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Cinnamon: What To Do With This Season’s Favorite Spice

Seven cinnamon sticks and two silver spoons with cinnamon powder against a black table.

From its delicious taste that lends warmth to baked goods to its welcoming aroma that instantly transforms your home into a cozy haven, cinnamon is a perennial fall favorite for a good reason.

When warm and sunny days turn crisp and colorful, there's no better time to use cinnamon in and around your home. But this versatile spice has more uses than stirring a cup of steaming cider or burning a scented candle, lovely as those may be.

Here are five other uses for cinnamon that you can enjoy this fall.

1. Use It in Your Houseplants

Cinnamon is as beneficial to plants and plant growth as it is to the human body. Among other things, it’s an amazing fungicide, meaning it helps prevent fungus from growing in all kinds of soil.

To keep mold, mildew, or fungus from growing in the soil of your indoor plants, simply dust some cinnamon on it. The cinnamon will destroy the fungus and, as an added bonus, will get rid of the gnats that feed off of that fungus and mold. Similarly, you can dust it all over those wild mushrooms growing in your backyard to tamper their growth. 

2. Make a Spicy Air Freshener

One of the easiest household uses for cinnamon includes making your own cinnamon-scented room freshener spray. In a clean spray bottle, mix vodka and cinnamon essential oil.

Use about ten drops of oil to every cup of vodka. Combine well and mist whenever you're craving that autumn aroma, and thank us later! 

Apples are another one of our seasonal favorites. Here are unexpected ways to use apples before they go bad. 

3.  Soothe Skin

Believe it or not, ground cinnamon has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can offer relief from skin blemishes and bug bites. Make a paste with one teaspoon of cinnamon to two tablespoons of honey and blend well.

Spread the mixture on irritated skin and let sit for about 10 minutes before washing off to help reduce swelling and inflammation. You can even sprinkle cinnamon in face masks to add a much-needed extra healing boost.

spoon with ground cinnamon and whole cinnamon sticks

4. Scent Your Laundry

The next time you do laundry, skip the fabric softener sheets. Instead, add a few drops of cinnamon essential oil to wool dryer balls, toss them in the dryer with your wet laundry load, and enjoy naturally fragranced clothes.

Other uses for cinnamon include making your own cinnamon-scented laundry detergent. Simply combine the following ingredients in a container:

·       2 ½ cups of liquid Castile soap

·       ¼ cup of all-purpose white vinegar

·       1 tablespoon of liquid glycerin

·       ¾ cups of water

·       25 drops of cinnamon essential oil

Then, use about ¼ cup of the mixture for a regular-size load of laundry.

Keep your washer and dryer in tip-top shape. Check out our 12 tips for DIY washer and dryer maintenance.

5. Spice Up Cooking

There are many uses for cinnamon in cooking, and it has long been a popular ingredient in baking...cinnamon rolls and pumpkin pie, anyone? But did you know that cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka, and many cuisines around the world also use the spice in savory dishes and meals?

Cinnamon tastes especially good in fall-friendly fares, like stews, soups, and roasted meats. The next time you fire up the slow cooker to make a batch of chili or pulled pork, add a cinnamon stick. You'll enjoy the hint of warm flavor without being overwhelmed.

Throw a cinnamon stick into the mix when you make rice, along with a pinch of curry powder, cumin, or coriander (or all three). Cook as usual, then garnish with cilantro and sliced almonds for an easy and delicious side dish.

plate of cooked cinnamon rolls with icing

Seasonal Foods to Eat Right Now

Besides our several uses for cinnamon, many things make fall a great time of year—especially the foods that are ripe with the flavors of the season. Check out our article, “What Seasonal Foods Should You Be Eating Right Now?” to discover the fruits and veggies that should be at the top of your grocery list now.

Cinnamon FAQs

What are the 2 most popular types of cinnamon?

While there are several different types of cinnamon, it’s separated into two main categories: cassia cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon.

What is the real name of cinnamon?

The real botanical name of cinnamon is cinnamomum zeylanicum.

What are the benefits of cinnamon?

Cinnamon is reported to have many health benefits, including blood sugar management, antibacterial and antiviral properties, weight management support, heart health booster, and neurological aid.