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1 December 2021 / Laura Garvin Gomez

Cinnamon Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

One of the world's most popular spices also acts as a powerful agent against infection.

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Cinnamon sticks piled on each other.

An unusually potent oil, cinnamon has a range of health benefits that have been explored and documented over hundreds of years

It’s believed that over one hundred varieties of cinnamon are grown worldwide, all of them associated with strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

Considered one of the longest-existing spices in human history, and associated with wealth and prosperity, these days cinnamon is used more as a flavouring than anything else.

However, in aromatherapy circles, cinnamon is still lauded for its ability to support heart health, heal ulcers, fight parasites and fungi, and benefit skin and hair.

What is cinnamon essential oil?

Steam distilled from the outer bark - or sometimes the leaves - of South Asian Cinnamomum trees, cinnamon essential oil is perhaps best known for its sweet and warming scent, often reminiscent of the colder seasons.

Because it is so revered for its scent, cinnamon bark oil is normally preferred over cinnamon leaf due to its more potent spiciness and familiarity. Cinnamon oil in general is also considered to be more potent than the dried spice alternative.

Its broad range of microbial benefits has made it a popular choice for a number of home remedies, including household cleaning and performance improvements – but ultimately, a lot of caution should be executed when using cinnamon anywhere near or on the skin.

What are the benefits of cinnamon essential oil?

Despite its seasonal ties, cinnamon oil is so much more than just a warming ingredient for colder weather. Cinnamon oil has been known to benefit:

  • Heart health
  • Skin and hair
  • Ulcer prevention
  • Parasite, fungus, and bacteria prevention
  • Mood

Cinnamon sticks on a black table.

Does cinnamon essential oil help with heart health?

There is evidence to suggest that cinnamon oil has heart health-boosting benefits.

showed that cinnamon bark oil, coupled with aerobic exercise, could help to improve heart performance more rapidly.

This study also showed that a cinnamon/exercise pairing can help to lower LDL cholesterol - considered ‘bad’ cholesterol - while raising HDL, or ‘good’ cholesterol.

Cinnamon is also known to promote nitric oxide production, which can be beneficial for those with heart disease.

Its anti-inflammatory properties can also be beneficial for giving an extra boost to heart health.

Is cinnamon oil good for skin and hair?

It is important to remember that cinnamon oil is incredibly potent and can have strong effects on the skin if not properly diluted.

When mixed with a large percentage of carrier oil and applied sparingly, cinnamon oil can be an effective natural treatment for rashes or acne.

A found that this is due to cinnamon oil’s anti-inflammatory properties, which help to reduce redness and the overall appearance of affected areas.

People have also found that cinnamon oil may be able to thicken hair by increasing blood flow to the scalp and promoting growth.

However, you should only use diluted cinnamon oil on the skin or hair after seeking advice from a dermatologist - or someone with professional accreditation - as sensitive skin can react badly.

Can I use cinnamon oil to plump my lips?

Despite popular claims that cinnamon oil can be used to plump lips, this is not recommended due to the increased sensitivity on and surrounding the lip area.

You can read more about why you shouldn’t use cinnamon essential oil to plump lips here.

Using cinnamon essential oil to help heal ulcers

demonstrated that cinnamon oil can have a significant inhibiting effect on the bacteria H.pylori, which is known to cause ulcers.

Reducing H.pylori can significantly improve ulcer symptoms and provide relief.

This inhibiting effect is likely due to the compound eugenol, contained within cinnamon oil, which attacks the H.pylori bacteria and prevents it from flourishing.

Cinnamon oil can be used to help fight bacteria, parasites, and fungi

A found that cinnamon oil was useful for treating the parasite giardiasis, a common protozoal infection largely found in children.

The research aimed to find natural alternatives to the chemical treatment MTZ, which was losing its sensitivities for the treatment of giardiasis.

Further research has also suggested that cinnamon oil can be useful in attacking the parasites that cause malaria.

These are just a couple of examples of parasites that cinnamon oil has been shown to be effective against - and its microbial-fighting properties don’t stop there.

Cinnamon oil has also been shown to have anti-fungal properties, in particular showing inhibiting effects against the candida fungus, while the oil’s anti-bacterial properties have been known to against antibiotic-resistant strains.

Why is cinnamon essential oil relaxing?

Many people consider cinnamon oil to be an effective mood enhancer, possibly due to its seasonal, nostalgic ties. This in turn creates feelings of ease and relaxation.

Cinnamon has also been linked to stress relief and better sleep, making it a popular choice for aromatherapy in diffusers.

How to do you use Cinnamon Essential Oil?

Aromatherapy

Many cinnamon essential oil benefits can be unlocked through the well-known practice of aromatherapy. 

Diffusing this warm and spicy scent throughout your home can help soothe and relax the body as well as create a comforting seasonal environment during the colder months. 

Combine 5-7 drops of the oil with water and add to an oil burner or diffuser for a sweet and festive aroma. 

Alternatively, you can simply hold a bottle of cinnamon essential oil to your nose and gently inhale or add a few drops to a tissue or cotton ball for on-the-go aromatherapy. Be sure to avoid touching your face when you do this!

Bath

Add 2-4 drops of cinnamon essential oil to warm bathwater for a soothing experience for the body and mind. 

Ensure you use the oil sparingly and perform a patch test before use, as bathing with the oil may cause reactions to very sensitive skin.

Skincare

Add a drop of cinnamon essential oil to a carrier oil (such as or oil) or your chosen lotion and spread evenly, or onto affected areas. 

Cinnamon oil’s acne and rash relieving properties make it an ideal choice for spot treating these areas, however you must always ensure the oil is heavily diluted, as too much application can cause adverse effects. 

We always advise performing a patch test before using cinnamon essential oil on the skin. 

Soap & Candles

Suitable for soap making and candle making – especially seasonal ones! We recommend following a tested recipe. 

Looking for creative ways to use your cinnamon essential oil? Discover a number of fun candle and soap recipes in our Make at Home blog section. 

History of Cinnamon Essential Oil

Historically known to represent health, good fortune, and safeguarding, cinnamon oil was said to have been used by grave robbers in the 15th century as protection against the plague. In fact, cinnamon oil can be found in our popular for this reason.

In Ancient Egyptian society, cinnamon was considered of an equivalent or even higher value than gold and was traditionally used in embalming as well as witchcraft practices like love potions.

    Cinnamon is a very powerful oil with strong effects both medically and cosmetically.

    It is important to always avoid applying cinnamon oil to very sensitive areas such as the lips, or at least seek advice from a medical professional before doing so.

    That said, when cinnamon oil is used correctly its potency can result in some very impressive benefits.

    Shop our cinnamon essential oil here

    Product Name

    100% Pure Cinnamon (Bark) Essential Oil
    Botanical Name Cinnamomum Zeylanicum
    Scent Type Spices
    Benefits & Uses Antimicrobial, Warming, Boosts Circulation
    Suitable for Diffusers? Yes, this cinnamon (bark) essential oil is perfect for diffusers.
    Suitable for Candles and Soaps? Yes, this cinnamon (bark) essential oil is perfect for candle and soap making.
    Extraction Method Steam Distillation
    Bottle Type Tamper proof and UV resistant

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