This section is from the book "Meals Medicinal", by W. T. Fernie. Also available from Amazon: Meals Medicinal: With "Herbal Simples" Curative Foods From the Cook in Place of Drugs From the Chemist.
It is convenient for all bodies, especially for them that are of cold and moyst temperature, and that have weake stomackes." St. Francis of Sales has said, in his Devout Life, with respect to the labour of teaching, "It refreshes and revives the heart by the sweetness it brings to those who are engaged in it, as the Cinnamon does in Arabia Felix to them who are laden therewith".
For a dozen or more years past Cinnamon has been successfully employed as a specific abortive of the influenza poison, only provided its free use is commenced medicinally within a time-limit of twenty-four hours after the first access of an attack; otherwise the toxication of the whole system has advanced beyond the power of this remedy for scotching the parent virus of the invading disease. "For this purpose," says Dr. J. C. Ross, of Manchester, "five drops of the true oil of Cinnamon with a tablespoonful of water, every hour or two, for six or eight doses, will promptly and effectually exterminate the enemy".
Again, Dr. Ross has found that when treating scarlet fever by Cinnamon, he escaped the incidence of complications which so frequently occur. He gives a strong decoction of the bark, at first every hour, and then every two hours, until the temperature falls to normal, whilst making the patient also use the decoction as a gargle. Likewise for proving remedial against cancer, Cinnamon has gained credit with Dr. Ross, in accordance with a reputation revived from former days. He reports success from a steady use of the strong decoction, half a pint being taken daily. He orders of this decoction (two pints of boiling water on a pound of stick Cinnamon, boiled slowly down to twenty-five ounces, and poured off without straining) half an ounce, or one ounce, with water.
Cinnamon is also of undoubted benefit for consumptive patients by aborting the bacillary germs, and by preventing the infection therewith of fresh lung portions. The cough and the expectoration improve, the temperature becomes normal, and the weight begins to increase, whilst the number of disease-germs found microscopically in the expectorated matters gradually diminishes. In this way the disease may be limited to small areas, and presently cut off from the general system by the fibrous tissue of cicatrization. Similarly the malady known as mumps (a specific painful swelling of the glands - "parotid"- below the ears, and which is infectious) can be cut short by Cinnamon, if it be administered speedily from the commencement of the attack. It should be given in frequently-repeated doses of strong Cinnamon tea, freshly made, or by sucking concentrated Cinnamon lozenges if swallowing is difficult. The name "mumps" means mumping with a mouth hard to be opened, because of the painfully swollen glands at the sides.
For many generations Cinnamon as a flavouring spice has been used exclusively with sweet dishes, and has been almost entirely excluded by the cook from savoury compositions.
Nowadays it is not uncommonly adulterated by adding ground walnut shells, or frequently Cassia is substituted for the genuine article.
Seeing that the pneumonia, or lung inflammation, which prevails of late, particularly after influenza, is proved to be of a septic type, Cinnamon affords promise of great remedial value as a sure germicide in this serious malady, which is often virulent in its character. In most cases it is due to toxic poisons generated by two or three special microbes, which underlie the whole attack; and therefore germicidal, or antiseptic nourishment is essentially indicated. During the first feverish stage an easy bed, absolute rest, and good nursing are indispensable, and no good purpose can be fulfilled by giving substantial, or very stimulating food. Measures for reducing the fever should be put into effect, such as cool sponging of the body, or perhaps even making use of iced water externally for a robust subject. As a drink, equal parts of whey and egg-water will be very suitable; for the latter, whip up the whites of from two to four eggs to a froth, stirring them presently into a pint of cold water, and finally straining. This albuminate serves to replace the casein of the milk, which has been separated as curd in making the whey. Milk-whey is to be made by adding one part of fresh butter-milk to two parts of warm milk in a saucepan over a slow fire.
If a slight stimulant should prove needful, wine-whey may be given, or egg-flip is a good compound for the purpose, being a food as well as a cordial. "Whip up the yolk of a fresh egg, sprinkling a little powdered white sugar on it, and then adding from a teaspoonful to a tablespoonful of whisky, or brandy, and finally pumping soda-water from a syphon upon the mixture in a tumbler."The natural history of pneumonia shows that unless septic complications arise, the inflammatory process comes to an end about the sixth or seventh day, with the salutary occurrence of profuse sweating, or of some diarrhoea, which are efforts to throw off the morbid material out of the system. But pneumonia is always hazardous to elderly persons, especially after influenza; also to intemperate subjects. In the drunkard this seizure is almost of a certainty deadly. Double pneumonia in a drunkard is absolutely fatal: there is no chance for him. But in a young man, or young woman, previously healthy, simple pneumonia is usually recovered from. The particular causative microbe, Micrococcus lanceolatus, whilst often present in the mouth, even of a healthy person, becomes capable under certain conditions of developing this dangerous disease.
Unfortunately a sudden collapse is not uncommon even when things seem to be doing well; but as a rule the active symptoms subside as quickly as they manifested themselves. Frequently in aged persons, as the attack progresses, the lungs become obstructed by exudations into the air-cells, and a failure of heart-power ensues. For meeting this grave condition the inhalation of oxygen is all-important, so as to sustain the strength, and the life; also, furthermore, the medicinal administration of Musk is of splendid service in such an emergency. Pneumonia may be of a gouty character, and require alkaline antidotes.
Some years ago Blackwood's Magazine told about a gang of thieves, including a soldier and his wife, at Gibraltar, who were discovered (to the astonished delight of an epicurean officer) roasting a stolen pig over a savoury fire kindled of purloined Cinnamon bark.
For a Cinnamon cake, take one cupful of granulated sugar, of butter a piece the size of an egg, one cup of milk, two cups of flour, one teaspoonful of cream of tartar, and half a teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda; mix, in the usual way, but sifting the soda, and the cream of tartar, together with the flour; put in a shallow pan; sprinkle with sugar and Cinnamon, and bake for about fifteen minutes in a moderately hot oven. In the Arcana Fairfaxiana Manuscripta (a MS. volume of Apothecaries' Lore, and Housewifery, three centuries old, as used and partly written by the Fairfax family,) - it is commended "for the hiccough " to "drop a single drop of the Oil of Cinnamon on a lump of double refin'd sugar; let it dissolve in the mouth leisurely, then swallow it. This is a most pleasant and agreeable stomach-medicine, which seldom fails".