Essential Facts about Cinnamon Bark
- Botanical: Cinnamomum verum or zeylanicum
- Sanskrit: Tvak, Svadvi, Tanutvak and Darusita or Darushilla
- Hindi: Dalchini
- English: Cinnamon
- Rasa (taste): Pungent, bitter, sweet
- Guna (qualities): Light, dry, piercing
- Virya (action): Warming
- Vipaka (post-digestive effects): Pungent
- Dosha (constitution): Balances vata and kapha
Cinnamon is native to the Indian subcontinent, but most specifically Sri Lanka.
Cinnamon bark comes from an evergreen tropical tree that grows up to 30 feet and has dark green leaves. The flowers of this plant are small and yellowish to white. The bark of younger trees are smooth and pale while the bark of older trees are brittle and rough.
The bark is peeled off after the trees are six or seven years old. The inner bark of the tree is collected and usually ground into powder.
Cinnamon bark is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium. It also contains the health benefiting essential oil of eugenol.
Cinnamon bark helps maintain balance of Kapha and Vata, which offers the following benefits:
This ingredient is very useful because it’s so easy to consume. It can often be sprinkled onto various foods in the form of a spice. Used in this way, it can facilitate easier digestion.
Excessive buildup of phlegm and mucus in a person’s respiratory system is a surefire sign of excessive Kapha. While it may be necessary to adjust your diet and lifestyle if you’re a Kapha type who experiences this common problem, adding the right ingredients to your food will also help to balance your energies, improving respiration as a result.
Cinnamon can also have a beneficial impact on your appearance. To take advantage of these effects, mix some with water and apply it to your skin. Leave it in place for about 10 minutes before rinsing it away. Because cinnamon has natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, applying it to your skin can help guard against acne.
It also has natural moisturizing properties. Thus, if you have dry skin, you may want to consider using it as a scrub.
Boosting Joint Comfort
Poor digestion often results in the buildup of ama. These impurities often accumulate around the joints. Over time, this may lead to discomfort.
That’s another reason to use cinnamon more often. By improving digestion, it will guard against the accumulation of excess ama, relieving joint pain caused by it.
Usage and Dosage of Cinnamon Bark
Different ingredients offer different benefits to people depending on their dosha types. That means the right formula for each dosha type are also different.
For instance, if you’re a Pitta dosha type, it’s recommended that you mix cinnamon with cardamom and fennel for maximum effect. Vata dosha types should mix it with cardamom and ginger. If you’re a Kapha type, along with cardamom and ginger, you may want to add some black pepper and cloves.
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)