Cinnamon Essential Oil
There are two primary types of cinnamon oils available on the market: cinnamon bark oil and cinnamon leaf oil. While they have some similarities, they’re different products with somewhat separate uses. Cinnamon bark oil is extracted from the outer bark of the cinnamon tree. It’s considered very potent and has a strong, “perfume-like” smell, almost like taking an intense whiff of ground cinnamon. Cinnamon bark oil is usually more expensive than cinnamon leaf oil.
Cinnamon leaf oil has a “musky and spicy” smell and tends to have a lighter color. While cinnamon leaf oil might appear yellow and murky, cinnamon bark oil has a deeper red-brown color that most people usually associate with cinnamon spice. Both are beneficial, but cinnamon bark oil may be more potent.
Many of the benefits of cinnamon bark oil have to do with its ability to dilate blood vessels. Cinnamon bark can help enhance nitric oxide function, which causes increased blood flow and lower levels of inflammation.
Some of the most researched health benefits of cinnamon essential oil includes:
Cinnamon oil has been shown to have powerful antimicrobial and cancer-fighting properties. A study conducted at the Turkey's Cumhuriyet University and published in the September 2010 issue of the journal “Food and Chemical Toxicology” concluded that cinnamon oil may be useful as a topical treatment for infections and other skin problems, including benign tumors.
Cinnamon oil has also been studied for its anti-inflammatory properties. Research at National Taiwan University, published in the September 2010 edition of the journal “Pharmaceutical Biology,” analyzed cinnamon oil using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry — and found it to have excellent anti-inflammatory properties. The researchers suggest that cinnamon oil may be very useful as a natural treatment for inflammation.
Scientists at Korea's Gwangiu Institute of Science and Technology tested cinnamon, both in vitro and with animal test subjects, for its ability to inhibit the growth of various kinds of cancer cells. The results, published in the July 2010 issue of “BMC Cancer,” concluded that cinnamon oil is quite promising as an alternative treatment for cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, melanoma and lymphoma. The study cites cinnamon’s antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammation and anti-tumor properties as the reason for its effects.
Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease
Research at the University of British Columbia's Kinsmen Laboratory of Neurological Research, published in the January 2010 issue of “Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease,” examined cinnamon oil in vitro for its potential to inhibit the buildup of amyloid-beta in animals’ brains, one of the conditions that causes decline in Alzheimer's patients. Researchers found cinnamon to be among a group of herbal compounds that showed some promise as a potential treatment.
Antibacterial and Antimicrobial Agent
Scientists at Louisiana State University's Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, whose findings were published in the April 2010 issue of “Planta Medica,” studied cinnamon oil in vitro to see how it affected E. coli cells. The results showed that cinnamon oil is able to act as an antimicrobial and antibacterial agent to combat the E. coli infection.
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes
The United States Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Research Service studied cinnamon’s ability to treat type 2 diabetes, and published its findings in he May 2010 issue of the “Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology.” Researchers saw that cinnamon was able to normalize the effects of type 2 diabetes in in vitro animal and human tests. The study concluded that cinnamon may play an important future role in treating metabolic disorder, type 2 diabetes and some cardiovascular-related diseases.
Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
One common problem in hospitals is the occurrence of urinary tract infections from catheters contaminated with E. coli bacteria. One recent study, conducted by the University of Connecticut's Department of Animal Science, looked at cinnamon oil as a possible solution. In the July 2010 edition of “The Journal of Urology,” researchers concluded that applying cinnamon oil extracts to the surfaces of catheters may be able to help prevent urinary tract infections.
As a means of aiding health and controlling pests, cinnamon-bark oil was until recently considered superior to cinnamon-leaf oil, as Jeanne Rose notes in "The Aromatherapy Book." In the 1992 volume, Rose recommends the bark oil exclusively to kill germs and to use in massage oils for boosting circulation. But more-recent research indicated that the active compound, cinnamaldehyde, is equally available from both the leaf and the bark oils. A 2007 study conducted by Spain's Universidad de Murcia found that cinnamon-leaf and cinnamon-bark oil, along with clove oil, contained antimicrobial properties, which the food industry could theoretically use to fight Listeria monocytogenes. Additional research done by the National Taiwan University in 2004 focused on cinnamon-leaf oil's potential use in natural health products. Researchers concluded that the leaf oil has "excellent anti-inflammatory activities." These studies suggest that cinnamon-leaf and cinnamon-bark essential oils may be used interchangeably in at least some applications.
While scent preferences are subjective, perfume houses consider cinnamon-bark essential oil preferable to the lighter, less-intense scent of cinnamon-leaf oil, notes author Mandy Aftel in her book “Essence and Alchemy.” Home crafters may prefer the lighter and less expensive cinnamon-leaf oil for body products and potpourri. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy warns that if you do seek the deeper, longer-lasting scent of cinnamon-bark essential oil, check carefully to ensure that the producer hasn’t blended the less-expensive leaf oil into the mixture as a cost-cutting measure.
Cinnamon-leaf oil is less expensive than bark oil, because the tree's leaves are more easily harvested than the inner bark. Additionally, leaves may be gathered from the cinnamon tree without damaging it, while removing the tree's inner bark threatens the sustainability of cinnamon-tree stands. While the food industry utilizes both the leaf and bark oils to flavor colas, candy and other products, home cooks should avoid taking the essential oil internally, opting instead for ground or stick cinnamon.
LEAF OIL OR BARK OIL?
Both Cinnamon Leaf Oil and Bark Oil in many cases can be used interchangeably. The primary difference is cost and smell. Bark Oil costs significantly more but smells better. So save it for those special needs and occasions.
The leaf oil smells pretty good but cannot match the ultimate refinement of the Bark Oil. Still for the sheer variety of its applications and cost, the cinnamon leaf oil is a good choice for everyday use. Kind of like using your Lexus for special outings and your Toyota for every day commuting. Both are reliable.
LEAF OIL FOR EVERYDAY USE
For most everyday applications Ceylon Cinnamon Leaf Oil is fine. It smells great but not as good as the Ceylon Cinnamon Bark Oil. What gives cinnamon it's characteristic cinnamon smell is an ingredient called Cinnamaldehyde. For example our Cinnamon Leaf Oil has about 10% Cinnamaldehyde while our Cinnamon Bark Oil has about 60-77% Cinnamaldehyde. The more cinnamaldehyde you have the more exotic and cinnamony the oil will smell.
LEAF OIL HAS MORE EUGENOL
Cinnamon Leaf Oil trades some of the smell for more of the Eugenol, which smells more like clove oil with hints of citrus. Eugenol like Cinnamaldehyde has similar properties. The higher the level of Eugenol (ours is at minimum 75%) the higher the quality of the Cinnamon Leaf Oil. Did you know Eugenol was an ingredient used in dentistry?
Because Cinnamon Leaf Oil comes from steam distilling the leaves of the tree it is much cheaper. That makes it very cost effective for everyday household applications like getting rid of really bad smells in the toilet and kitchen. It is shockingly good at getting rid of powerful dors very fast. Not just masking the smell but simply getting rid of it for good.
BARK OIL HAS MORE CINNAMALDEHYDE
Quality of Ceylon Cinnamon Bark Oil is measured by the level of Cinnamaldehyde. Ours is guaranteed at 60% but mostly runs at 77%. The higher the levels of Cinnamaldehyde the more refined and sophisticated it smells. That level of Cinnamaldehyde is also what makes it so effective and suitable for ingestion in beverages.
What makes Ceylon Cinnamon Bark very expensive is that one cinnamon stick has very little Oil. It too is steam distilled and very labor intensive, requiring skilled craftsmen to elicit the right quality. As a result there is a lot of wastage but the end result is an amazingly refined oil.
Ceylon Cinnamon Bark Oil (as opposed to the Cassia Cinnamon Bark Oil), is significantly better in quality. color, taste and aroma. Which is why the French perfume industry will only Ceylon Cinnamon Bark Oil in some of the most famous perfumes in the World. As does Coca Cola in making Coca Cola. All you need is a drop of this amazing oil.
FOR INGESTION USE BARK OIL
Ceylon Cinnamon Bark Oil is what is usually used for ingestion. Usually 1-3 drops per 8 oz. of hot water or teas or coffee. Do not use more than this but always start with one drop. It can also be used for many recipes like you would Vanilla, but just a drop is enough in most cases. It that powerful.
That is not to say our steam distilled Ceylon Cinnamon Leaf Oil cannot be taken internally. Some do take the Cinnamon Leaf Oil internally for specific purposes we are banned from saying.
When we make our Cinnamon toothpicks for example we use a combination of leaf oil and Bark Oil. The leaf oil gives far more bite and the Bark Oil gives it the aroma and a slight sweetness to balance it out.
BARK OIL IS BETTER FOR AROMATHERAPY
The best way to enjoy Cinnamon Bark Oil is with aroma therapy. Add 2-3 drops into an aroma therapy diffuser and the resulting scent is truly uplifting.
MASSAGE WITH BARK OIL OR LEAF OIL
Just a fraction of Ceylon Cinnamon Bark Oil blended with a combination of carrier oil and other essential oils warms the skin. The exotic scent will make you forget the most hectic of days.
Which is not to say you can't use Cinnamon Leaf Oil in massage. You can and it is just as effective, but won't smell as nice. In some ways the leaf oil is better for massage at it runs hotter and stronger. Perfect for situations where you need to concentrated heat for a particular point like the soles of your feet or a bruised spot.
Maybe you can get a bottle of each. Just guard your bottle of Cinnamon Bark Oil as you would an expensive perfume.