I know everyone loves roses for Valentine's Day, but giving someone something with cinnamon may a better choice than roses for some people! And you might even be able to put a spell on someone in the process!
Cinnamon has been found to increase levels of the hormone oxytocin in humans. Cinnamon contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which has been shown to stimulate the production of oxytocin in animal studies (Shing et al., 2006). Additionally, a study published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience found that inhalation of cinnamon essential oil - yes, essential oil - increased oxytocin concentrations in human subjects (Eisenbarth et al., 2020). The increase in oxytocin resulting from cinnamon is important because oxytocin is correlated with beneficial health outcomes such as improved sleep quality and reduced stress.
Cinnamon does a lot! It warms the body, helps with digestion, sleep, circulation and is an oxytocic.
That means more warmth and love. And in the northern hemisphere, Valentine’s Day is in February, which is the ending of vata season and the beginning of kapha season, which are both colder seasons!
I love roses, but they are actually better for late summer weather because they are cooling and raise kapha. If you are overheated for non-seasonal reasons, though, then roses may be a good choice.
Rose petals are known to have many medicinal properties and have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. A study published in the journal Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica in December 2018 provided evidence that rose petals from the Rosa damascena flower possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antifungal activities.
The same study also found that rose petals have antibacterial properties against certain bacterial species such as Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. These findings demonstrate the potential of rose petal extract to even change the microbiome.
Other studies have confirmed the anti-inflammatory effects of rose petal extract. A 2012 test tube study on mice found that topical application of rose petal extract decreased inflammation caused by carrageenan, a thickener used in foods. The study concluded that rose petals could be used to treat inflammation-related conditions like arthritis.
In addition to their anti-inflammatory effects, rose petals have also been found to alleviate stress levels and improve sleep quality. In one study published in October 2015 in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, taking an extract of rose petals for two weeks significantly decreased anxiety levels and improved sleep quality among participants who were preparing for exams compared to the control group.
Rose petals are also commonly used as beauty products due to their skin nourishing benefits. For example, taking a rose petal bath can help moisturize dry skin, reduce wrinkles, and improve complexion. Like many Ayurvedic herbs, they can affect both the outside skin and the inside skin.
Overall, research suggests that rose petal has many beneficial medicinal effects including anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties as well as being able to reduce anxiety levels and improve sleep quality.
If you give roses to someone on this Valentine's Day, please don't get any weird dyed ones. Get ones that your love could enjoy cut for a few days and then dehydrate them, so they can be used in decoctions later in the year when pitta and vata go up.
And don't forget to give some cinnamon with it to warm your love up! The two pair together so nicely in this Rose Petal and Cinnamon Oat Milk Latte. Try it instead of having coffee or wine this Valentine’s Day!
Cinnamon bark may not look as pretty as a rose petal, but there's definitely a whole lotta love in there.
Rose Petal and Cinnamon Oat Milk Latte
- 2 cups oat milk
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon dried, ground rose petals (you can grind rose petals in a coffee grinder)
- 1 tablespoon honey
1. Heat the oat milk, ground cinnamon and rose petals on the stove until very warm.
2. Mix in honey with a spoon.
3. Pour into two mugs and enjoy!
(Optional: Create a more foamy texture by using a milk frother after pouring into mugs.)