Cinnamon Is the New Cure-All, but Are You Getting More Than You Bargained For?

The FDA Says the Bulk of Spices Sold In the U.S. Are Imported and They Are Adulterated

Move over apple cider vinegar, there’s a new cure-all in the news! Sometimes it seems as though there is a new magical cure-all every week.

The March 2014 issue of Scientific American reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – a fairly credible agency of our government – says that about 12% of our spices are imported from other countries and that imports make up the “bulk” of spices used and sold here in the U.S. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration further states that those imported spices “exceeded federal limits on the maximum levels of natural or unavoidable defects.”

I am not just referring to the spices packaged and sold individually in the spice isle of your favorite grocery store, but the spices included in processed foods and in restaurant food, as well.

Why is that a big deal? Well, it seems most other countries do not have the same regulations and standards that we have here. As a result there is more included in the imported spices than most people might care to have.

Yes, it is good business to give the customer a little extra and that has always been true. However, when that little extra is finely ground insects, mold, rodent excrement and hairs, well, some of us might prefer to get a little less for our money.

Yes, you read it correctly. Imported spices tend to have a fair amount of what we can basically refer to in this article as filth included in them. Some bits of filth include “objects large enough to be spotted by consumers, [but] many contaminants are merely microscopic fragments,” (FDA as reported in Scientific American magazine).

John Matson, writing for Scientific American gave the example of a two-ounce jar of paprika. According to the FDA it would need to contain approximately 170 insect fragments and/or 25 rodent hairs (or particles of feces) to be considered over the acceptable limits for undesirable ingredients – and many imported spices do meet that requirement.

See the partial graphs/charts provided for some indication of how much filth is in the average package of listed spices.

Cinnamon Tree

Cinnamon trees are popular ornamentals as well as for providing a popular spice for food, and some believe a natural medicine.
Cinnamon trees are popular ornamentals as well as for providing a popular spice for food, and some believe a natural medicine. | Source

Cinnamon Trees

The cinnamon tree is a highly ornamental tree and the source of cinnamon spice. The spice itself is the bark that is peeled from the branches after 2 years. After scrapping the bark leave for a day so that the inner bark curls into cinnamon sticks as it dries. (Daleysfruit.com.au)

Bark of the Cinnamon Tree

Source

Cinnamon As a Type II Diabetes Treatment or Cure or An Arthritis Treatment

Cinnamon has gained a reputation as a means to treat and cure many ailments, among them type 2 diabetes. However that reputation is based on just one small study and in fact the results of that study were mixed and not at all conclusive, nor is the study considered to have been conducted correctly in order to give any results credibility. (Cinnamon has had no effect whatever on type 1 diabetes.)

M. Regina Castro, M.D., of the renowned Mayo Clinic agrees that it is debatable as to whether or not cinnamon is useful in lowering blood sugar and that more research is needed to confirm that cinnamon is helpful in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

WebMD concurs that cinnamon has no proven positive effects on diabetes or arthritis and that taking supplements can be toxic in some cases, especially in high doses. Cinnamon may interfere with other medical treatments a person is receiving, so always consult your doctor before embarking on self-treatments even with natural herbs.

For any study to be given serious consideration it must have been conducted by the scientific method and ideally it will have been repeated several times ending with the same results. At this time there is no solid evidence that cinnamon has any measurable effect on type 2 diabetes.

The New York University Medical Center report recommended that people with known kidney or liver disease avoid cinnamon supplements. It is also recommended that pregnant women avoid the supplements. See the New York University reference below (Safety Issues) for more detail on this recommendation.

Different Kinds of Contaminants In Imported Spices

Source
This graph lists the types and percentage of contaminants in the listed imported spices.  In case you can't read it, the columns are labeled, mold, insect fragments, rodent filth, and mammalian excretions (Scientific American).
This graph lists the types and percentage of contaminants in the listed imported spices. In case you can't read it, the columns are labeled, mold, insect fragments, rodent filth, and mammalian excretions (Scientific American). | Source

What Is Cinnamon and Where Does It Come From?

“Cinnamon comes from the bark of a small Southeast Asian evergreen tree and is available as an oil, extract, or dried powder. It's closely related to cassia (C. cassia ) and contains many of the same components, but the bark and oils from C. zeyleanicum are thought to have a better flavor.“

(New York University).

A Consideration Regarding the Claims About Cinnamon As a Cure for Anything

Even if studies were to find solid evidence that cinnamon is useful in a particular treatment for a particular medical issue, how can researchers be certain it is the cinnamon that is addressing the medical issue when such a high percentage of the cinnamon is made up of contaminants such as insect fragments, mold, rodent excrement and/or hairs, and other impurities?

How could researchers, given the contents of cinnamon according to the FDA, be certain it was not one or more of the so described ‘contaminants’ that was causing the desirable effects of a particular treatment, since so much of imported spices, including cinnamon, are made up of that material?

What if it is the insect fragments or something in the rodent feces that is having the beneficial health effect on a person’s ailment? How can researchers be certain it is the spice rather than the impurity that is making the medical difference, if such a difference were to be found?

Sources:

Scientific American Spice Graph

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/spice-imports-carry-lots-of-filth/


NYU (New York University) on Cinnamon (August 2013)

http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21672


Cinnamon and Diabetes Mayo Clinic

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/expert-answers/diabetes/faq-20058472


WebMD on Cinnamon Healing Powers

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-cinnamon

© 2014 C E Clark

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Comments 84 comments

Au fait profile image

Au fait 7 months ago from North Texas Author

Paula, I think people need to think about these things when they hear about them. One can control things best if they cook for themselves and even grow their own food. But of course everyone can't do that. Any time you go into a restaurant chances are that at least one employee there (probably many more) may not share your views on hygiene no matter how they have been trained.

I'm told we are killing ourselves with too many antibacterial products and too may showers and too much hand washing, causing our immune systems to atrophy so that when it needs to work it's too weak to be of any real use and so we then end up with things like Alzheimer's and things like that. Our best protection against these diseases would seem to be to eat a little dirt of one sort or another every so often to keep our immune system strong. Further, we can save a lot of water if we limit our showers to once a week or so . . . :)


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 7 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

For sure, Au fait. I'm with you on not being too concerned about a few little "mystery" items in the things we eat. We all know what they say about "if we really knew all the time what we are eating...we'd stop eating!" Can't do that. I just had a warm cinnamon roll yesterday! LOL.....OMG Au fait, I need re-hab! LOL


Au fait profile image

Au fait 7 months ago from North Texas Author

Paula (Fpherj48), thank you for sharing your thoughts and potential disappointment. Yes, most of the problems with spices according to the FDA is with imported spices.

I will tell you what I do since learning about this unfortunate situation, because I love cinnamon too. I do exactly as I did before. I figure I ate that cinnamon for years before knowing about the impurities and I'm still alive and with no issues that can be attributed to the cinnamon I have eaten, so I just keep eating it and don't think about all the extra goodies in it.

As I said in this article, who can be sure the health benefits (if there are any) from cinnamon aren't in fact the result of all the impurities included?


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 7 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Au fait....Although this is very educational and so well-written as your hubs always are~~I don't know how "happy" I am to have read it! LOL. Now what do I do about my fierce love for cinnamon rolls?

I live only minutes away from "Tim Hoton's" coffee & bake shop & OH! their cinnamon rolls....to die for, Aufait!

I can see that I'll need to do my homework now and find out just where their cinnamon comes from or I just won't feel the same about those rolls again. (Which would probably be the best thing to happen to my waistline in a while!) Thanks a Heap! LOL~ Paula


Au fait profile image

Au fait 7 months ago from North Texas Author

Vocalcoach, thank you for commenting and for your question. While nothing is guaranteed if you don't do it yourself, there was nothing mentioned about domestic spices, organic or otherwise. So the main problem seems to be imported spices.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 7 months ago from North Texas Author

Sharon, thank you for stopping by and telling us about your experience and the decision you made. Have to admit that now I know this information I sometimes turn cinnamon down too. Of course cinnamon isn't the only spice that contains contaminants. Mainly it's imported spices that are at issue. Thanks again for your comment!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 7 months ago from North Texas Author

Firstcookbooklady, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Yes, we must all eat a bushel of dirt before we can die, but why make it a bushel and a half by purposely eating yucky things when we have some choice/control? I don't eat chicken much either. Not big on meat, poultry, fish, or any animal products. I do eat it now and then, but rarely.

And I wash my hands so much they're in a constant chapped condition and require gallons of lotion, but if you read my article on how to wash your hands correctly you'll see that you're correct in that very few people bother to wash their hands. No telling what little extras end up in their mouths, eyes, ears, and who knows where else as a result. :) Thanks again for commenting!!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 7 months ago from Nashville Tn.

I'm back to review your hub. What about 'organic' spices? Can I be sure these are insect safe? Thanks for bringing this awareness to the front!


firstcookbooklady profile image

firstcookbooklady 7 months ago from Minnesota

Well, did you know a mouthful of spiders has more protein than a mouthful of chicken? Most people, unknowingly, eat five pounds of dirt in their lifetime when they don't wash their hands, and what is dirt?... earthworm poop.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 7 months ago

Au fait, at the Meet and Greet for my friend Sandy who is running for the town council there were cinnamon cakes which I turned down because I was thinking of the hub.

I do hope everything is okay with you.

Blessings and hugs dear friend.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 14 months ago from North Texas Author

Peachpurple, thank you for stopping by. How can you be sure it isn't the insect segments that are helping your flu?


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 14 months ago from Home Sweet Home

i use cninnamon for flu, a mixture of honey, garlic, boil with cinnamon .


Au fait profile image

Au fait 21 months ago from North Texas Author

Paul Kuehn, thank you for reading and commenting on this article and for sharing your thoughts. Also for the votes, and shares with HP followers and on FB.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 21 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

This is a very interesting and informative article which once again is very well-written. The only cinnamon I have is when I eat cinnamon buns. Living here in Thailand, it doesn't surprise me that there are a lot of impurities in imported spices. Voted up and sharing with HP followers and on Facebook.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 21 months ago from North Texas Author

Thank you DeborahDian for taking time to comment, vote on, and share this article. Diogenes wrote a new hub about stem cell research today and pointed out all the hopes so many people have that it will cure practically every affliction known to man once figured out. If any one of these cure-alls were to do all they're rumored to do, would we need doctors anymore?


DeborahDian profile image

DeborahDian 21 months ago from Orange County, California

This article is so informative that I wanted to share it again. I keep reading about people recommending cinnamon for all types of cures, from diabetes to the common cold. However, I think people need to read this before they overdo it! Voted Up and sharing again.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 22 months ago from North Texas Author

The Examiner-1, thank you for reading and commenting on this article, and for taking time to do all that research! However, no one has said cinnamon is bad for us, not in this article. Only pointing out the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says imported cinnamon, as well as most other imported spices, is full of impurities that aren't very appetizing.

Also pointing out that when this article was written there was no scientific proof that cinnamon is a wonder cure for anything. I'm not aware of that having changed.

I still eat cinnamon and I think most people do. What would our food be like with no spices? But I do think people should know what is in their food and that can help us make different choices if we want to do that. I recommend health food stores and knowing where spices are coming from for starters. That's not a guarantee, and of course there will be some impurities no matter where our spices are processed, but right now a good portion of imported spices include insect fragments and rodent feces and hair among other things. Some are reported to be visible to the naked eye!

Thank you again for adding new information that in turn increases the value of this article.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 22 months ago from North Texas Author

Tillsontitan, it is disgusting, but we've all been eating these things unknowingly for a long time . . . as stated in this article, it isn't just the cinnamon that contains all these impurities. It's all imported spices. Thank you for taking time to read and comment and for the votes!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 22 months ago from North Texas Author

Vocalcoach, thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing this article! It is disgusting, but I think people should be aware that there is a price for having a world market and always gong for the cheapest item -- it may have unmentioned costs that are pretty high. :) It isn't just the cinnamon, by the way, it's ALL of our imported spices. ;)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 22 months ago from North Texas Author

Patricia (Pstraubie48), thank you for reading, for the votes, the shares, tweets, and pin! Yes, it is pretty disgusting and I know of no practical way to know if our spices have impurities in them -- it isn't just the cinnamon that is compromised you know . . .


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 22 months ago

After reading your Hub C. E. I somewhat agree due to reading about cinnamon a while back. However it seems to have changed a little - now all of cinnamon is not bad for us.

Comparing the two types of cinnamon:

C. cassia from China is the bad one since it contains large amounts of coumarin which is toxic to the liver & kidneys.

C. zeyleanicum from India is the better one being it is more expensive and contains hardly any, if any, coumarin. It has health benefits and they are still studying it.

Two of my sources were:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/516598-the-healt... and http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2013/12/30/cinnamon...

plus various other sites I looked at to verify my findings before saying anything.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 22 months ago from New York

Well done but scary. What if, as our bodies become immune to antibiotics, our bodies become immune to the contaminants in cinnamon? Just saying.

This is seriously disgusting. When I think of all the cinnamon toast I are as a kid.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 22 months ago from Nashville Tn.

Thanks so much for informing us about the 'evils' of cinnamon. It's good to learn about these bugs, etc. that enter our spices. Yuck!

I'll do my part by sharing this good hub!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 22 months ago from sunny Florida

EEEwwwww who knew?? I had NO idea. I am a huge fan of cinnamon but now am wondering???

How do we know whether our cinnamon that we purchase and often pay too much for is free of unwanted elements?

And I agree....how can anyone know if the so called cures or remedies actually do anything but play mind games with those using them?

Well done. I am newly informed!!! Everyone needs to read this!!!

Shared voted up++++ shared pinned tweeted facebook.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 24 months ago from North Texas Author

Techygran, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. In fact I said that all spices coming into this country are full of impurities, and I gave disgusting details as to what those impurities are. I even provided a graph from the FDA. Cinnamon just happens to be popular right now so I focused slightly more on it.

The real tragedy of chocolate is that it is produced in large part by the labor of child slaves, some as young as only 5 years. Nonprofits are working hard to remove child labor from that industry and so it would not be a green article because those organizations are slowly gaining ground and getting children out of chocolate.

Most countries do not have anywhere near the regulations of every sort that we have in the U.S. and therefore impurities in our imported foods is a given.

One should always be careful what one wishes for -- as some people in this country want government regulations out of our lives. Well, they're out of the spice industry imports, and so we all get to eat ground up bugs and rodent feces in our food. YUM!

Next time you hear someone complain about all the government regulations and what they're costing business and industry, be sure to thank them for the delicious additives in your spices that their complaints have made a common reality.

Thank you again for taking time to read and comment on this article!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 24 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for sharing this article and for your good wishes. Yes, we had our pumpkin pies full of spices on our Thanksgiving, just a different day than usual this year. I guess I've lived this long with impurities in my spices so why worry now? I just try not to think about it.

Hope your Thanksgiving was the best and that you and your family will have a wonderful Christmas -- only 21 days away!


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

Well, well... I just bought some cinnamon sticks from the health store for chai tea and am feeling rather virtuous about that. I do agree that if you look into the amount of contamination of imported foods you would likely resort to eating only what you can grow organically in your own yard.. and I guess that is a goal? I wonder if anyone has done a hub on how contaminated cocoa is said to be? I wonder if there would be a bit more of an outcry against "the evidence" since cocoa / chocolate have become more sacred than cinnamon in our culture? Would people still eat chocolate if they knew the harvested cocoa beans often lay for days in the sun, molding, rotting, and being urinated on by perusing critters? But, oh yeah, your focus was on cinnamon... sorry! ~Cynthia


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

With the USA Thanksgiving Day tomorrow, I am sure lots of cinnamon is being utilized in those pumpkin pies and perhaps other things as well. I just made one today and used a teaspoon of cinnamon in it along with ginger and ground cloves. Will share again. Hope you have a lovely day tomorrow!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

aesta1, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on cinnamon and the impurities to be found in it. Of course most, if not all, other spices have the same issues. Any processed foods, especially imported foods from countries that have few regulations in regard to processed foods are likely to have these same problems.


aesta1 profile image

aesta1 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

How awful. Something you think is healthy for you is contaminated with all those. Seeing how these products are stored in some of these countries they come from, I am not surprised. I need to rethink our use of some of these hyped products.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for stopping by and commenting. The FDA wrote this information and made the graph in the referenced article in the Scientific American magazine. :)

Other countries often do not have the same regulations and sanitary requirements we have here in the U.S., making imported foods cheaper.

Along with cheap labor, another reason many businesses may be moving their factories to third world countries is that they can then ship contaminants back in their products and charge the same price per pound for the contaminants as they do for the main listed item! Read my article on Counterfeit Foods. That's one of the ways to raise the price of the product people think they are buying -- mix it with other ingredients -- such as insect fragments, rodent hair and feces, etc.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

DeborahDian, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! After the Chinese poisoned and killed so many people's pets you would thing people would be leery of foods imported from there, but it's as if no one cares and they've forgotten the disaster with pets. The spices however, are coming in from India.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

I am back to share this again. Everyone should read this and the FDA should read this and the people who import this should read this.

Oh well they probably don't care anyway.

Blessings and hugs.


DeborahDian profile image

DeborahDian 2 years ago from Orange County, California

It is truly frightening to realize how much of our food may be contaminated or adulterated by dangerous or unknown substances. Thanks for the heads up!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

DealForALiving, thank you for reading and sharing your concerns on this subject. I doubt Costco's cinnamon is any different from any other. They likely buy the cheapest product they can get like any other business.

You would probably have to grate your own cinnamon to be sure what was in it. All foods processed outside your kitchen are likely to have a few contaminants in them. That's the price of convenience and of the cheapest convenience available.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

The Stages Of ME, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. Bug segments and feces/rodent hairs are all natural aren't they? Who is to say it isn't these very contaminants that are causing the healing affects some people claim?


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for sharing your thoughts and for sharing this article! I agree that giving up cinnamon entirely would be difficult and how many products do we eat daily that also have contaminants in them? How does one avoid them entirely?


DealForALiving profile image

DealForALiving 2 years ago from Earth

I love cinnamon but now I worry where it's coming from and whether it's really cinnamon as I know it. Maybe I should stick with the stuff I can get from Costco?


The Stages Of ME profile image

The Stages Of ME 2 years ago

Good article , very useful information. Make you think about what we are getting even when it says natural and healthy. thanks


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

The pretty bark of the cinnamon tree reminds me of the papery peelings of many types of birch trees. I wonder if the researchers will ever crystallize their findings given that so many contaminants are mixed in with the cinnamon? I will keep using it, bugs and all.

Sharing this once again.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Mary615, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this article and also for the votes and share!

I have read your article on the 'Cinnamon Craze,' and find it an excellent article that I highly recommend to everyone, especially parents and grandparents, but the subject is very disheartening. Even though a young person may survive the experience chances are they will have lung issues for the rest of their lives. Where do kids come up with these crazy ideas?


mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida

Oh, my.....I love cinnamon, and I use it in lots of dishes. There is just no way of knowing what we are ingesting no matter where our food supply comes from. I wish I could grow all my own food! Did you ever hear of the Cinnamon sniffing craze the kids do to try to get high?? I wrote a Hub to warn parents about that because it is dangerous.

Very interesting Hub, voted Up, etc. and shared.


lyns profile image

lyns 2 years ago from USA

Au Fait, you are welcome 79144p lyns


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Lyns, thank you for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed. ;)


lyns profile image

lyns 2 years ago from USA

Great hub on cinnamon learned a great deal, I never knew how the plant looked, thanks for sharing voted up /+ 7521410p I hope you are having a great evening. Lyns


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

rebeccamealey, thank you for coming by. I do hope this article didn't spoil your breakfast. Presumably the feces and insect fragments have been sanitized, sterilized, pasteurized, or some related process, which should make us all feel a little better . . . ;) Just so you know, I still eat cinnamon and other spices -- and I can't afford the expensive ones. I'm still breathing, and that isn't to say putting this gunk in our food and not telling us is OK, but if one were to stop eating all the contaminated food in our society no one would ever go near any restaurant again, and we'd all have to have our own indoor gardens and even that might not guarantee no contaminants.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for sharing and Google+ing this article!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Oh my, I am eating cinnamon on my oatmeal right now. Good article!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Au fait,

Going to Google+ this and once again share with my followers.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for sharing this article Shyron. Agree that more effort should be made to make sure our food is safe and clean. Blessings . .


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

PegCole17, thank you for reading and commenting on this article, and for sharing that bit about generic drugs. That might be a good next hub for you. Agree that anyone who can should grow their own food as much as possible and get to know their local farmers too.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

LongTimeMother, no problem. I think the beautiful photo of the cinnamon tree thanks to Daley's speaks for itself. People do need to give more attention to their food sources.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

lrc7815, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this issue, and thank you for your high praise. Agree that people need to take a more active stance regarding their food.

So far, the research done on cinnamon has not indicated any special medicinal properties except a mild benefit for some people, some of the time, with high blood pressure. The thing is, they still can't determine why some people with HBP benefit some of the time but not all of the time. Right now, the results just aren't stable on that particular issue and there has been nothing in findings so far to suggest cinnamon is helpful in any other way. As one researcher said, it would seem that the honey in the cinnamon and honey is providing all the benefit.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Cinnamon buns take on a whole new meaning with this information you've shared. After my doctor told me that the generic drugs we now import from other countries contain impurities that are outside the suggested guidelines for purity, it doesn't surprise me that our imported spices contain them as well. It makes a statement about buying locally. Thanks for this informative read.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for tweeting and sharing!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for your continued interest. I'm sorry this has had such a profound effect because this didn't just happen last month. It's been the case for a long time, so we've all eaten bugs and rodent feces and lived through it for quite a while. Not nice to think about of course.

I think shopping spices at organic/health food stores might be helpful so that one may know where their spices came from at least and how likely they are to be a better quality. There are still processed and restaurant foods that we can't control beyond buying them or not buying them.

It's definitely a problem and short of forgoing spices entirely, I don't know how one can avoid them. Any processed or restaurant food is likely to have contaminants in it. That means growing your own, and canning, freezing, and limiting your diet.

Thanks for coming by and hope you'll have a great Friday.


LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia

lol. Anyone who buys from Daley's knows how good their plants are, and it never occurred to me that you were insinuating such a thing, Au fait. I was simply responding to your question: " How can researchers be certain it is the spice rather than the impurity that is making the medical difference, if such a difference were to be found?" when I suggested the researchers grow and use their own fresh herbs. Sorry if there was confusion. :)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

LongTimeMother, thanks for stopping by. I didn't mean to insinuate that Daley's had any rodents at their nursery, but the cinnamon tree in their photo is so pretty and I thought they might like some free advertising.

Not everyone can grow their own spices, either because there isn't enough time or enough space, or both. You're so lucky you can do that.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Dolores Monety, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts and experiences with me and my readers. As I've said previously in these comments, researchers seem to think it is the honey alone that has medicinal affect if anything does, so you might try it once without the cinnamon and see if you get the same effect.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Vespawoolf, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. It's not very appetizing to think about, but by the time I was informed of this situation with imported spices I had probably already ingested at least a pound of the contaminants over the years. Just imagine what ends up in processed or restaurant food . . .


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Au fait, I am back to share this again. Everyone should read this and the FDA should read this and the people who import this should read this.


lrc7815 profile image

lrc7815 2 years ago from Central Virginia

Au fait, you raise some very good concerns and questions in this well written article. That said, I think it is worthy to note that the sources of most of our food should be questioned. Unless one is growing their own food/herbs/spices etc., or purchasing from a certified organic source, the odds are, it is contaminated with something. I do believe that there are healing/curative properties in cinnamon but we do not have the scientific data to prove it. The key to it's use is simple - moderation. This is a very interesting article that should generate many questions in the mind of your readers. You did an excellent job.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Diogenes, appreciate your coming by. Sorry to read you are under the weather and I hope that's been sorted. Fresh air, if you can find some, is often a good tonic. Penicillin stopped working for me years ago already, and aspirin upsets my stomach. I think in the end we will simply live until we don't anymore . . . take care of yourself. xx


lrc7815 profile image

lrc7815 2 years ago from Central Virginia

A very informative article that should leave every reader questioning their sources of food.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Will try sharing again and will give this hub of yours a tweet.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! Yes, imported spices in general include a lot more than people think. And yes, more research needs to be done regarding the medicinal usefulness of cinnamon. It seems like there's always something on this site of late that isn't working like it's supposed to . . .


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Harsha Vardhana R, thank you for stopping by. The little research I did, as this articles states, found no verification by credible scientists that cinnamon has much of any positive medicinal affect. Regarding honey and cinnamon, scientists believe at this time if any positive medical affect occurs it is most likely due to the honey.

Perhaps you would like to elaborate on the subject of cinnamon and honey in a hub of your own. I note you haven't written any yet and I would enjoy the opportunity to read some of your work. Be sure you base it on fact and not what someone imagines is fact.

Perhaps the spicy taste you are trying to quell comes not from the cinnamon, but from the insect fragments and rodent feces that are generously included . . .


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Nell Rose, thank you for reading this article and sharing your thoughts. It is pretty disgusting to think about, especially the rodent feces. Since the U.S. Food & Drug Administration says most of our spices over here are imported it might be helpful to buy them at health food stores where hopefully you can find out where the spices came from. I don't know if it would be any different if they were packaged in England or here. Would they be sanitized before packaging? I don't know the answer to that.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

I am with Nell Rose on this. I will never look at cinnamon the same way again. Could this be why so many people are sick?


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Word55, thanks for stopping by. Maybe that distinctive taste is the insect fragments and or the rodent hairs/feces this article is about. You just never know . . . ;)


LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia

lol. Hopefully the researchers would grow and use their own fresh herbs, Au fait. I buy many of my fruit trees and other plants from Daley's Fruit (see your top photo). Fortunately I don't get rodents in my greenhouse so my cinnamon doesn't scare me. :)


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 2 years ago from East Coast, United States

I've read about the hyped up benefits of cinnamon, especially when consumed along with honey. When those lists of benefits get so long, they start to sound like miracle cures, one must wonder. On a side note - I was a bit achy this past winter, every time I did a lot of hard work. I started to take an aspirin before I worked with no results. When I took some cinnamon and honey in the morning, I felt fine after many long hours on my feet. Was it a placebo effect? Maybe, but who cares. It seemed to work!


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 2 years ago from Peru, South America

I love cinnamon, especially the Vietnamese type, and use it for culinary purposes. After reading about the contaminants, though, I feel like throwing it out! I will definitely be more careful about the kind of cinnamon I buy. Thank you for sharing.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for reading and commenting on this subject. Appreciate your sharing your thoughts, as well as the votes and shares.

The graphs included show that cinnamon is not the only affected spice. I just chose to focus on cinnamon for the most part, because it is so often lauded as a cure for practically everything it would seem. Other spices are equally enhanced with the other goodies.

Instead of not eating anymore cinnamon or the other spices spotlighted here (and many not mentioned here), I recommend as RTalloni suggested, that you check with health food stores and organic food stores to see if they will tell you where their spices come from, here in the states, or elsewhere.

Of course there is only so much a person can do. The big consideration should be for those things you can't control -- processed foods and restaurant foods. Where do the spices in those foods come from?

Hope you had a good day and are having a good night. Sleep evades me as usual. TTYL


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

RTalloni, agree with your assessment. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this article!


diogenes 2 years ago

It also makes a racy female name, not seen much here

I have been out of sorts for nearly two weeks and I have been suspicious of one drug - amlodipine - as I mentioned to you in an email. But it could be an attack of any number of pathogens as we are one big petri jar in the world these days. The only two miracle drugs I have faith in have been penicillin and aspirin, but we become immune - at least the bugs do - to the first and aspirin can dous a lot of harm if we overdose on it so I read.

I have never knowingly used cinnamon; have just fallen out of love with alo verde. The body, given rest and good nutrition, sorts itself out; if not, your going to die anyway.

Nite night R xoox


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

As interesting as this article is, it is also rather disgusting to know of all the contaminants in spices, seeds and even ginger root that we commonly use to flavor our meals. Looking at the graph on insects, I guess we are all eating insects, intentional or not! The cinnamon trees are really pretty. More studies need to be done regarding medical benefits of cinnamon consumption according to your hub. Pinning to my Do You Know This? board. Won't let me share it right now for some reason.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by Billybuc! While cinnamon is the main spice in this article, all the goodies described are also in all the other imported spices -- even the ones you're probably not allergic to. Check out the graphs. Only a few of the many imported spices are listed here. There are many others in the same condition and one can learn about them by Googling. ;)


Harsha Vardhana R profile image

Harsha Vardhana R 2 years ago from Bangalore

I have heard that cinnamon + honey is a great healer. Please elaborate on that.

As cinnamon is quite common in our India, I have tried cinnamon and added honey to diminish its spicy taste!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

Hi, what the heck? insects, mold, poo, oh for goodness sake! I would never ever have thought of this! that's just disgusting! I tend to buy all sorts of spices and herbs, and never give it a thought! Imagine that! thanks for letting us know, never ever again! voted up and shared! nell


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Hello Au fait, I use cinnamon daily not so much as a cure but as a spice in my oat mill and some salads. It's very tasty. It adds distinct flavoring. Thank you so much for featuring it. -:)


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Au fait, I have read so much about the benefits of cinnamon. I have used it in lots of things, even put it in tea, and coffee but I am unaware if it benefitted me in any way. But having read this, I will not have anymore cinnamon. I don't care for Bug parts.

Blessings

Voted up, UABI and shared


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

An interesting read that is informative and highlights our need to be certain of the source of any supplements we take--research, research, research--as well as the spices we use.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I'm allergic to it, so I guess it's a moot point. I'll pass this along to relatives, though, so they are forewarned. Thank you!

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