Cinnamon is often used in ayurvedic herbal preparations to enhance the bio-availability of other herbs. It is a warming spice, and contributes the sweet, pungent and bitter tastes. It is excellent for pacifying Kapha and good for balancing Vata also. Individuals trying to balance Pitta can also consume cinnamon, but in relatively smaller quantities.
In ayurveda, cinnamon is used to balance the digestion and to pacify stomach disorders. Combined with other warming herbs and spices like ginger and black pepper, it can be boiled into a herbal tea to soothe discomfort associated with colds. Its oil is used to pacify headaches and keep joints healthy.
Cinnamon is a very aromatic herb and is widely used to spice desserts and sweet dishes in the west. In Indian cooking, it is used to spice rich rice and vegetable dishes. The sticks are used to decorate rice dishes.
Cinnamon combines well with many other spices, including ginger, cloves, black pepper, paprika, saffron and nutmeg. Sauté cinnamon in ghee and add to desserts such as rice pudding or pie mixtures. A pinch can flavor nut-fruit milkshakes.