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 Essential Oils
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Almond Oil
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Cinnamon Oil
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Cinnamon Oil

Considered by the ancients as one of the most aromatic spices, cinnamon is also mentioned in the Old Testament in the same context as Myrrh, Olibanum, gold and silver. Casting a mild astringent, stimulating and warm effect on the body, it finds few cosmetic uses. The oil is best known for its action on the digestive system as an appetite stimulant, aphrodisiac and general tonic. Known to be beneficial in overcoming general debility and weakness, the essential cinnamon oil has been of great value to mankind. Carrying rich sources of antiseptic and antispasmodic properties, the oil is usually yellow or brown in color, along with a slightly oily touch.

This awesome aphrodisiac with an earthy, woody and spicy aroma is very useful in fighting cholesterol and indigestion problems. Presence of a large amount of eugenol in the oil makes its fragrance more like that of the clove. The oil finds popular usage in aromatherapy owing to its soothing, comforting and soporific effects. The main chemical components of the essential oil, obtained from the leaves, are eugenol, eugenol acetate, cinnamic aldehyde and benzyl benzoate.

Further, the oil ifs rich in essential minerals such as manganese, iron, and calcium; along with rich deposits of fiber. Cinnamon oil blends well with benzoin, cloves, coriander, cardamom, frankincense, lemon, ginger, grapefruit, lavender, rosemary, and thyme. In fact, this oil enhances the effectiveness of other herbs and essential oils and thus speeds up treatment of herbal remedies.
 

Oil Extraction
Though a native to Indonesia, yet cinnamon is also cultivated in Sri Lanka and India. This rust-colored tree can grow up to 15 meters (45 feet), however is kept down to 6 feet for commercial reasons. The essential oil is extracted from this tree of the Lauraceae family. The tree is also called Ceylon, Madagascar, Seychelles or true cinnamon. The extraction process involves the steam distillation of leaves, twigs and inner dried bark. The leaves yield 1.6 - 1.8 % and the bark 0.5 - 1.00 % oil. Oil extracted from leaves has a better refined quality with a delicate fragrance.

History of Cinnamon
The word "Cinnamon" has been derived from Sri Lanka’s former name, Ceylon. Records also suggest its origin from the Greek word

"Kinnamon" meaning 'tube' or 'pipe'. During the early times, real cinnamon was considered as a suitable gift for kings. As a matter of fact, search of the resources of this spice were regarded as big motives for exploration. The portuguese occupied Ceylon in 1536 manly to obtain supplies of Cinnamon, and the Dutch began its cultivation there in 1770 with such success that the total European demand was far exceeded, and for years large quantities had to be burned.

Cinnamon oil was used as a temple incense, while the Egyptians used it for foot massage, as well as a remedy for excessive bile. It was also used as an ingredient for mulled wines, love potions and as a sedative during birth. On the commercial scale, it was an important trade commodity between India, China and Egypt.
 

Applicable Benefits
Exhibiting an extremely effective role in treating numerous diseases such as flatulence, rheumatism, exhaustion, low blood pressure, stress, and constipation; cinnamon oil is witnessing increasing growth in its demand. However, the oil extracted from the bark can be a bit unsafe to use, therefore it is best to use the oil that has been taken out from the leaf. Numerous therapeutic properties of cinnamon oil are analgesic, antiseptic, antibiotic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, astringent, cardiac, carminative, emmenagogue, insecticide, stimulant, stomachic, tonic and vermifuge. These include the following:

  • Brain Tonic: The essential oil of cinnamon boosts the brain activity, and thus acts as a good brain tonic. It helps in removing nervous tension and memory loss. It has been proved through the research at the Wheeling Jesuit University in the US that the scent of cinnamon has the ability to boost brain activity.
  • Blood Purification: Being effective in removing blood impurities, cinnamon oil is often recommended for pimples.
  • Blood Circulation: Enabling proper circulation of blood due to the presence of a blood thinning compound in it, cinnamon oil helps significantly in removing pain. Good blood circulation also ensures oxygen supply to the body cells leading to a higher metabolic activity.
  • Infections: Due to its antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties, it is effective on external as well as internal infections. It helps in destroying germs in the gall bladder and bacteria in staph infections.
  • Healing: This essential oil helps in stopping bleeding to a great extent, thus it facilitates the healing process.
  • Pain: Being aided by its anti inflammatory property, cinnamon oil helps in removing the stiffness of muscles. The oil is also recommended for arthritis as it relieves pain and stiffness of muscle and joints. Further, it also helps in removing headache that is caused by cold.
  • Diabetes: The essential oil of cinnamon carries the ability to control blood sugar, by aiding in using less insulin. Research has shown that it is particularly very helpful for patients suffering from type2 diabetes. The water-soluble polyphenol compound called MHCP which is abundant in cinnamon, synergistically acts with insulin and helps in the better utilization of insulin.
  • Heart Diseases: As per the researches, the calcium and fiber present in cinnamon oil provide protection against heart diseases.
  • Colon Cancer: Cinnamon oil also improves the health of colon, and thereby reduces the risk to colon cancer.
  • Mouth Freshener: Cinnamon oil is used in chewing gums as it is a good mouth freshener and removes bad breath.
  • Perfumes: It has a refreshing aroma and is extensively used in making perfumes.
  • Indigestion: The oil finds addition in many ethnic recipes. Apart from adding flavor to the food, it also aids in digestion. The oil is very effective for indigestion, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea and flatulence.
  • Respiratory Problems: Cinnamon oil helps to a great deal in fighting against cold, flu, influenza, sore throat and congestion.
  • Menstruation: This essential oil is reportedly effective in providing relief from menstrual discomfort and cramping.
  • Breastfeeding: It is also believed that cinnamon oil aids in the secretion of breast milk.
  • Diuretic: Having the diuretic nature, cinnamon oil helps in secretion and discharge of urine. It is also aphrodisiac and is believed to arouse sexual desire.
  • Cooking: Many people add cinnamon oil while cooking. Cinnamon oil obtained from the leaves contains a compound named cinnamaldehyde, which is an excellent flavoring agent.
  • Room Freshener: The pleasant aroma of cinnamon oil makes it a very effective as a room freshener. It is often added in potpourris.
  • Eliminating Mosquitoes: Cinnamon oil is a good mosquito repellent. Research has now proved that cinnamon oil is very effective in killing mosquito larvae. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (a renowned scientific journal) has reported the research conducted at the National Taiwan University.

Caution Note: Extracted from the leaves, cinnamon oil is non-toxic. However, caution must be exercised since the cinnamaldehyde and eugenol contained in the oil could cause irritation, especially to the mucus membranes. The oil should be avoided during pregnancy due to its emmenagogue action. One should also be careful regarding the dosage. High dosages can cause convulsions. Moreover, the oil extracted from cinnamon bark should be avoided in total, as it is considered to be a dermal toxin, irritant and sensitizer.

One should refrain from consuming this essential oil internally. The oil can also have adverse skin effects, if used topically in concentrated form. Thus, it should be used in diluted form. Always have a patch test before applying this oil on your skin. Most important of all, do not apply cinnamon oil on the face and sensitive areas.
 
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