Friday, July 24, 2020

13 Essential Herbs Series: Cinnamon

In this series, I will be exploring 13 common herbs you may have in your kitchen or garden, dissecting their meaning from science, history, and culture.  



Appearance: Dried mid-brown strips of bark, often ground into a fine powder.
Edible? Absolutely, though so may experience an allergic reaction or gastrointestinal upset. Coumarin, a component of cinnamon, is toxic in large quantities.
Origins: True cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka and is often referred to as Ceylon cinnamon. The US, however, typically uses Cinnamomum cassia which originated in China as is frequently referred to as Chinese cinnamon outside of the states.
Other Notable Qualities:  Cinnamon is also extremely aromatic and is known for its scent.

Scientific Correspondence:
Protection - Shielding

Cinnamon has known antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory qualities.  Cinnamaldehyde, the chemical component of cinnamon that's present in essential oils, is often used as a natural mosquito repellant as well as a corrosion inhibitor.  As such, cinnamon is great for protection, specifically of the shielding variety.

Historical Correspondence:
Love - Sex - Prosperity

In the Bible, cinnamon is mentioned as a token of friendship and love.  In ancient Rome and Greece, cinnamon was frequently added to perfumes and wines.  The Greeks related the spice to Dionysis, a god of wine and sex, and it was viewed as an aphrodisiac among other uses.  During Roman rule, Emperor Nero added a year's worth of the spice to the pyre for his wife Poppaea after she died.  Because of this, cinnamon has been linked to uses for love and sex.

Cinnamon was also once in high demand and relatively rare. Similarly to black pepper, Arabs would create stories of how difficult cinnamon was to access, saying that it was protected by a giant bird that required ox meat in exchange for access to the giant sticks it would carry to its nest.  Because of its high demand and guarded scarcity, it was frequently only affordable by upper class and royalty, thus its prior noted use by a Roman emperor.  Early on, it was worth similar to old and ivory.  Greeks would use it as a gift to royalty and gods like Apollo.  During the Middle Ages, Pliny the Elder noted that 350 grams of cinnamon were equivalent to 5,000 grams of silver. Though cinnamon eventually became more common, this historic association with money makes it a great spice for prosperity work.

Cultural Correspondence (USA/Midwest):

Cinnamon is a common component of the winter season, being used as a spice in everything from mulled cider to coffee.  Cinnamon sticks are frequently used as decoration and many Christmas decorations are covered in a cinnamon scent.  Because of this, cinnamon nowadays is closely related with winter and winter celebrations.

Sigil to Invoke Cinnamon

Utilize this sigil as a way of invoking the properties of cinnamon if you have none available to you.  You are welcome to print this sigil, place it in a grimoire, use it on a spell or put it in your blog with proper credit.  Do not claim this sigil as your own.

New World Encyclopedia: Cinnamon Cinnamon
University of Minnesota: A Taste of Paradise: Cinnamon
Ekaloria: Cinnamon
How Stuff Works: How Cinnamon Works
Pubmed Central (gov): Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant Cinnamon's Spicy History
On the Spice Trail: The History of Cinnamon

**Images were found via a search labeled for reuse.
If you would like an image removed or credited, please let me know.**



Coming Soon

1 comment:

  1. I love the cinnamon sigil. Very nice. And that animated header is super cute. This is my first time to your blog. Nice to meet you.