The Great Cinnamon Debate - Everyday Essentials

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Naturally Blended

The Great Cinnamon Debate


It’s all so confusing. Common names, botanical names. Where do I begin? Let me try to break it down so it is simple & easy to understand. One of these is not “true” cinnamon, but is probably what you buy as cinnamon in your local grocery store spice aisle. Cinnamon can create a feeling of warmth and increase blood flow to the areas where it is applied. It is a scent we associate with the holidays, family and good food! Why don’t we take a closer look at these similarities and differences. Hopefully, we can understand these subtleties and make a choice regarding which ones might be right for you! 

Plant Therapy Cinnamon Cassia

Cinnamon Cassia is the outer bark of an evergreen tree native to Asia {China, specifically} and is botanically related to cinnamon (Sri Lankin). However, this isn’t “true” cinnamon. Warming and uplifting, Cinnamon Cassia essential oil is also one of the most potent antibacterial and antifungal essential oils. It may be used for almost any antiseptic or disinfectant purpose, though it must be used with great care. Cinnamon Cassia oil can be very effective for flu. In Chinese medicine, Cassia is used to ‘dispel cold’ and relieve pain, especially in the lower back. Known for its spicy fragrance, bring back the holiday memories by diffusing equal parts of Cinnamon Cassia, Clove Bud, and Orange Sweet. There are a few cautions to note, when using cinnamon cassia, we recommend a maximum dilution of 0.05% for topical applications. It should not be used while pregnant or nursing. 

Cinnamon Leaf, cinnamomum verum, is true cinnamon. It is also from an evergreen tree, this one native to Sri Lanka. Steam distilled from the leaves of this evergreen, Cinnamon Leaf essential oil has been used as an anti-inflammatory and local anesthetic for many years. It is very therapeutic and if used in the right dilution, can be an effective essential oil for acne, chronic pain and inflammation. Combine Cinnamon Leaf and Clove Bud at 0.6% dilution in your favorite carrier oil to help with chronic pain. Cinnamon Leaf is also considered a great oil to ease the symptoms of cold and flu. Diffuse in the air to help combat a sickness. It should be noted that there are also cautions that should be taken into consideration when using this essential oil. We recommend a maximum dilution of 0.6% for topical application.

Cinnamon Bark, from the same plant/tree as Cinnamon Leaf, is one of the primary antifungal and antibacterial essential oils, though it should be used with great care (less than 0.1%) on the skin. Diffuse Cinnamon Bark with Orange and Vanilla for a pleasant, antimicrobial effect when there has been sickness. Or mix with Patchouli and Palmarosa for an exotic, spicy fragrance. There are a few cautions, we recommend a maximum dilution of 0.1% for topical applications. Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Cinnamon is a mucus membrane irritant, can cause coughing or irritation to nose, eyes and mouth. Additionally – if used on the skin, it can cause redness or irritation to the skin which looks like a rash. For these reasons we recommend avoiding it with small kids – especially those who can not or aren’t able to explain if they are feeling uncomfortable while it’s being used.

If you have questions or concerns regarding any of this information, please emails one of our Aromatherapists at [email protected] or join our Facebook page Safe Essential Oil Recipes.

6 thoughts on “The Great Cinnamon Debate”

  1. Does cinnamon leaf and cinnamon cassia have the same therapeutic properties? I have cinnamon cassia and barley use it. I’m debating getting cinnamon leaf

    1. Aimee, Cinnamon Leaf and Cinnamon Cassia have very similar therapeutic properties, which is amazing, since Cinnamon Cassia isn’t even “true” cinnamon! If you’re looking for that more familiar cinnamon smell, you will probably get a lot more use out of Cinnamon Leaf or Cinnamon Bark. We recently wrote another blog on Cinnamon essential oils that you may enjoy if you want to learn more:

  2. I have ear ringing in my right ear that won’t go away along with vertigo. Is there a remedy that will help this annoying problem?

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