Cinnamon essential oil is majorly used in aromatherapy. The oil is derived from a plant belonging to the species Laurus cinnamomum. The plant also produces the much popular cinnamon spice.
Cinnamon essential oil is extensively researched for its various benefits, including its ability to fight cancer (1).
The oil is also used as a natural remedy for various other health concerns. In this post, we will look at all of them.
Table Of Contents
What Are The Health Benefits Of Cinnamon Essential Oil?
Cinnamon essential oil (CEO) contains important compounds that promote heart health and aid diabetes treatment. Its antioxidant properties may help prevent cancer and combat skin inflammation. In aromatherapy, the oil is used to treat stress and anxiety.
1. May Promote Heart Health
The extracts of cinnamon bark, when coupled with aerobic training, may dramatically improve heart health (2). This effect was observed in a rat study.
The plant, along with its essential oil, also has positive effects on the body’s lipid metabolism. The oil could lower the levels of malondealdehyde, a reactive compound in the body that is a marker of oxidative stress (2).
Cinnamon essential oil also contains cinnamaldehyde, a compound that fights inflammation and protects the heart. It has positive effects on atherogenesis (formation of fatty plaques in the arteries) (3).
The essential oil can also improve coronary flow and cardiac force and contractility (4).
2. May Aid Diabetes Treatment
Cinnamon components may play a role in alleviating various diabetes symptoms. Various forms of the spice (including its use as an essential oil) could benefit insulin sensitivity, inflammation, and levels of sugar and fat in individuals with diabetes (5).
In a study, a mixture of essential oils (including that of cinnamon) helped lower the levels of circulating glucose. This may help ease diabetes symptoms (6).
In another mice study, cinnamon oil exhibited antidiabetic effects. The main compound of the oil responsible for this action was cinnamaldehyde. Following the injection of the oil, fasting blood glucose saw a great decrease. A decline in the levels of serum cholesterol was also observed (7).
The study also saw an improved glucose tolerance in the mice (7).
3. May Help Treat Cancer
Studies have shown that cinnamon essential oil may have protective effects on cancers of the head and neck. The oil achieves this by suppressing a specific cancer protein called EGFR-TK (1).
Cinnamon essential oil also showed anticancer activity against cancers of the prostate, lung, and breast (8).
4. May Work As An Aphrodisiac
Cinnamon essential oil may boost sexual motivation and erectile function, thereby enhancing one’s sex life (9). The study, which was conducted on aged rats, saw a boost in their sexual health.
The essential oil could increase the time taken for ejaculation. It also decreased the percentage of dead sperms in the aged rats – this could be attributed to the antioxidant properties of the oil (9).
The essential oil also stimulates hormone levels. More animal studies show that the oil can increase the weight of testes and seminal vesicles (a pair of glands that secrete semen) (10).
Regular intake of the oil can also protect the male reproductive system (11). Though the observation was made only in rats, the possibilities in humans are promising.
5. May Treat Ulcers
Cinnamon essential oil might fight bacteria that cause ulcers. These bacteria, called Helicobacter pylori, were found to decrease to an extent with a treatment with an alcoholic extract of cinnamon (12).
Helicobacter pylori cause various digestive ailments, including ulcers.
However, though the essential oil may not eradicate the bacteria, it may reduce its colonization with minimal side effects (12).
In another study, cinnamon essential oil was found to be the most potent (among other oils) against Helicobacter pylori (13).
6. May Cure A Sore Throat
A blend of cinnamon and other essential oils was found to treat sore throat. In a study, a mixture containing the essential oils of cinnamon, wild carrot, rosemary, and eucalyptus was found to treat infections caused by microorganisms – including a sore throat (14).
7. Treats Fungal Infection
Cinnamon essential oil (along with a few others) was found to have the most potent antimicrobial properties among those tested (15).
In another study, cinnamon essential oil showed protective effects against Candida, the microorganism that causes fungal infections (16).
Candida is the microorganism that causes toenail fungus. You can use cinnamon essential oil to treat the condition.
8. May Help Manage Stress And Depression
Aromatherapy has been long used for relieving stress and depression. Aromatherapy massage was found to have more benefits than inhalation aromatherapy (17).
Essential oils, including that of cinnamon, posses volatile compounds that penetrate the oral, dermal, and olfactory passages of the body. This way, the oil may aid depression treatment.
A study on college students revealed that the use of cinnamon essential oil in aromatherapy increased their alertness and reduced their stress (18). The oil also decreased frustration and increased perception in the students.
9. May Enhance Skin Health
Cinnamon essential oil can help treat skin inflammation and other related ailments. Studies show that it has biological activities on human skin (19). The oil inhibits the production of several protein biomarkers involved in inflammation.
The essential oil also has the potential to treat human skin disorders. In studies, its antioxidants showed a beneficial impact on human keratinocytes (19).
Cinnamon essential oil has been in use for centuries. As we saw, its beneficial effects are well researched and studied. Its major use is in aromatherapy for treating depressive symptoms – but it also has a role to play in heart health, diabetes, and even cancer.
If you have the time, you definitely can prepare the oil at home. The process is simple.
How To Prepare Cinnamon Essential Oil At Home
The method is inexpensive. You may have to wait for a few weeks, though before you can use the essential oil.
What You Need
- A bunch of cinnamon sticks
- 1 liter of olive oil
- A cheesecloth
- Place the cinnamon sticks vertically in a wide-mouthed jar. Fill all the space in the jar with the sticks.
- Pour in the olive oil, such that the sticks are submerged.
- Place the jar in a warm area within your home. Placing it by the window (for direct sunlight) would work best.
- Let it stay for three weeks.
- Jerk the jar once or twice a day. This way, the base oil (olive oil) will slowly release the essential oil.
- After three weeks, strain the oil from the jar. You can use the cheesecloth for this purpose. You can also squeeze the sticks for extracting any oil that could have remained.
There are different ways you can use this oil:
- You can use it for aromatherapy – Inhale it or diffuse it around your house using a diffuser.
- You can use it topically – Dilute it with a carrier oil (like coconut oil) in a 1:1 ratio and then apply to your skin.
- You can use it orally – Add a drop of water to the oil and ingest it. You can also take it as a dietary supplement by consuming it along with a smoothie (20).
But ensure you go for high-quality cinnamon essential oil coming from a reputable brand.
Cinnamon is available in two types. They are cassia cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon is more common of the two, and it also is higher in coumarin – a natural chemical that can be toxic to the liver (21).
Ceylon cinnamon has far less concentration of coumarin and is comparatively safer.
So, go for Ceylon cinnamon, though it could be slightly expensive. You can check with the clerk at the store.
You can also purchase cinnamon essential oil online or from your nearest health store.
Whether you prepare it at home or procure it from a store, the benefits of cinnamon essential oil may help you lead a healthier life.
But you need to keep in mind something else about the oil.
Does It Have Any Contraindications?
- Possible Skin Issues
The coumarin content in the essential oil (though quite less, if you are using oil from Ceylon cinnamon) may trigger certain skin issues (22). Please do a patch test before using the oil on your skin. Also, do not apply the oil directly. Mix it with a carrier oil.
- May Lower Blood Sugar Way Too Much
We have seen that cinnamon essential oil may lower blood glucose levels (6). Though there are no direct studies yet, it is logical to assume that using it along with your diabetes medications may lower your blood sugar levels way too much.
If you are on diabetes medication, please check with your doctor if you can ingest cinnamon essential oil.
Essential oils have been deeply studied by the scientific community. Among those, cinnamon oil is one of the more popular ingredients. Use the oil regularly and avail the wonderful benefits it offers.
Do share your experiences with us. How did you like the oil? What benefits did you observe? Your thoughts will also help your fellow readers.
You can leave a comment in the box below. We would love to hear from you!
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
How else can you use cinnamon essential oil?
Cinnamon essential oil can be used for cooking. You can try replacing a quarter cup of your normal cooking oil with a quarter cup of cinnamon oil. You can also use the oil as a salad dressing to impart a unique flavor.
You can also use the oil as a mosquito repellent. Some studies show it can destroy mosquito eggs (23). Simply mix ¼ teaspoon (24 drops) of the oil for every 4 ounces of water. You can then spray this mixture around your home, upholstery, and even plants.
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- “The effect of cinnamon extract and long-term aerobic…” Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin, US National Library of Medicine.
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- “Cinnamon effects on metabolic syndrome…” Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Cinnamon: potential role in the prevention…” Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Effects of a novel formulation of essential oils…” Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism, US National Library of Medicine.
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- “Efficacy of Cinnamomum…” Journal of Young Pharmacists, US National Library of Medicine.
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- “Antifungal activity of cinnamon oil…” Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research, US National Library of Medicine.
- “The effectiveness of aromatherapy…” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Effects of aromatherapy on test anxiety…” University of North Dakota.
- “Anti-inflammatory activity of cinnamon…” Phytotherapy Research, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Code of federal regulations” US Food & Drug Administration.
- “The relation between hepatotoxicity and the…” Frontiers in Pharmacology, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Percutaneous absorption and metabolism of…” Journal of Applied Toxicology, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Chemical composition and mosquito…” ACS Publications.
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