It’s no secret that cinnamon is a spice and that there are delicious benefits of cinnamon in food and drinks. Individuals use it to flavor pies, cakes, oats, and even teas. The aroma of cinnamon oil is added to air fresheners and candles.
We purchase cinnamon from the store in either sticks or powder but it is actually a small tree that can be found in the Middle East and South Asia and the products we purchase are from the bark of the tree. There are two popular types of cinnamon trees which are Ceylon and Cassia.
But cinnamon is more than just a delicious and tasty spice. It is a potent medicinal herb that for thousands of years it has been used in Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine. It is now becoming a favorite for homeopathic treatments for many conditions.
The reason cinnamon is such a potent medicine is because it is rich in antioxidants. It also contains anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. This makes it one of the highest ranked natural home remedy treatments that the healthcare industry agrees with. Not only does it contain these powerful agents but it is also a great source of manganese, calcium, and Vitamins A and K. It also contains anti-aging properties.
The USDA Food and Nutrient Database reported that one tablespoon of cinnamon contained the following:
0.3 grams of protein
0.1 grams of fat
6.3 grams of carbohydrate
4.1 grams of fiber
Although most treatments only call for ½ teaspoon of cinnamon a day the listed contents should be calculated accordingly.
The Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon according to a lot of specialist, analysts, researchers, and health experts have many health benefits. The pancreas benefits the most from the intake of cinnamon because its medicinal properties provide powerful effects on insulin levels and blood sugars, which helps control diabetes.
There are other health benefits of cinnamon which include but are not limited to the following:
Heart Disease – Strengthens the Cardiovascular system and shields it from heart related problems and diseases, also improves blood circulation and can be beneficial for those suffering from high blood pressure
Fights Cancer – reduces the proliferation of lymphoma and leukemia cancer cells. It can also help remove bile which can prevent damage to colon cells which in turn can help prevent colon cancer
Digestive Tonic - helps prevent and reduces indigestion, upset stomach, heartburn, and diarrhea
Improve cognitive and memory - helps in removing nervous tension and memory loss. It improves concentration and alertness.
Infections – Cinnamon can be very beneficial both internally and externally on fighting infections including medicine resistant vaginal yeast infections, oral yeast infections and stomach ulcers
Arthritis - Due to its anti-inflammatory compounds cinnamon can reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
Blood - Cinnamon has a variety of benefits for the blood. It improves blood circulation which will improve oxygen throughout the body and increase metabolism. It also helps alleviate pain. . This can promote healing and help prevent heart attacks. Cinnamaldehyde found in cinnamon helps prevent clumping in blood platelets.
Respiratory Problems - known to cure influenza, chronic cough, flu, sore throat, and congestion
Other Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is also known as a natural food preservative because it prevents bacterial growth and food spoilage.
It also fights E coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.
Many people have found that a paste of cinnamon and honey can be very effective on treating insect bites.
Cinnamon has been used as a mouth freshener. It can either be gargled by mixing the powder in water to make a mouth wash or the sticks can be broken into small pieces that can be chewed. It’s no secret that it effectively treats toothaches as well.
A cinnamon paste mixed with a few drops of lemon juice can be very effective on removing blackheads and can also help with pimples.
A thin cinnamon paste can be applied to the temples and forehead to cure headaches.
There can be some side effects when it comes to using cinnamon. Most of the side effects listed here do not compare to some of the conventional medications used to treat some of the conditions that benefit from the use of cinnamon.
Cinnamon’s properties have an anti clotting effect on the blood, so caution should be taken if you use aspirin or blood thinners. It is best to speak with your doctor before combining these products.
The Cassia plant, which is the plant that provides the powdered cinnamon we purchase in our local stores, contains Coumarin. Coumarin is a toxic compound that when taken in high doses is known to cause kidney and liver damage.
During pregnancy, large quantities of cinnamon should be avoided because of the possibility of there being adverse effects on the uterus.
How to Use Cinnamon
There are many ways to add cinnamon to your diet. You can use it to garnish dishes like oats, toasts, and even on rice. When adding cinnamon to these dishes you would be better using ground cinnamon or powder.
You can also add it to soft drinks, teas, and coffees. Powder or stick cinnamon will be best for these.
All it takes is about a half teaspoon a day to get all the benefits that cinnamon can give.
Cinnamon is usually purchased in powder form which makes it very easy to add to just about any dish or drink for consumption. You can however, purchase cinnamon sticks which are usually used in drinks but can be chewed. Cinnamon is also available as an oil which can be easily applied to the skin, used in aroma therapy, and added to foods and drink.
If you don’t care for the taste of this medicinal spice but would enjoy the benefits of cinnamon you can find cinnamon supplements. These are easy to swallow capsules that can provide all the benefits of cinnamon without the taste.