When most think of cinnamon they think of the cinnamon sticks in mugs of warm apple cider, or the sweet, fragrant, spicy aroma coming from the kitchen oven. Even though the scent of cinnamon may make your home smell amazing when prospective buyers come to your Open House and conger comfy feelings that may very well help you to make the sale – cinnamon has a very long history dating back to 2700 B.C. Cinnamon was not only used for centuries to flavor food but it also played the role as medicine, a perfume ingredient, burned as an aromatic incense, used for anointing, for embalming (it has powerful preservative qualities as you’ll discover), in the bath, and rubbed on beds with aromatic Myrrh and Sandalwood essential oils for it’s aphrodisiac qualities.
Even though we all are quite familiar with powdered cinnamon and cinnamon sticks, not many are aware that it is also an essential oil – it was the essential oil the ancient Egyptians used in embalming and in their daily lives. And cinnamon essential oil was a key ingredient in the “4 Thieves Vinegar” preventing the thieves from contracting the plague during the 15th century while they robbed the homes and bodies of the dead and dying.
We grow up smelling, drinking and eating certain foods and rarely do we know the stories that our ancestors could share with us about how ‘they’ grew, harvested, processed and used a particular food, herb or spice. This article is just a small sampling of the lovely aromatic tree bark we might not know and may have taken for granted, not realizing just how powerful and useful this scented bark from a tree can be in our lives.
Please note: Cinnamon Bark essential oil from Young Living Essential Oils is hundreds of times more potent than the dried cinnamon spice and one must use it properly for the best results. Why is it more potent… because you know how a herb drying room smells so wonderful, well… that’s the essential oil (a volatile oil, not a fatty, greasy oil) going into the air. It’s estimated that a dried herb only retains about 5-10% of its essential oil – which explains ‘why’ a dried herb/spice used for healing purposes can take months before you see any improvement. That’s not the case with a properly distilled therapeutic-grade essential oil. That means you only use a drop or two of a high quality essential oil at a time. For instance, one drop of Peppermint essential oil equals 28 cups of peppermint tea!
Even after 20 years of using essential oils, I am still amazed by how effectively and quickly (sometimes within 30 seconds depending on the problem) therapeutic-grade essential oils work – and I’m an herb lover and have used herbs for cooking, nutrition, and home remedies for 35 years. I’m impressed and will continue using my Young Living oils for the rest of my life, yes they are that good. I still use, honor and love dried herbs, but when I need relief or healing I always turn to my Young Living oils – the differences are remarkable.
First… Your Cinnamon Oil MUST “Bark”
It’s important here to note that there is a vast difference between Cinnamon Bark and Cinnamon Leaf essential oils.
Cinnamon Leaf oil, although it does smell like Cinnamon Bark oil, does NOT contain any of the healing and beneficial properties. Easy to remember – your Cinnamon should always bark… “woof!”
Cinnamon essential oil was one of the ingredients used by ancient Egyptian embalmers, who may not have known about microbes, but could see the effect of the spice. During the days of ancient Egyptian culture it was already long established that essential oils were valued, used often, and buried in the pyramids with kings and Pharaohs in ornate alabaster urns – which by the way, the essential oils in those urns were the only things taken when the tombs were looted long before our Western archeologists and anthropologists entered the sealed chambers. Even those ancient tomb robbers knew that an essential oil had far more value than gems and gold – which they left behind. During those days, they were smart enough to know that the essential oils were worth money, and could protect and help heal the body.
Indeed there is much we could be learning and teaching others about the most simple and basic techniques used for centuries by all humans. I particularly love knowing that my body evolved with the native plants and trees of the world and the same protecting and healing benefits an essential oil provides to the plant kingdom, it also provides the same benefits to me. So, let’s see some of what we know today about one simple tree whose bark provided a spice that humanity has utilized for centuries…
Cinnamon Bark Oil as a Food Preservative
Spanish researchers took advantage of Cinnamon Barks microbial-killing property in developing an antimold wrapper. In the Aug. 13 issue of The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, they report that even with bread already tainted with mold, a wax paper made with 6 percent cinnamon oil inhibited the growth by 96 percent, prolonging freshness by up to 10 days. (Plain wax paper did not slow the mold at all.)
In addition to its sweet, woody aroma, cinnamon has long been known for its capacity to stop spoilage. The wrapper may also be effective in keeping fruits, vegetables and meats fresh. Read the study: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry New Cinnamon-Based Active Paper Packaging against Rhizopusstolonifer Food Spoilage
Sometimes the wrapper adds a cinnamon aroma to the food. Adding cinnamon to the bread itself was less effective in preserving the bread, Dr. Nerin said, because the protective compounds were not released uniformly.
Another study in the International Journal of Food Microbiology found that adding a few drops of cinnamon essential oils to carrot broth inhibited the growth of bacteria for 60 days. So powerful was the effect that the researchers called it a viable “alternative to traditional food preservatives.”
Another study found that the spice increased glucose metabolism by about 20 times, which would significantly improve your ability to regulate blood sugar. Cinnamon has even previously been indicated as a potential insulin substitute for those with type 2 diabetes – researchers have found that cinnamon contains a bioactive component with “insulin-like” effects.
Other health benefits of Cinnamon Bark Oil
Cinnamon lowers your blood sugar by acting on several different levels. It slows the emptying of your stomach to reduce sharp rises in blood sugar following meals and improves the effectiveness, or sensitivity, of insulin. It also enhances your antioxidant defenses.
Half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day was shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Cinnamon’s other benefits include:
• Supporting digestive function
• Relieving congestion
• Relieving pain and stiffness of muscles and joints
• Anti-inflammatory compounds that may relieve arthritis
• Helping to prevent urinary tract infections
• Prevent tooth decay / gum disease (in Thieves Dental products)
• Relieves menstrual discomfort
• Blood-thinning compounds that stimulate circulation
Other health-promoting Young Living Essential Oils, among the most potent, aside from cinnamon, are: Cloves, Oregano, Marjoram, Sage, Thyme.
Knowing when it’s important to use a carrier oil
Taste and “Hotness” of Spices – this table may give you a better idea of how ‘hot’ some herbs and spices are it may be helpful in determining which of your Young Living oils are hot and thus require using a carrier oil (Young Living’s V-6, or olive oil).
Caution: When used topically Cinnamon oil must be used mindfully as it is a bit hot and can cause skin irritation – have a carrier on hand (Young Living’s V-6, or olive oil).
And yet more studies…
Other indications for cinnamon oil include tropical infections, typhoid, and vaginitis and may be beneficial for circulation, infections, coughs, exhaustion, respiratory infections, rheumatism, and warts. Cinnamon also fights viral and infectious diseases.
Research report on Young Living essential oils on E. coli. The oils studied: Cinnamon, Oregano, Immupower and Purification.
The results clearly showed all 4 oils were superior to both Penicillin and Ampicillin in their ability to kill the microorganisms.
The study also showed by mixing Peppermint and Rosewood with a ratio of 1 part Peppermint to 8 parts Rosewood, researchers discovered the Zone of Inhibition for E-Coli increased to 50 mm.
This is wonderful news as one begins to speculate how commerce might employ these oils to insure the safety of our food supply. One in particular, Peppermint oil, caught our attention. You may want to consider spraying countertops, sinks, fruits and vegetables with Young Living Therapeutic-grade (YLTG) Peppermint oil diluted in water, as a safeguard against the possibility of E-Coli infected food.
This scientific work was originally undertaken to determine the effective conditions of essential oils against Trichophyton mentagrophytes in vitro for the treatment of tinea pedis in a foot bath.
Most fungal mycelia (99.7%) were killed after treatment at 42 degrees C (107.6*F) for 20 min without essential oil. The fungicidal activity of essential oils was markedly enhanced by treating at 42 degrees C for 20 min as compared with that at 27 degrees C (80.6*F), showing 1/4 – 1/32-fold reduction of minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC to kill 99.99%).
The order of the fungicidal activity of 11 essential oils was oregano, thyme thymol, cinnamon bark > lemongrass > clove, palmarose, peppermint, lavender > geranium Bourbon, tea tree > thyme geraniol oils.
More than 99% of the fungal cells were killed after 20 minutes in the 42°C water bath without added essential oils or salt. All of the essential oils showed fungicidal activity, but increasing the temperature from 27°C to 42°C markedly reduced the amount of time needed. Study: Combined Effect of Heat, Essential Oils and Salt on Foot Fungus
Using Young Living Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
Medicinal Properties: Anti-inflammatory, (COX2 Inhibitor), powerful antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, anticoagulant, circulatory stimulant, stomach protectant (ulcers), treating warts.
Uses: Cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, viral infections (herpes, etc.), digestive complaints, ulcers, warts.
Dilute 1 part Cinnamon Bark essential oil to 4 parts carrier oil (V-6 or olive oil)
Use Topically in small amounts, apply to Vita Flex points or Chakras.
As a Dietary supplement – 2 parts Cinnamon oil to 8 parts V-6 or olive oil. Cinnamon is powerful, usually one or two drops in a veggie capsule is plenty.
Diffuse – be mindful that this is a spicy oil and may irritate the nasal membranes if inhaled directly from the bottle or when diffused, use it sparingly aromatically.
Make Your Own Food Preservative Wrapping and Foot / Tub Fungus Spray
That’s right, get another spray bottle, this one can be small and kept handy in the kitchen and one in the bathroom. In a 4 or 8 oz. spray bottle filled with distilled water, add 10-20 drops of Young Living Cinnamon essential oil – that’s it! Spray on your wax paper, spray on countertops to kill E. coli and other bacteria. In some instances you might even want to spray on food directly – just remember, our Young Living oils are extremely potent so don’t over do it.
Article by Young Living Independent Distributor Evelyn Vincent, helping those who want to empower themselves with some of nature’s best remedies for mind, body, spirit and home. Contact Evelyn through http://TheVeryEssence.com and Start Living the ‘Green’ life.