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How Do Herbs Help

Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Dalchini, Chinese cassia)

Biological Name:
Cinnamomum saigonicum; Cinnamomum laurus, Cinnamomum cassia, Cinnamomum aromaticum; Cinnamomum zeylanicum;

Family:
Lauraceae

Other Names:
Daruchini, Vazhana, Cinnamon, Dalchini, Thwak, tamalapatra, Karuva, Spreading Hogweed, Gudatwak, Varangam, Thracham, Darasini, Kalphah, Lowangpatta, Kirfa, Kulit-manis, Kurundo

Habitat
Cinnamon is a tree which is native to Sri Lanka and India. Found wild in the southern coastal region of western India up to an elevation of 1828 m. Abundant in the regions 30-215 m above sea level and fairly common up to 1100 m.

Additional Info:
It is Katu (pungent), laghu (light), ruksha (rough), tikhshna (sharp), ushnaveerya (hot), tikta (bitter); beneficial in deranged kapha; expectorant, spermicidal, antidysenteric; removes hoarseness of voice.

It is dıpana (increases appetite), amanasaka (destroys toxins), hrdaya (cardiac tonic), vatahara (reduces aggravated vata), sukrala (increases semen), balya (imparts strength) vatakaphana-saka (alleviates vata and kapha).

Active Components:
Bark is commonly applied in herbal medicine.

Active Components:
Volatile oil 2%, Cinnamic acid, resin, sugar, mannit, starch, mucilage, ash etc.

Used for:

The list of conditions in which cinnamon is applied includes: toothache, palpitation, knee and waist pains, sickness, muscle tension, melancholy, menstrual cramps, menorrhagia, liver conditions, hiccup, headaches, flu, edema, dysentery, diarrhea, congestion, colds, bronchitis, and backaches.

Useful in colds, cough, sinus congestion, bronchitis with excess avalambaka kapha; it clears mucus and encourages the circulation of vata throughout the respiratory system. Use it as a hot decoction to clear ama in fevers by encouraging sweating (Frawley & Lad 1994).

It stimulates the digestive tract and stomach in particular. It is a carminative, antispasmodic, aromatic and stomachic. It is useful in flatulence, dyspepsia, and diarrhea and vomiting. The fragrance is due to the presence of a volatile oil (oil of cinnamon) in the bark. Useful in cold digestion, slow digestion and mandagni in kapha and vata types. Increases agni and regulates samana vayu to treat flatulence and colic. Cinnamon has an antifungal activity and may be used in Candida albicans and imbalanced intestinal flora (WHO 1999).

Useful in cold extremities, Raynaud’s syndrome, arthritis; cinnamon stimulates vyana vayu and pushes circulation to the joints. Its warm, dry and light qualities help to clear excess slesmaka kapha and ama from the joints. These effects can also be of use in cardiac insufficiency with cold extremities, difficulty breathing, fluid accumulation and tiredness (Chen & Chen 2004).

Frequent urination; nocturia caused by cold is treated by cinnamon’s hot and dry qualities. Its ability to penetrate deep into the tissues coupled with its sweet quality give it an ability to nourish the reproductive system (sukra dhatu) and treat infertility and male impotence.

Useful in dysmenorrhoea; excellent antispasmodic used 3–4 days prior to period in kapha–vata types. It has an ironic action used to treat both amenorrhoea and menorrhagia; its blood-invigorating, warming and penetrating properties can be utilised in wet and stagnant conditions in the pelvic cavity; ovarian cysts, fibroids and endometriosis. Its drying astringency comes to the fore if there is uterine bleeding (Bone 1996, Paranjpe 2001).

The herb is known to boost metabolic rates, reduce pains, treat bacterial and fungal infections and rheumatic conditions, induce perspiration and urination, treat coughs, prevents bleeding,.

Preparation and Intake:
The herb is used in form of oils, powders, decoctions, and infusions.

Safety:
2.5-10 ratti (0.3-1.25 gm) per day can be taken safely (Bhavaprakasha Nighantu). Exercise care. Herbs in Ayurvedic medicine are commonly mixed with other herbal medicines to reduce the toxic effect one of them may produce on the body.