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by Carla Macahilig September 26, 2020 3 min read
Did you know that Cinnamon used to be considered a status symbol in Europe? So much so that a team of Spanish conquerors set off on an expedition deep in the jungles of Eastern Ecuador. They were on a mission to find the mythical El Dorado and the valuable spice - Cinnamon - which they believed would give them a strategic trade advantage.
After months of sailing and endless adventures, they found neither El Dorado nor Cinnamon. Instead, the Spaniards discovered the Amazon River and the South American version of Cinnamon - Ishpingo. Unlike Sri Lanka's Cinnamon, Ishpingo essential oil is distilled from the leaves, stems, and flowers of Ocotea quixos, an evergreen tree that belongs to the Lauraceae family. The conquistadores treated it as nothing more than a clumsy imitation though and so Ishpingo remained a mystery.
In truth, while Ishpingo is often called false cannila or false cinnamon for sharing the same aroma, its scent is far more enduring and stimulating. It's sweet and spicy, herbaceous and slightly woody, and with just the right amount of warm cinnamon.
Also known as the Amazonian cinnamon, the natives valued Ishpingo for its medicinal and culinary uses. It was used to treat stomach aches as a natural eupeptic and as disinfectant and anesthetic for flesh wounds. In addition, Ishpingo was a popular flavouring for sweets and beverages such as "Colada Morada" - a fermented corn drink. Today, it has found its way not just into traditional cuisine but also in fusion recipes.
Compared to the common cinnamon, Ishpingo essential oil is also a safer option when it comes to topical application. Cinnamon has up to 50% cinnamaldehyde which is known to cause severe skin irritations. In comparison, Ishpingo has less than 5% making it ideal for your essential oil blends.
Ishpingo is rich in anti-radical, antioxidant, antipathogen, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. It can help keep your living spaces clean and safe when seasonal threats are in full swing. Exuding a warm and spicy note, this oil is a stimulating and refreshing remedy for exhaustion, stress, and anxiety.
Besides slowly gaining recognition as an emerging key ingredient in the perfume and cosmetic industry, Ishpingo essential oil is also said to have the following benefits:
into a 120ml spray bottle. Shake well before each use, spray and wipe down with a microfibre cloth. Store in the fridge and use within a week.
Ingredients: Ocotea Quixos (Ishpingo) Leaf/Stem/Flower oil
Botanical Name: Ocotea quixos
Country of Origin: Ecuador, Columbia
Plant Part: Leaves and flowers
Shelf Life: 2-3 years
Pregnancy Safe: No
Nursing Safe: No
Pup & Pony Safe: No
Directions: Diffuse 2-3 drops per 100ml of water, or use in a personal inhaler. For topical use, dilute to 1-3% in a carrier.
Blends well with: Amyris, Cardamom, Cedarwood, Clove Bud, Copaiba, Ginger Root, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Orange, Sandalwood, Vanilla
Cautions: Keep out of reach of children. If pregnant or under a doctor’s care, consult your practitioner. External use only.
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