Cinnamon bark essential oil is steam distilled from the bark of a member of the Laurel family, laurus cinnamomum. Native to Asia and South Asia, it is also widely cultivated throughout Australia and much of what is considered the highest quality oil currently comes from Sri Lanka. Cinnamon bark oil is rare and far more expensive than other cinnamon-based essential oils, and it is one of the most prized in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, primarily for its stomach-easing, digestive, and stimulating qualities. Its use as a culinary spice is as legendary as its usefulness in natural healing, its aroma and flavor one of the most recognizable and delightful in a wide range of savory dishes, desserts and tantalizing beverages. Its main chemical constituent is cinnamaldehyde, along with eugenol, methyleugenol, and phellandrene, but these are only a small handful of the more than 90 compounds that it is known to contain.
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