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Cinnamon: kiss of death, or life?

This is a discussion on Cinnamon: kiss of death, or life? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; A couple results are in; I would have checked everything but the batteries in my ...

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  1. #31
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    A couple results are in; I would have checked everything but the batteries in my cam died so I'll have to wait till tomorrow.

    The cut vanda roots experiment has so far shown the most dramatic differences between the one dabbed with cinnamon and the one without. While the root that was allowed to scab over naturally only shrank a little bit, maybe a millimeter up inside the epithelial layer, the velamen of the root dipped in cinnamon shrank upward and in nearly three times that amount. These pics aren't the best to show that clearly, but if you have a plant with lots of roots you can try this on, you'll see for yourself:
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    As far as using cinnamon to stop the spread of a leaf infection, as you can see here, the cinnamon in this case did absolutely nothing, and I'd poured it on. The infected area has almost doubled in size, and the whole leaf has turned yellow.
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    Compare this with the initial photo.

    Tomorrow we'll check the roots of the plant that was repotted with cinnamon all over the lower half of its root system, but with the vanda at least, the cinnamon made the root dry up quite a bit more over time, but it didn't do anything to help the root scab faster initially. From that, I'd say *not* to use cinnamon on cut roots when you're repotting--why have them shrivel up more than they need to-- and *not* to water the plant immediately after repotting. If any roots are cut or damaged in the repotting process, *air* needs to reach them to help them scab over, and watering them will only lengthen the time that will take to happen.

    We'll see what the deal is with the other plant tomorrow, as well as the vanda root that wasn't cut but just dipped in cinnamon.

  2. #32
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    Here's the vanda root that was only dipped in cinnamon without being cut. The root wasn't in active growth and dried off quickly after being watered, but even so, you can still see the tip starting to shrink back, and a split formed in the velamen's epithelial layer up near the top.
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    Finally, this is the Vuyl. whose roots were cinnamoned before the plant was potted back up. Its biggest pseudobulb had already started to show signs of shrinkage in the original pic, but that's gotten quite a bit worse. Since there was no change in its watering regimen compared to the same clone that grows and was photographed right beside it, something further was going on that was keeping moisture from getting into the plant.
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    After unpotting it, you can see pretty clearly what that was; many of the roots have started to die back from their tips, similar to the vandas but in a much more drastic way. Given what's going on here, it's a pretty good bet that the cinnamoned roots would eventually all just die prematurely over time.
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    I learned something from this whole thing, but I think it's important to remember that these "experiments" were not conducted rigorously at all, so we can't come to any hard and fast "conclusions." As Rob pointed out, cinnamon may very well kill fungus, mold, and bacteria if it's applied in direct contact with the stuff; the problem is actually getting that to happen. Commercial plant disease controls are mixed with a chemical "delivery system" that gets the active ingredient past a plant leaf's natural barriers, and ground cinnamon contains no such system.

    However, it's been made pretty plain, at least to me, that using cinamon as a preventative or cure for root rot can cause more damage to healthy roots than it would seal, or "fix" any rotten ones, so I for one am not going to recommend using it any more, either for leaves (because of its ineffectiveness) or for roots (because of the real and potential damage.)

    If anyone has the time, inclination, or means to carry out more extensive and thorough testing with this stuff, given the prevalence of cinnamon as a "cure-all" in popular orchid culture, I think such testing would be well worth the effort.

  3. #33
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    Oh Louis, that poor Vuyl.!!!! What sacrifices you make for the futhering of our knowledge. Think you'll be able to save it?

  4. #34
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    good enough for me saving the cinnamon for toast and things and using plant stuff for the plants.

  5. #35
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    hmm... I'm still not sure so I decidd to muck around with a plant...

    This is the problem Paph charlesworthii...



    So I cut the drying leaf and just touched up the end with cinnamon as so...



    Will update in a couple of days to see what has happened... a plant that I did something similar too completely stopped the drying so will see how this one goes...

    Cheers
    Tim

  6. #36
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    Default cinnamaldehyde

    You can check out the below address for the chemical found in cinnamon that is linked to its benfits... called cinnamaldehyde. There are plenty of other pages on it out there.

    What works on orchids though?... i have now idea. I will use it to sprinkle on cut leaves or the like... but I always keep it away from the roots... why... cause I heard it can be a root inhibitor like others... does it? ... i don't know.

    http://www.mediscover.net/related.cfm?Hnid=647

  7. #37
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    Hmmm, Not really thinking that E. Coli is a problem for plants but it's cool that Cinnamon has an effect on it. Maybe people in restaurants and such should use a cinnamon based hand soap. As far as it's efficacy in reducing rot, fugus, bateriological infections in plant and animal tissues I think the issue is getting a form of the cinnamaldehyde and eugenol that is transportable to the effected tissues without having the side effect of killing the effected tissue. IE we need a mode of transport. Sprinkling it on the surface would do about as much good as sprinkling molded bread on your chest if you have a bronchial infection. In that case we take a pill which allows our blood stream to carry it to the effected area. In the plants case we must rely on the system that carries water and nutrients up into the plant. So whatever we use must either be absorbable by the root or the leaf (comparison: bacitracin ointment for a skin cut). If it will not penetrate the surface of the leaf and get to the infection inside the leaf then it can have little or no effect on it.

    Just my thoughts on the matter. I still say save it for your toast with butter (real) and just a bare sprinkle of sugar.

    BTW does everyone know that the cinnamon commonly found in grocery stores really isn't cinnamon it's very similar but not the "real thing".

  8. #38
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    Okay, I'll take the bait..... what IS the cinnamon in grocery stores made of??

  9. #39
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    Default info

    From a site...

    "Both substances we call cinnamon come from the inner bark of trees that have historically been cultivated in southeast Asia. The first substance is made from the tree known as Cinnamomum verum (also called "Ceylon cinnamon", "cinnamomum zeylanicum" or "true cinnamon"). Its medicinal properties include a mild antifungal and antibacterial effect.

    The second substance we call cinnamon comes from the bark of a related tree, Cinnamomum aromaticum, often called "Chinese cinnamon", "false cinnamon" or "cassia cinnamon". (This cassia is not related to the strong laxative product sold in stores as "cassia" or "senna").

    Both kinds of cinnamon get their flavor from a chemical called cinnamaldehyde."

  10. #40
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    That's right we usually get the Cassia cinnamon in the grocery stores as it is more prevalent. The flavor is a bit different from each as you can immagine each type brings a different quality to the flavor. In my experience the true cinnamon is the better one and the harder to find.

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