Here are the top 5 uses for Cinnamon plus a little bit about this fabulous spice.
Cinnamon is called Twak in Sanskrit, which is pronounced as Tvak. Another word for Twak is skin. Cinnamon is like the skin of the tree i.e. bark of the tree but also one of its great properties is to enhance the quality of our skin through its action on the blood and lymph (rakta and rasa dhatus) in the body. According to V Gogte, one of the great authors on plant pharmacology in Ayurveda, it is supposed to have oxytocic properties, which again would have an interesting connection back to the skin. When we stroke or lovingly touch the skin we release lots of oxytocin the love/bonding hormone and generate a sense of inner wellbeing. Therefore, we could infer that when cinnamon is used it has the potential to create inner feelings of harmony in an indirect way.
In Ayurveda we consider Cinnamon to have the tastes of pungent, bitter and sweet. It is heating and has a heating post digestive effect. Therefore, it is useful to pacify both Vata and Kapha and increase slightly Pitta, mainly through its heating and pungent attributes. These heating and pungent attributes along with bitter mean that Cinnamon can be drying. Therefore, it still as with all spices, needs to be used in moderation and sometimes used in combination with other things to prevent excessive dryness occurring. The main constituents in it are cinnamaldehyde (giving the distinctive smell and taste) and eugenol (pain relieving properties).
According to Dr David Frawley it has an effect on plasma, blood, muscles, marrow and nerves and is particularly indicated for colds, sinus congestion, bronchitis and dyspepsia.
Cinnamon for the Digestive System
Cinnamon particularly promotes Agni (digestive fire), it is quite special as it has this unique blend of being simultaneously heating and sweet. It is understood that it has the ability to help regulate insulin and therefore, can be useful in preventing diabetes when consumed regularly. So great to add to your cooking, especially in the autumn and winter, try my Light Mince Pie Recipe.
Cinnamon for the Cardiovascular System
Think circulation when you think cinnamon, it helps promote good flow within the body. By promoting the circulatory system this has a gentle strengthening effect on the heart. Cinnamon is heating though so if there is too much heat in the body then we would look for alternatives.
Cinnamon for the Respiratory System
One of the number one uses for Cinnamon is its effect on the respiratory system. It really helps to shift congestion both in the sinuses and chest. There are many ways it is used in Ayurveda, check out my downloadable cough and cold guide for more tips here.
Cinnamon for the Skin
A little caution needs to be expressed in the amount of cinnamon applied topically as it is very heating. A small amount though for example in an oil can be awesome to help the promote good nerve and sensory conduction from the skin by pacifying Vata and removing congestion. It is included in Essential Ayurveda’s Vata oil. As it promotes good circulation it improves the lustre of the skin.
Cinnamon for Pain
Cinnamon can help alleviate pain, particularly tooth pain in a similar way to clove. Through its astringency it can help to alleviate congestion and therefore remove pressure and ease pain. It is often included in herbal toothpastes and mouth oils such as Arimedadi Tailam.
These blogs are intended for informational purposes only. Please consult myself or another Ayurvedic Practitioner for specific guidance.