Herbal Nerd Society Exclusive Article
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum species) is a cornerstone herb for circulation and digestion supporting formulas. As this herb is also used as a common cooking spice, it is surprising to many people that it is a potent medicine. Cinnamon is rarely used as a single herb. It is usually part of a formula or as a part of a multifaceted health protocol. Western herbalists see tremendous gains with diabetic patients when they add it to their formulas.
Cinnamon is a combined with bilberry/blueberry leaf and/or gymnema leaf to reduce blood sugar and calm digestion. As cinnamon is excellent at reducing nausea, it is added to formulas that clear bacterial infections for patients with sensitive stomachs. Some patients with GERD have difficulty with cinnamon in doses over 5-10%. Some, however, find it soothing. Results will vary depending on that conditions of the patient.
When added to circulatory support formulas, cinnamon is usually a fairly low part of the ratio. It is usually combined It is usually combined with hawthorn or ginger when supporting the heart or blood supply. It is most commonly seen at 3-10% of the formula. It is a warming herb with many other benefits but plays the part of a supporter rather than a starring role. Even in blends designed to relieve hemorrhoids/varicose veins in which it is added to reduce blood stagnation, it still is rarely over 10% of the formula. Stone root and butcher’s broom comprise the list of herbs that command the most attention.
An exception to this rule in compounds is the Cinnamon/Erigeron formula. This is a traditional Western blend given internally as a hemostat. It controls bleeding in many part of the body. It uses cinnamon essential oil and erigeron (flea bane) essential oil in an alcohol base. This is administered only by qualified healthcare professionals trained in using this blend. Only 10-15% of the formula is essential oil. It is made with 5-7.5% cinnamon essential oil and 5-7.5% erigeron essential oil added to vodka or brandy base.
Dosage can vary depending on the formula, intention and delivery device. Cinnamon is widely available in powder, bark chips/sticks, capsules, tinctures, essential oils, fluid extracts and teas. It’s leaf is also available. It’s distinctive flavor and scent should be immediately apparent when opening a bottle with this herb in its contents. 10-30 drops of tincture taken as a single herb is a safe dosage so figure this into the formula. Keep in mind that cinnamon has a strong flavor that will mask other unpleasant tasting herbs yet only a small amount is needed.
Some people are allergic to cinnamon. Do not use it if you are allergic. Be sure to notify your herbalist if you have any allergies. Do not take Cassia cinnamon in medicinal doses as it is higher in coumarin. Ceylon cinnamon is considered the safest and most effective option. It is not contraindicated with other herbs or conditions. Do not use cinnamon except as a spice or a flavoring in pregnancy. It is a mild uterine stimulant. Cinnamon is toxic at adult dosages of 2 grams a day or higher.