12 Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is an aromatic bark with powerful and massive health benefits among other uses. The bark can be ground to make spice as well as a medicinal herb. It also can be used as a fragrance because of its aromatic, sweet woody scent. Popular recipes and ingredients have contained cinnamon and one gets to benefit from eating healthy and tasty food, not forgetting a calming tea of herbal cinnamon.
Originating from the cinnamomum tree, the cinnamon is produced from the inner bark with the removal of the woody parts. The bark is then dried and forms sticks which are rolled. These sticks can be ground to form powder which is called cinnamon powder.
There are also two types of cinnamon: Ceylon cinnamon also known as true cinnamon and cassia cinnamon known generally as cinnamon and the more common one. Outlined below are healthy benefits of cinnamon. Note that the cinnamaldehyde contained in the cinnamon makes it beneficial health wise and also gaining popularity in the world.
Cinnamon is versatile, it can be used in food, cosmetics, medicines, room fresheners, mosquito repellant and this makes it a very popular and much needed natural commodity. It is also a great source of nutrients like calcium, iron, manganese and fiber.
12 Healthy benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon has been ranked as number one antioxidant and may be more powerful than the class of garlic and oregano. Loaded with antioxidants such as polyphenol, it can protect the body from damages which are oxidative and also slows down the aging process. Cinnamon’s ability to minimize and reduce various forms of oxidative stress while at the same time limiting nitric oxide and lipid build up in the blood enhances its anti-oxidant characteristic and protects the body from various disorders. Cinnamon helps to protect the body from the free radicals which cause toxicity in the body.
- Brain Function booster
Cognitive and brain function have known to be boosted by the scent of cinnamon. Motor function and neurotransmitter levels are improved by cinnamon’s protection of neurons. This helps to defend the brain and protect it from neurological disorders such as Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases. Oxidative stresses and brain cell mutation can be mitigated by cinnamon antioxidant properties, making it a good natural therapeutic treatment option. Brain function such as working memory, virtual recognition memory and attentional processes have been improved by taking cinnamon. Visual-motor response speed can also be increased by use of cinnamon. Swelling of the brain cells from traumatizing brain injury or stroke can be prevented by cinnamon too.
- Anti-cancer agent
Cinnamon acts as an anti-cancer agent by inhibiting or suppressing cancer cells growth. Its antioxidant properties reduce the risk of cancer such as the colon cancer and also protects DNA from damage. Cinnamon activates detoxifying enzymes in the colon, thereby disturbing further cancerous cells growth. Blood sugar levels are maintained in a healthy level that then starves the cancer cells from the much needed sugar required for them to survive. Other forms of cancer that may be treated effectively with cinnamon include leukemia, melanoma, lymphoma, gastric cancer and other tumors.
Because of its ability to lower blood sugar effects, cinnamon has been useful to treat and contain diabetes. This involves cinnamon extracts blocking various enzymes which help blood to absorb glucose of which the decreased amount of absorption (glucose) is of great importance to diabetic patients. Those considered to be pre-diabetic are advised to take cinnamon as well for blood sugar control and lowering insulin resistance. A dose of 1-6 grams of cinnamon has an effect of fasting blood level reduction by 10-29% while improving glucose uptake though at a slow and balanced way. There is improved effectiveness and sensitivity of insulin by cinnamon mimic of insulin on the cell’s surface. Overall, cinnamon has great blood glucose management beneficial effects.
- Anti-inflammatory properties
Cinnamon is useful in lowering swelling and high inflammation levels. Pain relief and management are affected by cinnamon in areas such as Pre-menstrual pains (including mood swings and cramps), muscle soreness and joint pains, allergic reactions and age related pains. The anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon can reduce cancer, brain dysfunction and heart disease risk. Anti-inflammatory properties have also the ability to remove muscle and joint stiffness and headaches caused by colds. Patients suffering from arthritis can be treated by cinnamon too. Homemade heat rubs can be made from cinnamon to soothe swelling and various bodily aches. Taken in the form of capsule or sprinkling a teaspoon in oatmeal, coffee or even a smoothie to fight inflammation.
- Dental health protection
Cinnamon can combat mouth bacteria that causes bad breath, tooth decay and cavities. This is effected by the essential oil present in cinnamon acting like a naturally made anti-bacterial mouth wash. Cinnamon can also be added in chewing gums as a flavoring agent enhancing abilities to freshen the mouth. Other dental use is in tooth powder for treating mouth sores, dental problems, oral microbiota and toothaches. Oil pulling therapy and sipping of cinnamon tea can help improving the dental health.
- Anti-bacterial and Fungal properties
As an anti-bacterial and fungal property, cinnamon helps to fight various kinds of bacterial and fungal infections (also including dental). Respiratory and digestive tract fungal infections can all be healed and treated by cinnamon through lowering amounts of fungal growth levels such as candida yeast. The fight is enhanced by cinnamon’s natural boost of the immune system and inflammation suppression. Staph infection causing bacteria and germs in the gallbladder can be destroyed by cinnamon. Ringworms and athlete’s foot can also be treated by applying cinnamon essential oil. On another note, cinnamon can remove bacteria from the intestines and create a smooth clearance of the gastric intestine from the infections. Irritable bowel syndromes pain and symptoms can be treated by taking cinnamon. Other symptoms associated with bacterial infection that can be eased by cinnamon include constipation, diarrhea. Food poisoning by bacteria can also be treated by drinking a cup of cinnamon tea.
- Fighting allergies
Cinnamon’s compounds help in combating severe allergy symptoms by reducing inflammation levels and also combating histamine reactions. Symptoms of asthma attacks can also be reduced by cinnamon. Autoimmune reactions resulting from consumption of common allergen foods are reduced by the immune boosting abilities of cinnamon, something which benefits the digestive health.
- Skin Health and protection
Skin health and protection is effected by cinnamon’s antimicrobial and antibiotic effects. This protects skin from allergic reactions, infections, irritations and rashes. Acne, pain, redness and swelling are also treated by applying cinnamon’s essential oil. Cinnamon and honey can be used together as skin health booster. Eczema is also treated well with cinnamon. Skin and scalp exfoliation is done using cinnamon making them clean and nourished while the production of collagen by cinnamon makes the skin firm and look younger.
- Weight loss support
Cinnamon is effective in enhancing sensitivity of insulin and reducing blood glucose concentration. This helps in blood glucose concentration. This also helps in blood sugar spikes regulating which is suitable on hunger and weight gain. This also translates to less sugar and more help for the body in relation to weight loss. Sugar cravings are reduced and calorie intake is controlled by cinnamon intake. Detox drinks can contain cinnamon which suppresses natural appetite for weight loss and maintenance.
- Antiviral agent
Cinnamon is also a natural antiviral agent which helps in boosting the immune system. This is ideal for viral infection treatments such as colds and flu and also reducing the risk of HIV-1 infection. During the cold season, cinnamon tea will be a good weapon for the fight against colds and flu. The cinnamon essential oil is a good sanitizer and disinfectant for the home. Another important note is the cinnamon’s warming ability that soothes when suffering from colds and flu and also reduces bloating and nausea relief.
- Heart health protection
Blood circulation is increased by cinnamon as well as bodily tissue repair (including heart tissue repair) which helps to fight heart diseases, heart attacks and strokes. Cinnamon is also known to reduce high blood pressure which is also a danger that causes stroke and heart attacks. In line with heart health, good blood circulation is enhanced by cinnamon contributing to higher metabolic activity by increasing and ensuring oxygen supply to the body cells. Cinnamon also purifies the blood by removing blood impurities. In principle, cinnamon comes with its anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory properties to help with heart health. Toxins are removed from the body by fiber and calcium contained in the cinnamon. Moreover, by reducing high cholesterol levels in the body, it helps to prevent future heart diseases. Add cinnamon to your coffee or drink it as a herbal tea or sticks added to dishes and simmered is a good heart health protection measure.
Concluding remarks on the Health benefits of Cinnamon
While there are many health benefits of cinnamon, they are really centered on the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These expand to further properties such as anti-bacterial, anti-viral to name a few. It can easily be noticed that health problems that cinnamon can treat are so integrated that treating one can also treat another. However, like anything else, cinnamon has to be taken in moderation and in some instances as a supplement. Depending on treatment some symptoms may require cinnamon to compliment other medicines but this has to be done under strict guidance of a knowledgeable physician. Despite this the health benefits are truly immense and cinnamon is really healing magic from nature and can be taken in foodstuffs, beverages, in capsule form or applied externally as an oil. The versatility of it to be applied internally and externally makes it ideal to enjoy its health benefits without compromising its properties. A good healthy choice on the market and a very important spice or herb that one ought to have in the home so that its use is always on a daily basis and not necessarily to wait to suffer from some ailment but as immune booster to prevent from any form of attack from various unhealthy elements. From time immemorial the medical field has benefited from the Cinnamon.