Cinnamon Leaf (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
Location: Cinnamon is cultivated in Comores, India, Madagascar, Seychelles and Sri Lanka.
Extraction: Steam distilled from the leaves.
Colour and Odour: The essential oil is yellow in colour and has a hot, sharp, spicy odour with a slightly sweet undertone.
Description: An evergreen tropical tree growing up to 9 metres tall. It is cultivated for the inner bark, which is collected and dried and later sold as cinnamon spice. The leaves and bark are also distilled to produce leaf and bark essential oils. The leaf essential oil is preferred for use in aromatherapy, as the bark essential oil may cause severe irritation in some people.
Background: Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known. The Chinese and Indians were aware of its medicinal properties over 4000 years ago. It was also traded with the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. The British East India Company maintained control of cinnamon production when Sri Lanka was a colony of Britain during the late eighteenth century.
Properties: Warming, tonic, antispasmodic, antifungal, stimulant.
Precaution: The oil is best used in lower concentrations as it may cause irritation in sensitive people.
Digestive System-Warms the stomach and encourages slow digestion when the stomach is cold.
Respiratory System-Valuable for colds and flu, when there are chills and shivering.
Muscular System-Relieves tiredness, cramps and rheumatic and muscular pains.
Emotion-Can be useful for mental fatigue and lack of concentration.