The inner bark of the shoots of the cinnamon tree is a powerful local stimulant which acts to ease the stomach and relieve spasms; it is also a mild astringent. Like cloves it acts in a local rather than in a general way on the body. Cinnamon is used a good deal in herbal medicine to overcome the unpleasant odors of certain herbs and to act as a partner with other herbs. It is helpful in diarrhea and is said to be helpful for children in bedwetting and as sleep medicine for children. Cinnamon, with other herbs, is an antinausea aid. It is an old English flu preventive.
Flu Preventive Add five drops of true cinnamon oil to a tablespoon of water, and use it several times a day at the very onset of a flu epidemic or immediately after you think you have been exposed to flu. This remedy was used with great effectiveness by English physicians at the turn of this century. It is important to use this remedy before the flu sets in; otherwise, it seems to have no effect.
To create a less effective home version of this oil, bruise the cinnamon bark and "release" in simmering boiled water, or in brandy.
Some allergic people may be sensitive to cinnamon oil.
Pregnancy Aid Use a small amount of the bruised bark in any mild herbal tea (chamomile or linden would be fine) one hour before bedtime.
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) cinnamon bark (or powder)
1 and 1/2 pints distilled water.
Boil the water and steep the cinnamon bark in it for fifteen minutes or more. Take one teaspoon at a time one hour before meals for nausea or vomiting, or to relieve flatulence. Use small amounts at first to check for possible sensitivity during pregnancy.
I always keep a jar of dried cinnamon bark on my kitchen pantry shelf. When I want to add the tingly, cleansing taste of cinnamon to other herbal teas, I merely bruise a small piece of the bark on a grater or with my mortar and pestle. This helps to release some of the tantalizing cinnamon oil. This bark need not be thrown away immediately, as it can be used and reused several times, up to about five times.
Antinausea The use of cinnamon goes back in all ancient history. It is said that King Solomon recommended its use and it may have been brought by Arabs to the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans. It is still freely used in the Near East. For families plagued by weak digestion or nausea problems, here is the compound powder of cinnamon. Keep it in a labeled jar, ready for use.
3 small thin sticks, or 1 stick (about 6) cinnamon bark
1 tablespoon (about 8 seeds) cardamom seed
1 tablespoon (1 medium nutmeg) nutmeg
Grind the bark and the seeds together in a nut grinder, coffee grinder, or blender. Place the mixture in a jar. Label: Antinausea. Use 1/4 teaspoon to one cup hot tea for an adult, and a tiny pinch of the powder to one cup hot tea (then cool) for a child.
CrampsMake up a hot tea, bruise some cinnamon bark, or add powdered cinnamon (though the powder in a hot drink tends to look like slush). Add honey.