Cinnamon (Twak)

Cinnamon (Latin Name Cinnamomum zeylanicum) belongs to the genus Cinnamomum and is a small tree originating from India. Cinnamon is probably the oldest known spice that has great medicinal values as described in Ayurveda. The bark of the cinnamon is dried and made into sticks which are known as quills.

In Ayurveda, cinnamon is considered as one of the best aromatic spices used in treatment of various health ailments mainly respiratory tract infections. Scientists believe that medicinal properties of the herbal plant are due to the essential oil called cinnamonaldehyde present in its bark. Cinnamon is known as Twak in Ayurveda that is categorized under ‘tridoshaghna’ (the herb that pacifies all the tridoshas; vata, pitta and kapha).

In other opinion as stated on Wikipedia, The Hebrew Bible makes specific mention of the spice many times: first when Moses is commanded to use both sweet cinnamon (Hebrew קִנָּמוֹן, qinnāmôn) and cassia in the holy anointing oil (The Book of Exodus: 30:22-25) (1).

Though it is believed that Cinnamon belonged to India, according to FAO, Indonesia produces 40% of the world’s Cassia genus of cinnamon (Search – Global Edition – The New York Times”. International Herald Tribune. 2009-03-29. Retrieved 2010-08-18).

Medicinal properties of cinnamon

Digestive aid of the herb is known since years. Cinnamon possesses warming and stimulant properties and hence is used to treat various digestive ailments. Bloating, nausea, indigestion and abdominal cramps are few of the prime indications to use cinnamon. The bark of cinnamon is likely to have antifungal and antibacterial action and thus can be prescribed in Helicobacter pylori (an organism responsible to cause stomach ulcers).

The cinnamon bark is used to extract carbon dioxide that is researched and found to restrict the growth of various microorganisms including Staphylococcus aureus, Candida and Escherichia coli (2). Also there are some evidences backing cinnamon’s properties to control diabetes (3) as researchers have found strong hypoglycemic properties of the herb cinnamon.

Two insecticidal compounds namely cinnzeylanin and cinnzeylanol along with eugenol have been extracted and isolated from the cinnamon that possesses antiseptic and anesthetic properties (4). The herb is astringent due to presence of tannins.

Recipe of Cinnamon

Cinnamon is widely used in cooking Indian dishes. In fact, most of the Indian dishes (especially Punjabi vegetable cuisine) contain cinnamon as a source of aroma and taste. Decoction of cinnamon is used to treat various health ailments including respiratory tract problems such as sore throat, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, common cold, cough, chest congestion and nasal congestion.

Cinnamon is also used in making topical creams and lotions to treat pains and aches. Here is the simple recipe of Balm made up of cinnamon and other potential herbs to treat headache, body ache and other musculo skeletal pains and sprains.

Homemade Cinnamon Balm:

Essential oils and Quantity in drops

Cinnamon : 10
Eucalyptus :10
Peppermint :10
Clove: 05

60 ml. extra virgin olive or coconut oil as base
15 gm. beeswax

Method: Heat olive oil and beeswax with low flame and stir until the wax completely mixes after melting. Take the vessel off the heat. On the other hand, take all essential oils in a small cup and stir them well. When the beeswax container is naturally cooled, add them all and mix them well.

For the people who are acquainted with Internet shopping, cinnamon sticks are available online. Popular websites like Amazon and eBay sells cinnamon sticks that are shipped and delivered to your doorsteps.

Indication and application:

The Cinnamon balm can be used as topical ointment to alleviate pains, aches and sprains in various parts of the body such as forehead, knee, ankle, thighs and calf muscles. Avoid direct contact with eyes, do not engulf and do not apply it onto cuts, wounds and other injuries.

References:

1. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnamon)
2. Leung AY. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics. New York-Chichester: Wiley, 1980.
3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21150113
4. Wagner H, Wolff P (eds). New Natural Products and Plant Drugs with Pharmacological, Biological or Therapeutically activity. Berlin: Springer Verlag, 1977

Author: Dr Maulik Vyas

I am a holistic Doctor with 10 yr of experience in medical/health and wellness industry. Also, I am a professional content writer with 1000s of articles published across the web. I'm available for content writing, natural treatment consultancy, business ideas about healthcare/wellness industry. I am the proprietor of company named Mouls Incorporation.

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