Cinnamon is a small, bushy tree with its bark thick, smooth and light or dark brownish in color. The inner bark is obtained from carefully selected shoots. It is then cured and dried. While drying, the bark shrinks and curls into a cylinder or quill. Dried leaves of cinnamon, along with its dried inner bark are used all over the world as a spice or condiment. It has a pleasing fragrance and a warm, sweet and aromatic taste.
Cinnamon consist of moisture, protein, fat, fiber, carbohydrates and ash, besides calcium, phosphorous, iron, sodium, potassium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C and A. It also contains an essential oil known as cinnamon oil. This oil consists of substantial amount of eugenol. The bark and green leaves also contain oil. The root bark oil differs from both stem bark and leaf oils.
Botanical Name- Cinnamon zeylanicum
Indian Name- Dalchini
Below are some of the medicinal properties of cinnamon:
- It is an effective remedy for common cold. Coarsely powdered and boiled in a glass of water with a pinch of pepper powder and honey, it can be beneficially used in influenza, sore throat, and malaria. Its regular use during the rainy season prevents attacks of influenza. Cinnamon oil, mixed with honey, gives relief from cold.
- Cinnamon checks nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It stimulates digestion. A tablespoon of cinnamon water, prepared as for cold and taken half an hour after meals, relieves flatulence and indigestion.
- It also serves as a good mouth freshener.
- Cinnamon prevents nervous tension, improves complexion and memory. A pinch of cinnamon powder mixed with honey does the trick if taken regularly every night for these purposes.
- Cinnamon is also used in the treatment of headache. Headache produced by exposure to cold air is readily cured by applying a paste of finely powdered cinnamon mixed in water on the temples and forehead.
- It is highly beneficial in the treatment of several other ailments, including spasmodic afflictions, asthma, excessive menstruation, paralysis, uterus disorders and gonnorhea. It is sometimes used as a prophylactic agent, to control German measles.
- Paste of cinnamon powder prepared with a few drops of fresh lime juice can be applied over pimples and blackheads with beneficial results.