In the past people used to wear little boxes filled with aromatic herbs – one of which was cinnamon – to ward off contagious diseases. According to Chamberland, writing in 1887, three essences “possess the greatest antiseptic power, whether throught their vapours or when used in soluton, there are those of cinnamon from Ceylon, Chinese cinnamon and origanum”.
Cinnamon of Ceylon, the best-known variety of cinnamon, comes from the Sri Lankan cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum zelanicum).The fragments of bark are dried and formed into the little sticks which are sold commercially. chinese cinnamon (which is less sought after) comes from the Cinnamomum cassia, a tree found in Annam and southern China. Its powder has a redder colour.
Parts used: the bark and the essence obtained by steam distillation of bark and leaves.
- stimulant (circulatory, cardiac and respiratory)
- stomachic, digestive stimulant
- antiseptic antiputrefactive (Cinnamomum zeylanicum kills Eberth’s bacikkus (typhoid) at a dose of 1 part in 3OO)
- lightly astringent
- aphrodisiac (mild)
- emmenagogue (it has sometimes been considered abortifacient)
- slightly raises body temperature, stimulating production of saliva, tears and mucus
- general debility
- the aching produced by fever, influenza, conditions resulting from chill
- influenzal debility
- fainting, difficulty in breathing
- contagious diseases
- intestinal infections (cholera, typhoid fever)
- gastric atony, sluggish digestion, atonic dyspepsia
- intestinal parasites
- digestive spasm, colitis, gastralgia
- metrorrhagia, leucorrhoea
- scanty menstrual periods
- it was formerly given to the melancholic, to people with digestive problems and to old people during the winter months.
- lice, scabies
- wasp stings, snake bites
- constusions, toothache (aromatic tincture of arnica)
- care of teeth (q.v. Clove)
Methods of use:
- Infusion, of the bark: 8 to 15g to 1 litre of water
- powder: O,5O to 2 g a day in tablets
- 2O% tincture: 1.5O to 1og in syrups and draughts
- hot sweet wine and cinnamon for chills or aching from fever and for influenza
- essence: 2 to 3 drops in honey water twice a day, for influenza: 5-1O drops every 2 hours, for cholera: 5 to 1O drops every half hour
Italian essence aphrodisiac:
- cinnamon 9Og
- greater cardamon 6Og
- clove 15g
- long pepper 15g
- nutmeg 8g
- alcohol 1 litre. Leave to blend. Filter. Take internaly 2O-3O drops on a sugar lump.
vanilla beans 3Og
Malaga wine 1 litre. Leave to macerate for 15 days in the wine, shaking daily. Filter.
Bibliography: Dr Jean Valnet: The Practice of Aromatherapy