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Cinnamon

(Cinnamomum cassia)

      

Description: True cinnamon is actually cinnamomum zeylanicum or c. lauraceae, but in the United States, cinnamomum cassia is most often sold as "cinnamon".  For the incense maker, that is fine since cassia is considered by some to be better than true cinnamon for incense making.

Cinnamon is the fragrant bark of a tree.  Cinnamon is a tropical tree that can reach heights of up to 30 feet.  Barks are very important in incense making, both as binders and as in this case, as aromatics.  The inner lining of the bark is shaved away and the curled pieces are often sold whole.  Cinnamon is fairly easy to powder.  

Nearly everyone is familiar with the scent of cinnamon from early childhood.  It is often used in baking and is found in nearly every American home.  It is spicy and powerful.  Its scent is hot and is a wonderful compliment to sweeter scents.

Use: In incense, cassia works well in a wide variety of blends.  Cassia makes a positive addition to almost any other scent.  Cinnamon is powerful and should be used judiciously.  Start by adding small amounts to your blend and gradually increase it to the desired amount.  Too much can cause sore throats or irritated eyes for some people.  Avoid using cinnamon oil in blends, as it is even more powerful.  Powered cassia is powerful enough for any use.

General Information: Cinnamon is one of the most ancient of all incense ingredients.  Its use in the ancient world extended into Arabia, Ceylon, China, Japan, Egypt, Israel and more.  Both as a culinary spice and a part of incense, cinnamon and cassia have important roles as trade goods and as ritual materials.

Cinnamon is used in everything from love rituals to meditation incense to blessings for business and commerce.  Cinnamon can be irritating to eyes, nose and throat, so handle large quantities with care and try to avoid creating "dust clouds" with cinnamon powder.

References used and recommended reading (click title for more information):

The Complete Book of Herbs: A practical guide to growing & using herbs by Lesley Bremness (ISBN 0670854506)

Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham (ISBN 0875421229)

Magical Herbalism by Scott Cunningham (ISBN 0875421202)

Incense: Crafting & Use of Magickal Scents by Carl Neal (ISBN 0738703362)

Copyright 2004 Carl Neal. Used by Mother's Hearth with permission.

All information and text on these pages is copyright Little Pagans 2004, except where otherwise stated.
All rights reserved. Thank you for visiting Mother's Hearth by Little Pagans!
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