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Scientific Name: Cinnamonum zeylanicum/verum

Constituents:

  • Volatile oil (cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, and methyleugenol & linalool)
  • Flavonoids: Methylhydroxychalcone polymers
  • Tannins
  • Coumarins

Medicinal actions:

  • Antimicrobial
  • Antioxidant
  • Astringent
  • Carminative & Antispasmodic
  • Hemostatic
  • Hypoglycemic

Mechanism of Action & Pharmacology:

  • Volatile oils are antispasmodic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, & anti-viral.
  • Cinnamaldehyde inhibits cyclooxygenase & lipoxygenase enzymes, thus decreasing inflammation. Also expresses insulinotropic effects on blood glucose by up-regulating GLUT4 gene expression & glycoprotein movement from intracellular compartments to facilitate glucose entrance into the cells.
  • Methyl hydroxychalcone is a flavonoid responsible for the insulin-like biological activity.
  • Tannins are highly astringent.

Pharmacy:

  • Decoction
  • Tincture
  • Capsules
  • As Food in culinary applications

Safety & Toxicity Concerns:

  • Adverse effects can be nausea or gastrointestinal burning. Topically may cause contact dermatitis and irritation of mucous membranes.
  • Overdose of the volatile oil (amounts > 0.5 ml/kg body weight) can cause nausea, vomiting, convulsions, pulmonary edema, kidney & liver damage, and coma.
  • Use caution in large doses with conditions that are exacerbated by GI stimulation (eg. gastritis, GERD, biliary obstruction, acute cholelithiasis)
  • Use caution above culinary uses in pregnancy & lactation.

Interactions:

  • Tannin content promotes gut motility and may interfere with absorption of many other medicines when taken simultaneously.
  • Anticoagulants due to antiplatelet activity (theoretical).
  • Anti-diabetic agents (may decrease blood sugar).

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