Healing Spices: Cinnamon
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Healing Spices: Cinnamon

Cinnamon as a viable home remedy is gaining in popularity as scientists continue to study the possible healing properties of spices.

History of Cinnamon

In modern times, when we smell cinnamon scented candles or home-made goodies made with this sweet spice we have a tendency to want to curl up in front of a fire, sing Christmas carols and think of warm memories of family and friends. While the holidays would not be the same for us without this essential ingredient, less publicized are cinnamon’s health benefits.

Cinnamon sticks that we buy in the grocery store come from a small, bushy tree that grows wild throughout Asia. There are two types of cinnamon: Cassia and Ceylon. “Supermarket cinnamon” or cassia is the most common variety available in the U.S and is imported mainly from Indonesia. While most spices are derived from the seeds of plants, cinnamon is actually the dried and rolled inner bark.

Dating back more than 2000 years, the use of cinnamon is well documented in ancient writings, ironically with little mention of its culinary use. Among the ancient documents recording the use of cinnamon is one of the oldest writings on botanical medicine on record. This Chinese document and others laud the use of cinnamon for a number of health problems. Cinnamon has proved to be a versatile spice as well. Mentioned numerous times in the Bible, cinnamon is most notably referenced as an ingredient in anointing oil. The ancient Egyptians also used cinnamon in their embalming rituals. As with many other spices in the ancient world, cinnamon was very expensive and regarded as a gift fit for kings and other royalty.

Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Many common health ailments have been treated successfully with the use of cinnamon. Cold and flu symptoms like fever, cough, congestion and sore throat can be greatly relieve by drinking cinnamon tea or by adding cinnamon to other herbal teas. Some naturopathic experts say that taking as little as a half teaspoon of cinnamon a day will help to actually prevent the onset of colds and flu as cinnamon has been purported to have antimicrobial properties.

Studies show that cinnamon can relieve certain digestive discomforts as well. The consumption of cinnamon has been used historically to successfully treat minor gastrointestinal issues like flatulence and even more sever conditions such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

As an added bonus, cinnamon has been shown to boost brain function. In one study, chewing cinnamon flavored gum was responsible for enhancing and increasing brain processing and cognitive ability including memory. The results in this area were so promising that researchers have begun to test the aromatherapy applications of cinnamon on elderly patients with cognitive disorders.

Experts have just scratched the surface where cinnamon is concerned. Through ongoing research, cinnamon is proving to be beneficial in controlling blood sugar levels in Type 2 Diabetes patients, relieving migraine headaches, helping to control cholesterol and triglyceride levels and even giving arthritis patients some relief.

Along with its popularity in America’s kitchens, cinnamon is gaining in popularity among herbalists and naturopaths as a viable home remedy for certain health conditions.

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Comments (3)

I love cinnamon! Glad to hear it has so many different potential health benefits.

In Cyprus we use it daily, the Cypriot villagers introduced me to using it in cooking. When I lived in the UK it was for Christmas only. Since 2005 when I moved here and used it, I have not had a cold or a bug of any kind. Interesting informative article.

Really good article. One of my favorite things is to put cinnamon on applesauce and warm it in the microwave. Mmm!

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