Cassia might not be readily familiar to you, but its warm spice might remind you of something very familiar, cinnamon. It turns out that they’re in the same family.
Cassia has been used for generations and is one of the few essential oils mentioned in the Old Testament. Cassia comes from the bark of the plant though Cassia lends a sweeter note than cinnamon. It was used extensively in many indigenous cultures as a stimulating herb for a myriad of conditions.
It isn’t often used in perfumes because of its dark coloring, but it is sometimes used as a cinnamon substitute in cooking. It offers a slightly sweeter note than cinnamon while retaining the same warm spice.
It’s a wonderful essential oil full of warming properties and comforting notes. Its primary uses are digestive and circulation related, but there are quite a few other reasons you might want to add Cassia oil to your stash. Let’s take a look at everything you can do with Cassia.
Uses of Cassia Essential Oil
Promote healthy digestion
Combining Cassia with lemon, either the fruit or the essential oil, helps relieve digestive issues. The combination makes it easier for the body to process food without producing too much acid and helps alleviate the nausea of overeating or eating incorrectly (1).
It can also help to ward off hunger cravings if you are retraining your body to eat intuitively. When you combine this drink with exercise and a healthy diet, it might transform your weight loss journey (2).
Support your heart
Cassia is a cardio-protective essential oil. It promotes healthy circulation, providing the body’s tissues with higher amounts of oxygen-rich blood. It also helps facilitate the distribution of nutrients throughout those tissues through a robust cardiovascular system.
One example of this effect is the improvement of rheumatoid arthritis. As joints and tissues receive healthy doses of oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood, inflammation is relieved (3).
We are discovering how crucial it is that the body continues with a fever to fight infection. Cassia oil aids the body’s natural immune functions by assisting the body in fighting the underlying issue causing the illness. By supporting the body this way, it relieves the fever sooner without robbing your body of its natural healing solutions.
As it boosts circulatory functions, this also aids the immune system in locating the issue and getting rid of it. The warming aspects of the oil give some relief from the pain of fever as well (4).
Cassia is a warming oil, and through this can help give some relief from pain and cramping. It opens up the cardiovascular system to get rid of headaches associated with PMS and relaxes those cramps to open up paths to obstructed menses.
Regular use can help reduce the occurrence of cramps in the first place as the body’s vascular system becomes more open and less lightly to constrict to cause pain (5).
Dry up breast milk
Mothers who are having trouble with the weaning process frequently complain of pain, soreness, and discomfort. Cassia oil can help dry up those glands to give the breasts some relief and help bring lactation to a gentle end. It helps prevent blocked milk ducts and infection, as well (6).
For this reason, it isn’t recommended for women who are still nursing as it will affect the milk supply adversely.
Inhibit Microbial growth
Cassia oil is useful for treating infections in specific systems including the urinary system, colon, and kidneys. It opens up the cardiovascular system so that the body can flush out harmful bacteria, but it also helps inhibit the growth and formation of opportunistic colonies of bacteria before they can become an issue (6).
The stimulating nature of Cassia in addition to its circulatory properties helps rheumatism sufferers improve circulation and relieve pain. It’s warming properties help provide relief in the short term from painful swelling and joint aches. If taken over time, it can help prevent stiffness from making the condition even worse (7).
Support skin health
Taken internally, those cardiovascular benefits help by bringing oxygen-rich blood to the skin, which helps relieve dryness and irritation. It supports the skin’s natural moisture barrier by regulating dryness.
When used in a facial scrub, its warming properties help the skin shed dead skin cells and impurities more deeply, revealing fresh, new skin underneath.
It also functions as an astringent, helping to tighten loose skin and clear out pores. It prevents bacteria from growing under the surface of the skin and causing acne and other skin issues. Using on the skin at the hairline and up through the scalp helps to relieve environmental irritations and strengthen the hair’s roots (8).
During winter months, it can be difficult to lift your mood out of the doldrums. When Cassia is added to massage oil, it provides relief from aching muscles and joints and also helps comfort your spirit.
Muscles often ache from the cold and lack of use because of winter hibernation. Cassia is a warm, gentle stimulant that helps you get back up and moving again and relieves stiffness in major muscle groups (9).
Improve gum health
Its antimicrobial properties, astringent properties, and cardio-protective qualities make it an excellent essential oil to use in gum and mouth health. It helps relieve swelling from irritated gums. It strengthens roots of the teeth. It helps prevent the overgrowth of bacteria that eat into the tooth enamel, irritate the soft tissues of the gums, and cause odor (10).
Stimulate other bodily processes
Overall, Cassia is a stimulant, and so people feeling sluggish, whether in digestion or physical activity, can use the oil as a general stimulant to help get things moving and create space for getting over chronic conditions. It gets things moving when you are ready to move.
It can also help the brain be more active and alert. If the focus is an issue, Cassia can help lend some potent alertness during a complicated project or task. It also helps increase overall sharpness throughout the day without the stimulating effects of a drug like caffeine, for example.
If you are currently fighting an infection or illness, but cannot take time away from work, it can also help keep you mentally alert through the fog of illness. Keep it on your desk to diffuse or take a few drops internally (11).
Cassia can also help reduce the formation of gas in the digestive system because of its stimulating effects. It helps drive current gas through the lower intestine and out. While more flatulence may not be what you think you want, it does serve the purpose of creating a clean slate in your lower intestines, so to speak.
Once things have cleared, it serves a secondary function of preventing gas from forming in the first place, offering long-term relief from bloating and cramps (12).
Cassia is a known anti-viral substance that can help relieve the symptoms of the common cold. It offers warm relief to fever-induced chills and helps the body flush out viral infections through increased circulation and immune support. It can gently reduce the healing time of viral infections, as well (13).
A compound found in Cassia oil called cinnamaldehyde helps to fight the inflammation response. It not only inhibits the activation of the response but actively blocks it. This action can have dramatic effects for those who suffer from chronic inflammation-based conditions such as arthritis.
After blocking the inflammation response, increased circulation to affected areas helps flush out toxins and the warming qualities of Cassia help relieve location specific pain as the body resets its immune responses.
Cassia oil helps halt diarrhea by treating the bacterial and viral infections associated with those lower bowel issues. It eliminates toxins and treats the underlying condition. There’s also a natural fiber in the herb that binds to the bowel to help stop diarrhea as it travels through the lower intestine (14).
It also heals inflammation in the digestive system to help bowels become more regular overall.
Natural bug repellant
Cassia’s spicy aroma can help repel bugs. In a limited study done recently, volunteers were exposed to mosquitoes for 30 minutes. The oil offered 94% protection. Even after the 30-minute mark, it still provided 83% protection at 50 minutes and at 70 minutes it was still offering 61% protection (15).
Relieve sexual disorders
Circulation also affects our reproductive systems. If you find yourself not feeling the same amount of desire for your partner that you did before, its stimulating properties can help you to feel more alert and energetic. It also improves circulation to soft tissues, helping bring more blood flow to sexual organs and encouraging desire.
Using Cassia in an essential oil diffuser along with citrus oils helps warm the fragrance of the citrus, creating a good blend of comforting warmth and mood-boosting citrus. This is particularly helpful in winter months when citrus alone can seem too brash.
This is a great way to get into the world of Cassia if you don’t know your sensitivity levels. Its warming, stimulating effects can benefit you without ever having to ingest it or have it touch your skin.
A word of warning
As mentioned above, Cassia isn’t for mothers who are still breastfeeding. It will quickly dry up milk stores, so unless you are attempting to wean, stay away from this particular oil internally. Use it only for aromatherapy.
Before using it on the skin, be sure to patch test in a small area such as the inner arm. Its warming properties might be too much for some with more sensitive skin, so it’s best to start slowly. It is not appropriate to use on the skin of babies or children for this reason.
You should always avoid using full strength oil on the skin, especially on delicate tissues such as around the eyes or inside the mouth. It’s best to dilute the strength whenever you plan to use the oil topically.
Check with your current health practitioner before adding Cassia to your regimen to make sure that it doesn’t counteract with any other treatments you might have or cause sensitivities you didn’t anticipate.
Do you plan to add Cassia to your collection? Let us know in the comments below and name one thing that really surprised you about this essential oil.