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Scientific NamesCinnamon

Cinnamomum zeylanicum L.


Laurel family 

 Common Names

Gui (Chinese name)

Twak (Sanskrit name)


Parts Usually Used

Bark, oil obtained from bark and leaves

Description of Plant(s) and Culture

The dried inner bark of the branches of a small, tropical, evergreen laurel tree. The bark is peeled off and as the pieces are dried, they curl up into quills.

Medicinal Properties

Stimulant, alterative, analgesic, aromatic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, mild laxative

Biochemical Information

 Essential oil including phellandrene, eugenol, gums, sugar, coumarins, cinnamic aldehyde, methuleugenol; mucilage, tannin, sucrose and starch

 Legends, Myths and Stories

Cinnamon was probably the first spice used by man. Ancient records reveal that it was used for more than 5,000 years. The countless flavoring uses of this valuable spice need not be enumerated. Cinnamon brandy is made by soaking crushed cinnamon bark a fortnight in brandy. In the Far East, the cinnamon tree is grown in southern China, but is native to Kuangsi. Since ancient times, cinnamon has been used as medicine and the flavoring spice we know today. Cinnamon has long been used to cure everything from athlete’s foot to indigestion. Early civilizations recognized its ability to stop bacterial growth. The Egyptians used it in embalming. During the Middle Ages, it was mixed with cloves and warm water, and placed in the sick rooms of victims of the Bubonic Plague. Recent research indicates that cinnamon can have favorable effects on brain function. Participants in a study chewed cinnamon gum or smelled the sweet spice. Cognitive tests revealed that subjects who used cinnamon had better memory functions and could process information more quickly. Encouraged by these findings, scientists will now conduct studies to see if cinnamon will improve mental skills in the elderly and those prone to anxiety before testing. Chinese herbalists tell of older people, in their 70s and 80s, developing a cough accompanied by frequent spitting of whitish phlegm. A helpful remedy, they suggest, is chewing and swallowing a very small pinch of powdered cinnamon. Should be of the highest quality, determined by a bitter-sweet taste. If too bitter and/or not oily, the quality is poor. This remedy can also help people with cold feet and hands, especially at night.


Quills or sticks are used in spiced punches, teas, cooked fruit, pickling liquids. Ground spice used in sweet baked goods, cooked in fruit, and some meat and fish dishes. Cinnamon raises vitality, warms and stimulates all the vital functions of the body, counteracts congestion, is antirheumatic, stops diarrhea, taken in milk for dysentery, colds, flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, nausea and vomiting, improves digestion, relieves abdominal spasms, counteracts gas, aids the peripheral circulation of the blood. Cinnamon tea offers helpful relaxation for the stomach upset by the tension and strain of modern living. Makes an interesting liqueur.


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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease.