Scabies is a skin condition that is caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei itch mite. This extremely contagious condition causes severe itchiness. The tiny mites burrow into the infected person’s skin and cause the intense itchiness. This worsens at night. It can be transmitted through direct contact between the skin of two human beings or through sexual contact. Scabies is a common skin condition that occurs all over the world. Apart from itchiness, a person could develop red blisters or bumps on specific areas. Treatment is usually topical scabicidal medications or oral drugs.
Cinnamon Oil for Scabies
Cinnamon is commonly used as a spice in foods, desserts or beverages. Cinnamon oil is a popular addition to aromatherapy and also used to make many skin products. The cinnamon tree grows mostly in Southeast Asia and China. Cinnamon oil contains the chemicals cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, methylamine ketone, linalool and more. These offer antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial benefits.
Eugenol found in cinnamon oil also has anti-parasitic properties. Studies have found that this is effective in preventing the growth of parasitic fungal infections on the skin. Of the 13 essential oils that were studied, cinnamon oil showed 80% effectiveness in treating skin and scalp conditions affected by scabies, lice, fleas and ticks. Tests found that ‘inhibition zones’ of 10mm diameter and more were produced when cinnamon oil was used.
Topical applications of permethrin and other creams have been effective in treating scabies infestations. However, recent strains of the
Studies on laboratory animals found that oils that contained eugenol like clove oil, nutmeg oil, ylang ylang oil all showed toxicity against scabies mites. Further studies on other oils that contain eugenol like cinnamon could lead to alternative treatment options for scabies.
Laboratory rabbits infected by sarcoptic mange (another name for scabies) were divided into groups and the anti-parasitic effects of cinnamon bark oil was studied on their infestations. When the rabbits were treated with cinnamon oil 1.25% showed improvement in their skin condition and oxidative stress. Further investigations are recommended.
Cinnamon when consumed in small quantities as food or in medicinal doses usually does not cause any side effects. Very high doses of cinnamon oil could cause mouth sores and irritation to the intestines, stomach and urinary tract and other side effects like dizziness, diarrhea, drowsiness and more. Pregnant women should avoid using high doses of cinnamon bark or cinnamon oil.
Cassia cinnamon contains coumarin and hence, it could affect blood sugar levels or cause kidney and liver problems. Anyone requiring surgery must avoid taking cinnamon for at least 2 weeks prior to the date since it could affect blood sugar levels. Cassia cinnamon could interact with blood clotting, diabetic or hepatotoxic drugs. Always consult a doctor before using cinnamon oil for scabies.