Cinnamon Essential Oil

Cinnamon Essential Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

cinnamon-oil-logoGreener Life Diamond – Bio-Healthy Score => 3 – Possible Skin Issues:

Maximum dermal use level: 0.07%

The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) recommends that Cinnamaldehyde (the chief constituent of Cinnamon Bark oil) be limited to 0.05% (about 1 drops per 3 ounces of any other carrier oils) for leave-on products like ointments, creams, and lotions. Since Cinnamon Bark oil is approximately 75% Cinnamaldehyde, the recommended maximum for Cinnamon Bark oil is 0.07% (approximately 1 drop in 2 ounces of any other carrier oils). There is no restriction for body washes, shampoos, soaps, and other wash-off products because the oil does not remain on the skin.

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Although it is an indispensable spice and herbal remedy, Cinnamon is reported for negative effects including possible skin issues like allergic reactions, irritation of the skin, stimulating menstruation, contracting the uterine muscles, skin sensitization, dermatitis and burning sensation.

It is highly advisable to avoid Cinnamon oil during pregnancy as it may shrivel the uterine muscles, cause indigestion, pain in the abdomen, contribute to premature labor and is completely unsafe for the development of the fetus.

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The major chemical components that are in charge for the potential skin problems and other adverse health conditions of Cinnamon oil are Cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid and cinnamyl alcohol. It may cause a burning sensation or irritation on the engaged parts when used in the form of skin care, oral hygiene (toothpastes and mouthwashes) and pain relieving products including ointments and rubs.

Cinnamon oil, with the presence of these constituents is said to cause subchronic and severe toxicity, when used beyond the prescribed level of use. The maximum recommended usage level of Cinnamaldehyde by The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) is 0.05%.

Though Cinnamon has GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) status, The Council of Europe has fixed an ADI of 1.25mg/kg for Cinnamaldehyde, which is the same as an adult dosage of 115 mg of Cinnamon bark oil.

According to the Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products (SCCNFP) the presence of Cinnamaldehyde in any ready to use products should not surpass 0.1%.

Essential oils are recommended only for dermal application and never ingest Cinnamon oil as it may cause toxic effects on the liver (hepatotoxic), kidney (nephrotoxicity) and the entire system. Diluted Cinnamon oil in appropriate carrier oils is prescribed safe and concentrated use may cause chronic allergies, irritation, dermatitis and chronic sensitization.

Studies report severe burns in people due to the skin contact of undiluted Cinnamon oil and is commonly related to burning sensation in the skin, mouth, mucous membrane stomach and chest , intermittent blistering, nausea, dizziness and sensitization accounted to the presence of Cinnamaldehyde. This also applies to the use of Cinnamon oil in vapor therapy and dermal application.

Cinnamon oil is said to have mild phototoxic effects, control platelet aggregation (Do not use Cinnamon oil if you are taking anticoagulant and anti-diabetic medications). It may cause reproductive toxicity (when tested on pregnant mice, it decreased the count of nuclei and modified the embryo distribution).

Always do a patch test before using Cinnamon oil on your skin.

Reference Links Substantiating Possible Skin Issues of Cinnamon Oil:

  1. Cinnamon: An Imperative Spice For Human Comfort by Raaz K Maheshwari, AK Chauhan, Ayushi Gupta, Shobha Sharma published in The International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research and Bio-Science
  2. Cinnamon: Mystic Powers of a Minute Ingredient by Pallavi Kawatra and Rathai Rajagopalan, published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy Research
  3. Medicinal Properties of ‘True’ Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylancium): A Systematic Review by The Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, published in Bio Med Central, Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  4. A toxicologic and dermatologic assessment of cinnamyl alcohol, cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid when used as fragrance ingredients by The RIFM expert panel, published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology
  5. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  6. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed.

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Cinnamon Supplement: Alternative Medicine for a Healthy Body (Health Collection) by William Wagner
  2. Natural Cinnamon And Honey Cures: Cinnamon Health Benefits, Cures, Remedies, Treatments and Recipes. Boost Energy, Control Diabetes, Cure Arthritis, Prevent Alzheimer’s, Colds, even Weight Loss! by Patricia Gardner
  3. Cinnamon Oil Aromatherapy (Group 3 Card 9) by Alternative Therapies
  4. God’s Healing Herbs by Dennis Ellingson
  5. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  6. Essential Oil Safety, Second Edition by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young

Reference Links:

  1. Cinnamon by Wikipedia
  2. Choosing the right Cinnamon by Dr. Fuhrman
  3. Cinnamon plant profile by Sacred Earth (Ethnobotany and Ecotravel)
  4. Effects of Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon) on blood glucose and lipids in a diabetic and healthy rat model by Priyanga Ranasinghe, Sanja Perera, Mangala Gunatilake,1 Eranga Abeywardene, Nuwan Gunapala, Sirimal Premakumara,Kamal Perera, Dilani Lokuhetty,and Prasad Katulanda, Diabetes Research Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
  5. Medicinal properties of ‘true’ cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum): a systematic review by Department of Pharmacology, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

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