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The Spice of Life

Another foot of snow on the ground in my corner of the world. What else would you expect from the sweet state of Michigan? The shape of the land itself is in the form of winter apparel (a mitten). As for me, I live in the far north where it’s closer for you to go to the North Pole than it is the equator. We call it “life above the 45th parallel.” After emerging from my hibernation home, I stumbled back inside, cold to the bone. Quickly, while peeling off my wet clothes, I head straight for my oil shelf. The items I locate are a homemade lotion and a certain essential oil; cinnamon bark. First, I use the essential oil by putting several drops into my diffuser. The warm, spicy scent fills my senses and knocks off the initial chill from my core.


For aromatic use, cinnamon not only fills the air with a delightful smell, but the strong benefits are also essential to note. Diffusing cinnamon bark defends against that pesky cough from something as little as a common cold, to the serious pneumonia and even whooping cough.


The lotion is next. Last month, using cocoa butter as my base, I mixed a combination of essential oils together, creating a warming and effective lotion. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t dilute the lotion enough and it not only warms my skin, but slightly burns. I’ll do better next time. Take a page from my book friends, essential oils get stronger the longer they sit! Besides that, it is good to have a little peace of mind knowing that the cinnamon oil is providing me with antibacterial and antifungal effects. (Recommend dilution rate for cinnamon bark essential oil ranges from 0.1-0.5% depending on the project.)


Next, with a spicy smell in the air and the chill of winter off my skin, it’s time for some hot treats. As stated before, I’m from the north and in the north, we’re crazy about our apples. In this particular case, it’s applesauce that takes the spotlight. During the harvest season, my family canned fresh applesauce. I look forward to this treat during the cold winter months. A bowl of hot, chunky, thick applesauce can warm a belly like no other. By now I’ll bet you can guess what the key spice in my applesauce is - cinnamon. Upon taking my first bite, a burst of comfort invades my senses, and the feeling lasts until I have finished eating and the bowl is empty.


Along with the health benefits for taking cinnamon I mentioned before, other benefits include, an increase in circulation, a decrease in hypertension (high blood pressure), and lower cholesterol. Cinnamon has been known to aid in the fat burning process, and is even a supporter of good digestive health. The sweet spice is a natural anti-inflammatory (perfect for relaxation of the body before sleep) and loaded with antioxidants (boosting your immunity). In addition to many other benefits that I’m certainly missing, according to the national library of medicine, cinnamon has been “reported to have activities against neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease”.


Personally, the main reason I use cinnamon on a daily basis is to help chase the seemingly elusive dream I call, “staying warm.” It’s the perfect spice that nearly everyone has in their kitchen. Cinnamon pairs wonderfully with coffee and hot chocolate! As for topical use, remember to dilute the essential oil well in an oil based substance (unless you want to feel the burn). NEVER dilute any essential oil with water. In light of all this information, don’t let anyone convince you that you shouldn’t have that enormous cinnamon roll from the Cinnabon bakery. Finally, stay warm on these cold nights!


Check out some of these other great cinnamon recipes below!


About Me:

Hello, my name is Shannon. I joined the team at FireKeepers International as a volunteer in 2023. In 2014, I began the Master Herbalist program at Trinity School of Natural Health and completed the program in September of 2017. Since then, my main studies have been biblical truths, astronomy and the Hebrew language. I am a born and raised "Michigander", currently living in one of Northern Michigan's beautiful national forests. When I'm not keeping busy with the homestead, you can find me out in nature or hibernating in my cabin.


Links and Resources:

1.         P. V. Rao and S. H. Gan

National library of medicine. 2014


 2.         BBC Good Food

Williams, Jo – Registered nutritionist

March 16, 2023 at 10:41 AM

3.         Higley, Connie. Reference Guide For Essential Oils. Abundant Health (January 1, 2014)

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Thank you Shannon for the wonderful tip on cinnamon it’s going to help me a lot on my trip to get healthier reducing blood pressure and cholesterol

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