Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil is steam distilled from the bark of the cinnamon tree, Cinnamomum verum or Cinnamomum zeylanicum. The bark oil is generally preferred over Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil. True cinnamon most often comes from Madagascar or Sri Lanka. It can be confused with cassia (C. cassia) – the bark from these trees can be difficult to differentiate. Most ‘cinnamon’ (bark curls or ground cinnamon) sold in grocery stores is actually the cheaper cousin, cassia. Cassia essential oil is also less expensive and has a weaker odour in comparison to cinnamon bark oil, but can be a beneficial substitute (we might profile that oil another month!).
Cinnamon bark essential oil has a very strong aroma and is a base to middle note oil. Coming from bark, its aroma does have a woody element to it. Its spiciness is earthy and a bit peppery. It has a sensual and radiant blend of aromas and is known to be an aphrodisiac. The smell is warming, stimulating and energising.
Cinnamon bark oil’s potency comes from its chemical components, including cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, cinnamyl-acetate and beta-caryophyllene. These hot and stimulating chemicals have been shown to have anti-microbial effect, making it perfect to add to cleaning products.
Topically, cinnamon bark essential oil must be used with extreme caution as these chemicals are high risk for sensitisation. If using for skin application, the oil must be diluted to less than 1% and should not be used for extended periods. It is not to be used during pregnancy due to known toxicity to forming embryos. The essential oil has demonstrated an effect on the control of blood sugar levels. In the future, it could be useful in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Due to this effect, those with diabetes (including those on metformin) should be cautious in their use of cinnamon bark oil.
What other essential oils does cinnamon blend well with?
Cinnamon blends well with many other essential oils, especially other oils in the wood and spice families. Blending with citrus and mints is particularly uplifting. You could also mix cinnamon bark oil with the floral scents of ylang ylang or geranium for a ‘sexy time’ diffuser blend. Cinnamon bark essential oil is the perfect support at the change of season, freshening the air and providing immune support.