FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT… Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia)
1. As an important warming stimulant, cinnamon is used to warm the body and dispel pain, especially of the joints.
2. Also as part of its warming and circulating nature, cinnamon improves digestion, allays nausea and relieves abdominal pain — an added perk is its delicious flavor and aroma!
3. Cinnamon’s astringent nature makes it useful in formulas for diarrhea and internal bleeding, especially for excess menstrual bleeding and ulcers.
4. Chinese medicine uses different parts of cinnamon for different indications. Generally, the twigs (gui zhi) are used to facilitate diaphoresis. The bark (rou gui) is more deeply warming than the twigs and is better suited to warming the body and dispelling pain.
The jury is still out on whether cinnamon truly lowers blood sugar but many Type 2 diabetics use it as a supplement to decrease insulin resistance. Some studies have suggested that large doses (over a teaspoon per day) of C. cassia (the typical grocery store variety) may cause liver damage or bleeding in some individuals; an alternative low coumarin-content species is Ceylon cinnamon (C. verum).
Some of the liniments that use cinnamon include my favorite Red Flower Oil, Posumon Oil, Chan Yak Hin Wok Lok Pain Relieving Oil, and Hong Hoa Oil. These warming liniments are excellent for achy, cold, or stiff joints or sore muslces.