From London's Ghost Acres

Cinnamon is a spice that was generally used in combination with other medications that required their bitter or nauseous flavours to be masked or to diminish any flatulency caused by a particular treatment. It would sometimes be used on its own to treat gastrointestinal complaints, but this was rare.

British Pharmacopoeia 1867

Cinnamon Bark Cinnamomi Cortex

“The inner bark of shoots from the truncated stocks of Cinnamomum zeylanicum… Imported from Ceylon, and distinguished in commerce as Ceylon Cinnamon.” [1] Characteristics

“About one-fifth of a line thick, in closely rolled quills, which are about four lines in diameter, containing several quills within them, light yellowish-brown, with a fragrant odour and warm sweet aromatic taste: breaks with a splintery fracture.” Used in the preparations of:[2]

  • Acidum Sulphuricum aromaticum
  • Aqua Cinnamomi
  • Decoctum Haematoxyli
  • Infusum Catechu
  • Oleum Cinnamomi
  • Pulvis Catchu compositus
  • Pulvis Cinnamomi compositus
  • Pulvis Cretae aromaticus
  • Pulivs Kino compositus
  • Tinctura Cardamomi composite
  • Tinctura Catechu
  • Tinctura Lavadulae composite
  • Vinum Opii

Preparations of Cinnamon

Aromatic Sulphuric Acid / Acidum Sulphuricum Aromaticum[3]

  • sulphuric acid (3 fl oz, or 2419 grains), rectified spirit (2 pints), cinnamon bark, in coarse powder (2 oz), ginger, in coarse powder (1 ¼ oz)
  • dose: 5-30 minims

Cinnamon Water / Aqua Cinnamomi[4]

  • cinnamon bark, bruised (20 oz), water (2 gallons)
  • used in preparations of Mistura Cretae, Mistura Guaiaci, Mistura Spiritus Vini Gallici

Decoction of Logwood / Decoctum Haematoxyli [5]

  • logowwod, in chips (1 oz), cinnamon bark, in coarse powder(60 grains), distilled water (1 pint)
  • dose: 1-2 fl oz

Infusion of Catechu / Infusum Catechu[6]

  • Pale Catechu, in coarse powder (160 grains), cinnamom bark, bruised (30 grains), boiling distilled water (10 fl oz)
  • dose: 1-2 fl oz

Chalk Mixture / Mistura Cretae [7]

  • Prepared chalk (1/2 oz), Gum Acacia, in powder (1/4 oz), syrup (1/2 fl oz), cinnamon water (7 ½ fl oz)
  • dose: 1-2 fl oz

Guaiacum Mixture / Mistura Guaiaci [8]

  • Guaiacum Resin, in powder (1/2 oz), refined sugar (1/2 oz), gum acacia, powdered (1/4 oz), cinnamon water (1 pint)
  • dose: ½-2 fl oz

Mixture of Spirit of French Wine / Mistura Spiritus Vini Gallici [9]

  • spirit of French wine (4 fl oz), cinnamon water (4 fl oz), the yolks of two eggs, refined sugar (1/2 oz),
  • dose: 1-2 fl oz

Oli of Cinnamon / Oleum Cinnamomi[10]

  • “the oil distilled from cinnamon bark”
  • “yellowish when recent, gradually becoming red, having the odour and taste of cinnamon. Sinks in water”

Pill of Aloes and Iron / Pilula Aloes et Ferri [11]

  • sulphate of iron (1 ½ oz), barbadoes aloes, in powder (2 oz), compound powder of cinnamon (3 oz), confection of roses (4 oz)
  • dose: 2-10 grains

Compound Pill of Gamboge / Pilula Cambogiae Composita[12]

  • Gamboge, in powder (1 oz), barbadoes aloes, in powder (1 oz), compound powder of cinnamon (1 oz), hard soap, in powder (2 oz), syrup (to taste)
  • dose: 5-10 grains

Compound Powder of Catechu / Pulvis Catechu Composita [13]

  • pale catechu, in powder (4 oz), Kino, in powder (2 oz), rhatany root, in powder (2 oz), cinnamon bark, in powder (1 oz), nutmeg, in powder (1 oz)
  • dose 20-40 grains

Compound Powder of Cinnamon / Pulvis Cinnamomi Compoistus [14]

  • syn: pulvis aromaticus
  • cinnamon bark, in powder (1 oz), cardamom seeds, in powder (1 oz), ginger, in powder (I oz)
  • dose: 3-10 grains
  • included in the preparations of: pilula aloes et ferri, pilula cambogiae composita

Aromatic Powder of Chalk / Pulvis Cretae Aromaticus [15]

  • cinnamon bark, in powder (4 oz), nutmeg, in powder (3 oz), saffron (3 oz), cloves, in powder (1 ½ oz), cardamom seeds, in powder (1 oz), refined sugar, in powder (25 oz), prepared chalk (11 oz)
  • dose: 10-60 grains

Compound Powder of Kino / Pulvis Kino Compositus[16]

  • Kino, in powder (3 ¾ oz)m opium, in powder (1/4 oz), cinnamon bark, in powder (1 oz)
  • dose 5-20 grains

Compound Tincture of Cardamoms / Tinctura Cardamomi Composita [17]

  • cardamom seeds, freed from their pericarps and bruised (1/4 oz), caraway fruit (1/4 oz), bruised, raisins, freed from their seeds (2 oz), cinnamon bark, bruised (60 grains), cochineal, in powder (60 grains), proof spirit (1 pint)
  • dose: ½-2 fl drachms

Tincture of Catechu / Tinctura Catechu[18]

  • pale catechu, in coarse powder (2 ½ oz), cinnamon bark, bruised (1 oz), proof spirit (1 pint)
  • dose: ½-2 fl drachms

Tincture of Cinnamon / Tinctura Cinnamomi [19]

  • Cinnamon bark, in coarse power (2 ½ oz)
  • proof spirit (1 pint)

Compound Tincture of Lavender / Tinctura Lavandulae Composita[20]

  • oil of lavender (1 ½ fl drachm), oil of rosemary (10 minims), cinnamon bark, bruised (150 grains), nutmeg, bruised (150 grains), red sandal-wood (300 grains), rectified spirit (2 pints)
  • dose: ½-2 fluid drachms
  • preparations: liquor Arsenicalis

Wine of Opium / Vinum Opii[21]

  • extract of opium (1 oz), cinnamon bark, bruised (75 grains), cloves, bruised (75 grains), sherry (1 pint)
  • dose 10-40 minims
  • ”It contains 22 grains of extract of opium, nearly, in 1 fluid ounce.”

A Compendium of Domestic Medicine, 1865

Cinnamon is mostly used in combination with other medicines, “especially those which are bitter, nauseous, or flatulent upon the stomach.” It can also be used on its own to treat “bowel complaints,” though it is more commonly administered alongside other medications.[22]

Remedies Containing or to be used with Cinnamon

  • Alum, Common: powdered cinnamon is included in a mixture used to treat spitting of blood[23]
  • Aromatic Confection: cinnamon water included in cordial draught used for the treatment of relaxed bowels[24]
  • Astringent Powder: cinnamon water included in a draught used to treat problems arising from “when the evacuations of the bowels are frequent, have a frothy appearance, or and tinged with blood.”[25]
  • Balsam, Copaiva: peppermint or cinnamon water can be added to medication intended to provide relief from urinary blockages, gleets, and fluor albus[26]
  • Bark, Canella: cinnamon is included in a recipe for usquebaugh (whiskey) that can treat “persons of gouty habit, or those who are liable to spasm or cramp in the stomach.” More likely used for flavour than medicinal properties[27]
  • Carrageen, or Irish Moss: cinnamon is one of the ways milk infused with the moss can be flavoured. The milk is given in the morning to persons suffering from consumption as a method of providing nutrients.[28]
  • Chalk, prepared: combined with cinnamon water, the chalk can be used to treat individuals suffering “relaxation of the bowels arising from acidity.” Cinnamon water is also included in a chalk mixture given to infants suffering from diarrhoea.[29]
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon can be used in treatment for “bowel complaints.” Savory includes a treatment for diarrhoea that includes a tincture of cinnamon and chalk, and when taken three to four times a day the mixture “rarely prove[s] ineffectual.”[30]
  • Esence of Cinnamon: no description provided. [31]
  • Extract of Colocynth, Compound: combined with cinnamon (or other medicines) when treating constipation. Cinnamon is added to prevent griping. [32]
  • Gum Kino: powdered cinnamon is included in an Astringent Electuary that contains powdered kino.[33]
  • Gum Guaiacum: Cinnamon is included in a draught called “The Draught.” Gum guaiacum is used in treating chronic rheumatism.[34]
  • Gum Scammony: powdered cinnamon included in “Scammony with Chalk,” which is used to treat children “when the bowels are difficult to move, or loaded with mucus.” Powdered cinnamon is also included in “Scammony with Rhubarb,” which is used for the same treatment as “Scammony with Chalk.”[35]
  • Jalap: powdered cinnamon is included in a purgative powder used to treat children.[36]
  • Magnesia, Calcined: compound cinnamon powder is part of a treatment used for “persons of gouty habit.” Cinnamon powder is also included in a mixture used as a method of administering magnesia to children.[37]
  • Oil of Cinnamon: “A warm stimulant, and delicious stomachic.” It can also be used to treat toothaches, by “being dropped upon cotton, and inserted into the hollow of the decayed tooth.”[38]
  • Rhubarb, Turkey: Cinnamon is recommended to mask the bitter taste of rhubarb.[39]
  • Senna Leaves: Cinnamon is included in an infusion of senna called “Black Draught.” [40]
  • Tincture of Castor: Cinnamon water in included in “Castor Draught.”[41]

Diseases Treated with Cinnamon

General Diseases

  • Boils: cinnamon water is part of a draught recommended by Savory[42]
  • Diarrhoea, or Looseness: Cinnamon water is included in a draught during the first stages of diarrhoea, in order to determine the nature of the disease. Cinnamon water is also included in a draught that is to be administered “if diarrhoea should exist to a great extent, accompanied with much pain, the tongue being red and beginning to get dry, and the stomach retaining with difficulty food.”[43]
  • Flatulency: cinnamon is one of the carminatives recommended by Savory[44]
  • Whites, or Fluors Albus: cinnamon water is included in a mixture designed to administer a preparation of steel (sulphate of iron)[45]

Infantile Diseases

  • Aphthous Ulceration, or Thrush: cinnamon powder included to treat this disease if there is acid in the stomach, “or if the derangement of the secretion, in, in addition, present.”[46]
  • Diarrhoea: powdered cinnamon included in a mixture that can be given to children when their bowels becoming “affected by purging.” If purging is not stopped, cinnamon water can be used to administer laudanum and ipecauanha wine.[47]

Medical Articles Containing Cinnamon

  • To Prevent Nightmare: cinnamon water[48]

Prescriptions Containing Cinnamon


  • Diarrhoea from Acidity: The mixture is to be added to cinnamon water and taken at bed time[49]
  • Compound Chalk Mixture: powdered cinnamon[50]
  • Chalk Mixture: cinnamon water[51]
  • Hooper’s Draught for Diarrhoea and Dysentery: spirit of cinnamon[52]
  • Aromatic Chalk Draught: Cinnamon water[53]


  • Alternatives in the Form of Pill, Powder, &c.: cinnamon powder. Part of a mixture that is to be divided into ten powders and taken three times a day. Savory does not indicate the use.[54]

Aperients and Cathartics

  • Aperient Mixture (Another): spirit of cinnamon[55]
  • Aperient and Tonic Pills: powdered cinnamon[56]


  • Antispasmodic Draughts for Spasm of the Stomach arising from Flatulence (Another): cinnamon water[57]


  • Astringent Draught: cinnamon water[58]
  • Astringent Draught (Another): cinnamon water[59]
  • Astringent Mixture: cinnamon water[60]
  • Astringent Mixture (Another): tincture of cinnamon[61]
  • Stimulating Astringent Mixture: cinnamon water[62]


  • Soda and Ipecacuanha Powders: compound cinnamon powder[63]


  • Demulcent Mixture (Another): cinnamon water[64]
  • Demulcent Mixture (Another): cinnamon water[65]


  • Diuretic and Tonic Draught: tincture of cinnamon[66]

Narcotics and Anodynes

  • Narcotic Draught (Another): cinnamon water[67]


  • Saline Aperient: tincture of cinnamon[68]

Cookery for the Sick that includes Cinnamon

  • Restoratives: “Bake two calves’ feet in two pints of water and the same quantity of new milk, in a jar close covered, three hours and a half. When cold, remove the fate. Bake it with lemon-peel, cinnamon, or mace, according to taste. Add sugar afterwards.”[69]
  • Rice Caudle: cinnamon included in rice recipe. Appears similar to rice pudding (with no milk/cream though).[70]
  • To Mull Wine (Another): piece of cinnamon is boiled in water and then added to wine with sugar.[71]
  • Ground Rice Milk: a piece of cinnamon is boiled in milk with ground rice and other flavouring agents.[72]
  • Barley Gruel: pearl-barley is boiled with a stick of cinnamon, then strained and cooked with sugar and port wine.[73]


  1. General Medical Council of Great Britain, British Pharmacopeia, (London: Spottiswoode & Co.,1867), 84
  2. GMCGB, 84
  3. GMCGB, 18-19
  4. GMCGB, 43
  5. GMCGB, 98
  6. GMCGB, 159
  7. GMCGB, 209
  8. GMCGB, 211
  9. GMCGB, 212
  10. GMCGB, 221
  11. GMCGB, 235
  12. GMCGB, 236
  13. GMCGB, 262
  14. GMCGB, 262
  15. GMCGB, 263
  16. GMCGB, 264
  17. GMCGB, 324
  18. GMCGB, 325
  19. GMCGB, 327
  20. GMCGB, 335
  21. GMCGB, 368
  22. Savory, John. A Compendium of Domestic Medicine (London: John Churchill and Sons, 1865), 47.
  23. Savory, 15
  24. Savory, 21
  25. Savory, 24
  26. Savory, 25
  27. Savory, 49
  28. Savory, 41
  29. Savory, 43
  30. Savory, 47
  31. Savory, 57
  32. Savory, 61
  33. Savory, 75
  34. Savory, 75
  35. Savory, 77
  36. Savory, 89
  37. Savory, 99
  38. Savory, 107
  39. Savory, 125
  40. Savory, 133
  41. Savory, 157
  42. Savory, 219
  43. Savory, 227
  44. Savory, 233
  45. Savory, 263
  46. Savory, 266
  47. Savory, 271
  48. Savory, 303
  49. Savory, 306
  50. Savory, 306
  51. Savory, 306
  52. Savory, 308
  53. Savory, 309
  54. Savory, 310
  55. Savory, 311
  56. Savory, 313
  57. Savory, 317
  58. Savory, 318
  59. Savory, 318
  60. Savory, 318/
  61. Savory, 319
  62. Savory, 319
  63. Savory, 322
  64. Savory, 322
  65. Savory, 323
  66. Savory, 323
  67. Savory, 331
  68. Savory, 333
  69. Savory, 337
  70. Savory, 340
  71. Savory, 340
  72. Savory, 342
  73. Savory, 343

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