Cinnamon is an herb that doesn’t get nearly enough credit as it should. Always regarded as that extra ingredient in most baked goods, it’s so much more than that. Over this past year, I’ve managed to incorporate cinnamon into more than just my baking routine – sprinkling it on my oatmeal or warm almond milk, using it in rituals. It adds more flavor to food that is true, but it also has other medicinal and spiritual properties. These are some of my favorite:
1. Common Cold – In Chinese Medicine, cinnamon (specifically cinnamon twig) is a warming herb that is used in cases of cold in the body. In order to be diagnosed with cold in the body, it is best to see your local acupuncturist to determine what pathogenic pattern you have/are. However, it’s simple enough to identify signs of the common cold – runny nose, fever and chills with chills predominant, sneezing, little to no sweating. The purpose of warming herbs such as this is to warm the body, induce sweating and expel the pathogen. At the first signs of a cold coming on, drink a warm cup of cinnamon tea, or do as I love to do and sprinkle some on your oatmeal or favorite hot cereal. Bundle up, get warm, and sweat it out.
2. Warms Muscles – Since cinnamon is warming to the body it makes sense that it is also warming to your muscles and joints. When you’re cold, you are also shivering and most times we’re all shrugging our shoulders up to keep warm. A relaxing bath with cinnamon (you can add epsom salts as well) or a salve made with cinnamon will help to soothe aching and sore muscles. If you are a massage therapist, consider using cinnamon oil for patients that may have symptoms of cold.
3. Weight Loss – Cinnamon slows the process down of moving food into your stomach, which means you feel fuller for longer. It also helps curb cravings of sugar and sweets (which is also an added weight loss bonus). A tea made with a teaspoon of honey and a half a teaspoon of cinnamon in boiled water is said to aid in weight loss. My favorite new way of using cinnamon is a recipe my boyfriend and I came up with: sautee kale with olive oil, cinnamon and other warming herbs like allspice, clove, ginger and nutmeg. This bone warming side dish is a perfect addition to a meal (not to mention it’s healthy!). Cinnamon also aids in weight loss because it lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and controls blood sugars which makes it a great addition for…
4. Diabetes Management – Cinnamon helps to reduce blood sugars and control insulin levels which is crucial for diabetics. It’s best to sprinkle cinnamon on top of foods with a low glycemic index such as: oatmeal, whole wheat bread, barley, bulgar, carrots, sweet potatoes. These foods combined with cinnamon also keep carbohydrates under control further adding to the benefit. As mentioned above for weight loss – cinnamon also helps the craving of sugar and sweets since it has a naturally sweet flavor.
5. Stimulate Circulation – Cold constricts while warmth circulates. Those with poor circulation are most likely suffering from some sort of stagnation that requires some movement. Since cinnamon is considered a warming herb, adding cinnamon to your diet can help for better circulation throughout your system. As an alternative, or in addition, you can also make a homemade body scrub using cinnamon and sugar (or coffee) to help stimulate some movement while also exfoliating your skin. For added benefit, invest in a dry brush to improve blood circulation and stimulate lymph drainage.
6. Antimicrobial Properties – In this case it’s particularly cinnamon essential oil that has the antimicrobial properties. It has been used for centuries dating back to the 16th century for warding off infection and is still used today for the same reason. It’s often blended with other essential oils (such as Thieves essential oil) to help fight infection such as colds, flu, mouth sores and more serious infections such as E. coli, salmonella and staph infection. Diffuse this oil in your favorite diffuser, or dilute it with a carrier oil and apply it to your skin or select pressure points.
7. Rituals or Spells – Cinnamon is regarded as a great herb to add for protection in rituals and spells. Hanging a cinnamon stick above your doorway helps to protect your home and space from any negative energy that others (or even yourself) may bring inside. It leaves it at the door! For added benefit, use or carry Black Tourmaline with you also (see my blog on the benefits of Black Tourmaline here – January 2018 – Black Tourmaline. You can also throw a few sticks into the fire or burn cinnamon incense to purify the air and energy of your home – it also creates a heavenly and heart warming smell. Cinnamon is also often used in love spells since it has a warming and sensual scent.