(Cinnamomum zeylcinicum, Cinnamomum verum)
Description: Cinnamon is a tropical evergreen tree with fragrant hark and oval leaves, white flowers and blue-white berries. The essential oil is steam—or water-distilled from the leaves and small twigs. A cinnamon-bark essential oil is also available, but it is a skin irritant and is best avoided in aromatherapy.
Countries of origin: Madagascar, India, Jamaica, Sri Lanka
Characteristics: Cinnamon has fiery, harsh, spicy top notes and sweet, oriental undertones It blends well with frankincense, myrrh, orange, mandarin, benzoin and ylang ylang.
Main therapeutic properties: Anti-microbial, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, astringent, carminative, digestive, stimulant, stomachic.
Cinnamon is used less in aromatherapy than most of the other spices, but it is excellent in a burner to ward off colds, flu and all other airborne infections and contagious diseases. Blended carefully into a local massage oil, cinnamon is good for digestive complaints and helps a sluggish digestion, flatulence and intestinal infection. Overall, cinnamon is warming, invigorating, restorative and uplifting.
Psychologically, cinnamon is fortifying and reviving. It is indicated for general nervous debility, and for older people during winter to warm both mind and body. It is life-affirming and can help to alleviate melancholia and depression characterized by lethargy and lack of vitality. Cinnamon restores a zest for life and inspires courage.
Contraindications: Do not use if you have sensitive or very sensitive skin. Use in moderation
— no more than 2 drops in the bath and no more than 1 per cent in massage oils.