Top 10 Cinnamon Essential Oil Uses

Cinnamon Essential Oil Uses

Cinnamon is widely known and has been used for centuries in cooking, ceremonial applications and medicine. Although well known and common, there is a lot about cinnamon that most people aren’t aware of, and this becomes even more apparent when evaluating the health benefits of essential oils derived from the smallish evergreen tree from which the spice hails from.

First of all, many people are blissfully unaware that what they believe to be cinnamon is actually a close relative, called cassia. This alternative spice is quite similar to cinnamon and more abundant and less expensive so it is very commonly substituted. The reason why understanding this difference is important is because cinnamon essential oil uses for health can be different than those attributed to cassia, so proper identification is key.

Additionally, cinnamon essential oil uses also differ depending on which part of the bushy tree it’s made from. Some cinnamon essential oils come from the bark of the tree, which is distinctively curled and is harvested typically only once every two years. Oil made from the bark is harder to find and pricier than that made from the leaves of the tree, which is less expensive and more readily available. But, not only does oil from the leaves have a different scent, cinnamon essential oil uses for health also vary greatly depending on where they are sourced from.

Regardless of type or source, all essential oils uses for health and wellness relate to special chemical compounds found naturally in plants. The cinnamon tree, a Southeast Asia native, boasts phenols, eugenol, cinnamic aldehyde, linalool, cinnamaldehyde, amongst others. These naturally occurring substances are what provide the physiological benefits behind cinnamon essential oil uses, including the ten that follow.

1. Stimulation: Cinnamon bark oil, which is widely known for its perfume-quality aroma, makes a pleasant addition to a bath (very small amount) or when used in a diffuser for providing an uplifting and rejuvenating experience. The oil is known for stimulant properties, which are thought to be responsible for these attributes when the vapors are inhaled.

2. Insect Repellent: Oil made from the bark of the cinnamon tree won’t keep the bugs away, but cinnamon essential oil uses do include repelling insects when the leaf variety is used. Flies, roaches, mosquitoes and even garden variety black ants prefer to keep a distance from cinnamon leaf oil, so when applied to the skin (when diluted with a carrier) or sprayed in a diluted solution around the home creepy crawlies may stay out of sight.

3. Bed Bugs and Head Lice: Cinnamon leaf oil isn’t just useful in keeping annoying multi-legged houseguests away, it’s also a long standing home remedy for hard to eradicate critters, namely bed bugs and head lice. Diluting the oil in water and spritzing on bedding may help remove bed bugs and keep them away. And, cinnamon essential oil uses (when derived from the leaf not the bark) include treating the scalp for head lice when the oil is added in small quantities to natural shampoos.

4. Muscle Spasms and Pain: Cinnamon bark oil is considered a natural antispasmodic, and this means that it may be useful in treating or preventing painful muscle cramps. Unfortunately, the oil can be quite potent and can irritate the skin so topical neat application is not advisable. But, when diluted appropriately in a carrier oil, cinnamon essential oil uses may include swift temporary relief from some types of muscle discomfort.

5. Digestion: No essential oil that is not therapeutic grade should be ingested, and many of them can be poisonous or toxic if taken internally. Some, like cinnamon, are generally regarded as safe – but cinnamon oil is quite powerful, and it should never be taken internally without medical supervision. There may be some benefits to doing so however because cinnamon bark oil has been associated with relieving diarrhea and generally relieving stomach ails of a viral nature thanks to natural antiviral properties.

6. Mouthwash: Some cinnamon essential oil uses are attributed to the substance’s purported effects on bacteria and viruses and these activities are what make it potentially effective as a natural mouthwash. A single drop can be added to a cup of purified water for a germ killing mouthwash that can’t be beat.

7. Acne: Cinnamon essential oil uses in terms of topical application are limited because the substance is so potent it can be irritating. However, using it as a natural treatment for acne and to improve the complexion is still possible by incorporating it into a soothing scrub. When a drop or two is added to cinnamon sugar, olive oil and a smidgen of orange juice, a delightful and natural germ-killing and therefore acne eradicating scrub is created!

8. Foot Fungus: Nobody wants to deal with foot fungus, but some people (especially athletes and those who spend most of their days in closed toed shoes) are very susceptible to developing it. There are over the counter ointments and creams that may help by attacking the fungal cause of the infection, but a foot bath laced with a drop or two of cinnamon leaf oil may do the trick too, naturally.

9. Circulation: More study will be needed to better understand the general circulation related benefits of cinnamon. However, it’s believed by some that not only may oil derived from the leaves and bark help to improve circulation, but also serve as a means to detoxify the blood as well – although these claims remain unproven.

10. Coughs, Colds and Other Respiratory Ails: Cinnamon essential oil uses have long included a wide range of respiratory problems including symptom relief from conditions like the flu and common cold. When used in aromatherapy, both oil from the bark and the leaves may help to inhibit the reproduction of the viral cause of the illness as well, potentially reducing the duration of the illness. More research will be needed to further understand these anecdotal alternative uses, but antiviral properties of both types of oil suggest potential in these applications.

Since cinnamon bark oil is so potent and can be problematic when ingested or irritating when applied topically, it is rarely found included in essential oil blends. However, sometimes it can be found in protective blends, likely related to its pathogen resisting properties.