Cinnamon is a commonly used aromatic spice with medicinal properties. It is also known as Dalchini (Hindi) and Twak (Sanskrit). This medicinal herb can be used in the treatment and prevention of many common ailments such as acne, pimples, cough, and digestive troubles. Cinnamon is obtained from many species of the tree belonging to family Lauraceae.
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Cinnamon tree is evergreen and about 6-8 m high. The bark of the tree is collected during April-July and October-December. In India, cinnamon trees are cultivated on the Western Ghats and adjoining hills.
Common Names of Cinnamon
Botanical name: Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Synonym: Cinnamomum verum Persl., Cinnamomum cassia Blume.
- Sanskrit: Tvak, Tamalparta
- English: Cinnamon, Ceylon Cinnamon
- Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati: Dalchini
- Punjabi: Dalchini, Darchini
- Ayurvedic: Tvak/Twak, Darusita Daruchini
- Siddha: Elavangappattai
- Kannada: Dalchini Chakke
- Malayalam: Karuvapatta, Ilavarngathely
- Oriya: Dalechini, Guda twak
- Tamil: Lavangapattai, Karuvapattai, Ilayangam
- Telugu: Lavangapatta, Dalchini chekka, Lavanagamu
- Urdu: Darchini
- French: Cammelle
- Spanish: Canela
Cinnamon tree has deeply veined ovate leaves. The leaves are dark green underneath. Bark and leaves of the tree are aromatic. The flowers are small yellowish to white in color and have unpleasant odour. The tree also bears dark purple berries. The tree grows to a height of 6-8 meters. The inner bark of the tree is collected and used as spice.
Constituents of Cinnamon bark
Essential oil, tannin and mucilage.
The major constituent of essential oil (about 75%) is Cinnamaldehyde.
Cinnamaldehyde reduces blood pressure, relieves spasm of muscles, and increases peripheral blood flow.
Ayurvedic Properties and Action on body
Cinnamon or dalchini is pungent, sweet and astringent. It is hot in potency. It increases Pitta but decreases vata and Kapha. It promotes digestion and cures indigestion.
- Rasa: Madhura, Katu (pungent), Tikta
- Guna: Laghu (light), Ruksha (Dry), tikshna (sharp)
- Veerya: Ushna (Hot)
- Vipaka: Katu
Medicinal Properties of Cinnamon Bark
In Ayurveda, Cinnamon or Twak is considered kapha-Vata dosh har. Its oral intake reduces Kapha and vata;stimulates digestion;expels abdominal gas;and exhibits expectorant action. Cinnamon has carminative, antiseptic and astringent properties.
Dalchini is also used in preparation of Ayurvedic medicines which are used to treat digestive and respiratory ailments. Important formulation of Ayurveda that contain this medicinal spice are Sitopaladi churna, Chaturjat Churna and Vyaghri Haritaki.
Home Remedies of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a useful medicinal spice. You can use it as home remedy to treat many common ailments. Here is given, how to use dalchini for the treatment of cough, diarrhea, acne, tastelessness, sleeplessness, etc.
Cold and cough
- Mix pinch of cinnamon powder with 1 spoon of honey and take it 3 times a day to relive cough.
- Prepare tea by boiling half teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder and one clove in one cup water. Boil for a few minutes. Filter and add honey. Drink hot few times a day.
- Take 2-3 grams of cinnamon powder with honey, two times a day.
Diarrhoea, loose motion
- For diarrhea treatment, cinnamon or dalchini is taken with sonth, jeerak and honey. Take equal amount of powdered ginger, cumin seeds and Dalchini. Make a thick paste by adding honey. Eat 1 teaspoon of it three times a day.
- Take 3 gm cinnamon powder with water two times a day.
Loss of taste:Make a paste of honey and dalchini. Rub this paste on the tongue and keep for a few minutes.
Tooth ache:Mix cinnamon powder and honey in 1:5 ratio and apply at area of tooth ache
For hair fall:Mix cinnamon powder and honey with warm olive oil and apply on scalp and wash after 15 minutes.
Bad breadth:Chew cinnamon or boil cinnamon powder one teaspoon in 150 ml water and use as mouthwash.
Acne and black heads:Mix cinnamon with lemon juice and apply on acne and black heads.
Improving complexion:Mix honey and cinnamon powder and apply on the face. Keep on the face till it dries. Wash with plain water.
Memory improvement:Mix 1 gram cinnamon powder and honey. Take this every night.
Hoarseness and aphonia:Take a glass of water add cinnamon powder and black pepper, boil it and take with honey.
Insomnia or sleeplessness:Boil 2 grams cinnamon powder in one cup water for five minutes. Add honey and drink before going to bed.
Arthritis pain:Take 1 tbs cinnamon powder with 2/3 water and 1/3 honey and make paste and apply at place of pain.
Impaired or weak digestion: Cinnamon is a very good remedy for treating digestive problems. For treating digestive weakness oral intake of Cinnamon power in a dose of 2-3 grams is useful.
Cinnamon tea is very good for overall health. This tea can be used as wash to prevent and cure fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.
Cinnamon is hot in potency so it should be taken in the recommended dosage (1-3 grams) only. It should be used cautiously in bleeding disorders and excessive Pitta.