Cinnamon is one of my favorite spices. I use it a lot for flavoring food and I absolutely love its sweet scent. What’s good about it is that it’s not only smells and tastes good, it’s also full of medicinal properties that can contribute a lot to your health. This article will cover the main ailments in which you can use cinnamon as a medicine.
Cinnamon is a spice that human kind has been familiarized with for thousands of years. Our generation has become most familiarized with the flavoring properties and aromatic benefits it has to offer. We use it to add a little kick to our baked meals, mixed into hot beverages, and in all sorts of aromatics that give off a warm cinnamon smell. The usefulness of cinnamon goes far beyond these common comforts however.
Types of cinnamon and which one to prefer
There are two major types of cinnamon for culinary use: Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum or Cinnamomum zeylanicum, also known as “true cinnamon”) and Cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum aromaticaum and Cinnamomum burmannii, also known as “Saigon cinnamon”). Ceylon cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka, whereas cassia cinnamon is native to Burma and also grown in China and Vietnam.
You are more likely to find cassia cinnamon in the United states and Canada which is less expensive. While both cassia and Ceylon cinnamon are derived from the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees, Ceylon cinnamon is preferable. Ceylon cinnamon is typically more expensive than any of the cassia versions, and it is also the cinnamon more closely associated with potential health benefits involving blood sugar regulation. Another advantage to Ceylon cinnamon is its very low coumarin levels. Coumarin is a naturally occurring toxin which has the potential to damage the liver in high doses, and cassia cinnamon is a main source of coumarin. So for people who are cinnamon lovers and consume large amounts of cinnamon, Ceylon Cinnamon is the best choice.
How to tell the difference between the cinnamon types – Ceylon cinnamon has a sweeter and more delicate flavor whereas cassia cinnamon is slightly darker in color and has a stronger flavor. The problem is that there is no way to distinguish between Ceylon cinnamon and cassia powders. So when you purchase cinnamon powder, try to find on the label the source of the cinnamon or call the customer service or manufacturer to find this information. If you buy a cinnamon stick, Ceylon cinnamon has a different texture than cassia stick. The bark of Ceylon cinnamon is thinner and the stick will show multiple layers of a thinner bark. Cassia stick, on the other hand, is thicker, comes in one piece and doesn’t show multiple layers of any kind.
The use of cinnamon for medicinal reasons is becoming an increasingly popular natural health practice for several reasons. First of all, it has a wide variety of medical benefits, ten of which will be discussed in this article. Then there is the natural and safe appeal it has to offer. Finally, it is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to incorporate natural health into your diet. Listed below are a few of the main reasons people use cinnamon medicinally. At the end you will find the recommended dose for this great spice.
1. Lowering Blood Sugar
If your blood sugar levels aren’t stable, neglecting to monitor them could result in serious consequences. Individuals that have difficulty with their blood sugar levels, particularly diabetics, have used cinnamon because it helps the body respond to insulin more effectively, which encourages healthy blood sugar levels. And indeed cinnamon is one of the 6 best foods to control diabetes which I wrote about in the past.
2. Lowering Cholesterol
When you’re levels of low density lipoproteins (LDL) aren’t controlled, you may face major health risks and reduced heart health. Studies have shown that a minimum of 1 gram of cinnamon a day encouraged healthier blood sugar levels amongst type 2 diabetics. You can find more information in my article how to lower cholesterol naturally.
3. Treating Yeast Infections
Treating yeast infections is one of the most surprisingly effective medical benefits that comes from cinnamon. Trials have shown that it had the ability to prevent the infection from developing even when it became resistant to medication. Cinnamon oil is the most common way for people to get the best results for this issue. For more natural treatments have a look at my article how to treat yeast infection naturally.
4. Reducing Inflammation
There were medical studies done at the University of Texas that tested how well cinnamon could help with diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer. These studies found that the cinnamon actually helped prevent inflammation in brain tissue. This secures a longer and healthier life for your brain. Read here more about the top 5 food and supplements to delay Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
5. Antioxidant Effects
When it comes to the most potent and effective antioxidants in the world, cinnamon actually places in the top seven. The body uses antioxidants to cleanse itself and keep harmful radicals from forming. They also help the cells from every part of your body recover much quicker from damage. Read here more about antioxidants and the best ways to combine then in your daily diet.
6. Anti Bacterial and Anti Fungal
When used in oil form, cinnamon has potent anti-bacterial properties and it is a great way to disinfect things in your home when mixed with water. It is also commonly used to fight stubborn fungal infections like athletes foot.
7. Helping Digestion
Cinnamon uses the antibacterial properties mentioned above to help infected digestive tracts and promote the healthy breakdown of food. It also has been shown to ease symptoms of bloating, prevent nausea, help digest dairy, and treat diarrhoea. This has been a well-known medical use in Chinese culture for hundreds of years. You may also be interested to read about 11 eating tips for a healthier digestive system.
8. Reducing Pain
Cinnamon can effectively keep away prostaglandins, which are receptors that make your neurons more sensitive to pain. The large amount of manganese also helps encourage bone health and prevent pain brought on by arthritis.
9. Reducing Weight
Believe it or not cinnamon can also help you achieve your goals with weight loss. It increases the circulation of blood, which leads to a faster metabolic rate. It also keeps hunger at bay by metabolizing sugars and suppressing cravings. Read here more about the top 10 foods to increase your metabolism.
10. Healthy Blood Clotting
There has been a lot of medical research surrounding cinnamon’s ability to thin the blood. The studies found that it kept blood platelets from being clumped together, a problem that usually results in serious health issues.
How Much To Take
It’s hard to believe that something that we have strictly associated with holiday dishes and scented candles yields so many benefits for our bodies. With natural health practices on the rise, people are curious as to how much cinnamon they should have in a single day for optimal results.
There aren’t many strict guidelines when it comes to using cinnamon. Some professionals advise that you can get up to one teaspoon a day if you are ingesting it in powdered form. The oils and concentrates tend to vary in potency, so you should always read the instructions before using them. Although it takes a large amount, it can be toxic when used excessively. The only other piece of advice is to avoid cinnamon altogether if you are already on some form of blood thinning medicine.