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Cinnamomum verum


Cinnamomum verum

[span class=alert]In regards to the Traditional Use and Therapeutic Action sections of Essential Oils, the oils are rated as is standard practice in the French school of aromatherapy and others. The ratings ranked from one (+) to four (++++) with four indicating the highest value, indicate the oil’s therapeutic value from a practicing clinician’s point of view. The French rating system mentioned are obtained from this book reference entitle ‘Les Cahiers Pratiques D'Aromatherapie Selon L'Ecole Francaise’ (Authors: Francine Baudry, Pascal Debauche & Dominique Baudoux). However, further clarification might be required and will be updated once additional information of the rating system is obtained.[/span]

Family Name


Genus Name


Vernacular Name

Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Ceylon cinnamon, cinnamon bark oil, cinnamon, common cinnamon.

Original Habitat

Of the Lauraceae genus, this evergreen can grow from 30 to 50 feet tall. The trunk of the tree is short and wide, and the branches are low. Grayish in colour, the bark is very thick. This tree is native to parts of India and thrives in Sri Lanka because of the wet and warm climate.[1] It is also found in Indonesia, Burma and China.[2]

Plant Part Used

Bark, preferably the bark of young trees.[3]


C. verum oil is used in the food and beverage industry as a flavouring. It is found in numerous products for topical application such as insect repellants and creams/lotions for muscle and joint pain. The oil of the bark is rarely used in perfumes due to the colouration. It is also available in therapeutic aromatherapy products. 


Oil that is steam distilled from the bark is a thin brownish-yellow liquid which turns darker with age and exposure to light and air.[4] The aroma is a spicy, sweet scent with characteristics similar to clove oil with a warm note.

Chemical Constituents

Aromatic aldehyde: Cinnamaldehyde (75%)
Phenols: Eugenol (10%) [2][3][5][6]

Cinnamomum verum bark oil is often adulterated with cinnamon leaf oil, canella bark oil and clove oil.[2]

Medicinal Uses

Antibacterial with a wide range of uses ++++
Antimutagen ++++
Tonic and general stimulant +++
Warming effect +++ [6][7][8]

Antifungal: When compared to sixteen commercially available essential oils, cinnamon ranked as one of the top anti-fungal oils.[9] In another study, Cinnamon oil was shown to demonstrate more antifungal activity than Aniba rosaeodora, Laurus nobilis, and Sassafras albidum.[10]

Antibacterial: Studies have shown that Cinnamon oil had high antibacterial activity on gram (+/-) bacteria when compared to other essential oils.[11][12] In vitro, the active constituent cinnamaldehyde has demonstrated antibacterial against thirty strains of Helicobacter pylori.[13] The strains did not exhibit resistance against this constituent. Both eugenol and cinnamaldehyde have antibacterial actions against certain food-born bacteria, including E. coli.[14][15]

Antioxidant: An animal and in vitro studies have demonstrated antioxidant activity due to Cinnamon oil’s ability to activate specific antioxidant enzymes.[6][16]

Traditional Use

Respiratory, mouth, urinary, gynecological and intestinal infections +++
Tropical infections and fevers +++
Leucorrhoea, oligomenorrheas +++
Impotence (male functional) +++
Asthenias, depression ++

Respiratory Infections- The antibacterial actions of cinnamaldehyde were evaluated in bacteria known to cause respiratory infections. The results showed that this active could be used in treatment of the infection.[17]

Mouth Infections- Four chemical constituents from different plants were examined against bacteria that can cause mouth infections. The four constituents, one being cinnamaldehyde, showed antibacterial activity, therefore showing promise in fighting mouth infections.[18]

Intestinal Infections- Because of its inhibitory effects against E. coli and other food born bacteria, Cinnamon oil may have potential in treating intestinal infections.[15]

Contraindications and Precautions

Do not use on children under 5 years.

Not to be applied directly onto the skin in its pure form as it can cause severe burns if in contact with the skin over any period of time.[3]

Due to the eugenol content, there is a potential for interactions with anticoagulant medications.[2]

Avoid in alcoholism and liver disease due to glutathione depleting properties.[3]



[span class=alert]Keep out of reach of children as oils are highly concentrated.Essential oils are irritating to the eyes.  Avoid contact with eye area.Always dilute essential oils with carrier oil, lotion, cream or gel even when using in diffuser or bath.Essential oils are sometimes prescribed to be used internally, but should only be used internally under professional supervision.[/span]

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  1) Botanical Info


1. Wijesekera RO. Historical overview of the cinnamon industry. CRC Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1978;10(1):1-30.

2. Lis-Balchin M. Aromatherapy Science. Great Britain: Pharmaceutical Press; 2006.

3. Tisserand R. Essential Oil Safety: A guide for Health Care Professionals.  Scotland: Churchill Livingston; 1995.

4. Arctander S. Perfume and flavor materials of natural origin. Orton: Elizabeth; 1960.

5. Bauer K, Garbe D, Surburg H. Common fragrance and flavor materials: preparation, properties and uses. Germany: Wiley VCH; 1997.

6. Singh G, Maurya S, DeLampasona MP, Catalan CA. A comparison of chemical, antioxidant and antimicrobial studies of cinnamon leaf and bark volatile oils, oleoresins and their constituents. Food Chem Toxicol. Sep 2007;45(9):1650-1661.

7. Matan N, Rimkeeree H, Mawson AJ, Chompreeda P, Haruthaithanasan V, Parker M. Antimicrobial activity of cinnamon and clove oils under modified atmosphere conditions. Int J Food Microbiol. 15 Mar 2006;107(2):180-185.

8. Chericoni S, Prieto JM, Iacopini P, Cioni P, Morelli I. In vitro activity of the essential oil of Cinnamomum zeylanicum and eugenol in peroxynitrite-induced oxidative processes. J Agric Food Chem. 15 Jun 2005;53(12):4762-4765.

9. Tampieri MP. The inhibition of Candida albicans by selected essential oils and their major components. Mycopathologia. Apr 2005;159(3):339-345.

10. Simić A. The chemical composition of some Lauraceae essential oils and their antifungal activities. Phytother Res. Sep 2004;18(9):713-717.

11. Hersch-Martínez P. Antibacterial effects of commercial essential oils over locally prevalent pathogenic strains in Mexico. Fitoterapia. Jul 2005;76(5):453-457.

12. Burt S. Essential oils: their antibacterial properties and potential applications in foods-a review. Int J Food Microbiol. 1 Aug 2004;94(3):223-253.

13. Ali SM. Antimicrobial activities of Eugenol and Cinnamaldehyde against the human gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori. Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob. 21 Dec 2005;4:20.

14. Moleyar V. Antibacterial activity of essential oil components. Int J Food Microbiol. Aug 1992;16(4):337-342.

15. Senhaji O. Inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 by essential oil from Cinnamomum zeylanicum. Braz J Infect Dis. Apr 2007;11(2):234-236.

16. Dhuley JN. Anti-oxidant effects of cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) bark and greater cardamom (Amomum subulatum) seeds in rats fed high fat diet. Indian J Exp Biol. Mar 1999;37(3):238-242.

17. Didry N. Antibacterial activity of thymol, carvacrol and cinnamaldehyde alone or in combination. French: Pharmazie. Apr 1993;48(4):301-304.

18. Didry N. Activity of thymol, carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde and eugenol on oral bacteria. Pharm Acta Helv. Jul 1994;69(1):25-28.

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