Health Benefits of Cinnamon- Classified Information about Cinnamon
What gets Cinnamon for you
What is Cinnamon?
Cinnamon has been a favorite spice for cooking ever since the ancient times. In fact it was the ancient Chinese, who discovered the healing properties of cinnamon. It has a unique flavor and aroma, which make it a very attractive addition to food. Cinnamon is an aromatic spice obtained by the inner bark of various tree species in the genus Cinnamomum from the sub-tropical and tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and Australia.
Chemical Ingredients in Cinnamon
Generally cinnamon contains the following ingredients: flavanoids (tasting chemicals), volatile oils, non-flavonoids, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. In nature cinnamon contains a very large amount of essential oil, which serves as a powerful natural preservative. Most cinnamon contains more than 50 different aromatic compounds and is considered to be one of the most nutritious spices known to man.
Odor and flavor
Cinnamon has an energetic-smelling, flavour-sweetening, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory ingredient known as cassia versa. According to the latest studies Cassia seems to have many healing properties.
This spice has been found to improve cardiovascular health, lower bad cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure and may even prevent some forms of cancer and diabetes. Cinnamon may also stimulate the immune system, improve body mood and help in weight loss. There is some evidence that cinnamon may lower cholesterol and blood-sugar levels, possibly due to the presence of flavonoids.
How the Cinnamon Made?
When we buy cinnamon we are not buying true cinnamon but a product made with the dried peel and root of the cinnamon plant. True cinnamon contains no true active spice whereas the flavored variety contains all of its active ingredients.
The flavorings and coloring in most commercially produced cinnamon products vary greatly from true cinnamon. In order to produce a uniform product manufacturers will add other spices to the ground raw plant, including sugar and learn sugar (a sugar substitute).
Commercial Brand ?
Apart from these commercial blends there is another popular natural alternative which is marketed under the name "Ceylon Cinnamon". Ceylon cinnamon does not contain any flavorings or colorings and it is quite similar in taste to nutmeg.
It is a traditional spice blend made from cassia verosa and garcinia cambogia. It is well known for having medicinal properties and has been used for centuries to treat skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema. Although it does not raise blood sugar levels, it does seem to be beneficial for lowering levels of cholesterol.
Properties of Cinnamon
Cinnamon contains many antioxidant compounds, some of which may be able to protect the human body from certain forms of cancer. Two of the compounds, quercetin and rutin, are believed to be able to reduce tumor growth and may also prevent the formation of blood clots.
There are other compounds that could work similarly, such as quercitrin and procyanidins. Quercetin and procyanidins are thinking to be able to stimulate the immune system and boost its function. This boosts the bodies' ability to fight against bacteria and viruses that cause ulcers, heart disease, and certain forms of cancer.
Clinical Evidences of Cinnamon
Long-term studies on the effects of cinnamon on blood pressure have not yet been conducted, but anecdotal evidence suggests that cinnamon could help lower levels of this important blood pressure mark.
Another study performed on diabetic rats found that they benefited from a 30% reduction in blood pressure after feeding them cinnamon for three months. The same study also showed that the rats were able to cope with high doses of insulin. Cinnamon could lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon has a number of health benefits. However, caution should be exercised if you suffer from heart problems. Long-term use of the essential oil can increase the blood pressure and heart rate, and there is an increased risk of stroke and cardiac arrest in diabetics. Long-term use may cause an increase in the need for insulin.
Treats Fungal Infection
When used topically, Ceylon cinnamon oil helps prevent fungal infections. These infections can result in severe inflammation and blistering. Cinnamon can also be beneficial for skin irritations, itching and burning. A strong, warm aroma, described as a warm, honey-like scent, from the oil can relieve many of these symptoms. It has a warming effect and relieves sore throats.
In Ayurvedic Formulation
In Indonesia, Ceylon cinnamon is cultivated primarily for its aromatic properties and for its diuretic action. A traditional recipe for Ceylon cinnamon cake calls for cinnamon bark from the cassia cinnamon trees. In India, cinnamon is often combined with cardamom, cloves, mace, ghee, and milk. Ceylon cinnamon is a major ingredient in Ayurvedic formulations.
Diseases of CNS
Cinnamon increases the sensitivity of our taste buds and can stimulate our central nervous system, which helps lower our blood sugar levels. In addition, cinnamon has diuretic properties which makes it ideal for diabetic patients. The effect of cinnamon on our blood sugar levels has not been fully studied yet, but the potential for using this spice in treating diabetes is still an intriguing possibility.
Type 2 Diabetes
Research indicates that people with type 2 diabetes benefit by including cinnamon in their diet. In addition, there are no negative side effects of consuming cinnamon, making it a safe choice to include this spice in any diet plan.
So, if you want to lower your blood sugar levels, increase your insulin sensitivity, and boost your immune system, then add cinnamon to your diet. Or, try incorporating cinnamon into your next meal and get a healthier snack for yourself! Read Ayurvedic Medicines for Diabetes.
Cinnamon has been heralded as a "cure" for various ailments, from indigestion to oral thrush, burns, and colitis. Perhaps its most prolific medicinal use is its purported ability to treat cancer.
Cinnamon has been used in medicinal preparations for hundreds of years and has reportedly provided positive results. However, the only research on this subject to date suggests that cinnamon has antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiviral activity. Therefore, this popular and well-known spice could potentially have numerous health benefits.
Cinnamon has also been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat cardiovascular illness and hypertension. It may help lower cholesterol by reducing the absorption of lipids, lowering high blood pressure, and possibly preventing some forms of cancer.
Researchers believe that cinnamon has antioxidant activity. Cinnamon is often included in Chinese daily remedies to treat a range of inflammatory conditions, including arthritis, psoriasis, and skin ulcers. In fact, cinnamon is so potent in the anti-inflammatory treatment that it is sometimes considered a "cure" for ulcers and gastrointestinal tract disorders.
Research conducted on the blood vessels in human beings suggest that blood-vessel inflammation may be prevented by the intake of cassia cinnamon. Some studies have even suggested that compounds in cassia cinnamon inhibit the formation of plaque, which can result in the hardening or occlusion of blood vessels.
These studies are preliminary, and more evidence needs to be conducted before we can safely say that these compounds can prevent or treat cardiovascular disease.
Reduces the risk of Cancer
Although there is some evidence that shows that taking small, regular, and large doses of cassia cinnamon can reduce the risk of some forms of cancer, the suggestion in Traditional Chinese Medicine to use cinnamon in combination with other natural compounds for prevention or treatment of cardiovascular disease is not yet supported by conclusive scientific evidence.
At the very least, the consumption of large doses of cinnamon has been associated with an increased risk of stroke and is accompanied by allergic reactions in some people.
However, all evidence so far suggests that coumarin, the main compound in cassia cinnamon, is beneficial to cardiovascular health and may even prevent atherosclerosis. The only caution is that, at high doses, coumarin can cause a serious and life-threatening condition called "cystic fibrosis". It is very important to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the symptoms of this condition.
Types of Cinnamon
True Cinnamon: The sweet, pale yellow spice that we use in most American baked goods, True Cinnamon has a very distinctive flavor. Its aroma is described as a mixture of lemon, pepper, and wood.
Ceylon cinnamon has a medium-spicyspicy flavor. True cinnamon contains more cinnamaldehyde than any other spice. According to historical accounts cinnamaldehyde was used as a preservative, as it kept foods moist and safe.
Cassia Cinnamon: This variety is a red and white flower that grows on trees in the South Pacific. It grows on the branch tips of trees and blooms in late summer. Cassia Cinnamon's main flavoring ingredient is "flavonoids", which contain antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight free radicals and their harmful effects.
Free radicals cause oxidation in our body which leads to aging, heart disease, and various forms of cancer. As a result, eating cinnamon may increase the number of antioxidants we have in our body and helps us fight these free radicals.