Yup, I have to admit, I’m amongst some major smarty-pants who also love to geek out! My colleagues and I shout down the halls in excitement to inform each other about the latest studies regarding the power of poo. In fact, sometimes I am even able to skip down the hall singing rhythms about new compounds that modulate inflammatory pathways and how polyphenols rock in helping our microbiome stay healthy. I actually get smiles, not sneers. Talk about a nerd’s heaven!
So, I was excited to read a post by some of my science-lovin’ peeps that highlighted an amazing spice, cinnamon, and its essential oil component.
I was cross-referencing studies and, in a nerdy moment, I started bonding with Google and PubMed again.
I came up with 5 pretty good reasons to make sure cinnamon oil is in your spice shelf.
1. Saving Me From Moldy Cashews!
As serendipity would have it, I was nibbling on some cashews as I was reading the cinnamon blog. I then felt a little bit “weak in the news!”
Could it be the yeast!!
It seems cashews are known for harboring aspergillus species, the nasty fungus that causes a wide-array of issues!
Thankfully, I was snacking by my computer and found an article that supported how cinnamon, thyme, garlic, mint, and rosemary inhibited growth of this microbe in a dose dependent manner. So, I grabbed my cinnamon and rubbed some on my feet. Phew!
This story may not be true at all and the names and events may be totally fabricated. This was probably done in order to share with the reader how a study could be helpful in a real life situation and to emphasize the important aspects in the study. It is also meant to portray a lesson to not eat in front of a computer. ;-D
2. Getting Rid of Biofilms In Vitro
Remember how those nasty, resistant superbugs secrete materials in order to form a unified clan of misfits. These critters then bond together in our bodies and cause havoc on our health. Darn those biofilms!
Well, an in vitro study showed cinnamon oil inhibited the microbe, pseudomonas, bugger’s biofilm. The study also exhibited it had other microbial inhibition properties.
Another study found cinnamon oil inhibited candida species biofilms too!
3. Providing Heart Relaxation To Mice
A rodent heart cell study demonstrated how one of cinnamon oil’s active constituents, cinnamaldehyde (CA), had an ability to modulate vessel relaxation. Now, this study was an in vivo trial with mice and didn’t use the intact, whole oil. This means the compound will have a more directed verses subtle and integrated response.
4. CA Induces Cell Death In Vitro
Cinnamaldehyde was also found to modulate (a lot of cool) biochemical pathways involved in apoptosis (cellular death) in a study using human cancer cells.
5. Antioxidant Properties
a. Digging deeper I found this review that discussed the antioxidant and microbe inhibiting properties of cinnamon bark oil.
b. Another study was done with rodents to determine the effect of Cinnamoum verum and cardamom on heart and liver antioxidant enzymes, glutathione (GSH) and lipid conjugated dienes. The authors concluded:
The antioxidant enzyme activities were found to be significantly enhanced whereas GSH content was markedly restored in rats fed a fat diet with spices. In addition, these spices partially counteracted increase in lipid conjugated dienes and hydroperoxides, the primary products of lipid peroxidation.
c. Check this quote out in this study on the top antioxidant spices, “Phenolic volatile oils were the principal active ingredients in most spices.”
3 Ways Dr. Sarah Uses Cinnamon Oil
Now that we have reviewed some actions of cinnamon oil, aren’t you curious to know how to use it?
- I rub a drop on my feet after cashew consumption. (Pun intended)
- I place a toothpick amount in raw, goat yogurt.
- I diffuse 3 drops cinnamon, 3 drops ginger, and 1 drop lavender at night to freshen the air and calm my brain.
And remember…be safe and use with common sense!
**If you want to continue to learn more ways to enjoy a healthier lifestyle with essential oils, make sure you sign up for my weekly essential oils blog.
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been assessed for quality, purity, and standardization of constituents.
Warning: There is no quality control in the United States for essential oils and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only 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 and body.
This information is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness.
Designs for Health Research & Education Blog. A spice rack isn’t complete without cinnamon. blog.designsforhealth.com. May 7, 2015.
World’s Healthiest Foods. Cashews. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=98
Abd El-Aziz ARM, Mahmoud MA, Al-Othman MR, Al-Gahtani MF. Use of Selected Essential Oils to Control Aflatoxin Contaminated Stored Cashew and Detection of Aflatoxin Biosynthesis Gene. The Scientific World Journal. 2015;2015:958192. doi:10.1155/2015/958192.
Cinnamon bark oil and its components inhibit biofilm formation and toxin production. Int J Food Microbiol. 2015 Feb 16;195:30-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2014.11.028. Epub 2014 Dec 3.
Anticandidal efficacy of cinnamon oil against planktonic and biofilm cultures of Candida parapsilosis and Candida orthopsilosis. Mycopathologia. 2011 Dec;172(6):453-64. doi: 10.1007/s11046-011-9448-0. Epub 2011 Jul 15.
Cinnamaldehyde induces apoptosis by ROS-mediated mitochondrial permeability transition in human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells. Cancer Lett. 2003 Jul 10;196(2):143-52.
Cinnamaldehyde inhibits L-type calcium channels in mouse ventricular cardiomyocytes and vascular smooth muscle cells. Pflugers Arch. 2014 Nov;466(11):2089-99. doi: 10.1007/s00424-014-1472-8. Epub 2014 Feb 25.
Rao PV, Gan SH. Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine?: eCAM. 2014;2014:642942. doi:10.1155/2014/642942.
Anti-oxidant effects of cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) bark and greater cardamom (Amomum subulatum) seeds in rats fed high fat diet. Indian J Exp Biol. 1999 Mar;37(3):238-42.
Thank you istockphoto.com and NaturalPath for the same cool photos!
First of all, thanks for sharing all this great information. Does this oil contain Couramin? I’ve read that the Cassia variety of cinnamon contains Couramin, which could be toxic based on dose and Ceylon does not contain as much.
You are welcome, Dana! Thank you for this awesome biochemical question!! From my understanding cassia sp. has higher coumarin content. Cinnamomum verum from the desk reference doesn’t have coumarins listed. However, all companies distill differently and you never know what is in an inferior, non-standardized oil or the dominant phenotype. I would suggest you get the reference from your supplier: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0926669012002622
I use YL, do you happen to know what they use?
Thanks for your help!
YLEO uses Cinnamomum verum, this is the company I use myself. 😀