Cinnamon – Best Super Spice, But Not Superfood
Cinnamon, the inner bark of the Cinnamomum verum tree (syn. Cinnamomum zeylanicum and Laurus cinnamomum), is a spice used for many centuries throughout the world, originally only by royalty, due to the price. The origin was kept a secret from the West until the early sixteenth century when Portuguese traders landed in Sri Lanka. Although cinnamon trees are grown commercially in many parts of the East, even as recently as 2006 90% of the production of cinnamon was carried out in Sri Lanka.
Unless you are lucky enough to live in one of the areas with a similar climate, you won’t be growing your cinnamon tree. But you can still use it by purchasing good quality Powder, which is easy to tell from the inferior cassia if you buy it in “quills” rather than ground (see picture left). It keeps better like this as well. If you do live in a cinnamon-producing area, you are still probably better off purchasing rather than growing your own, which involves coppicing cinnamon trees, removing the bark from the resulting branches, immediately discarding the outer bark and drying the inner, which rolls up as it dries to form the characteristic quills.
Don’t believe the propaganda that says a teaspoon of cinnamon contains as many antioxidants as a half cup of blueberries or a whole cup of pomegranate juice. This seemed extremely unlikely to me, so I researched the actual nutrient content of each. I’m afraid that you still have to eat those blueberries or drink that pomegranate juice. it does contain quite a lot of nutrients, for sure, in particular, manganese, calcium, and iron, but a teaspoonful a day is not going to fulfill your antioxidant requirements or go anywhere near doing that, sorry.
Having shot that fox, there is strong research evidence that cinnamon is very helpful to people suffering from diabetes – as little as a half teaspoonful a day lowers blood sugar levels, as well as cholesterol and triglyceride in Type 2 diabetics not taking insulin. Other studies show the same quantity can lower LDL cholesterol in the general population. Cancer patients would also do well to supplement with cinnamon: studies have shown that it is active against colorectal cancer, melanoma, leukemia, and lymphoma. In my view, it’s worth supplementing with cinnamon whatever type of cancer you may have, given the broad spread represented by the ones researched so far.
Copenhagen researchers gave arthritis patients a half teaspoon of cinnamon powder mixed with a tablespoon of honey for breakfast every day, and within a week, their pain was significantly reduced – after a month they could walk without pain.
It’s also prescribed in Germany for appetite loss and indigestion.
Other conditions which are helped by cinnamon include chronic phlegmy cough, poor circulation in hands and feet, all kinds of digestive disorders including infantile diarrhea, high blood pressure, muscle cramps, athlete’s foot, and medication-resistant yeast infections.
For athlete’s foot and other external fungal infections, you can use a wash – make a standard infusion using a half teaspoon of freshly ground cinnamon to 250ml (1 US cup, 8 fl oz) of boiling water, allow to cool before use. For other purposes, you can add a half teaspoon of cinnamon to honey (like the Danish study did), or you could just chew the powder and swallow it (as Chinese herbalists often recommend), or make a standard infusion and drink it (hot or cold). Another method would be to obtain empty capsules from a herbal supplier and fill each one with a quarter or half teaspoon of cinnamon so that you can take one or two in the morning or at night along with your regular supplementation. There are also ready-made cinnamon capsules available, though how good these are I wouldn’t know.
Cinnamon and Type 2 Diabetes
A new finding in the field of medicine is the relationship between cinnamon and type 2 diabetes. In this article let us discuss the effectiveness of taking cinnamon and type 2 diabetes treatment… Cinnamon is a well known and aromatic spice that is included in many recipes to add zing to its taste. A dash of cinnamon powder can dramatically transform the taste of food or drink. These days the popular kitchen spice has evolved and is being used not only for culinary purposes but also in the field of medicine, to treat diseases. Well, it may sound too good to be true but researchers in the field of medicine have come across the numerous medicinal properties of this spice. One such health disorder that relies on cinnamon as a remedial measure is a diabetes. You might be wondering what is the connection between cinnamon and diabetes? Read further to unravel the mystery between cinnamon and type 2 diabetes.
Cinnamon for Diabetes Control – Is It Effective?
Diabetes is a health disorder where the glucose levels in the blood tend to increase. This may be due to the age factor or also due to the malfunctioning of the pancreas, which produce insulin. Insulin is an enzyme that keeps a check on the blood sugar levels and prevents it from rising. In some cases, diabetes can also be hereditary. Pregnant women may also suffer from what is known as gestational diabetes, which may come back to normal after childbirth.
Whatever be the reason, diabetes is one such health condition that can slowly deteriorate the health of a person, if not diagnosed and treated on time. Hence several drugs and medications, natural and chemically formulated, have come into being which are used as a means for diabetes treatment.
Type 2 diabetes is a disorder where the body develops a resistance to insulin or even though the pancreas secretes sufficient insulin, the body is unable to put it to full use. There was recent research that revealed cinnamon and type 2 diabetes are indeed linked and taking cinnamon for diabetes, helps keep a check on the blood glucose levels and also helps in increasing insulin production. Incorporating cinnamon for type 2 diabetes enhances the secretion of insulin, which further may bring down the level of blood glucose. There are two varieties of cinnamon – cassia and Ceylon, the former being used for treating type 2 diabetes and the later in various recipes to spice up the flavor of food.
Cinnamon cassia contains an active ingredient called methyl hydroxy chalcone polymer (MHCP), a chemical that triggers the pancreas to produce more insulin, increasing the body’s insulin sensitivity. Cinnamon can be taken in the form of powder, capsules, pills, and even liquid. One of the cinnamon benefits in the case of type 2 diabetes treatment, it that it activates the insulin receptors in the body. It not only lowers the blood glucose levels but also keeps a check on the low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the body. The connection between cinnamon and type 2 diabetes was further proved when some researchers conducted a study on a group of volunteers. The volunteers, who had high blood sugar levels, were told to include a small quantity of cinnamon in their daily diet for about one week.
At the end of one week, their blood tests revealed a healthy drop in their blood glucose levels. Hence the cinnamon treatment for diabetes was found to be effective. However, one must also be aware of the cinnamon side effects as including too much cinnamon can lead to a condition known as hypoglycemia, where the blood sugar levels drop below normal.
This was a brief insight into cinnamon and type 2 diabetes. It is essential to treat diabetes with diet and medication so that this health disorder is under control and does not cause any unnecessary complications. Before taking any natural remedy for treating type 2 diabetes or any other health disorder for that matter, it is always advisable to consult a health care industry provider. Wish you good health and take care!
Cinnamon Side Effects
Cinnamon is a commonly used herbal spice, that is harmless in nature. But for individuals who have sensitive bodily systems, there are some cinnamon side effects that they must be wary of. Cinnamon is a spice that has been around for centuries now and is used for a variety of purposes. This spice is derived from the bark of the Cinnamomum Zeylanicum tree, and it was first utilized by ancient Egyptians as an ingredient in their embalming mixtures.
Today, cinnamon is widely used in the production of wines, drinks, fragrances, perfumes, and of course, as a spice in many food items and dishes. Its medical and culinary benefits are known all around the world, and it is known to possess many benefits for a person’s health. Read more about food additives. Despite this, there are some people who are prone to and display cinnamon side effects. These side effects of cinnamon do not affect every single person, but only those people who have certain medical conditions or have highly sensitive immune and body systems. Also, learn about honey and cinnamon.
Side Effects of Cinnamon
Before we explore the side effects of taking cinnamon, we must understand the reasons why people tend to take overdoses of cinnamon. The reality of the matter is that the benefits of cinnamon, greatly outweigh the side effects of cinnamon. As a result of this, some people do not realize when to stop taking cinnamon. This has an adverse reaction on their system and even begins to display some toxic effects. It is due to this reason that the overdosage of cinnamon is highly frowned upon. Here are some of the common health benefits and advantages of cinnamon:
- Helps in controlling diabetes. Learn more about cinnamon treatment for diabetes.
- It is a natural antioxidant.
- Helps in fighting and reducing ulcers.
- Prevents tooth decay.
- Helps in controlling cholesterol levels.
- Helps in lowering blood pressure levels.
- Beneficial for people suffering from arthritis.
- Even helps to treat common cold and cough.
As you can see, there is a multitude of benefits that cinnamon offers. This might lead you to ask how is it possible that cinnamon side effects can exist. The answer to this simply lies in the overuse of cinnamon. Too much of anything is bad. Despite possessing so many great benefits, too much of this almost magical herb can only cause harm. See more health benefits of cinnamon.
So now we will see what’s the particular harm in consuming unhealthy amounts of cinnamon. Here are the cinnamon bark side effects that you simply must remember, and watch out for.
A person who is affected by kidney problems may experience an entire pack up of the kidneys thanks to excessive consumption of cinnamon.
Cinnamon also happens to possess anti-clotting properties, so if an individual is consuming some blood thinners, they ought to not consume cinnamon. this may end in excessive bleeding.
Some people can even develop allergies to cinnamon powder. this may cause irritation and itching on the skin, and also spread rashes on the body.
- People who have ulcers in their mouths may experience a burning sensation and pain right after consuming cinnamon.
- Cinnamon oils must not ever be consumed by an individual, as they will be very dangerous to the physical body.
- Cinnamon also will cause an increased pulse, and dyspnea (which may be quite a respiratory disorder).
- Women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding must mandatorily stand back from cinnamon and items containing cinnamon.
So, these were a few commonly seen cinnamon side effects that have afflicted many people over the years. Most of these do not have any serious or long term effects and are easily curable over a period of time. But if the excessive consumption of cinnamon is not halted, the consequences could turn out to be quite unpleasant. You must always ensure that the cinnamon you are consuming does not clash with any other medications or herbs that you take. Some herbs or medicines can have an adverse reaction with cinnamon, and leave you with a variety of problems to deal with.