Cinnamon, who doesn’t love it! And its versatility rivals that of any spice in your cabinet. A teaspoon of cinnamon added to almost any favorite dish can give it diversity and a whole new flavor. A pinch of cinnamon sprinkled on top of your favorite hot beverage, cocoa, hot chocolate, coffee etc.—Wow—what a pick-me-up! Sprinkle it on toast with a little sugar, but be careful—you’ll want more.
So why not indulge, you’ll be giving more than your taste buds a treat. In the medical and naturopath world, cinnamon is enjoying much popularity. There are studies being done globally to research the health benefits of cinnamon for more than the benefits we are already aware of.
Of course cinnamon health benefits are not new to many ancient eastern cultures. Dating back thousands of years, Egypt, China, India and Rome have all used cinnamon for healing. The ancient Romans used cinnamon to treat coughs and colds. The ancient Egyptians used it to embalm their bodies and also to dry and preserve meat. Dating back over 3 thousand years, the Chinese used cinnamon for colds, diarrhea and difficult menstruation. In India in Ayuveric Medicine, cinnamon was used to aid in digestion when added to tea and to treat diabetes, as well as flatulence, piles, Amenorrhea, Diarrhea, Toothache, Amoebiasis, Heart diseases, Fever, Cough, Cold, Headache and many more. These are just some of the benefits of cinnamon.
Cinnamon is commonly known for its antibacterial, anti fungal, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, is high in antioxidants and has shown an amazing ability to treat yeast infections that resist traditional medications. As an antimicrobial, as the ancients knew, it helps deter the growth of bacteria in food and is being studied for its use as a food preservative.
Studies done in Sweden concluded that a small daily intake of cinnamon after 40 days lowered fasting blood glucose levels. In 2006, the American Diabetes Association suggested the use of cinnamon for diabetics to help lower blood sugar levels.
Results of other cinnamon health benefits studies include:
• Reduction of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells and anti-melanoma activity.Relief of arthritic pain within one week of taking a half teaspoon of cinnamon combined with 1 teaspoon of honey every morning, and after one month, the ability to walk without symptoms of pain.
• The smell of cinnamon has the ability to boost memory and cognitive functioning
• Fights the E.coli bacteria found in unpasteurized juices
• ½ tsp. of cinnamon a day can reduce LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides
• Aids in deterring unwanted clumping of blood platelets causing clots to form
• Inhibited the development of Alzheimers in mice
Often the foods we eat do not provide us with the nutrients we require so it is important to take into consideration what we can add to our foods to boost our consumption of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc. Cinnamon is a good source of manganese, iron and calcium and also supplies us with added fiber to our diet with only 11 calories per 2 teaspoons.
The active components of cinnamon which provide the cinnamon health benefits are not destroyed by heat, so cooking with it gives you just as much health benefit as using it uncooked.
One interesting development that for some might be a another one of the cinnamon health benefits is in its use to inhibit the urge for tobacco. The National Institute of Health has suggested chewing cinnamon sticks or cinnamon flavored toothpicks when trying to quit smoking. This method can also be used for over eaters trying to cut down on their urges to eat.
If you seldom bring the cinnamon out from your spice cabinet, you should seriously consider leaving it on the counter. Use it as often as you can and experiment with it in your food and drinks. Make it a permanent fixture on your kitchen table in a decorative container, and don’t ignore all the health benefits of cinnamon you are now aware of! Use it!