Cinnamon – The Wonder Spice of The World
Cinnamon, beside being an aromatic spice, is nature’s superbly potent drug for a plethora ailments and diseases. It is a remedy for Diabetes, Infections & Viruses, Food Poisoning, Inflammation, Candida, Cholesterol control, High Blood Pressure, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, Neuro-degeneration, Cardiovascular diseases, Respiratory problems, and Cancer. It is also a strong Antifungal, Antiseptic, Antibacterial Antioxidant that reduces free radical damage.
Cinnamon, after the venerable Turmeric, is the most used spice (herb) in our household – from my very own tooth powder to tea and coffee, it is used in almost every food and drink that is prepared in our home. But, its real wonders are really appreciated when someone gets a stomach bug. Just half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a cup of water kills all the bad bacteria – from Escherichia Coli to Salmonella, and provide fast relief — without any side effects.
No kitchen – or travelling suitcase, should be with out Organic Ceylon Cinnamon powder — along with the Turmeric powder, of course.
Historically, Cinnamon has been used for Abdominal pain, Food Poisoning, Chronic Diarrhea, Arrhythmia, Alzheimer’s disease, Arthritis, Asthma, Prostatic hyperplasia, Blood purification, Chronic Bronchitis, Cystitis, Gum disease, Dental caries, Gynecologic disorders, Hyper-cholesterolemia, Hypertension, Cardiovascular disease, Hyperthyroid, Urethritis and Urinary disorders, Loss of Appetite, Memory loss, Movement disorders, Muscle aches, Nausea, Neuralgia, Neuroprotective, Premature Ejaculation, Respiratory Tract infection, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Wound healing, and Diabetes management — and, lately also for HIV/AIDS.
In traditional Chinese medicine, cinnamon is used for colds, flatulence, nausea, diarrhea, and painful menstrual periods, to improve energy, vitality, and blood circulation. In Ayurveda, cinnamon is used as a remedy for diabetes, indigestion, and colds.
Apart from adding flavor to the food, cinnamon has been used to slows the spoiling of food — Because of cinnamon’s antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, it is used to inhibit growth of Listeriaspp and Escherichia coli in foods.
Cinnamon is also a very rich source of minerals and vitamins. A teaspoon of cinnamon contains 28 mg of calcium, almost one mg of iron, over a gram of fiber, and quite a lot of vitamins C, K, and manganese. It also contains about half a gram of soluble fiber carbohydrate.
Turmeric Plant — Monograph
Cinnamon is the bark twigs of a number of related trees that have one thing in common – Cinnamon Oil that contains Cinnamonaldehyde, and also Cinnamate, Cinnamic acid, Procyanidins, Catechins and numerous other essential oils. These trees are native to India, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam, and Egypt. There are two main varieties of cinnamon: Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum verum (true cinnamon) or C. zeylanicum. The characteristic flavor and aroma of cinnamon comes from cinnamonaldehyde.
When the cinnamon tree is around two years old, it is cut to the size of a stump and covered with soil. This process causes it to grow like a bush, with new shoots emerging out of the sides by the following year. It’s these shoots that are used to make cinnamon. Once cut, the shoots are stripped of their bark and the peels are set out to dry under the sun. As this happens, the bark naturally curls into quills (sticks) [source: Indian Institute of Spices Research].
Beside the cinnamonaldehyde, cinnamate, cinnamic acid, procyanidins, catechins and numerous other essential oils, cinnamon also contains a significant amount of a mucilaginous substance, which consists mainly of a water extractable L-arabino-D-xylan and an alkali-extractable D-glucan. The bark also contains the diterpenes, cinnzeylanin, cinnzeylano, and tannins.
Major Benefits and Usage of Cinnamon
The active components – the polyphenols in the cinnamon bark like cinnamaldehyde, cinnamate, cinnamic acid, Procyanidins, and Catechins are responsible for the impresssive portfolio of health benefits of cinnamon. I t has an amazing array of healht supporting properties.
Antibacterial and Antiseptic Properties:
This sweet smelling spice has amazing antibacterial properties. Cinnamon oil has exhibited antifungal, antiviral, bactericidal, and larvicidal activities. Specifically, ingredients in cinnamon kill escherichia coli, staphylococcus aureus, salmonella, the Asian flu virus A, and echo virus.
Salmonella causes food poisoning, escherichia coli causes Montezuma’s revenge, and staphylococcus aureus causes lesions, pustules, and boils that can be terminal if they spread to the organs. Cinnamon has been proven to suppress their growth, and the growth of several other gram-positive bacteria.
The cinnamaldehyde component of cinnamon is responsible for its anti-microbial activity. It inhibits the growth of Listeria and Escherichia coli in foods.
Anti-Fungal and Anti-Yeast Properties:
Due to its antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic and antiseptic properties, it is effective on external as well as internal infections. Cinnamon has been found to be effective in fighting vaginal yeast infections, oral yeast infections, stomach ulcers and head lice.
Diabetes and Blood Sugar Management:
Cinnamon has an anti-diabetic property. It improves sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which is the vital hormone needed for keeping normal blood sugar levels. It blocks alanines group of enzymes which allows for glucose to be absorbed into the blood. By this action, cannamon has been shown to decrease the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a meal, which is important for those suffering with diabetes.
Cinnamon also reduces blood sugar levels and treating Type 2 Diabetes. Several studies have shown improved insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control by taking as little as ½ teaspoon of cinnamon per day. Improving insulin resistance can help in weight control as well as decreasing the risk for heart disease.
One of the first human studies was published in 2003 in a medical journal called Diabetes Care. Sixty people with type 2 diabetes took 1, 3, or 6 grams of cinnamon in pill form daily, an amount roughly equivalent to one quarter of a teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
After 40 days, all 3 amounts of cinnamon reduced fasting blood glucose by 18 to 29%, triglycerides by 23 to 30%, LDL cholesterol by 7 to 27%, and total cholesterol by 12 to 26%.
Another study looked at the effect of cinnamon on 79 people with type 2 diabetes who weren’t on insulin therapy but were taking oral anti-diabetic medications or modifying their diet. They took approximately 3 grams of cinnamon or a placebo 3 times a day for 4 months.
There was a significant reduction in blood glucose in the people taking cinnamon compared to people taking the placebo. Surprisingly, there was no difference in glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C) levels, a test that measures how well blood sugar has been controlled during the previous 3 to 4 months.
Cinnamon has extremely high anti-oxidant activity due to which it has numerous health benefits. It is packed with many protective antioxidants – polyphenols, phenolic acid, and flavonoids, that reduce free radical damage and slow the aging process.
The combination of these antioxidants in cinnamon help in reducing the symptoms and protecting against diseases due to their free-radical-scavenging nature. The health benefits of cinnamon include its ability to reduce oxidative stress, limit nitric oxide build up in the blood and lipid (fat) oxidation, which can lead to brain disorders, cancer, heart disease, and other conditions.
Heart Health & Cholesterol Management:
Studies have shown that cinnamon reduces several of the most common risk factors for heart disease, including high cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels, and high blood pressure.
Many studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon included in a daily diet can lower cholesterol. The active compounds in cinnamon act to reduce levels of total cholesterol, LDL ‘bad cholesterol and triglycerides, while keeping HDL ‘good’ cholesterol stable.
Cinnamon has also been shown to reduce high blood pressure, which leads to heart disease or a stroke. A systemic review done of three studies have suggested that cinnamon can cause a significant fall in systolic as well as diastolic BP.
Cinnamon strengthens the cardiovascular system thereby shielding the body from heart related disorders. It is believed that the calcium and fiber present in cinnamon provides protection against heart diseases. The active components cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid are said to be cardio protective due to their ability to produce nitric oxide as well as the associated anti-inflammatory property. Including a little cinnamon in the food helps those suffering from coronary artery disease and high blood pressure.
Cinnamon has anti clotting actions. Cinnamaldehyde compound found in Cinnamon has been well-researched for its effects on blood platelets. This compound in cinnamon helps prevent unwanted clumping of blood platelets – thus provides protection against strokes, angina, and heart attack.
On the other hand, research shows that cinnamon is also a blood coagulant and prevents bleeding by helping the body to form blood clots.
Blood Thinning & Circulation Boosting Properties:
Cinnamon is also a coagulant and prevents bleeding. It is a blood-thinning agent which also acts to increase circulation. Cinnamon also increases the blood circulation in the uterus and advances tissue regeneration.
Cinnamon’s blood circulation boosting property dvances bodily tissue’s ability to repair itself after it’s been damaged — An important benefit for the heart when in need of regeneration after damage due to heart attack or in order to fight heart attacks, heart disease, and stroke.
This blood circulation property also helps significantly in removing pain. Good blood circulation also ensures oxygen supply to the body cells leading to higher metabolic activity.
You significantly reduce the chance of getting a heart attack by regularly consuming cinnamon.
Active ingredients in cinnamon prevent cancer. Studies have revealed that cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon inhibits cancer tumor growth, and, because of its antioxidant properties, protect DNA from damage, cell mutation, and cancerous tumor growth. It also induces cancerous cells to self-destruct.
A study released by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland showed that cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells. Besides, the combination of calcium and fiber found in Cinnamon can help to remove bile, which prevents damage to colon cells, thus prevents colon cancer.
Respiratory Support & Protection Against Cold:
Cinnamon cures Respiratory Problems. It is a very useful home remedy for common to severe colds. Just one tablespoon of honey with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days will cure most chronic cough, cold and clear the sinuses. Cinnamon also found to cure flu, influenza, sore throat and congestion.
Protection Against Infections & Viruses:
Cinnamon is a natural anti-microbial, anti-biotic, anti-fungal, and anti-viral agent. These immune-boosting abilities of cinnamon are due to the polyphenols in the cinnamon bark’s essential oil; cinnamaldehyde, cinnamate, cinnamic acid, Procyanidins, and Catechins. These cinnamon oils also have protective abilities against various bacteria which cause diseases in the digestive tract, skin, and can also ,lead to colds or the flu.
Urinary Tract Support:
IT reduces Urinary tract infections. People who eat cinnamon on a regular basis report a lower incidence of urinary tract infections. Cinnamon is diuretic in nature and helps in secretion and discharge of urine.
Help Prevent Candida:
Cinnamon’s powerful anti-fungal properties are effective in curbing and curing Candida overgrowth in the digestive tract. Many studies have been conducted that show that Cinnamon lowers the amounnt of dangerous Candida Albicans, overgrowth og which can cause multiple digestive and autoimmune diseases.
Anti-inflammatory – Arthritis Relief:
Cinnamon reduces Arthritis Pain. It contains anti-inflammatory compounds which can be useful in reducing pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. The polyphenols in cinnamon reduce the activation of the genes that cause the inflammatory compounds being released, and thus reducde inflammation.
A study conducted at Copenhagen University, where patients were given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.
Brain and Cognitive Support:
Cinnamon’s protective antioxidant properties boosts the activity of the brain, and, hence, acts as a good brain tonic. It helps in removing nervous tension and memory loss, boosts cognitive function, memory and performance of certain tasks and increases one’s alertness and concentration.
Another way that cinnamon protects cognitive function and brain health is by activating the neuro-protective proteins that protect brain cells from mutation and undergoing damage.
It eases menstruation cycles. Cinnamon has also been found useful for women’s health as it helps in providing relief from menstrual cramping and other feminine discomforts. In some studies, cinnamon has shown an amazing ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections..
Immune System Boost:
Cinnamon help boost Immune System. Honey and cinnamon paste is good for boosting the immune system, removing regular fatigue and increasing the longevity of an individual. It is also known to have anti-aging properties. Honey and Cinnamon on breakfast toast is one of my favorites.
It helps fight tooth decay. Cinnamon has traditionally been used to treat toothache and fight bad breath. Small pieces of cinnamon can be chewed, or gargled with cinnamon, which serves as a good mouth freshener. Personally, I recommend using cinnamon as tooth powder twice a week – Brush your teeth with cinnamon powder.
Cinnamon has anti-biotic and anti-microbial properties that protect skin from irritations, rashes, allergic reactions, and infections.
For an effective relief, apply a mix of cinnamon and organic raw honey directly to the skin. It will help reduce the inflammation, swelling, pain, and redness of the skin — it also boosts skin health and are beneficial for acne, rosacea, and signs of skin allergies.
Relief for Allergies:
Thanks to the cinnamon’s active compound’s anti-inflamation properties, Cinnamon has been shown to be helpful in fighting common allergy symptoms and histamine reactions in the body. Similiarly, it also helps to reduce symptoms of asthma attacks.
Cinnamon has been used both as an herb and as a spice in foods, drinks and sweets for thousands of years. In normal use, it poses no adverse effect in non-allergic people. Most negative reactions (in allergic people) are in the form of skin rashes, or irritation to the tissues of the mouth or stomach.
Note: Cinnamon’s active ingredients are very potent phytochemicals – that is from where its therapeutic and healing properties come. And, as such, it should be used with Respect and Commonsense – Cinnamon is not food.
Its use of up to ½ teaspoon at a time – and no more than three times a day (1 1/2 per day) is considered to be safe. People attempting to take large quantities as a supplement should be aware that Cinnamon has a mild anti-clotting effect in the blood, which could be beneficial. But it is conceivable that too much could cause bleeding problems, especially when combined with blood-thinning medications (which include aspirin). In traditional medicine, high doses of Cinnamon are not given to pregnant women, due to possible stimulating effects on the uterus.
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— Enjoy a Cup of Cinnamon-Turmeric Tea —
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