Authored by: Emily Cuthbert

Latin Name: Cinnamomum zeylanicum

Standardized Common Name: Cinnamon 

Sanskrit Name: Tvak– meaning “The skin”

Other Common Names: Ceylon, True cinnamon

Family: Lauraceae

Parts Used: Bark

Botanical Description:

Cinnamomum zeylanicum is an evergreen shrub/tree that grows shoots with a brown-orange outer-bark, and a bright clay-orange inner bark that dries down to a red/brown molasses color. These trees can grow upwards of 50 feet tall, but are usually kept at smaller and more manageable sizes for cultivation purposes. The leather-like leaves grow in an alternate, rosette pattern, and are ovate with pinnate venation that is visible to the eye. The fruit grows as a drupe, and the clusters of yellow/green flowers have an overall unpleasant smell. Native to Sri Lanaka, cinnamon is currently cultivated in South America, the West Indies and Myanmar.


  • Taste (Rasa): Pungent, Bitter, Sweet
  • Potency/Action (Virya): Hot
  • Post-digestion effect (Vipaka): Pungent
  • Doshas: VK- P+


  • Volatile oils
    • Limonene
    • Pinene
    • Cinnamic aldehyde
      • Counter irritant to mucus membranes
      • Inhibits COX and LOX enzymes
      • Anti-inflammatory
    • Eugenol
    • Anti-septic
  • Coumarins
    • Dicoumarol
  • Tannins
  • Mucilage
  • Phenolic acids
  • Gum
  • Resins
  • Steroids
  • Terpenoids

Actions: Cinnamomum zeylanicum has a warming, stimulating, and astringent effect on the body. Many of the violate oils cause antibacterial effects as well as stimulate the digestive tract. The overall effect of Cinnamomum zeylanicum will generally work to improve circulation and blood flow within the body, as well as reduce inflammation by stimulating blood flow.

  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antiseptic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Astringent
  • Aromatic
  • Stomachic
  • Antimicrobial
  • Demulcent
  • Hemostatic
  • Hypoglycemic

Indications: Smooth muscle relaxant, Appetite stimulant, digestive, Type 2 diabetes hyperglycemia, diarrhea, colds and flus, dysmenorrhea

Safety/Contraindications: Can be moderately toxic to liver and kidneys. Coumarin may cause thinning of blood after long time use. Dicoumarol is a Vitamin K antagonist, which is a clotting inhibitor.

Lethal dose: 275 mg/kg

Preparations and Doses:

  • Tea: 1tsp/cup 3x daily
  • Powder: 1-3 grams 1 time per day)
  • Essential Oil: 5 drops


  • Chauhan DM. Cinnamon, Dalchini (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) – Properties, Benefits & Dosage. Planet Ayurveda. Published April 29, 2019. Accessed May 10, 2021.
  • Cinnamon. Cinnamon | Diseases and Pests, Description, Uses, Propagation. Accessed May 10, 2021.
  • Cinnamon. Encyclopædia Britannica. Accessed May 10, 2021.
  • Marciano M, Vizniak NA. Evidence Informed Botanical Medicine. Canada: Professional Health Systems Inc.; 2015.
  • Skenderi G. Herbal Vade Mecum: 800 Herbs, Spices, Essential Oils, Lipids, Etc., Constituents, Properties, Uses, and Caution. Rutherford, NJ: Herbacy Press; 2004.
  • Tilgner S. Herbal Medicine: from the Heart of the Earth. Creswell, OR: Wise Acres; 2020.