Anti-Biotic and Anti-Fungal (Anti-Microbial) Properties of Cinnamon
Plant oils and other extractions have been used throughout the evolution by humans for reasons such as food preservation, alternate medicine, and culinary aids. Since then plant extracts have come a long way and while they satisfy their original purpose, they have also gifted human kind with far more advanced benefits as well. One such plant is the Cinnamon plant. It is a native plant of the tropical islands and this is also considered a herb and a spice traditionally used by many ancient cultures. The bark is dried and used in many occasions and cinnamon oil is also quite popular. The bark possesses a strong but pleasant aroma as well as a distinct taste.
Cinnamon possesses various important qualities and this report is focusing on two main qualities which are beneficial in many ways. There are various plants and animals that posses anti bacterial properties. A very prominent example would be honey which is commonly used for and immensely popular as a medicine as well. Cinnamon is also of no difference. The fact that Cinnamon has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties has given it huge prominence among its fellow herbs. Its bark as well as its oil is both used to satisfy many anti-bacterial and anti-fungal requirements.
Attributes of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is said to be active against “Candida Albicans” a fungus which is responsible for yeast infections 1. This has become a commonly used home remedy among many people due to this reason. Also an experiment was done using different types of slices of bread and these were subjected to dangerous aflatoxins which are so dangerous that they cause liver cancer and kill humans as well as animals. One slice, which was previously treated with twenty milligrams of cinnamon showed no sign of viral growth at all; hence showing the strong anti fungal property of cinnamon. Another main research was done at the University of Illinois Chicago and that has proven that Cinnamon flavoured chewing-gum has a strong anti bacterial effect in the mouth and can negate bad breath 2. This is the same for various similar products such as cinnamon toothpicks.
Cinnamon oil is distilled from the bark / leaf of the cinnamon tree itself and has been used against infections due to its high anti microbial and anti bacterial properties. Cinnamon oil is capable of killing various bacterial pathogens3. And according to their observations, cinnamon oil appears to be as effective as several antiseptics and has found use in many hospitals a a disinfectant.
Further, a German study has proven that cinnamon completely suppresses the cause of most urinary tract infections1.
Prabuseenivasan and Jayakumar (2006) 4, describes the anti bacterial activity of some plant oils and various essential oils. Cinnamon, citronella, clove, mint, lime, orange and lemon, were used and tested for antibacterial activity and cinnamon oil was one of the few which satisfied all their criteria. The research further explained some of the uses of cinnamon as a germicide, which is used internally in typhoid fever and in the treatment of cancer and other microbial diseases. It is also said to be used as an antiseptic. Further studies with regard to cinnamon extracts against food borne pathogens and foliage micro organisms by Lopez, p, et al, (2009) has proven that the highest anti bacterial activity was found for cloves and cinnamon against most of the bacterial cocktails and they have further concluded that use of cinnamon essential oil can provide an adequate degree of protection against food borne pathogens to a certain extent due to its anti-bacterial quality.
Bari et al, (2009) has proven the fact noted previously about cinnamon possessing anti-bacterial properties. A detailed article of cinnamon by Stuart, A, (2005) has included his key findings with regard to the benefits of cinnamon. They are listed as follows:
1. Can be treated externally as a poultice to treat minor bacterial and fungal infections on the skin.
2. Some of the plant constituents have proven value against bacteria and fungi, including the moulds that produce the carcinogenic aflatoxins.
3. Its essential oil contains both antifungal and antibacterial principles that can be used to prevent food spoilage due to bacterial contamination.
In conclusion and by studying the results and research taken into example, it is evident that the cinnamon plant; in any form processes highly beneficial qualities. It’s antibacterial and anti fungal aspects can be taken as two of the major benefits that can be used with minimum cost and maximum effectiveness. The studies and articles cited in the report have proven these qualities beyond a doubt and it is evident that cinnamon is ready to fulfil a new objective apart from being just a regular household spice.
- www.herbwisdom.com (2009) Cinnamon Benefits,(online), Available: http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-cinnamon.html (20th September 2009)
- www.naturalnews.com, (2009), Cinnamon gum found to kill bacteria in the mouth; medicinal use of cinnamon herb is widespread, (online), Available: http://www.naturalnews.com/001074.html (20th September 2009)
- www.biojobblog.com, (2009), Cinnamon oil; a new antibacterial? (Online), Available: http://www.biojobblog.com/2009/09/articles/odds-n-ends/cinnamon-oil-a-new-antibacterial/ (20th September 2009)
- Seenivasan P, Manickkam J & Savarimuthu I, (2006). BMC complementary & alternative medicine; antibacterial activity of some plant essential oils. (Online), Available: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/6/39 (20th September 2009)
- Lopez P, Sanchez C, Batlle R, Nerin C, 2005. Solid- and vapor-phase antimicrobial activities of six essential oils: susceptibility of selected foodborne Bacterial and fungal strains.
- Bari,L , Hoque, M,M,.Inatsu, Y,. Kawamoto, S. ( N.d). Antibacterial activity of cloves & cinnamon extracts against food borne Pathogens & spoilage microorganisms.