Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
Although many of us tend to think of cinnamon as being a stick or powder, cinnamon bark oil has been used for centuries as a tonic, digestive aid and even more. Closely related to Cassia, cinnamon bark oil is a ‘hot’ oil, which lets off a gorgeous spicy and warm aroma when diffused. It has a range of awesome uses, commonly used for strengthening the immune system and aiding the body in fighting toxins and other nasty stuff. But, it also has a wide range of further uses including cleaning, air quality, and lifting the mood.
Primary Physical Benefits
Cinnamon bark oil has a range of great physical benefits. These are:
- Promote and improve circulation either when ingested internally as a food flavoring or when applied directly to the skin;
- Helps to strengthen the immune system and maintain healthy immune system functions;
- Alleviation of sore joints and muscles, and
- Better oral health.
Primary Emotional Benefits
Along with being commonly used for its variety of beneficial properties when it comes to physical health, cinnamon bark oil is also a useful aid to the improvement of emotional and mental health. Cinnamon bark oil is closely related to the chakras, helping users to clear trapped emotions from the past as well as encouraging self-confidence and self-acceptance.
Cinnamon bark oil can also help to balance our sense of safety and security. When this is imbalanced, people can easily begin to feel insecure, jealous, or vulnerable in relationships. Because of this, cinnamon bark oil can be used to promote and support healthy relationships and sexuality.
Cinnamon bark essential oil can be used aromatically, topically or internally. The aromatic application is the most popular way to use cinnamon bark essential oil – after all, it smells really good! But, there’s much more to it than just a nice smell – in the same way that harmful compounds such as gases can be absorbed into our system by inhalation, so can the positive and healthy properties of cinnamon bark essential oil.
Aromatic application of cinnamon bark oil can:
- Nurture the respiratory system, including the sinuses
- Increase the quality of indoor air to protect against environmental threats and harm
- Have a supportive effect on moods, the hormonal system, and relieve tension and stress
- Encourage immune system response
- Help promote general well-being
There are a range of ways in which you can use cinnamon bark essential oil aromatically:
- Diffusing: A good diffuser will use cool or room temperature or ultrasonic vibrations to diffuse the oil into the air, helping the oil molecules remain airborne for several hours whilst the structure is not affected by heat.
- Direct Inhalation: This can be done by first diluting the oil (as it’s hot, not diluting it will singe your nose hairs!) and holding the bottle of diluted oil a few inches away from the nose before breathing deeply. Or, you can put a few drops of diluted oil in your hands and cup them over the mouth and nose.
- Indirect Inhalation: Adding a few drops of diluted cinnamon bark essential oil to a handkerchief, pillow case, square of fabric, or even a cotton boll can all be beneficial.
- Hot Water Vapor: Heat a pot of warm water (not boiling) and add 1-3 drops of cinnamon bark essential oil. Place a towel over your head, lean over the water and inhale the steam.
- Perfume/Body Spray: Cinnamon bark oil smells good and is much safer for your body than chemical-based perfumes or antiperspirants. Place a few drops of diluted oil on the wrists or behind the ears. Or, add a few drops to distilled water to make a body spray.
Adults, children and people with sensitive skin can all use cinnamon bark oil topically, however bear in mind that this use is not recommended for pregnant women. Before using cinnamon bark oil topically, it is important to know your skin type – if you tend to have sensitive skin, you may need to dilute the oil even more before use. Remember that cinnamon bark oil must always be diluted before applying topically, no matter which skin type you have.
Before you go ahead and start applying the oil liberally to your body, you should always conduct a patch test beforehand. This will alert you to any allergic reactions which you may have and let you know whether or not it is safe to use cinnamon bark oil on your skin. You can also use a patch test to determine whether or not the oil needs to be diluted further before application. Generally, the inner arm is an ideal place to apply a small amount of diluted oil for a patch test.
Never apply cinnamon bark oil directly onto your skin neat, as it is very potent. Dilute it by a ratio of at least three-parts water to one-part oil before use. The amount of water used may increase depending on age and skin sensitivity. If you have very sensitive skin or are applying the oil onto a child’s skin, use a high dilution rate in small amounts for a limited period of time. Remember, dilution never hurts – it does not disturb the effectiveness of the oil. In some cases, it can even help to increase absorption by preventing evaporation.
Cinnamon bark essential oil can be used topically as a massage oil, rubbing onto the affected areas of the body, or over reflex points on the hands and feet. You can also make a hot or cold compress by soaking a cloth or towel in water with a few drops of cinnamon bark oil, or even add it to a relaxing bath.
Cooking with cinnamon bark oil is generally regarded as safe, and it has long been used as a flavoring for food dishes. However, because it is a potent oil that is high in phenols, it is more likely to accumulate in the liver therefore should be taken internally sparingly and with care.
There are plenty of ways in which you can add cinnamon bark oil to your diet:
- Put 2 (diluted) drops in an empty veggie capsule and take regularly to help support your immune system
- Place a drop on your toothbrush before adding toothpaste
- Place one drop of cinnamon bark oil in hot water or tea and sip slowly to gently soothe a sore throat
- Use a quality brand in cooking – start off by using just a small drop until you know your ratios.
If you are pregnant or nursing, take great care when ingesting cinnamon bark oil internally. Before internal use, speak to your doctor, midwife or OBGYN first.
Using Around the Home
Cinnamon bark oil can also be used around the home as an all-natural cleaning product. There are many different ways that you can do this, including:
- Add a few drops of diluted oil to unscented laundry detergent before putting in the washing machine to give your clothes a lovely cinnamon smell
- Dilute a few drops of oil with distilled water and add to a spray bottle for a natural clothes mist or air freshener
- Add to a reed diffuser bottle for a spicy and natural cinnamon scent
- Add to household paints, craft paints or supplies for a nicer odor
- Mix with other essential oils, water and witch hazel for a fall inspired room spray. Cardamom, Clove, Orange and Ginger are great choices of oil to combine with cinnamon bark oil for this product.
As mentioned earlier, there are a number of precautions that must always be taken when using cinnamon bark oil. Dilution is absolutely essential – never apply directly to skin or inhale this oil without diluting it prior to use. Undiluted or repeated use can lead to skin sensitization or irritation.
This oil is generally not recommended for children. If you wish to use cinnamon bark oil with your child, it’s advisable to speak to your pediatrician first. If used on a child’s skin, bear in mind that the oil should be diluted even further than usual.
Diffusion should also be done with care, due to the potency of the oil. Never inhale directly from the bottle or diffuser, as this can irritate the nasal passages.
ALWAYS conduct a skin patch test before applying diluted cinnamon bark oil onto your skin for the first time. Keep out of ears, eyes and nose. If you get any oil in these areas, rinse the affected area thoroughly with water and seek medical attention if needed.