The Cinnamon Tree is an evergreen native to China and Vietnam that has since been cultivated in many other regions. It has shiny, leathery green leaves, and small, white flowers with oval shaped purple berries.
Cinnamon oil can be used for infection of the respiratory tract, rheumatism, arthritis and general pains. It calms an exhausted feeling of depression, tones the whole body and stimulates the glandular system, thus easing period pains
Medicinal use of cinnamon leaf and cinnamon bark was first recorded in Chinese formularies as early as 2700 B.C. The herb has been used as a healing aid for stomach upset and gas, diarrhea, rheumatism, kidney ailments, and abdominal pain. The Egyptians used it as a foot massage, as well as a remedy for excessive bile. It was used as an ingredient of mulled wines, love potions and a sedative during birth.
Cinnamon oil, that is extracted from the leaf, is non-toxic. Caution must be exercised since the cinnamaldehyde and eugenol contained in the oil could cause irritation, especially to the mucus membranes, so this oil should be used with care. Due to the emmenagogue action of the oil, it should be avoided in pregnancy.