Other names: it should not be confused with cassia (Cinnamomum cassia)
Latin name: Cinnamomumverumsyn. Cinnamomumzeylanicum
Method of extraction:steam distilled
Plant part used to extract the oil:leaves
Cultivation method: organic farming
Area of origin:Sri Lanka
Historical notes: The English word "cinnamon", appearing in English documents since the 15th century, derives from the Greek κιννάμωμονkinnámōmon (later kínnamon).
Cinnamon has been known since antiquity. It was highly prised and considered valuable enough to be a gift for a king or the gods (e.g. Apollo). Herodotus (c. 484 – c. 425 BC), an ancient Greek historian, wrote that cinnamon grew with various other precious materials such as frankincense and myrrh in Arabia. Together with Aristotle and other authors, he claimed that the ‘sticks’ of cinnamon were collected by giant "cinnamon birds" and used to build their nests.
Biochemical group: phenol
Main chemical constituents: eugenol, benzyl benzoate, beta-caryophyllene, eugenyl acetate, linalool, cinnamyl acetate, (E)-cinnamaldehyde, safrole
Colour: dark yellow to brown
Aroma strength: very strong
Perfumery note: middle
Aroma: characteristic, clove-like, spicy, exotic and warm, sweet, woody
Traditional Aromatherapy Uses:
Traditionally in aromatherapy literaturecinnamon leaf essential oil is associated with the following therapeutic properties: anaesthetic, antibacterial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, emmenagogue, stimulant, stomachic, warming
Qualified aromatherapists very rarely, if at all, use cinnamon leaf (or cinnamon bark) essential oil for topical applications (on the skin) due to the high risk of irritancy and sensitisation.
It might be included in the blends for vapourisation but must be used sparingly and with great caution – please check the safety information below first:
To create an uplifting, warming blend – use a single drop of cinnamon leaf oil blended with sweet orange –diffuse for a few minutes only, ensure good ventilation
For an antimicrobial blend – blend a drop of cinnamon leaf oil with some lemon oil – diffuse for a few minutes only, ensure good ventilation
Cinnamon leaf essential oil contains eugenol which suggests it may be hepatotoxic and may inhibit blood clotting. According to IFRA the dilution of the cinnamon leaf oil for skin applications should not exceed 0.6%. The oil should not be used in pregnancy, breastfeeding, with infants and young children, compromised or diseased skin, with people suffering from bleeding disorders and blood clotting issues or when anticoagulant medication is being used (Warfarin, Aspirin, Heparin, etc.). It should not be used for more than a short period of time and always well diluted. It is not suitable for using in a bath. Tisserand and Young indicate that Cinnamon Leaf oil is a skin and mucous membrane irritant. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, 'Essential Oil Safety' (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 325-328.]