Cinnamon, Healthy and Fun Facts
Benefits of Cinnamon
What can Cinnamon do for us, besides just flavor our foods?
Cinnamon, this tasty treat comes from the bark of a small tree that is native to Asia. How can it be used for medicinal purposes? What is cinnamon used for besides flavoring? Cinnamon goes back to 2800 BC, when the first known healer wrote about it. He was a Chinese man named Shen Nung, he is known as the father of Chinese medicine.
Moving on to Egypt, here cinnamon was used with other spices in the mummification process. The Hebrew and Phoenician people refer to it as “quinamon” and is mentioned in the Hebrew bible in Exodus 30:23.
The Europeans discovered cinnamon in about the first century, at this time cinnamon was so prized that 350 grams it cost 15 times more than silver. Interesting isn’t it? During the Middle Ages cinnamon was used as a common remedy for coughs and indigestion, however; it was only available to the very wealthy.
Historically speaking, cinnamon has been used for a wide variety of human maladies. Some of the maladies include bed-wetting, morning sickness, kidney trouble, heart pain, warts, toothaches, and rheumatism.
What is in Cinnamon?
Cinnamon is very rich in essential oils that contain active medicinal compounds; these include cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol. This collection of oils has significant antibacterial and antifungal action. Research also shows that cinnamon can be used as a very effective food preservative.
Cinnamaldehyde helps to prevent your blood platelets from clumping; this means that it can help to protect you against strokes and heart attacks. Did you know that cinnamon is also a great anti inflammatory? Because it is a powerful antioxidant it works to help lessen inflammation.
What do scientists say?
Recently scientists have found that cinnamon helps to lower blood sugar levels in people who have type 2 diabetes, and it can reduce the risk of heart attack in overweight people.
Over the years, the traditional uses for cinnamon have been put to the test. Studies now confirm that cinnamon has the ability to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract. In other words, it is good for helping with gas, nausea, vomiting, and other forms of gastrointestinal problems.
Cinnamon is also a very powerful antiseptic, a Japanese study demonstrated cinnamon’s ability to kill fungi, bacteria, and other microorganisms (this includes bacteria that cause botulism and staph infections).
Cinnamon for the skin
Due to the fact that cinnamon is a great antiseptic, it can be applied directly to a wound (if you don’t have antiseptic around) you can take if right out of your cabinet and sprinkle it on. Use with care, it is great for preventing infections and it kills bacteria, but it can also irritate the skin in dry form. Some people may even have an allergy to cinnamon.
You can make a honey and cinnamon anti acne face mask, take 3 tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon whip them together until you get a mixture that resembles a chocolate paste then smooth it on to your face. The cinnamon will help to stop acne causing bacteria and the honey will work to reduce redness and restore skins moisture. Only leave this on for about 10 minutes or until it starts to burn. Wash thoroughly and pat your face dry.
When selecting cinnamon you should follow these steps.
Make sure that the cinnamon is in a tightly sealed glass container and store in a dark, cool, and dry place.
Cinnamon can be kept fresh for up to 6 months.
You can extend the life of cinnamon by placing it in the refrigerator.
Smell your cinnamon and make sure that is still has a sweet smell, this will indicate if it is fresh.
Chose organic cinnamon to insure that it has not been irradiated. When it is irradiated it leads to a decrease in vitamin C.
If you are looking for the health benefits of cinnamon you must eat between 1 and 6 grams of it per day.
You can add cinnamon to warn drinks, this helps to reduce your flu and cold effects.
It can be used as a post meal digestive aid. It is great for heartburn and indigestion following a meal.
Smelling cinnamon can boost your brain function. For example, chewing cinnamon flavored gum or smelling fresh cinnamon seems to have an impact on the stimulating brain function.
Cinnamon is an excellent source of calcium and fiber, but you must leave out the sweets that typically come with it.
Velzipmur aka Shelly Wyatt
Cinnamon and the Holidays
Cinnamon seems to be the spice of choice for many during the winter months. We associate it with Thanksgiving and Christmas in the United States. It gives us a sense of warm and cozy, wonderful apple pies, apple cakes, and cinnamon rolls. Many enjoy cinnamon in spicy candies, or in their coffee, tea, liqueurs, or hot cocoa.
Cinnamon and sugar mixtures are used liberally for sweet dishes, but without the sugar cinnamon can be used in savory dishes also.