Cinnamon bark oil (Cinnamomum verum) is derived from the plant of the species name Laurus cinnamomum and belongs to the Lauraceae botanical family. Native to parts of South Asia, today cinnamon plants are grown across different nations throughout Asia and shipped around the world in the form of cinnamon essential oil or cinnamon spice. Its’ believed that today over 100 varieties of cinnamon are grown worldwide, but two types are definitely the most popular: Ceylon cinnamon and Chinese cinnamon.
Browse through any essential oils guide, and you’ll notice some common names like cinnamon oil, orange oil, lemon essential oil and lavender oil. But what makes essential oils different than ground or whole herbs is their potency. Cinnamon oil is highly concentrated with antioxidants, which makes it effective as a natural digestive aid, blood sugar stabilizer and circulation booster. It’s also commonly used to combat cardiovascular diseases and fight infections.
According to research, the list of cinnamon benefits is long. Meanwhile, the oil itself especially has strong antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet and antiviral properties, which makes it extremely useful for enhancing immunity. The major active ingredients in cinnamon essential oil responsible for its beneficial effects include: eugenol, cinnamaldehyde, phellandrene and methyleugenol. The main beneficial component of cinnamon oil is believed to be cinnamaldehyde, which comprises about 60 percent of the substance.
Benefits of Cinnamon Oil
The cinnamon plant is used in a few different ways to produce medicinally beneficial products. For example, you’re probably familiar with common cinnamon spice that’s sold in nearly every grocery store in the U.S. Cinnamon oil is a bit different because it’s a much more potent “extract” form of the plant that contains special compounds not found in the dried spice.
There are two primary types of cinnamon oils available on the market: cinnamon bark oil and cinnamon leaf oil. While they have some similarities, they’re different products with somewhat separate uses. Cinnamon bark oil is extracted from the outer bark of the cinnamon tree. It’s considered very potent and has a strong, “perfume-like” smell, almost like taking an intense whiff of ground cinnamon. Cinnamon bark oil is usually more expensive than cinnamon leaf oil.
Cinnamon leaf oil has a “musky and spicy” smell and tends to have a lighter color. While cinnamon leaf oil might appear yellow and murky, cinnamon bark oil has a deeper red-brown color that most people usually associate with cinnamon spice. Both are beneficial, but cinnamon bark oil may be more potent.
Many of the benefits of cinnamon bark oil have to do with its ability to dilate blood vessels. Cinnamon bark can help enhance nitric oxide function, which causes increased blood flow and lower levels of inflammation.
Some of the most researched health benefits of cinnamon oil include:
- Decreases inflammation
- Increases circulation
- Fights viruses
- Fights free radicals
- Relieves depression
- Stimulates the immune system
- Stimulates libido
- Fights parasites
10 Cinnamon Oil Uses
1. Heart Health-Booster
Cinnamon oil can naturally help keep arteries clear and free from dangerous plaque buildup thanks to its circulation-boosting abilities. The interior surface of arteries (called the endothelium) is where nitric oxide is normally produced, but when plaque builds up, the disease called atherosclerosis forms, which means you have a decreased ability to produce nitric oxide.
Because cinnamon helps foster nitric oxide production, it’s beneficial for people with heart disease or who have suffered from a heart attack or stroke. It also contains antiplatelet compounds that further benefit arterial health.
2. Natural Aphrodisiac
Poor circulation also has negative effects when it comes to low libido and erectile dysfunction. A major cause of low libido is aged, clogged arteries since this makes it difficult for the reproductive organs to receive enough blood, oxygen and nutrients.
Compounds in cinnamon oil act like natural prescription drugs for erectile dysfunction; for example, Viagra works by influencing enzymes in the nitric oxide pathway to increase blood flow. This makes cinnamon oil a natural remedy for impotence.
3. Controls Blood Sugar and Insulin Release
Cinnamon has positive effects on insulin release, which means it can help keep blood sugar stable and prevent chronic fatigue, moodiness, sugar cravings and overeating. Inhaling cinnamon essential oil can also help keep cravings away and possibly make you feel full faster too.
Try using a diffuser at home and allowing cinnamon oil’s smell to waft through your dining room, or you can add a couple drops to your chest, wrists and clothes.
4. Heals Skin
Effective at treating skin conditions such as rashes, acne and infections, you can mix cinnamon essential oil with a carrier oil (like coconut oil) and apply it to the skin to take advantage of its antimicrobial capacity.
5. Can Help with Weight Loss
Cinnamon is gaining a reputation for being a fat-burning food and valuable tool for weight loss. With its ability to balance blood sugar levels and improve the taste of foods without any added sugar, it’s effective for curbing a sweet tooth.
Unstable blood sugar can lead to overeating, low energy and weight gain, but adding cinnamon oil to fruit, tea, oats, baked goods or smoothies helps slow the rate at which glucose is released into the blood.
6. Reduces Ulcers
Cinnamon essential oil holds a beneficial compound called eugenol that can help reduce ulcers. Eurgenol is able to combat some of the gastric effects of a poor diet to reduce pain associated with ulcer symptoms, the number of ulcers that develop, and their intensity in terms of causing legions in the skin or mucous membranes that fail to heal.
7. Fights Parasites
Studies have found that cinnamon oil inhibits growth of certain harmful parasites, making with an excellent parasite treatment.
Along with other oils like thyme, oregano oil and cumin, cinnamon essential oil is considered one of the best oils for stopping mycelial parasite growth even when used in very small quantities.
8. Treats Sore Throats
Cinnamon oil can help prevent mucus buildup and clear nasal passages. Try drinking a combination of hot lemon water, honey and cinnamon oil first thing in the morning to curb cravings, give you a pick-me-up and raise immune function.
These ingredients also work together to fight inflammation and reduce pain, making them a perfect sore throat remedy or cure for mouth sores, toothaches or a cold.
9. Helps Treat or Prevent Headaches
Because the active compounds in cinnamon oil help increase circulation by expanding blood vessels, headache pain can be reduced by diffusing cinnamon essential oil in your home or inhaling it, making it an easy-to-use headache remedy.
10. Deodorizers Your Home
You know the warm smells of the holidays that everyone loves filling their homes with during the fall and winter months? You can make your own natural home deodorizer and freshener by combining therapeutic scents like cinnamon, orange, lemon and cloves.
At the same time, you’ll experience a grounding, relaxing feeling and help detoxify the air.
Cinnamon Oil Studies and Research
Cinnamon has a very long, interesting history; in fact, many people consider it one of the longest-existing spices in human history. Cinnamon was highly valued by ancient Egyptians and has been used by Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine practitioners in Asia for thousands of years to help heal everything from depression to weight gain. Whether in extract, liquor, tea or herb form, cinnamon has provided people relief for centuries.
Throughout history, the cinnamon plant has been tied to protection and prosperity. It’s said to have been part of a mixture of oils used by grave-robbing bandits to protect themselves during the plague in the 15th century, and traditionally, it’s also associated with the ability to attract wealth. In fact, if you were lucky enough to have cinnamon during ancient Egyptian times, you were considered a wealthy man; records show that the value of cinnamon might have been equivalent to gold.
Many studies have demonstrated cinnamon oil’s wide variety of pharmacological actions, such as antioxidant abilities, anti-inflammatory action, antiplatelet aggregation and improving blood circulation. A 2011 study done by the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Kyung Hee University in Korea found that a 70 percent methanolic extract of cinnamon oil had significant antioxidant activity useful for enhancing immune function by combatting oxidative stress.
With the ability to positively boost iNOS, a key enzyme responsible for the production of nitric oxide (NO), cinnamon plays an important role in fighting free radical damage and inflammation, which we know is at the root of most diseases. Cinnamon also has the ability to inhibit platelet aggregation by suppressing the release of arachidonic acid.
Cinnamon Essential Oil Recipes
Here’s how you can use cinnamon oil at home:
- Aromatically: Cinnamon oil can be diffused throughout your home using a diffuser. You can also directly inhale the oil by sniffing it right out of the bottle or applying some to your skin and clothes and smelling it that way, similar to a perfume.
- Topically: You should always dilute cinnamon oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil in a 1:1 ratio before applying it directly to skin. Coconut oil has its own long list of benefits for skin and immunity, so these make a good combination.
- Internally: The FDA recognizes cinnamon oil as safe for consumption, but ingesting any essential oil is ONLY recommended when you use a very high-quality oil from a reputable brand. This way you know exactly what you’re getting (and avoiding). Look for oil that’s therapeutic grade and organic, which ensures it’s been tested and meets all criteria, plus it will be free from chemical toxins, fillers or solvents. To use cinnamon oil internally, you can add a drop to water or take it as a dietary supplement by mixing it with honey or a fruit smoothie.
You can also add a small amount (several drops) of cinnamon oil to recipes, but avoid heating it to very high temperatures and cooking it for too long because that depletes its antioxidants and active ingredients. Because it tastes like a very strong version of cinnamon spice, you can use the oil wherever you’d use ground cinnamon.
Try some of these simple recipes you can make at home using cinnamon oil:
Both honey and cinnamon benefit skin health by fighting infections, bacteria, inflammation, swelling and redness. Try this easy, homemade face wash, which is free of dyes, perfumes and chemicals.
Total Time: 2 minutes
- 1 tablespoon pure coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 20 drops cinnamon essential oil
- 2 capsules of live probiotics
Mix all ingredients together, and blend with a hand blender. Pour into a convenient bottle, and store in cool place.
Total Time: 1 hour
- several large organic apples, about 7–8
- 1 tablespoon of your favorite natural sweetener, like raw honey or maple syrup of choice
- 6 drops pure cinnamon essential oil
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Line 1–2 baking sheets with some parchment paper greased with coconut oil.
- Thinly slice your apples using a mandolin or knife so they’re about the same thickness. Toss the apples with sugar and oil, then add them to the baking sheet.
- Bake them at no higher than 250 degrees for about one hour, flipping halfway through.
You can also try making:
- Homemade Frankincense Oil Soap with cinnamon
- Homemade Myrrh Lotion with cinnamon oil
- Homemade Probiotic Toothpaste with citrus and cinnamon
Interactions and Concerns of Cinnamon Oil
Cinnamon oil is generally considered safe, but there’s always the chance that certain people might react to essential oils badly if they’re sensitive to certain compounds’ effects. It’s possible for sensiitve people to experience allergic reactions when cinnamon oil is taken or applied topically. This might show up as skin irritation, such as itching and rashes spreading on the body.
It’s best to do a skin test on a small patch of skin when using a new essential oil to make sure allergies aren’t a problem. And if you ingest cinnamon oil and experience issues like nausea, stomach pain and diarrhea, stop taking it right away.
A small number of people have reported a burning sensation and pain when taking cinnamon oil, especially people who have ulcers in the mouth. And for anyone with a highly sensitive heartbeat and cardiovascular system, it’s possible for cinnamon to react with medications and cause dyspnea. If take certain medications and experience dizziness, headache, fatigue or digestive issues, talk to your doctor right away.
If you feel like you could use some more in depth information on essential oils, Dr. Josh Axe is hosting a free webinar going over, in great detail, uses and tips for using essential oils. Click below to learn more.