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antibiotic resistant bacteria
staphylococcus aureus
steam distillation
species of bacteria
antioxidant properties
Cinnamon And Bacteria
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Cinnamon And Bacteria

Nowadays we usually treat bacterial infections with antibiotics. Do we have a choice?

The increase of antibiotic resistant bacteria has raised many concerns about the treatment of microbial diseases. Therefore alternatives are being sought. Some plants have shown to medicinal uses; these include antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, insecticidal and antioxidant properties.

For ease of application essential oils (volatile oils) the nice smelling oily liquids made from plants have been considered in many studies. They contain all the 'goodness' of the plant, and therefore should contain the same properties of the plant. They are made by fermentation, extraction, expression or steam distillation. There are estimated 3000 known essential oils.

Many essential oils such as aniseed, cedarwood, cinnamon, citronella, clove, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, lime, mint, nutmeg, orange, palmarosa, rosemary, basil, vetiver and wintergreen have been traditionally used by people for various purposes in different parts of the world, for centuries.

Cinnamon itself has a long history both as a spice and as a medicine. It is the brown bark of the cinnamon tree, which is available in its dried tubular form known as a quill, as ground powder or as essential oil.

In a study carried out by Prabuseenivasan, Jayakumar, and Savarimuthu Ignacimuthu in 2007 to determine how effective 21 essential oils were to six species of bacteria, the following was seen:

The essential oils were used on the following bacteria: Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus vulgaris Pseudomonas aeruginosa, , and Staphylococcus aureus at different concentrations.

21 essential oils were tested, 19 oils showed antibacterial activity against one or more strains of bacteria. The best performing oils were cinnamon, clove, geranium, lemon, lime, orange and rosemary oils. Cinnamon oil even showed signs of working at low concentrations.

Cinnamon, clove and lime oils were seen to work on both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

From this study it can be concluded that many essential oils possess antibacterial activity. Cinnamon oil has the most potential bactericidal properties.

In a further study by Chang, Chen, & Chang.

The antibacterial activities of the essential oils from leaves of two Cinnamomum osmophloeum clones (A and B) and their chemical constituents were investigated. Nine strains of bacteria: Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Klebsiella pneumoniae, Salmonella sp., and Vibrio parahemolyticus, were used in the tests. Results from the antibacterial tests demonstrated that the indigenous cinnamon B leaf essential oils had an excellent inhibitory effect.

In a further study by: Lalit Kumar D Chaudhari, Bhushan Arun Jawale, Sheeba Sharma, Hemant Sharma, CD Mounesh Kumar & Pooja Adwait Kulkarni

Cinnamon oil showed the highest activity against oil. Wintergreen oil, lime oil, peppermint oil and spearmint oil Therefore it can be seen that Cinnamon oil, lemongrass oil, cedarwood oil, clove oil and eucalyptus oil exhibit antibacterial property against S. mutans


Cinnamon oil has can be seen to have antibacterial properties.

Whether cinnamon oil can be used on a large scale by medical institutes will need further large scale investigation. However, in the meantime, instead of reaching for the antibiotics why not try cinnamon oil, at the very least using it to treat minor cuts and grazes.

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