What is Cinnamon Bark Oil?

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  • Written By: Mandi R. Hall
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 21 October 2019
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Cinnamon bark oil is also known as cinnamon essential oil. It is quite aromatic, with a sweet, spicy scent. The oil is prepared in three major steps: pressing, macerating, and distillation. It may be used for aromatherapy, though medicinal and flavorful properties are also associated with it. Though it may be purchased in bulk, most such volatile oils are purchased in small quantities. Essential oils are very concentrated and needn’t be used in large quantities.

Cinnamon essential oil is produced by first firmly pressing and hammering the cinnamon bark. Once the bark is more malleable, it is placed in a bath of seawater and left to soften. It is then ready for distillation, which is a popular process for producing volatile oils. The unrefined cinnamon bark is essentially steamed and funneled into a chamber. The liquid that remains is the cinnamon bark oil.

The spice is originally found within the bark of trees in the Cinnamomum plant family. It is one of the oldest known spices, as it was mentioned in the Bible several times. Historically, the product was exceedingly sought after, due to its seemingly mysterious origin and whereabouts. Native to southern Asia, cinnamon bark and its corresponding essential oil are now sold internationally.


Cinnamon is one of the most popular spices used for both baking and cooking. It has spicy and sweet properties, rendering it useful in an abundance of recipes ranging from dinner to dessert to mixed alcoholic beverages. When is used in foods, this oil should be used sparingly. The essence and aromatic properties can improve a dish as much as the actual spice can.

When raw, a piece of cinnamon bark looks like a brown twig of average color. Up close, it looks like a thinly rolled cigar. These are the pieces that are left to macerate before the distillation process. The oil itself may be clear, or it may be a murky yellow color.

The aroma of cinnamon is often comforting and reminiscent of autumn and winter. Many people choose to diffuse essential cinnamon oil throughout their home during the Christmas holidays. When gently heated over a tea light, for example, cinnamon bark oil adds an aromatic ambiance to a home.

Like so many other essential oils, cinnamon bark oil is used as an alternative medicine treatment for a cold. It is also known to aid digestion, as well as other bodily functions. Not all therapies using cinnamon bark oil have been tested, however, and caution should be used. When used sparingly and in correct dosages, cinnamon and cinnamon bark oil are known to be chock-full of antioxidants.

Cinnamon bark oil also has antibacterial properties. When used improperly, however, the oil itself may be toxic. A physician should be contacted before beginning any self-medicating routine.


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