That spice rack on your kitchen counter does more than make your food tasty. It is a treasure-house of natural remedies for thousands of health problems that confound modern medicine. One of the spices that is worth looking into is cinnamon. There are several cinnamon health benefits ranging from helping with digestive issues to improving brain function. Cinnamon is not typically associated with allergies so everyone can take advantage of cinnamon health benefits. Let’s take a closer look at this aromatic spice.
What is Cinnamon?
If you’ve seen cinnamon sticks, then you already know that it resembles the bark of a tree. Cinnamon is indeed the bark of not one but several trees from the cinnamomum family. The best cinnamon in the world is grown in Sri Lanka. But the regular cinnamon that you and I have in our kitchens is sourced from other South-east Asian countries which have the most conducive climate for the growth of cinnamomum trees.
The spice has an unmistakable taste that is recognized around the world – it is both savory and sweet, as well as warming and pungent. This spice was highly prized in ancient history and was exclusive only to royalty or to the most high-standing nobles and merchants. Cinnamon was considered more precious than gold and was thought to be a gift fit for the gods.
Cinnamon is used in a variety of recipes from desserts to soups to meat dishes. Although it has always been famous for its food flavoring abilities, the medicinal properties of this exotic spice have also been known to Chinese herbalists and in Ayurveda. These are both ancient medicinal systems so cinnamon health benefits are obviously no new concept. But the Western world has only come to realize the cinnamon health benefits in recent times.
Cinnamon has calcium, iron, vitamins C and K, fiber, and manganese – so if nothing else, the least of the cinnamon health benefits is that it will provide you with these minerals, vitamins and vital nutrients. What makes cinnamon especially adept at resolving health problems is the active ingredients in its oils – cinnamyl acetate, cinnamaldehyde and cinnamyl alcohol. Let’s get down to the amazing health benefits that these components have – the cinnamon health benefits that were known to ancient medicinal systems as well as some that are only now being uncovered by the tools of modern science.
The Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Without further ado, here are just some of the known cinnamon health benefits. Maybe you will find below the remedy to a health problem that you are suffering from.
Banish Digestion Ailments
This is one of the cinnamon health benefits that all systems of ancient medicine agreed up on. Cinnamon soothes the lining of the stomach so it can help alleviate the rigors of indigestion. So if you have bloating, gas, or an upset stomach, the cinnamon health benefits can do wonders for you. Cinnamon is even powerful enough to reduce the severity of ulcers.
Lose Weight With Cinnamon
Most cinnamon health benefits are debated, but none as hotly as this one. Some folks will swear that cinnamon tea with honey helped them to lose weight. Others who have tried this have seen no results and called this theory hogwash. There is no definite science to support these cinnamon health benefits, but weight loss may occur with cinnamon for the following reasons. Cinnamon gives a feeling of satiety, thus preventing you from over-eating. Since it may also replace an otherwise high calorie beverage during the day, it cuts down on calories, thus leading to weight loss. And finally, one of the cinnamon health benefits is that it increases your energy levels so you are likely to move around a lot more or put more effort into your work outs, again promoting a toned body and helping you burn fat. So whether or not the spice actually has any magical weight reducing properties, you can be sure that it will contribute in some way to your weight loss goals if you are taking other efforts in combination with drinking cinnamon tea.
If you are interested in trying it our, here’s the uber simple recipe. Boil about a cup of water. Put wither a couple of cinnamon sticks or two teaspoons of cinnamon in the water. Let it sit for about half an hour so the goodness of the cinnamon can really soak through to the water. Strain this concoction, add some honey to sweeten if you wish. Have a cup first thing in the morning and again before going to bed at night. Don’t forget to report your results.
Alleviates Arthritic Pain
A study conducted at Copenhagen University showed that cinnamon has some pretty amazing anti-inflammatory properties that can help lessen joint pain in arthritis patients. During the study, folks who took just one tablespoon of cinnamon everyday were able to walk without much pain within a month. There was significant pain relief in just a week. Even the swelling or redness in the joints had gone down. The results of the study led to the hypothesis that taking cinnamon regularly may just prevent arthritis altogether.
Also Alleviates Menstrual Cramps
The same cinnamon health benefits that reduce arthritic pain are capable of significantly reducing menstrual cramps as well since one of the cinnamon health benefits is that it can influence the lining of the uterus. Cinnamon can also help to regulate menstrual cycles.
One of the cinnamon health benefits that can help people reduce their blood pressure is the spice’s amazing anti-clotting abilities.
Cinnamon is great at fighting infections, even the most chronic ones. In fact, cinnamon health benefits go so far as to be effective against such terrible bacteria as E. coli. These cinnamon health benefits also make this spice a great food preservative since bacteria is the reason that food spoils.
Helps With Yeast Infections
Some types of yeast infections simply do not respond to medication. This may be because of your constitution, existing health issues, interference with other medication, or because the strain of bacteria causing the infection has developed a resistance. Fortunately, one of the cinnamon health benefits is its ability to cure you of yeast infections. As little as half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day can work wonders.
May Prevent or Control Diabetes
Diabetics can be thankful for cinnamon health benefits. Cinnamon not only reduces blood sugar levels it also increases insulin levels and helps the body utilize insulin more efficiently. Diabetics who are insulin dependent (type 2 diabetes) can greatly benefit from taking cinnamon daily. If you are at a higher risk for diabetes, cinnamon may reduce your risk of developing the condition.
Good for Your Brain
You don’t just get cinnamon health benefits by ingesting the spice. Indeed, if research by a doctor in Florida is to be believed, cinnamon may improve cognitive functioning simply by its smell. According to research, cinnamon boosts memory function, makes you more productive, improves motor functioning, and helps you process information at a faster rate. So if you have been feeling a bit off lately, try a sniff of cinnamon. This is one of those cinnamon health benefits you have to try to believe.
Another study done on mice showed that cinnamon can inhibit the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Human testing has yet to be done, but you can take it as a given that even this will be one of the proven cinnamon health benefits in the very near future.
Good for Your Heart Too
Cinnamon can lower the levels of bad LDL cholesterol. Since high levels of LDL cholesterol put you at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, you can lower your risk and probably prevent developing heart problems if you take cinnamon. Just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day will allow you take advantage of these cinnamon health benefits.
May Reduce The Risk of Colon Cancer and Other Cancers
There is strong research to suggest that one of the cinnamon health benefits is that it can reduce the risk of colon cancer. The fiber and calcium in cinnamon bind themselves to bile salts – which can cause some damage to colon cells, leading to cancer – and allow them to be passed out of the body, thus protecting the colon from the negative impact of bile salts.
Other studies have shown that one of the incredible cinnamon health benefits is that it can prevent cancer cells from spreading. The effects were particularly noticeable in cases of lymphoma cells and leukemia cells.
A Cure for HIV?
Much research has yet to be done on the subject, but initial tests show that cinnamon extracts can significantly help battle HIV.
How to Get Cinnamon Health Benefits
We all love to read articles like these which talk about the health benefits of simple herbs and spices like cinnamon, ginger, garlic etc. We’re amazed by how so simple a thing can help us so much. And we start to think, wow! I just gotta start taking cinnamon or ginger or whatever. But then time passes and the enthusiasm fades because you just don’t know how to include more cinnamon in your diet. This is actually one of the main reasons that people do not take advantage of the health benefits of cinnamon and other herbs or spices – they just do not know how. This is why modern medicine is so much more popular – pop a pill for everything. But don’t you worry. If you are serious about getting the health benefits of cinnamon, are OK with taking some efforts to gain cinnamon health benefits, and are willing to read for a few more minutes, we’ll give you a number of ways in which you can start to incorporate this yummy spice in your life.
- The best way to get the health benefits of cinnamon as well as other herbs and spices is through the helpful medium of tea. Make yourself a cup of fresh cinnamon tea to get cinnamon health benefits. There’s no fancy recipe. Just add some cinnamon to your regular cup of tea. Or boil some cinnamon in plain water. Add honey to sweeten and you have a concoction that will give you all the goodness of cinnamon health benefits.
- Although this is not the most recommended way to get cinnamon health benefits, it is the most popular. Sprinkle cinnamon on cakes and cookies. If you are like most people, you’ve probably been advised to cut down on these baked items. But if you are going to eat them despite what your doctor says you may as well get some cinnamon health benefits while you’re at it. This is a delicious excuse to eat cake, and a yummy way to gain some of the cinnamon health benefits we’ve talked about.
- Cinnamon taken with honey is supposed to have more cinnamon health benefits than if the spice is taken alone. So if nothing else, you can simply mix a little cinnamon in a spoon of honey and down that.
- You can always try the cinnamon tea recipe mentioned in the weight loss section here. Or you can try a tastier version of cinnamon tea if you are not really thinking of losing weight. Heat some milk on a low flame with cinnamon sticks for about ten minutes. Strain into a mug, add honey, and enjoy. This beverage is warming and comforting – a healthier alternative to hot chocolate on a winter evening.
- Cinnamon toast has been a long favorite with kids and is a simple, convenient way to get your daily cinnamon health benefits. Just sprinkle some cinnamon and honey on your toast in the morning and you have a healthy breakfast treat.
- One of the easiest ways to get cinnamon health benefits is to sprinkle some cinnamon in your daily meals. You’d be surprised by the pleasant twist in flavor that it will give your recipes. Cinnamon tastes fantastic with meat and vegetables alike. Add to beans, curries, eggplant, mushrooms, potatoes, lamb, or chicken.
- Sprinkle cinnamon in your breakfast cereal to start your day with a boost of cinnamon health benefits.