Cinnamon: Sweet Sensation - Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

Cinnamon: Sweet Sensation

By on March 17, 2016



Cinnamomum zeylanicum / Cinnamomum cassia • Sanskrit: Tvak • Hindi: Dalchini

Cinnamon is called tvak in Sanskrit, which literally means skin. You see, cinnamon is obtained by peeling off the sweet inner bark, or skin, of the tree- thus tvak. Like many other chai spices, cinnamon’s warming nature aids digestion.

Cinnamon is traditionally used for a variety of stomach and intestinal imbalances including :

  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Gas
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

As a home remedy, tvak can be made into a tea or added to food to improve circulation and relieve a general feeling of coldness.

In Ayurveda, cinnamon is used medicinally as a general tonic for the organs and to increase vitality. Cinnamon-

  • Alleviates menstrual pain, abdominal cramping and muscle spasms
  • Warms the internal body and kidneys
  • Strengthens the adrenals and the heart
  • Purifies the blood
  • Acts as an expectorant on the lungs
  • Useful for coughs, congestion and asthma
  • Considered an aphrodisiac and is used to alleviate male sexual debility

There is a significant difference between what is called “true cinnamon” or “Ceylon cinnamon” and its relative cassia bark, commonly referred to as cinnamon in North America. True cinnamon has a sweet, subtle flavor, while cassia’s taste is strong, pungent and even peppery. One can identify Ceylon cinnamon by its soft, tan, multi-layered stick that is easy to break up by hand. Cassia, on the other hand, is very hard and reddish brown in color and consists of a single thick quill of bark.

The flavor of cassia cinnamon can be overpowering and can easily dominate a masala chai. Using just a little as an accent, however, adds a wonderful taste. I prefer the delicate taste of Ceylon cinnamon in masala chai. When adding cinnamon to chai, it is better to use the stick than the powder. The stick will give your chai a richer taste and prevent it from becoming “muddy,” which happens when fine cinnamon powder does not thoroughly strain out.


e2aab1f267cbb16c063c89cf22f67c11_largeLike this article? Want to learn more about chai, India and the pilgrim’s journey?  Order the wonderful Chai Pilgrimage Coffee Table and Recipe Book today at !

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Patrick Shaw

Patrick Shaw has devoted his life to making the healing wisdom of the East accessible to Western culture. As well as being a seasoned India traveler and chai wallah, Patrick is a practitioner of Ayurveda, having studied under the tutelage of Dr. Vasant Lad, founder of the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico. He is the author, with his illustrator wife Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw, of Chai Pilgrimage.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Ayurvedic Kitchen: Everyday Basics - Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Receive Everything Ayurveda In Your Inbox. Free!
Subscription and Privacy: Our free weekly newsletter is sent every Wednesday, and it's filled with our newest Ayurveda articles and resources.Your information will never be shared or sold to a 3rd party.
Green Smoothie pop-up
GYAB Webinar pop-up
Non-fat kitchari pop-up
Ayurveda Test pop-up
VA: Reading Pop-Up
VA: Tutoring Pop-Up
Poop Sheet Pop-Up