Processing and Uses of Cinnamon

Processing and Uses of Cinnamon

Thursday - 13/06/2024 10:57
Cinnamon, scientifically known as Cinnamomum loureirii Nees; belongs to the Lauraceae family. It is one of the four precious medicines in traditional Eastern medicine (ginseng - velvet antler - cinnamon - supplementary). It is a large tree, reaching heights of 10 - 20m, with cracked outer bark and multiple branching stems.
The tree grows wild in forests or is cultivated from seeds or stem cuttings, with harvesting possible after 5 years, but the bark is best harvested after 20 - 30 years. Bark is easier to peel in April - May or September - October, as this is when cinnamon resin is most abundant.

All parts of the cinnamon tree can be used as medicine, with different parts having different effects and various methods of usage. From herbal extracts, alcohol infusions, medicated plasters, to herbal sachets. Cinnamon is applied in the prevention and treatment of diabetes, reducing the risk of heart disease, strong anti-inflammatory properties, protecting the brain from memory loss and cognitive decline, preventing cancer, acne, eliminating bad breath, beneficial for the skin... Many tonic recipes, treating infertility - sterility in both men and women, use cinnamon.

1. Processing and Preservation:
Soak cinnamon bark in water for 1 day, then rinse thoroughly and place in a tight bamboo basket, surrounded by banana leaves for about 3 - 7 days before removing and drying in a cool place. Harvest cinnamon branches in summer and air-dry them. Leaves and bark are used to extract essential oils.

Cinnamon has a fragrant aroma, sweet and spicy taste, warm nature, slightly toxic, entirely masculine, entering the kidney and bladder meridians. Main functions: rescues original yang energy that has been cold for a long time, warms the spleen for conditions of deficient cold, inhibits pathogens, clears lung qi, nourishes the five organs, treats injuries, strengthens bones and muscles, enhances sexual function, nourishes the spirit, regulates blood circulation, treats abdominal pain, nourishes the essence, warms the lower back and knees, treats numbness, cough, nasal congestion, brightens the eyes, harmonizes complexion, and promotes circulation throughout the meridians.

- Processing method: avoid direct heat, as exposure to high heat diminishes its effectiveness; when used, peel and chop the bark finely, otherwise, its essence will be lost; if used as a tonic medicine to enhance efficacy, it should be cooked together with other herbs; if used as a blood tonic, it should be added after the decoction is finished, boiled again for a few moments, then consumed.

2. Uses of Different Parts:
- Cinnamon Bark (Bark peeled from the trunk, large and thick branches): This part is often compared to the father. Regarding the father: it has both spicy and bitter flavors, so its function is concentrated downward, penetrating inside to rescue the yang within the yin, being the medicine of the lower yin and upper yang. Cinnamon bark has a sweet and spicy aroma, which can ascend upwards, reaching the surface, rescuing the yang within the yin, it is also the medicine for promoting the flow of vital energy and blood after childbirth. Therefore, to completely replenish and strengthen the central qi of the lower yin and upper yang, one may use both, or use ginseng and cinnamon as the main components, with velvet antler as the assistant component, as in the Eight Treasures Pill, which contains both cinnamon and velvet antler; Ginseng Pill with Velvet Antler, Velvet Antler Pill, and Ginseng Combination Pill do not use cinnamon bark in this way.

If you want to warm the center and dispel coldness, regulate blood circulation, and promote the distribution of energy and blood to the surface while using tonic herbs to nourish the blood, you can only use cinnamon bark to assist, such as in the Moistening Ginseng Decoction, Great Complete Tonic Decoction, and Ginseng Nourishing Vitality Decoction, without using cinnamon bark in this way.

- Cinnamon Twig (Small, curved cinnamon branches are called cinnamon twig, medium-sized branches are called cinnamon twigs): Spicy taste, warm and light nature, slightly toxic, can ascend upwards, being masculine, entering the bladder and gallbladder meridians. Used to treat weak taste, light body, rising heat in the face, abdominal pain, dispel external cold, regulate nutrition, superficial skin disorders, relieve numbness of hands and feet, dispel wind-cold, promote circulation; if there is no sweating, it promotes sweating, if there is sweating, it stops sweating.

In the manuscript, it says cinnamon can generate sweat, but the famous physician Trương Trọng Cảnh treats cold injuries with cinnamon when there is sweating, and advises against using cinnamon twig without sweating; if there is profuse sweating, use cinnamon twig with licorice decoction, which is to use cinnamon to inhibit sweating, a medicine used in two ways.

- Cinnamon Heartwood (Cinnamon bark is called cinnamon heartwood. Remove the rough outer bark of cinnamon bark, and the inner layer is called cinnamon heartwood): Sweet taste, cool nature, is a tonic medicine within masculine drugs, its function is to nourish the blood in the heart; main uses: treat blood stasis, postpartum abdominal pain, prevent blood stagnation, vomiting blood, promote blood circulation,...; treat postpartum blood stagnation, when the blood and energy do not disperse, accumulate into a lump in the upper stomach, sensation of cold and heat, weak arms and legs.
 Tags: Cinnamon

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