I love using cinnamon in my baking and cooking…the taste, the smell – cinnamon is a perfect spice for any dish. However, did you know there are many other ways you can use cinnamon throughout your home?
Aromatherapeutic properties: Cinnamon makes one feel warm, safe, and protected. Wise Ones relied on the scent of cinnamon to promote contented and uplifted feelings.
Scientifically-inclined: Terpenoids are some of the healing compounds in cinnamon. One of these, cinnamaldehyde, is a potent antifungal and antimicrobial agent. And the diterpenes in the spice are thought to be anti-allergic.
With these properties in mind, here is a list of 10 uses for good old cinnamon
1. Moth Repellent: Replace foul-smelling mothballs with cinnamon-stuffed sachets. Break 4 cinnamon sticks and combine with 1/2 cup of whole cloves and 1/2 cup whole black peppercorns. Fill small squares of fabric with a tablespoon of this mixture, tie shut and hang in your closets.
2. Ant Repellant: Apartment Therapy suggests using cinnamon to keep ants at bay. Sprinkle the powdered version of the spice around any openings or crevices that give insects entrance to your home and they will steer clear.
3. Air Freshener: Combine water and a few drops of cinnamon oil in a spray bottle and you’ve got an instant air freshener that’s both economical and all-natural.
4. Mouthwash: For an effective cinnamon-flavored mouthwash, simply add nine tablespoons of cinnamon to a cup of vodka. Let the mixture sit for two weeks and then strain through a coffee filter.
5. Rum and Cinnamon Aftershave: Not only does this have a delightful spicy scent, it also has antibacterial properties, and the cinnamon helps stop bleeding from little nicks and cuts. Fill a screw-top jar with dried bay leaves. Add 2 broken cinnamon sticks and 1 tablespoon of cloves. Pour in enough dark rum to cover the herbs, and let this mixture steep for 14 days or longer, shaking it daily. Stain through a sieve and coffee filter, bottle the liquid, and use a splash of it after shaving.
6. Potpourri: There are different types of potpourri you can make with cinnamon, from stovetop/wet potpourri to dry potpourri in a dish. For stovetop potpourri, just boil some water in a 4-quart pot (or the size of your choice) and add a few tablespoons of ground cinnamon or 4-5 cinnamon sticks. You can even try adding some apples and making your potpourri into a compote or apple cider drink. This stovetop potpourri method serves two purposes: It banishes odors and replaces them with a deliciously homey fragrance while providing you with a delicious drink or dessert. For dry cinnamon potpourri, just sprinkle a few drops of essential oil of cinnamon on any dry potpourri and place in a shallow bowl on a radiator or on top of the fridge. This type of potpourri works great for deodorizing a bathroom too.
7. Light bulb diffuser: Place a drop of essential oil of cinnamon on a cool light bulb. When you turn on the lamp, the scent will be gently diffused throughout the room.
8. Room freshener: Combine a few drops of essential oil of cinnamon with water or vodka and spritz the mixture in any room to dispel odors.
9. Dry potpourri booster: Sprinkle a few drops of essential oil of cinnamon on any dry potpourri and place in a shallow bowl on a radiator, on top of the fridge, or where there is apt to be some walk-through traffic.
10. Holiday garland: You can string cinnamon sticks with dried cranberries and bay leaves to make a fragrant and attractive garland that will last for decades.