 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11054837 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4568834/#R7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22671971/