Cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum verum, C. zeylanicum, C. cassia) is harvested from a variety of evergreen tree that is native to Sri Lanka, China, and India. The use of cinnamon dates back thousands of years (2700 B.C.E). Chinese herbalists mentioned it as a treatment for fever, diarrhea, and menstrual problems. Indian Ayurvedic healers used it in a similar manner.
Cinnamon bark extract is a common ingredient in many products such as toothpaste, mouthwash, perfume, soap, cough syrup, and cola drinks. Apart from its use as a flavoring agent, it is also valuable in the treatment of various ailments. Modern herbalists prescribe cinnamon bark extract as a remedy for nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and indigestion.
The active ingredients of the bark have antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, antispasmodic, and antifungal properties. Multiple studies, including a study in 2013 and published in the Journal of Food Science have indicated that oil from cinnamon bark inhibits the production of listeriolysin, a protein released by both Listeria and Salmonella bacteria, showing its potential to prevent the spread of foodborne illness thus qualifying itself as a natural food preservative. Japanese research has shown that cinnamaldehyde, one of the constituents of cinnamon bark, is a sedative and analgesic. Eugenol, another component, contains pain-relieving qualities.
Cinnamon bark is helpful in strengthening and supporting a weak digestive system. Research indicates that cinnamon bark breaks down fats in the digestive system, making it a valuable digestive aid.