8 Strange Uses for Cinnamon
By Susan Patterson
Cinnamon has a sweet and spicy aroma that conjures up a distinct mixture of exoticism and familiarity, perhaps because it comes from the Far East. It also has a fabulous flavor and often brings pleasant memories of apple pies and holiday fun. The Bible even mentions it as a “choice spice,” while the Egyptians recorded their extensive use of it in Ebers Papyrus, a medical text dating to around 1550 BC.
Cinnamon is not only great for baking and adding a wonderful scent to candles and the like, but it’s long been used in Ayurvedic medicine as an antimicrobial substance, for treating a wide range of conditions, including diabetes, headaches, malaria, menopausal problems, digestive issues, sinus congestion, intestinal infections and gynecological disorders and more.
This wonderful spice also has quite a few rather interesting uses you probably aren’t familiar with.
If you want to highlight those fabulous cheekbones without spending an arm and a leg on a pricey cosmetic, you can use cinnamon to make a great homemade bronzer. There are no measurements, as you’ll need to customize the amounts according to your particular skin and the color that best suits you. Use more cornstarch for a lighter shade, and more cocoa powder for a darker shade. Combine cinnamon, cocoa powder, and cornstarch, and then add plain, unscented lotion. Mix well and store in a lidded jar.
Fight Off Bacteria
Researchers from Kansas City University demonstrated that cinnamon is effective for fighting bacteria, including salmonella and campylobacter after experts performed tests on unpasteurized apple juice. They discovered that just a teaspoon of the space added to the juice managed to kill 99.5 percent of the bacteria within three days. When adding spices to raw ground beef and sausage, they found that cinnamon, along with cloves and garlic were the most potent when it came to killing off E.coli.
As these bacteria are known to cause intestinal infections, you can use cinnamon to fight them off. Add cinnamon to all sorts of foods and beverages, including your morning coffee and in smoothies, and drink cinnamon tea as well. To make a tea, boil eight ounces water and then add one teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Allow it to continue to boil for one minute and then remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to sit for 8 to 10 minutes before drinking.
Stimulate Hair Growth
Cinnamon can even make your hair grow faster when combined with honey. It stimulates the scalp as well as increasing hair growth. It’s believed to work as the cinnamon helps to improve blood circulation in the scalp which in turn improves the flow of nutrient-rich blood to the hair follicles.
To use cinnamon for this purpose, combine a tablespoon each of cinnamon and raw, organic honey. Once the ingredients are thoroughly combined, add about one cup extra-virgin olive oil to form a paste-like consistency. Use a comb so that you can move your hair out of the way and apply a generous layer of the mixture onto your scalp. Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes and then shampoo and condition as you normally would.
Halt a Cough and Ease Congestion
Cinnamon is considered a warming expectorant and is highly effective for reducing congestion and phlegm in the lungs, which can help to halt a cough in its tracks. Combined with other ingredients, including other spices, raw honey, and apple cider vinegar, creates an especially powerful elixir that may be even more potent than a commercial cough medicine.
Here’s how to make this outstanding natural cough elixir.
1 tbsp raw, organic and unfiltered, apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp filtered water
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 garlic clove, grated
1 tbsp raw, organic honey
A small glass jar with a lid
Melt the honey by placing it in a small glass bowl. Put the bowl into a larger container filled with hot water. Don’t melt it on the stovetop or in the microwave.
In the small glass jar, add the apple cider vinegar and water, and then the cayenne pepper, ginger, cinnamon, and garlic. Place the lid on the jar and shake vigorously until well-combined.
Add the melted honey to the jar and shake again to combine.
When you’re ready to use it, take one to two tablespoons. If it’s used within three days, there’s no need for refrigeration.
Get Rid of Ants
Instead of using toxic, chemical-filled sprays or other chemical repellents to fight off an ant problem, you can use cinnamon. All you have to do is sprinkle it across and around areas you notice them invading, including in cracks, crevices, and windowsills. When they run into it, they turn around and head the other way. Plus, it makes your home smell great all day. Another option is to dip cotton balls into cinnamon essential oil and then strategically place them around your house. Either option is believed to disrupt the pheromone trail that the insects rely on to navigate.
Take a Cinnamon Detox Bath
If you’ve recently been ill or are dealing with an illness now, soaking in a cinnamon bath can help warm the body, relieve congestion and act as a detox. A cinnamon bath is something that’s been used for centuries as a part of spiritual purification in many cultural traditions for eliminating toxins in the body, helping to cleanse, invigorate and even lift one’s mood. On a cold day, it’s a fabulous way to help fight the chill.
You can use either ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks. Place three cinnamon sticks into a running bath, or use about one-quarter of ground cinnamon placed into a cheesecloth and then drop it into the warm water.
Eliminate Scratches and Scuffs
While it may seem impossible to get rid of scratches and scuffs on wood furniture, cinnamon can help. Just rub a pinch of ground cinnamon onto the affected area, and watch it disappear.
Make Learning Easier
The smell of cinnamon can even be used to help boost your memory and cognitive function. When you’re learning a new language or another skill or studying for a test, sip cinnamon tea by following the recipe noted earlier, or keep a little bottle of cinnamon essential with you and occasionally take a good whiff.