Today cinnamon is a popular spice used by people in a variety of meals and drinks, but it also plays a lesser-known role in alternative medicine. One can trace the medicinal uses of cinnamon back to 2700 B.C. where it is frequently mentioned in Chinese botanical textbooks, thanks to its antibacterial and antipyretic properties. Cinnamon is called “Gui Zhi” in China and it is native to Southeast Asia, South America, the Caribbean and specifically countries like India and Sri Lanka.
There are two different kinds of cinnamon: Ceylan Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Verum), which is referred to as “true cinnamon”, and Cassia Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Aromaticum). Cinnamon contains numerous nutritive substances – 1 milligram of sodium, 4% iron and 8% calcium. Cinnamon also contains 4 grams of dietary fiber, 6 grams of total carbohydrates and a 16% daily value of consumption. There are actually many health benefits packed inside cinnamon.
Cinnamon Can Lower Blood Sugar
Research has been conducted on Cassia Cinnamon in particular, and it has been found that it may lower the blood sugar levels of those who suffer from diabetes. Not all studies have been conclusive, however. The effect that short-term administration of cinnamon on regulating blood pressure in diabetics was a positive one – both systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were significantly decreased by 5.39 mm hemoglobin.
Cinnamon Improves Brain Function
Did you know that even the smell of cinnamon actually improves cognitive function? By consuming cinnamon on a regular basis you give yourself a better chance of retaining memories. Cinnamon metabolizes into sodium benzoate. This is important because your brain depends on having high levels of sodium benzoate to function properly. Sodium benzoate prevents neurological disorders, according to a study conducted by the Rush University Medical School in Chicago.
Cinnamon Lowers Bad Cholesterol
HDL cholesterol is the good kind of cholesterol, and it provides help in removing LDL cholesterol, the bad kind, from the human body. Consuming cinnamon leads to raised levels of HDL cholesterol, which is a great thing. Also, the increase of blood sugar that a person receives from a meal is significantly slowed by the regular consumption of cinnamon. Research conducted in Pakistan concluded that cinnamon consumption decreased LDL by 7% to 27% and total cholesterol by 12% to 26%.
Cinnamon Contains Antifungal, Antiviral and Antibacterial Properties
Cinnemaldehyde is a chemical found in Cassia Cinnamon and can effectively fight off bacterial and fungal infections. Breathing complications that relate to a common cold or flu can be treated by cinnamon, thanks to its ability to knock out any mucus that is building inside the respiratory system. Cinnamon is just as useful as frankincense oil when it comes to treating breathing problems. 69 Indian medicinal plants were screened and results showed that the most effective extracts to fight against HIV-1 and HIV-2 were Cassia Cinnamon and Cardiospermum Helicacabum (shoot and fruit). Vincent M. Rotello and colleagues successfully fought 4 different types of bacteria by implementing antimicrobial compounds from cinnamaldehyde and peppermint oil in tiny capsules as a form of treatment.
Cinnamon Stops Bacteria From Spreading
Cinnamon doesn’t just eliminate the harmful bacteria that develops in our bodies. Cinnamon also stops bacteria from spreading on raw meats that are handled for cooking purposes. E-coli and salmonella are the two main examples of cross contamination in the kitchen, which typically starts on cutting boards or knives. Cinnamon used as a spray makes an ideal natural antimicrobial cleanser.
Cinnamon Protects You From IBS
For those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and specifically bloating and constipation, some cinnamon’s a good idea. According to Kelli O’ Halloran, a member of the Irish Institute of Medial Herablists, two main causes of IBS are disturbed gut flora and bacterial infection. Cinnamon is known to fight infections that reside in the area of the lower intestine. People who have colon cancer will be delighted to know that cinnamon can prevent colon cells from being damaged. Cinnamon oil is part of the famous Thieves Essential Oil, which helps the digestive system.
Safe Coumarin Levels: A Great Health Benefit of Cinnamon
Particularly if you take Ceylon Cinnamon you will realize how safe it is to consume. Coumarin is a natural plant compound that can damage the liver and kidneys if coumarin is excessively consumed. This is possible because of how toxic coumarin is. However, Cinnamomum Verum contains very little coumarin, having just 2 to 5 ppm. Cassia Cinnamon has much more coumarin, around 2,000 to 5,000 ppm. If you choose to consume cinnamon on a daily basis, then the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment suggests that you consume Ceylon Cinnamon. The BfR reaffirmed the TDI of coumarin being just 0.1 milligrams or kilograms of body weight.
Cinnamon Helps You Go To Sleep
When you have your blood sugar under control you have an easier time of getting to sleep. Cinnamon helps you control your blood sugar and allows you to get that sleep. Just like how chamomile oil is used in tea, banana cinnamon tea can be drunk by people before bedtime. After a banana is boiled in hot water for around 10 minutes with the skin on, the water that absorbs the banana’s nutrients becomes the tea’s foundation. By either adding to the tea a teaspoon of cinnamon spice or a drop of cinnamon bark essential oil, you will make yourself a formidable sleep aid.