Cinnamon isnít only a tasty addition to pumpkin pies and sticky buns! Mentions of the healing properties of this sweet spice go back several thousand years: the ancient Chinese and Egyptians used it extensively, and it is mentioned in the Old Testament. Those ancient wise ones certainly knew a thing or two: cinnamon has many healing and aromatherapy benefits. Today, we can use cinnamon in many ways to keep our homes smelling and feeling sweet.
Find out some of the fascinating ways you can use cinnamon, and what makes it so effective, here:
Cinnamon makes one feel warm, safe, and protected. Wise Ones relied on the scent of cinnamon to promote contented and uplifted feelings.
For the scientifically-inclined:
Terpenoids are some of the healing compounds in cinnamon. One of these, cinnamaldehyde, is a potent antifungal and antimicrobial agent. And the diterpenes in the spice are thought to be anti-allergic.
Here are a few ways you can put cinnamon to use in your home:
1. Stovetop simmering potpourri. Place a pot of water or cider on the stove and add 1 to 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon. Simmer, replacing liquid a necessary. This lovely stovetop potpourri banishes odors and replaces them with a deliciously homey fragrance.
2. Dry potpourri booster. Sprinkle a few drops of essential oil of cinnamon on any dry potpourri and place in a shallow bowl on a radiator, on top of the fridge, or where there is apt to be some walk-through traffic.
3. Easiest room freshener. A dish of ground cinnamon will fill the surrounding area with a sweet scent.
4. Lightbulb diffuser. Place a drop of essential oil of cinnamon on a cool lightbulb. When you turn on the lamp, the scent will be gently diffused throughout the room.
5. Room spray. Combine a few drops of essential oil of cinnamon with water or vodka and spritz the mixture in any room to dispel germs and odors.
6. Kitchen incense. Sprinkle a few grains of ground cinnamon on your electric stovetop burner. When you turn the burner on, the lovely scent of burning cinnamon will waft through the kitchen.
7. Homey trick for candles. Apply a few drops of essential oil of cinnamon to any beeswax taper or other candle before you burn it.
8. Sweet decoration. Anchor several cinnamon sticks in whole cloves or dried cranberries in a glass: this makes a pretty and sweet-smelling decorative element.
9. Holiday garland. You can string cinnamon sticks with dried cranberries and bay leaves to make a fragrant and attractive garland that will last for decades.
10. Pure and easy incense. Place a mound of ground cinnamon in an ashtray or other heatproof container. Light with a match.
11. Moth Repellent Sachets. Break 4 cinnamon sticks and combine with 1/2 cup of whole cloves and 1/2 cup whole black peppercorns. Fill small squares of fabric with a tablespoon of this mixture, tie shut, and hang in your closets.
12. Bay Rum and Cinnamon Aftershave. Not only does this have a delightful spicy scent, it also has antibacterial properties, and the cinnamon helps stop bleeding from little nicks and cuts.
Fill a screw-top jar with dried bay leaves. Add 2 broken cinnamon sticks and 1 tablespoon of cloves. Pour in enough dark rum to cover the herbs, and let this mixture steep for 14 days or longer, shaking it daily. Stain through a sieve and coffee filter, bottle the liquid, and use a splash of it after shaving.
By Cait Johnson, Assistant Producer, Care2 Healthy Living Channels.