Cinnamon tree: Uses, herbal medicine, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects



Cinnamon comes from India and Sri Lanka, the former Ceylon, where the name comes from. In addition, cinnamon is also native to other South and Southeast Asian countries and is also cultivated there. Cinnamon bark is mainly imported from Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Madagascar and the Seychelles.

Cinnamon in herbal medicine

The bark from younger twigs or shoots (Cinnamomi cortex) and the essential oil extracted from the bark (Cinnamomi aetheroleum) are used for medicinal use.


Cinnamon tree and its characteristics

The cinnamon tree is an evergreen tree up to 10 m tall with dense foliage, usually kept as a shrub in cultivation. The large opposite leaves of the cinnamon tree are undivided, ovate-acuminate and have arched central veins. When crushed, the leaves smell like cloves.

The tree also bears inconspicuous flowers arranged in loose racemes, about 1.5 cm in size, and oval, dark purple fruits.

Cinnamon bark as a medicine

The bark is obtained either from the 2-3 cm long branches of trees about six years old or from the approximately 2-year-old root shoots of older trees.

To produce drugs, the pieces of bark are freed from the outer parts and dried. This makes pieces of bark about 0.2-0.7 mm thick in half tubes, which are light brown on the outside and a little darker on the inside. The surface shows longitudinal striations.


How does cinnamon smell and taste?

Cinnamon gives off a very characteristic, pleasantly aromatic smell. The taste of cinnamon is slightly sweet but, at the same time, very spicy and a bit tart.

Cinnamon tree – application

Cinnamon can be taken if you have a loss of appetite. In addition, the plant also affects complaints related to the gastrointestinal tract. These include, for example, general indigestion, flatulence, a feeling of fullness, cramp-like symptoms or diarrhoea. Traditional use is for public digestive support and relief from discomfort.

Application in folk medicine

The folk medicinal application corresponds in the broadest sense to the official. Cinnamon is also used here to treat mild gastrointestinal cramps, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. In addition, cinnamon bark is also used in folk medicine for rheumatism, inflammation, colds and menstrual cramps.

Cinnamon is best known for its use as a kitchen spice. The bark is also sometimes used as a flavour corrector in medicines.


Cinnamon in homeopathy

In homoeopathy, cinnamon is used, among other things, to lower blood pressure and, due to its appetite-stimulating effect, also for anorexia.

ingredients of cinnamon

Cinnamon bark contains 0.5-2.5% essential oil. The main components of the oil are cinnamaldehyde (65-75%) and eugenol (5%), as well as tanning agents and phenolic carboxylic acids. While the Chinese cinnamon tree contains a relatively high proportion of coumarins, the cinnamon bark used in medicine should contain no coumarin or, at most, traces of it.


Cinnamon tree: indication

The bark of the cinnamon tree can be used in the following cases:

  • loss of appetite
  • indigestion
  • cramps
  • stomach cramps
  • gastrointestinal cramps
  • bloating
  • gas
  • Diarrhea
  • nausea
  • Vomit
  • inflammation
  • a cold

Cinnamon tree – dosage

The intake of cinnamon in the form of tea is not very common for medicinal purposes, but the bark is added to many tea blends as a flavour corrector. Cinnamon bark is found in some finished medicines, tonics, and digestive drops.

Cinnamon as a spice

As a spice, cinnamon is, for example, a component of spice mixtures for preparing mulled wine or in Christmas baking. Even at these concentrations, gastric juice secretion can undoubtedly increase.


Average daily dose

Unless otherwise prescribed, cinnamon can be taken in an average daily dose of 2-4 g of the drug or 0.05-0.2 g of the essential oil.

Cinnamon: preparation as a tea?

The preparation of cinnamon tea is rare. Cinnamon is only found in some tea blends, for example, in the group of stomach teas.


Contraindications: when should you avoid cinnamon?

Preparations containing cinnamon bark should not be taken if you are known to be hypersensitive to cinnamon, tolu or Peru balsam. Other contraindications are pregnancy and ulcers of the stomach or duodenum.

special instructions

  • The natural (Ceylon) cinnamon should be distinct from the less valuable Chinese cinnamon.
  • Cinnamon bark should be stored dry and protected from light.

Cinnamon tree – synonyms

German plant name: Cinnamon

German synonyms of the plant: Ceylon Cinnamon Tree, Ceylon Cinnamon, Ceylon Cinnamon, Kanel, Cinnamon Tree

Latin plant name: True cinnamon

Latin synonyms of the plant: Cinnamomum verum Presl., Cinnamomum ceylanici, Cinnamomum ceylanicum Nees, Cinnamomum zeylanicum Nees, Cinnamomum zeylandicum Bl.

German drug name: Zimtrinde

German synonyms of the drug: Ceylon cinnamon, natural cinnamon, natural cinnamon

Latin drug name: Cinnamomi cortex

Latin synonyms of the drug: Ceylon cinnamon bark

English name: Cinnamon, True cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon, Cinnamon bark, Cinnamon bark tree

Plant family Latin: Lauraceae

Plant family German: laurel plants

Cinnamon tree – effect

Cinnamon bark has an inhibiting effect on the growth of bacteria and fungi (antibacterial, fungistatic). These effects are mainly attributed to o-methoxycinnamaldehyde and eugenol.

Other effects of cinnamon

  • On the other hand, the antispasmodic effect is based, in particular, on the impact of cinnamaldehyde.
  • The essential oil of the bark irritates the gastric mucosa, which stimulates the production of saliva and gastric juice and indirectly promotes intestinal movement.
  • According to some studies, cinnamon bark is also said to have an anti-diabetic effect, i.e., lower blood sugar levels and thereby alleviate the symptoms of blood sugar disease in diabetics.


Side Effects of Cinnamon

When ingesting cinnamon, allergic skin and mucous membrane reactions caused by the cinnamaldehyde often occur. Cinnamon bark can also increase heart rate, breathing, and sweating in high doses. This state of excitement is followed by sleepiness and even depression.

No interactions with other medicinal products (exchanges) are currently known.

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