The Medicinal Uses of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices to be used for its culinary and health benefits.The name cinnamon comes form a Greek word meaning "sweet wood." One of the earliest recorded users of this spice were the Egyptians. Records show they used this spice for medicinal, culinary and the embalming process as far back as 2000 BC.This spice was known in medieval Europe too; In addition to its medical uses, it was used as a staple ingredient in many meals.
There are different types of cinnamon in the world. In European countries, they prefer to use "True cinnamon" (also called "Sri Lanka cinnamon"); most of what we consume here in the United States is the less expensive type called "Cassia." Besides its culinary benefits, cinnamon is believed to help with a variety of aliments such as the following:
Diabetes is a growing problem and cinnamon(cassa) is known to help. In research findings on cassa over a forty day period, the blood glucose levels of test subjects were lowered when they were given half a tea spoon a day; this was done not by lowering glucose levels, but by lowering their insulin tolerance. The substance in cinnamon(cassa) that makes this possible is called polyphenolic polymers. Also, the findings noted cholesterol was reduced by 18 percent and blood sugar by twenty-four percent; this in turn helps with weight loss. In addition to blood glucose levels, cinnamon helps with the following:
- the oil form helps in the treatment of blood pressure, lice and rheumatism.
- Is believed to help increase brain activity and is believed to help with nervous tension and memory loss. According to researchers at Wheeling Jesuit University when test subjects were given cinnamon, their cognitive scores increased.
- helps to reduce the spread of some cancer cells. Study was performed by US Dept. Agriculture
- Helps in removing blood impurities.
- Aids in the circulation of blood due to its blood thinning properties.
- Is anti-inflammatory helping to remove the stiffness of muscles and joints.
- If you are under the care of a doctor taking diabetic medication, please consult with your physician before taking cinnimon. Depending on your condition, taking medications with cinnamon could cause your blood sugar to bottom out.
- Cassa, has a substance called coumarin. At high dosage levels, it has a blood thinning effect and could damage the liver.
- Cinnamon is also available in a concentrated oil. Please be careful when using this. Some oils are not intended for oral consumption.
- If you are pregnant, have a bleeding disorder or will have surgery in two weeks, please do not take cinnamon.
Weather you want to take cinnamon for its antioxidant benefits, nausea or diabetic concerns, it’s much more desirable to take natural supplements instead of prescription drugs with their associated side affects. Always consult with your physician before making changes to your medications or taking cinnamon as a supplement.