Cinnamon: The wonder spice

Monday, November 17, 2008

I had heard long ago that cinnamon was effective in maintaining blood sugar levels, so I started putting a heap of it on my oatmeal every morning. Because it can’t hurt, right?

But it turns out that cinnamon has been used since ancient times for medicinal purposes. This I did not know. There are claims that it can help everything from taking the sting out of insect bites to curing a yeast infection.

Here are some of the health benefits that have been attributed to cinnamon:

Lowering cholesterol: Just a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon per day has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol

Reducing blood sugar levels: Again, just a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon added to your diet per day can lower blood sugar levels.

Protecting against heart disease: Cinnamon is a source of calcium and fiber (who knew?) and, as such provides some protection against heart disease.

Curing respiratory problems: A person suffering from a severe cold should take one tablespoon of honey with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days. This home remedy is said to cure most chronic coughs and colds and clear the sinuses.

Boosting brain power: Cinnamon boosts the activity of the brain, removing nervous tension and improving memory. Studies have shown that just SMELLING cinnamon can be beneficial for cognitive function and memory, as well as increasing one’s alertness and concentration.

Fighting infections: Cinnamon has antifungal, antibacterial and antiparasitic properties that have been shown to be helpful in fighting both internal and external infections, including yeast infections, stomach ulcers and head lice. (Don’t ask me how; I couldn’t find specifics on how this is done.)

Reducing arthritis pain: The anti-inflammatory compounds in cinnamon have been found to be useful in reducing the pain of arthritis. A recent study showed patients given a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning had significant relief of arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.

Assisting digestion: Adding cinnamon to most recipes can aid digestion. It has been shown to help with indigestion and in removing gas from the stomach and intestines.

Bolstering the immune system: A paste of honey and cinnamon gives a boost to the immune system and removes fatigue. It is also said to have anti-aging properties.

Stopping the itch: The sting can be taken out of an insect bite by applying a paste of cinnamon and honey. But I would imagine you would want to make sure you are far away from the bee or mosquito that bit you before you apply the honey.

So there you go. A few things you probably knew and a few things that maybe you didn’t. It sure sounds like the cinnamon-honey combination is good for just about anything that ails you. I always have cinnamon around, but I guess I’ll have to pick up some honey. Sounds worth trying to me.

But please don’t overdo it – too much cinnamon can be toxic.


Cyndi said...

I love cinnamon! It's nice to know that it's so good for me. Maybe those cinnamon scented pine cones will make my house cleaner!

Mrs. Jelly Belly said...

Well, it might. Since just the smell of cinnamon is supposed to improve your memory, maybe you'll remember that you have to clean it. :)

MomToTwo said...

I have some Saigon Cinnamon that I love. It's awesome. Actually, any cinnamon is good cinnamon to me. :)

Melissa S. said...

I have been wondering a lot lately about the benefits of fresh spices to dried spices.
Fresh obviously have a much stronger flavor, but I wonder if fresh work better to stregthen these effects...

Cinnamon said...

The Cinnamon that is in your picture and sold in the US is actually Cassia.

Cassia has a chemical that is toxic.Please click the below link to read more.

Make sure that you buy real Cinnamon and not Cassia.