Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Lauraceae)
The inner bark of this tropical
tree's shoots is sold in rolled-up quills, dried, or powdered. Cinnamon ha
been valued in medicine for thousands of years for colds and flu, and
One of the spices revered in the Bible, it was brought to Europe in the 17th century
by the Portuguese, who invaded Sri Lanka just to obtain supplies. The spice comes
from the bark of the plant and is sold in lengths of rolled bark called quills. Now
cultivated throughout the tropics, cinnamon grows to 10 m (30 ft), has a thick bark,
leathery leaves, and small flowers that hang in loose bunches.
Inner bark of shoots.
Volatile oil containing cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate and alcohol, and eugenol; tannins; coumarin.
Reduces muscle tension and spasm; relieves wind and colic; stimulates the appetite; astringent.
Given for flatulent indigestion and colic, anorexia, infantile diarrhoea, the common cold, and flu.
Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine prescribe it for stomach and liver conditions.