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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 some extent.

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 the body.

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 desired effects.

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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