Scientific: Cinnamomum verum [WikiPedia]
Ceylon cinnamon is considered safe for your pets due
to its low levels of courmarin. Courmarin is a natural organic chemical
compound that can be found in many plants, including both the Ceylon
Cinnamon Tree (its bark is used to make Ceylon Cinnamon) and the Chinese
Cinnamon Tree (its bark is used to make Cassia Cinnamon). Ceylon
cinnamon does not contain measurable amounts of courmarin, making it
safe for dogs to eat. However, Cassia cinnamon is not considered safe
because it has higher levels of courmarin, which may pose a potential
Appearance: Cinnamomum verum
is a small evergreen tree native to tropical southern India and Sri
Lanka, growing from sea level to almost 3,000 feet. It has been
introduced to Madagascar and the Seychelles and is cultivated there
extensively. It belongs to the Laurel or Lauraceae family, a family
containing diverse genera ranging from the Mediterranean bay tree, to
sassafras, paw-paw, and the tropical avocado.
Parts Used: Dried inner bark
as a spice, tea, potpourri, tincture, or powdered and encapsulated.
Fresh or Dried bark, twigs and leaves distilled as an essential oil.
Common Uses: While there is
some controversy regarding the safety of cinnamon for dogs, The American
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has ruled it
non-toxic. This spice not only smells heavenly, but it provides a number
of health benefits as well. Cinnamon has been shown to boost energy and
vitality while also improving brain function. Additionally, cinnamon is
has natural antifungal properties which helps to protect against the
type of fungus which causes yeast infections (these are particularly
common in dogs with allergies). When adding cinnamon to your dog’s diet,
experts recommend sticking with Ceylon cinnamon, rather than using the
Cassia variety that is more common. That’s because Ceylon cinnamon
contains much less coumarin, which is a compound that is associated with
blood thinning. Cinnamon bark has been used for thousands of years in
traditional Eastern and Western medicines. It appears in recorded
history dating back to at least 1,700 years B.C.E where it was a
component of embalming fluid in ancient Egypt. The Arabs were avid spice
traders who provided this spice to the ancient Romans, Greeks, and
Hebrews. These cultures treasured cinnamon as a spice. It is believed
that it was added to a spiced wine referred to as ‘Hippocras’. Cinnamon
is considered to be a warming herb that is stimulating to the
circulatory system and soothing to the digestive system. The essential
oil is used extensively as a flavouring for soft drinks, baked goods,
sauces, confectioneries and liqueurs. It is distilled from a mixture of
leaves, twigs and bark, and must be used with caution as a fragrance as
it does have skin sensitizing properties.
Alternatives and Adjuncts:
Topic Specific References:
PLEASE NOTE that herbal and
other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe
and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any
other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.
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