Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the branches of wild trees that belong to the genus “Cinnamomum” – native to the Caribbean, South America, and Southeast Asia.
There are two main types of cinnamon:
- Cinnamomum verum (Ceylon cinnamon), most commonly used in the Western world
- Cinnamomum aromaticum (Cassia cinnamon or Chinese cinnamon), which originates from southern China, is typically less expensive than Ceylon cinnamon.
Cinnamon is a surprise package with many health benefits which make you think why you have been away from this spice all this long.
It is beneficial to consume a little pinch or stick in your food taking care not to start over eating it as it has been found to be toxic in large doses. It can be added to tea or coffee, savory dishes, sprinkled over an apple pie etc. for its delightful aroma and flavor.
- Anti-fungal Property: Cinnamon has anti fungal properties which inhibit the growth of Candida (common cause of fungal infections worldwide).
- Cholesterol Levels: Cinnamon helps to lower bad cholesterol (LDL levels). It may reduce the chances of cardiovascular diseases.
- Regulates blood sugar: Cinnamon regulates blood sugar levels and thus is a great spice to be consumed by diabetics and hypoglycemics.
- Mood and memory function: Smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive functioning and stimulates brain function. It increases the alertness level and also improves mood.
- Natural Preservative: It can be used as natural food preservative as it inhibit bacterial growth and food spoilage. It fights E.coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.
- Arthritis: Cinnamon improves circulation and as a warming effect which give relief from pain. Anti inflammatory effect of spice reduce pain linked to arthritis.
- Cancer: Research shows that it may reduce the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells
- Antioxidant: Cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant. It protects the body against free radicals that lead to premature aging, cancer, and other damage. It also fights against chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis)
- Weight Control: Consuming cinnamon results in thinning blood which improves circulation and thus boosts body metabolism thus may be helpful in reducing weight.
- Nutrition: Cinnamon is rich in manganese, iron, calcium, and fiber too. By adding it to any recipe, mineral intake is increased.
- PMS and Infertility: Cinnamon is rich in manganese which reduces mood swings and cramps during PMS and cinnamaldehyde, an active compound present in cinnamon, can help balance hormones (by increasing progesterone hormone levels and decreasing testosterone production in women).
- Dental Care: Cinnamon is used as a common ingredient in many chewing gums and mouthwashes for good reason. The antibacterial nature of cinnamon helps protect teeth and gums from damage and improves breath too.
- Migraine relief: Cinnamon is found to be effective natural remedy for eliminating headaches and migraine relief.
- Neurodegenerative Diseases: Cinnamon holds promise for various neurodegenerative diseases, including: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and brain tumor . Research targets it’s potential ability to reduce chronic inflammation and prevent development of neurodegenerative diseases.
- Digestive System: If you experience indigestion, heartburn and uncomfortable feeling associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), cinnamon might be helpful to you.
- Cinnamon usually causes no side effects when consumed in less dosage. Heavy use of cinnamon may irritate the mouth and lips, causing sores.
- It can cause an allergic reaction in some people. When applied to the skin, it might cause redness and irritation.
- Very high quantities of cassia cinnamon may be toxic, particularly in people with liver problems.
- Given the lack of evidence about its safety, cinnamon — as a treatment — is not recommended for children or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Talk to your doctor about your cinnamon consumption if you are taking any medicines daily because cinnamon may interact with antibiotics, diabetic drugs, heart and liver medicines, cancer medications and others.