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Monday, 23 July 2012

Ayurvedic Herb - "Cinnamon"

Cinnamon bark is often used in ayurvedic herbal preparations to enhance the effect of other herbs. It is a warming spice, and contributes the sweet, pungent and bitter tastes. It is excellent for pacifying Kapha and good for balancing Vata also. Individuals trying to balance Pitta can also consume cinnamon, but in relatively smaller quantities.
In ayurveda, cinnamon is used to balance the digestion and to pacify stomach disorders. Combined with other warming herbs and spices like ginger and black pepper, it can be boiled into a herbal tea to soothe discomfort associated with colds. Its oil is used to pacify headaches and keep joints healthy.
Cinnamon is a very aromatic herb and is widely used to spice desserts and sweet dishes in the west. In Indian cooking, it is used to spice rich rice and vegetable dishes. The sticks are used to decorate rice dishes.
Cinnamon combines well with many other spices, including ginger, cloves, black pepper, paprika, saffron and nutmeg. Sauté cinnamon in ghee and add to desserts such as rice pudding or pie mixtures. A pinch can flavor nut-fruit milkshakes.
It's one of the oldest known spices and it's the bark of the cinnamon tree that is dried and rolled into sticks, which is also called quills. The characteristic flavour and aroma of cinnamon comes from a compound in the essential oil of the bark called cinnamonaldehyde.

Cinnamon Uses and Actions:
Locally: It acts as stimulant and analgesic. Mouth refresher and gives strength to gums. Hence, a piece of its bark should be chewed to stop vomiting and nausea. A swab made in its oil be held between teeth for dental caries. A thin paste should be applied to the skin in skin diseases. Application of oil cleanses and heals a tubercular ulcer.

Use in various diseases -
Digestive system-Being fire stimulant, ama digestive, anti-dyspepsia and vata onward movement propogator due to its bitter,pungent tastes and hot potency, it should be used to treat heaviness in stomach, abdominal pain, pricking pain in abdomen and dyspepsia. Its powder be used in diarrhea , colitis, sprue. Trijata [tvak, ela, tamalpatra] be used to treat abdominal colic, low fire.Should be used in enteric fever being anti microbial.
Water system - Its hot infusion be used in ama induced excessive thirst. Its piece be chewed in Pitta fever in the presence of dryness of throat.
Respiratory system - It eliminates Kapha due to pungent , bitter tastes and rough, light , hot and penetrating qualities. It liquifies Kapha and absorbs remaining kapha. Cinnamic acid contained in it has an antitubercular activity. Hence, its powder or oil should be used in cough, asthama and tuberculosis. A decoction made of shunthi, tvak and dhanyaka be used in cold, cough, headache and vatakapha fever. Kapha accumulated in respiratory tract causes obstruction to the movement of udanavayu. Obstruction in the rasa channel prevents adequate nutrition of respiratory channel. Tvak removes obstruction in channels by eliminating phlegm.
Circulatory system - It purifies blood due to its bitter taste and nourishes rasa, rakta due to its sweet taste. Being cardiac stimulant and oja increasing, it should be used in cardiac weakness, blood dyscrasias and infective diseases of the respiratory tract.
Reproductive system- Should be used in atonic uterus, in amenorrhea.erectile dysfunction.

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