Mentioned several times in the Bible, and in ancient Chinese writings, the fragrant spice known as cinnamon has been enchanting civilizations across the world. Originally from Sri Lanka, cinnamon is derived from the inner bark of the cinnamon tree (part of the Evergreen family). Cinnamon sticks, as we know them today, are pieces of the dried bark which naturally curls under heat. These are then kept as sticks, or ground down into the powdery substance that most people use today.
The history of this well-traveled spice is quite colorful. Those in ancient Egypt and Rome would use cinnamon for its sublime taste in various cuisines, and as incense. It was also used for the embalming process during mummification, and taken medicinally. The Romans would burn cinnamon as part of a funeral pyre, or in honor of the recently deceased. During the Middle Ages, only the very elite could afford the spice, as most seasonings of that time where exorbitantly expensive. Cinnamon was also valued for its preservative qualities when applied to meat, due to phenols which inhibit bacteria growth responsible for spoilage. The fragrant aroma of cinnamon also helped to mask the stench of aged meat.
Cinnamon has many health benefits. In addition to being a viable source of fiber, calcium, magnesium and iron, this natural substance can also lower cholesterol, aid in weight loss, and regulate blood sugar. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, use of cinnamon has been shown to suppress the growth of lymphoma and leukemia cancer cells.
From a feng shui perspective, cinnamon is very yin in essence, as are most spices. Because it is more sweet than savory, its nature is even more yin than other seasonings. As for the elemental connection, it has strong wood element, as it’s quite literally tree bark. Its comforting brown hue is an example of the earth element. I also feel that cinnamon has a bit of fire attached to it as well, as it conjures a natural warmth on the tastes buds.
Cinnamon has also been used throughout time as an aphrodisiac. For both men and women, the use of cinnamon as part of one’s regular diet has been shown to naturally increase sex drive, due to its ability to enhance blood circulation, gently heating up the body from the inside. According to a study performed by the The Smell & Taste Research Foundation, located in Chicago, of the over two hundred scents tested on men, Cinnamon was the victor in causing and sustaining male arousal. In feng shui terms, this makes complete sense. Passion, romance, and sex are all controlled by the fire element. The wood element feeds fire. Cinnamon is wood, and therefore the use of this wooden spice assists in feeding the flames of passion.
There are many ways to add cinnamon to one’s way of living. Below are the ones I personally use:
- Sprinkle some on Hot Cocoa.
- Sprinkle some on Vanilla Yogurt or Apple Sauce.
- Add it to your Coffee! Not only do I sprinkle it on top, but I mix a tablespoon of cinnamon in with the coffee grounds, when making a full pot. It tastes sensational.
- Cinnamon Toast. I spread coconut oil over my toast, sprinkle cinnamon, and spread it all around. Delicious and satisfying.
- Aromatherapy. Light cinnamon scented candles to heighten the romantic mood. These are available from a variety of distributors, but the best time to buy this scent of candle is after the winter holidays; they’ll usually be on sale.
- Mulled Wine and Sangria. Whole cinnamon sticks are a great enhancement during autumn and winter. Allow the stick to just lounge about the glass within the beverage; this adds a festive enticement to both beverages. (This can work for other drinks as well)
- Add to anything Pumpkin or Sweet Potato related.
And some other things I haven’t tried, but am going to:
- Sprinkle some on Oatmeal.
- Enchilada Sauce. Add a teaspoon or two to canned (or fresh) enchilada sauce while it’s on the stove. It adds a little mole flare to it.
- Honey Tea. One part cinnamon to two parts honey, combined in hot water, makes a delicious, healthy tea. A tea bag could also be added for further flavor.
- Essential Oil. Cinnamon scented oil is another way to influence a room’s chi and scent.
- Cinnamon Buns. Cinnamon buns are one of the best breakfast foods after a night of romantic bliss. Those Cinnabon people are quite clever.
- Sprinkle on top of Roasts, be it ham, pork, or lamb.
- Lotion. Various lotions and massage oils on the market today are cinnamon scented. I need to purchase some.
Another way of using Cinnamon goes all the way back to biblical times – literally. Proverb 7:17 is about a seductress luring a man to bed. It indicates that the woman in question used cinnamon, myrrh, and aloe to “perfume” her chamber. Aloe has a sweet, woody aroma, whereas myrrh has a very distinct, nutty scent. Combining these two with enticing cinnamon, and you have an ideal olfactory recipe for creating a deeply sensual environment. Try adding some more cinnamon to your world, and you may notice a very definite increase in passion…