Cinnamon (Rou Gui)
Botanical Name: Cinnamomum verum, C. zeylancium, C. cassia
Cinnamon has a history as a spice, a food preservative, a medicine, an incense, and a gift considered worthy of the gods. In China, it is used successfully to treat many ailments due to Cold or Wind Cold Invasion or Stagnation. If you are suffering from Hot above and Cold below conditions, Cinnamon is the best herb for you.
Watch a short video, from Ann Christensen, Founder and Creator of White Rabbit Institute of Healing™ – Can You Use Cinnamon Every Day?
Remember to check with your doctor before trying new medicines or herbal remedies, especially if you are taking other medication where drug interactions are possible.
Below is an overview of cinnamon, combining the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of cinnamon.
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Also Known As: True Cinnamon, Cassia Bark, Sweet Cinnamon
Organs/Systems: Digestive, Cardiovascular, Immune, Respiratory
Key Actions: Excellent Antifungal and Antibacterial, Antiviral, Analgesic, Aromatic, Astringent, Hypotensive, Insect Repellent, Carminative, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Prebiotic, Antidiabetic
Medicinal Uses: Arthritis, bloating, cancer, colds and flu, sore throats, boost immunity, HIV, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease, diabetes, reduces blood pressure, improves circulation, lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels, lowers blood sugar, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, morning sickness, vomiting.
Also Known As: Kuei Pi
Meridians: Heart, Kidney, Liver, Spleen
Key Actions: Warms the Kidneys, Tonifies Yang, Tonifies Spleen Yang, Floating Deficient Yang, Disperses Deep Cold, Warms the Meridians, Alleviates Pain, Helps Nourish Qi and Blood
Medicinal Uses: Aversion to cold, weak low back, frequent urination, poor appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, colds and flu, sore throats, wheezing due to Kidney Yang not grasping Lung Qi, red face, wheezing, severe sweating (like oil), weak and cold lower extremities, deep Cold causing pain and Qi or Blood stagnation, including amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, Yin type boils, used in Qi and Blood tonics as an auxiliary herb to treat chronic deficiency of Qi and Blood, asthma, dizziness, weak knees, joint pain, edema, skin infections, regulate blood sugar, regulate blood pressure.
All members of the genus Cinnamomum are in the family Lauraceae, the Laurel family of evergreen trees. The tree can grow as large as 20-30 feet high, with flowers that are small white, or yellow in panicles. The fruit is an oval berry like an acorn in its receptacle. It is bluish when ripe with white spots on it. It has a brown papery bark and leathery leaves.
Native to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Malabar Coast, and Burma. Grows best in almost pure sand. Prefers a sheltered place, with constant rain, heat, and equal temperatures.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Inner Bark, Essential Oil (Leaves and Buds also contain volatile oils)
Flavors/Temps: Acrid, Sweet, Hot
Caution: Considered safe, but be cautious during pregnancy as it is very stimulating. Used topically it can sting or cause boils.
Key Constituents: Volatile Oil (including Cinnamaldehyde, Transcinnamaldyhide), Polyphenols, Eugenol, Tannins, Resin, Mucilage, Trace Coumarin, Polysaccharides, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin K, Fiber, Potassium, Manganese, Zinc, Magnesium
History/Folklore: Used in ancient Egypt for embalming and added to food to prevent spoiling. The fragrant bark yields a golden yellow oil often used in sacred oils and incenses. During the bubonic plague, sponges were soaked in cinnamon and cloves and placed in sick rooms. Cinnamon was the most sought-after spice during the 15th and 16th centuries. Often used in China with ginger (Zingiber Officinale).
The Greeks used cinnamon to flavor wine, together with absinth. In the Bible, Moses was commanded to use both sweet cinnamon and cassia in the holy anointing oil. “Two hundred and fifty shekels of sweet cinnamon is the second ingredient in the holy anointing oil.” Exodus 30:23
It was offered on the specialized incense altar in the time when the tabernacle was located in the First and Second Jerusalem temples. Pliny mentions the spice trade for cinnamon that crossed the Red Sea as costing Rome 100 million sesterces a year.
Pliny the Elder also notes that 350 grams of cinnamon were equal to 5 kilograms of silver, or about 15 times the value of silver per weight. It is said that Emperor Nero burned a year’s worth of the city’s supply at the funeral of his wife Poppaea Sabina.
Throughout the Middle Ages, the source of cinnamon was a mystery to the Western World as for centuries the trade routes had been carefully protected by traders to maintain their monopolies on the supplies. Venetian traders held a monopoly on trading cinnamon to Europe. It was the disruption of the cinnamon trade that led to Europeans searching more widely for other routes to Asia.
There are two types of cinnamon, Cassia and Ceylon. Cassia is what is known as “regular” cinnamon and is commonly used in baked goods and as a culinary spice. Ceylon cinnamon is more expensive and is known as “true” cinnamon. It has a lighter and less bitter taste. Cassia cinnamon contains 7 to 8 mg per teaspoon of the compound coumarin, Ceylon cinnamon contains only trace amounts of coumarin, making it safer to use long-term and in larger doses. Ingesting large amounts of coumarin may cause liver toxicity or certain types of cancer.
Today Sri Lanka produces 80-90% of the world’s supply of C. serum. Other cinnamon is largely produced in Indonesia, China, India, and Vietnam. Cassia is the strong spicy cinnamon associated with cinnamon rolls and baked goods. Cinnamon can also be used in pickling. The finest grade of cinnamon is said to come from the youngest branches of trees at age 4-5 years old.
Cinnamon is good for treating upset stomachs including morning sickness, gas, vomiting, and diarrhea. A cup of cinnamon tea before dinner will stimulate digestion and help regulate blood sugar.
Guan Gui is cinnamon that has been taken from the inner bark of 6-7-year-old trees. It has less oil than the principal herb and is considered drier. It is most typically used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to Warm the Middle Burner and Dry Damp. It does not have the same Yang tonifying properties as regular cinnamon (Rou Gui). It is used in doses of 4.5-9g.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, besides cinnamon’s many attributes, it is also used to purify the Kidneys and help support Kidney Yang function. This means cinnamon can help treat low back pain, asthma, dizziness, and other functions associated with Kidney Yang.
Cinnamon is considered to be a symbol of healing, power, spirituality, success, passion, protection, psychic ability, and love. In Hebrew, the word cinnamon means “to erect or upright rolls,” indicating the sacred rolls of scripture and living the upright life as outlined in these sacred scrolls. The addition of cinnamon to the sacred oils brought passion and an uplifting of the spirit towards God and all things sacred.
In magic, cinnamon is associated with fire and the sun. Burned as incense it can help aid healing spells and heal in general. It is good to burn in a sick room to aid recovery.
For fragrance, the oil of the leaves, bark, or buds can be used. Used in potpourris, cinnamon will repel bugs and insects.
In classical times, four types of cinnamon were used: Cassia (Arabia and Ethiopia), True Cinnamon (Sri Lanka), Malabathrum (North India), and Serichatum (China).
A Gift for Gods
Cinnamon was so highly prized in ancient times that it was regarded as a gift fit for monarchs and even a god. There are records of such gifts recorded in the temple of Apollo at Miletus.
How to use Cinnamon (Rou Gui) and take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!
Find out how to safely use this powerful herb and get specific recipes you can make use of immediately. Dive deep into Eastern and Western perspectives about HOW and WHY this herb works. Includes uses, benefits, essential oils, gardening tips, and much, much more.
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