The Many Ways Cinnamon Oil Supports the Body Whole-isticly
Last weekend, I got caught in a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam on my way to Pennsylvania. The tunes that usually soothe my traffic woes weren’t providing their usual relief, so I did a quick email check on my iPhone. (I was at a standstill!). Ta-Da!
I was graced to find a great article on essential oils by Dr. Z. It highlighted the research on how certain essential oils have immune supportive and defensive properties. I got lost in cross-referencing the cited sources, curious to dive deeper into the mechanisms of essential oils.
They Say Variety is the Spice of Life, What About for Cinnamon?
An article from Evidence Based Review in Complementary Medicine particularly caught my eye. It was on the spice cinnamon, specifically the species of cinnamon bark oil (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) and Cassia oil (Cinnamon cassia).
As I read the article, I paid attention to the specifics on the essential oil. I was pleased to find this table that validated how different parts of the plant differed in their chemical composition of essential oils. Cinnamaldehyde is one of the highest components in the bark oil, whereas; eugenol content is highest in the leaves. (Eugenol is also found in high concentrations in clove oil.)
As I have previously mentioned, chemotype, species, cultivation, location, growing conditions, distillation techniques, and quality control are additional factors that impact the predominant constituents found in an essential oil. This means that with any variation in these influences, the action of oil can be modulated.
As I continued my leisurely research at a standstill, I found this 2013 article review on cinnamon published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. It eloquently explained the differences in constituents of cinnamon oils based on these various factors (bold emphasis mine):
The volatile oils obtained from the bark, leaf, and root barks vary significantly in chemical composition, which suggests that they might vary in their pharmacological effects as well . The different parts of the plant possess the same array of hydrocarbons in varying proportions, with primary constituents such as; cinnamaldehyde (bark), eugenol (leaf) and camphor (root) . Thus cinnamon offers an array of different oils with diverse characteristics, each of which determines its’ value to the different industries. For example the root which has camphor as the main constitute, has minimal commercial value unlike the leaf and bark . It is this chemical diversity that is likely to be the reason for the wide-variety of medicinal benefits observed with cinnamon.
CZ, also known as Ceylon cinnamon (the source of its Latin name, zeylanicum) or ‘true cinnamon’ is indigenous to Sri Lanka and southern parts of India . Three of the main components of the essential oils obtained from the bark of CZ are trans-cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, and linalool, which represent 82.5% of the total composition . Trans-cinnamaldehyde, accounts for approximately 49.9–62.8% of the total amount of bark oil [5,6]. Cinnamaldehyde and eugenol are also the major components of CZ extracts . A brief comparison of the two main varieties of cinnamon (CZ and CC) is included as a Additional file 1.
The authors also noted that Cassia essential oil is not sold as commonly sold on the market due to its higher coumarin content. That is an important safety consideration for those on blood-thinning medication.
Spicing Up Health In More Than One Way
According to the above articles, cinnamon oil displays a wide array of actions. It has antioxidant properties across several different pathways and several of its constituents modulate blood sugar, cellular growth, and tissue irritation. In fact, one study found it balanced serum lipids in chickens…possibly humans. (Source)
I have previously written about cinnamon here and here. For brevity’s sake, I have listed other abstract topics and links on cinnamon essential oil below that demonstrate how “multifaceted” this plant is:
- Effect of Cinnamon Oil and Olive Oil against Candida Spp. Isolated from Blood Stream Infections: In this study, “Blood samples were collected from 1376 patients clinically suspected to have fungal septicaemia, out of which 100 (7.2%) Candida isolates obtained, were speciated by conventional methods.” Fungal susceptibility testing was done. Learn what the authors discovered by clicking on the study.
- Cinnamon bark oil and its components inhibit biofilm formation and toxin production: an in vitro study.
- Effects and Mode of Action of Selected Essential Oils Components against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus: another in vitro study.
- Food Safety- cinnamon oil could prevent your healthy spring recipes from spoilage, as these studies demonstrate. (See what I mean in recipes below.)
- Comparative study of cinnamon oil and clove oil on some oral microbiota: In this study, “Cinnamon oil produced maximum inhibition zone of diameter (IZD) of 24.0 mm against Streptococcus mutans (major causative bacteria of dental plaque) as compared to clove oil (IZD = 13.0mm).”
Read more about essential oils in dental health here and how clove is still impressive for our oral microbiome here. Dr. Sarah says, “I like to place a drop of Thieves oil blend on my toothbrush to get the benefits of different oils in my mouth.”
The Power of Synergism
Every day I use my precious oils. I am awed by nature’s design that produced these volatile compounds from plants and the modern technology that brought them into my home. Their multifactorial actions in supporting our wellness makes every drop full of health promotion potential! Essential oils are truly holistic in several ways:
- They defend us from unwanted symptoms while repairing our bodies to higher health outcomes. The constituents found in essential oils align with our own biochemistry and communicate with our cells to stimulate responses that balance the microbes in our body while also balancing our brain and rejuvenating our mind and body.
- Essential oils actions are biochemical, physiological, and psychological, having an effect not only on our body, but providing an avenue to modulate emotion and behavior. (This can support changing negative habits!).
Therefore, rather than focusing on “killing a bug,” “fighting a disease,” or “manipulating a biochemical pathway in the body,” we give our body these substances from nature (secondary metabolites). These compounds form a synergism in our bodies that creates wellness and building up our health.
That’s something I am grateful for and I hope you are too!
Now…let’s celebrate what we have! Grab your cinnamon oil and enjoy spicing up your life!
A Cinnamon Celebration in Your Mouth and In the Air
The Yum Way!
Make some cinnamon apple chips!
The Smelly Way!
Cinnamon and orange are also a heavenly smell to make any home happy, healthy, and yummy-rific! Learn more about diffusing essential oils here.
*Note: According to the American Botanical Council: “Cinnamon consists of the dried bark, separated from cork and the underlying parenchyma, of young branches and shoots of Cinnamomum verum J.S. Presl (syn. C. zeylanicum Blume) [Fam. Lauraceae], as well as its preparations in effective dosage. The bark contains essential oil. ”
I’m noting this due to the fact that the labels of cinnamon vitality are labeled with the species “verum”, but that is “zeylanicum.”
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin.
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)