Scientific Name/Common Name: Cinnamomum verum / Cinnamon
Part(s) Used: Powdered bark
Constituents/Active Ingredients: Cinnamon bark contains: Between 0.5-4% essential oil containing 60-80% cinnamaldehyde, up to 10% eugenol and 5-10% trans-cinnamic acid; 4-10% phenolic compounds; condensed tannins; catechins; oligomeric proanthocyanidins; other monoterpenes including limonene and alpha-terpineol; sesquiterpenes including pinene; calcium monoterpenoid oxalates; gum; mucilage; resin; starch; sugars; and traces of coumarin.
Overview: Cinnamon is an aromatic spice isolated from the inner bark of cinnamon trees. Cinnamon has been used as a medicine for several thousand years in both Eastern and Western traditions. The German Commission E approves cinnamon for treating appetite loss and indigestion. Cinnamon is also used in folk medicine to alleviate gas and treat nausea and heartburn. The activity of cinnamon against nausea is attributed to catechins, which help relieve nausea. Cinnamon is also a good source of powerful antioxidants.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: Traditionally used in Ayurveda for bowel complaints such as dyspepsia, flatulency, diarrhea, and vomiting; traditionally used in Herbal Medicine for digestive disturbances such as mild cramps of the gastrointestinal tract, colic, feeling of bloating, and flatulence/as a carminative. Source of antioxidants. Cinnamon has also been investigated in several clinical studies for its beneficial effects on blood-glucose levels as well as cholesterol levels.
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Boston (MA): American Botanical Council. 2000.
Kapoor LD. Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. Baton Roca (FL): CRC Press LLC; 2001.
Wichtl M, editor. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals: A Handbook for Practice on a Scientific Basis. 3rd edition. Stuttgart (DE): Medpharm Scientific Publishers; 2004.
Allen RW, Schwartzman E, Baker WL, Coleman CI, Phung OJ. Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Fam Med. 2013 Sep-Oct;11(5):452-9.
Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.