Cinnamomum Zeylanicum, Cinnamomum Verum (True Cinnamon) | Cinnamomum Cassia (Cassia)


In the culinary world, the word “cinnamon” is the general term applied to a variety of spices obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus Cinnamomum. It is very popular aromatic condiment that is used to flavor food and is also valued for its fragrance.

Cinnamon has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for all kinds of medical conditions. In fact, as early as 2000 BC, ancient Egyptians were using Cinnamon and Cassia as perfumes, as ingredients in the process of embalming bodies, and in the production of holy oils for their religious rituals.

In the Bible, Cinnamon and Cassia were ingredients of the holy anointing oil in the tabernacle erected by Moses in the wilderness of Sinai. Then later it was said that a great deal of King Solomon’s wealth was derived from the traffic of spice merchants—of which cinnamon and cassia were the most prized.

Greeks and Persians burned Cinnamon and Cassia as well as other herbs and spices in preparation for a military march. In the social life of the ancient Greeks and Romans, Cassia and Cinnamon  and other spices played an important part in public functions and banquets. They were blended with other spices to create perfumes, blended in oil to soothe the skin, and used by athletes to anoint the body. Bundles of Cassia and Cinnamon were given as part of royal gifts to temples of their various gods.

It is not entirely known how Cassia, a native of China and the East Indies, and Cinnamon, a native to Sri Lanka in the coast of India, made their way to the Middle East, but it is guessed that sea-faring Arab merchants were responsible for introducing such rare spices to the western world.

The great demand for spices in Europe brought about the age of exploration and conquest as Europeans sought an all-water route to India and brought about a mad scrabble to colonize and get ever more aromatic spices. This spice trade shaped the course of history and went a long way in influencing the way that land, its resources, and its native inhabitants became seen by European explorers as commodities and products ripe for exploitation.

Think about that the next time you add your fake cinnamon to your shopping cart for a price as low as 99 cents.

Cinnamon: Warm and Cozy 

A warming and fragrant bark. It is very popular aromatic condiment that is used to flavor food and is also valued for its fragrance.

Though the flavor distinction between  flavor-wise there is not much distinction between Cinnamon and Cassia, the chemical makeup of their essential oils does vary enough that it is necessary to make a distinction between them.

True Cinnamon: Also known as Ceylon Cinnamon, this is the rarer of the two and is native to Sri Lanka. It is lighter, softer in texture, and breaks apart easily. The sticks are thin and papery and form multiple layers when rolled up. It is quite easy to grind true cinnamon, or even to break a piece of cinnamon from the stick. Taste-wise, true cinnamon is lighter, brighter, and has almost citrusy tones. This is the cinnamon we use at home, and there is nothing quite like coming home on a cold night and having a cup of cinnamon tea. It’s warm and fragrant, and oh, so good.

Cassia: Though Cassia cinnamon is the cheaper, alternative to true cinnamon, it has more germ-fighting power than Cinnamon essential oil. Its sticks are deep brown in color, hard, thick, and do not break easily. Cassia packs a punch. It is much spicier and lacks aromatic nuance. This is due to the fact that 95% of its oils are cinnamaldehyde compounds. Unfortunately, Cassia contains a larger amount of coumarin, which is an aromatic organic compound which some studies have shown can negatively impact the liver and kidneys. There have also been studies on lab rats that also show that coumarin causes tumors. But don’t worry! Humans metabolize these compounds much differently than rats, and we would need to consume insane amounts of Cassia on a regular basis for this to apply (though if you are one of the people that insist on ingesting essential oils, you really should check yourself).

Blends Well With


  • Clove Bud
  • Cypress
  • Frankincense
  • Ginger
  • Grapefruit
  • Lavender
  • Mandarin
  • Myrrh
  • Orange
  • Patchouli
  • Pine
  • Rosemary
  • Spearmint
  • Thyme
  • Vanilla
  • Ylang Ylang


  • Blood Orange
  • Cedarwood Atlas
  • Clove
  • Frankincense Serrata
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Neroli
  • Orange
  • Ylang Ylang

Key Benefits

  • Antiseptic
  • Mildly astringent
  • Raises body temperature
  • Helps ease colds, flu, and other infectious and viral diseases
  • Disinfects and clear the air when diffused
  • Treats insect bites, head lice, scabies, warts, and wasp stings
  • Insecticidal
  • Aids in digestive health: helps treat colics, indigestion diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, gas, etc. (massage over abdomen, DON’T INGEST!)
  • Antispasmodic: helps calm stomach cramps
  • Promotes appetite
  • Stimulates circulatory and respiratory systems
  • Encourages and regulates menstrual flow
  • Helps with menstrual pains
  • Relieves pain: arthritis and rheumatism
  • Uplifting and energizing


Dilute! Dilute! Dilute! NEVER use undiluted on skin

Cassia: if using topically use at no more than 0.05%  concentration

Cinnamon Bark: if using topically use at no more than 0.05%  concentration

Cinnamon Leaf: Milder alternative. If using topically use at no more than 0.5%  concentration

Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding.

Do not use around dogs or cats.

Do not use if you are on blood thinners or if you are going to go in for surgery as it inhibits blood clotting.


Topical Application

Massage blend for body:

0.5% dilution (Cinnamon Leaf):

  • 3 drops Cinnamon leaf
  • 20 mL carrier oil

0.05% dilution (for Cinnamon Bark & Cassia):

  • 1.5 drops Cinnamon Bark or Cassia
  • 100 mL carrier oil

Note: to get the 0.5 drop:

Dip the tip of a toothpick into the essential oil bottle and swirl whatever it picks up into your carrier oil.


Diffusing Blends


  • 2 drops of Cinnamon
  • 2 drops of Orange
  • 2 drops of Clove
  • 1 drop of Frankincense

Clean and Crisp

  • 3 drops Orange
  • 3 drops Lemon
  • 2 drops Cinnamon
  • 2 drops Clove

Pumpkin Spice

  • 5 drops Cinnamon
  • 1 drop Clove
  • 1 drop Nutmeg

Candy drops

  • 2 drops Orange
  • 1 drop Cinnamon 
  • 1 drop Clove
  • 1 drop Vanilla

Warm Hugs

  • 3 drops Cinnamon
  • 3 drops Clove
  • 3 drops Ginger
  • 2 drops Vanilla 

Baked Goods

  • 4 drops Cinnamon
  • 2 drops Lemongrass
  • 2 drops Bergamot
  • 2 drops Grapefruit

Falling Leaves

  • 4 drops Lavender
  • 4 drops Cinnamon 
  • 3 drops Bergamot
  • 1 drop Clove


Healthy Smiles

A mock recipe of OraWellness’ Healthy Mouth blend which is VERY good for teeth and gums. This is my attempt to do a similar (but much less spicier) blend with a lower Cinnamon concentration:

The Master Blend:

  • 5 drops Peppermint
  • 3 drops Spearmint
  • 2 drops Cinnamon or Cassia (15% of master blend)
  • 1 drop Clove
  • 1 drop Myrrh
  • 1 drop Manuka

Mix ingredients in a small glass bottle. This is your Healthy Smiles master blend. Add 1 drop of master blend to 10 mL (2 tsp) of Sweet Almond oil. At this dilution, Cinnamon is within the safety rate of 0.05%. Apply 2-3 drops of this diluted blend to your toothbrush every time you brush your teeth for healthy gums. You can also massage this directly onto your gums if you are experiencing pain. Do not swallow


Cold and Cough Blend

The Master Blend:

  • 80 drops Eucalyptus
  • 60 drops Tea Tree
  • 45 drops Lemon
  • 10 drops Thyme
  • 5 drops Cinnamon

Mix ingredients in a small glass bottle. This is your master blend. Add 8 drops to 10 mL (2 tsp) carrier and massage over your body, concentrating on your chest.


Upset Stomach

This recipe is great for upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. Basically anytime you feel you can’t possibly eat anything, (especially after you’ve thrown up), or when you just need a bit of comfort:

  • 2 Apples, cored and quartered
  • 1/2 stick of Cinnamon
  • 6 cups of water

Boil the water and add the cinnamon. Once the water begins to turn pink, add the apples. Cover and boil until apples have softened. Let cool slightly. Drink as much as you want whenever you need it.

Featured in Episode 14