Photo by Tomas Jasovsky
Centuries before modern medicine, ancient civilizations across the globe used plants and herbs for their medicinal properties. Even our medicine today, is based off of compounds and chemical combinations found naturally in plants. One spice most commonly used from Egypt, all the way to Sri Lanka and parts of Europe is cinnamon.
Cinnamon is a warm and earthy spice often used in baking, but it actually contains extremely important health benefits such as antibacterial and antifungal properties. While ingesting it may not necessarily kill a virus, using it topically is a great way to fight infection.
Countless medical studies have suggested that using cinnamon extracts of essential oils can help with topical bacterial infections. It works in the same sense as hand sanitizer, and may dry out skin equally. This is why cinnamon works best when combined with a moisturizing oil like Shea butter or cocoa butter. This way the skin remains hydrated and can better absorb the cinnamon in order for it’s antibacterial properties to take effect.
The active chemical compound in cinnamon that kills bacteria is called zeylanicum. It isn’t needed in high doses to be effective either, so you only need a few drops for it to take effect. In fact, it is so potent that studies suggest that just a bit of cinnamon extract is able to kill the bacterium that causes salmonella disease.