Herbs > Ayurvedic Herbs and their Healing Power > Cinnamon
By Dr. Satish Kulkarni
The colloquial name for cinnamon is in India is dalchini
and its botanical name is Cinnamomum Zeylanicum.
Cinnamon is a small, bushy and lustrous green tree.
Dried leaves and/or dried bark of this tree form a
constituent of many spice mixtures as well as of
medicines. Both add to the taste and flavor of food
in addition to its medicinal value. The leaves are
slightly hot and bitter in taste and have a
mouth-watering fragrance when cooked or fried. The
bark has a pleasing fragrance and warm, sweet,
aromatic taste in its natural or cooked state.
The outer bark of the tree is thick and
brownish. The inner bark is more useful than the
outer one. It is obtained from carefully chosen
shoots. These shoots are allowed to mature up to a
certain limit on the tree and then the bark is
obtained. It is dried in shade and while drying it
shrinks, curls and breaks into pieces. These pieces
are used in spices and medicines.
Cinnamon trees are cultivated in Sri
Lanka and in tropical parts of Asia. Southern India
and islands like Andaman, Nicobar, Lakhsadweep and
Maldives are famous for cinnamon. Most of the world
production of cinnamon comes from these parts of
world although Egypt and Europe also produce it to
The leaves are used in the form of
powder or decoction which is then added to medicines.
They stimulate the peristaltic wave and help in
relieving distention of the abdomen or flatulence.
They also increase urination, which in a way helps in
expelling metabolic waste products or toxins out of
One ayurvedic school has
recommended the use of cinnamon in brain tonics for
improvisation of memory. Cinnamon is also considered
useful for anxiety, depression and mental tension.
Cinnamon is considered a good remedy for
irritating cough, common cold, allergic rhinitis, and
acute and chronic sinusitis. It helps in relieving a
choking sensation and cleans respiratory passages.
Cinnamon, along with a few other herbal powders is
boiled in water and used for gargling in case of sore
throat. An herbal tea is prepared out of these
medicines and served hot as a diaphoretic mixture in
case of influenza and other unknown origin fevers. It
induces sweating and helps in relieving the fever.
Cinnamon is also used in digestive
disorders like nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia (imperfect
digestion) and anorexia (loss of appetite). An ayurvedic
carminative mixture for pediatric or adult use
essentially contains cinnamon. It also has proved its
merit as a mouth freshener. This is the reason why it
is included in most of herbal toothpastes.
Ayurvedic beauticians also use
cinnamon in creams or lotions and here it serves the
purpose of adding to fairness of skin and improving
the complexion of skin. It is also used for external
application with few other herbal powders for
headache related to cough, cold and fever. It helps
in reducing tension/cluster headaches as well. Some
practitioners claim its use in hyper pigmentation of
skin as well as acne. It can be used externally and
is taken internally with honey and limejuice for
One ayurvedic school of medicine
has discussed role of cinnamon in birth control. More
research is needed to support this. Ayurvedic
gynecologists have recommended use of cinnamon in
menorrhagia (excessive bleeding during menses) and
medical trials have supported this statement by
claiming good results.
In short, cinnamon is a spice
as well as a medicine. It helps in digestive,
respiratory and gynecological problems. Its use under
medical supervision can help in giving better relief
For further information on Ayurveda and/or questions
please Visit India Herbs For Genuine Ayurvedic Medicines and
Nutritional Supplements or contact Dr. Satish Kulkarni
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