"Medicinal Uses of Cinnamon"
Written by Tessa Jupp RN for the Post Polio Network of WA
SNIPPETS on CINNAMON from the Internet
Cinnamon is a common cooking spice. It is available in your local supermarket as a ground powder. A purer, stronger form of cinnamon is available in Chinese shops.
Cinnamon is an excellent source of manganese and a very good source of dietary fibre, calcium and iron.
Both calcium and fibres can bind to bile salts and help remove them from the body. By removing bile, fibres help to prevent the damage that certain bile salts can cause to colon cells, thereby reducing the risk of colon cancer.
In addition, when bile is removed by fibres, the body must break down cholesterol in order to make new bile. This process can help to lower high cholesterol levels, which can be helpful in preventing atherosclerosis and heart disease. Here is one recipe given for reducing cholesterol.
To reduce cholesterol by on average 10%, take 3 teaspoons of honey and 1½ teaspoons of Cinnamon powder mixed in 1 cup of cooled green tea. It is claimed that if this mixture is taken 3 times per day high cholesterol can be cured.
I would like feedback on this if anyone tries it. Tessa
Seasoning a high carb food with cinnamon can help lessen its impact on your blood sugar levels. Cinnamon slows the rate at which the stomach empties after meals, reducing the rise in blood sugar after eating.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;85(6):1552-6.
BLOOD SUGAR: Researchers from the US Agricultural Research Service, have shown that less than half a teaspoon per day of cinnamon reduces blood sugar levels in persons with type 2 diabetes.
In Type 2 diabetes, consuming as little as 1 gram of cinnamon per day was found to reduce blood sugar, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol, in a study published in the December 2003 issue of Diabetes Care.
After 40 days, cinnamon reduced blood sugar levels by 18-29%, triglycerides 23-30%, LDL cholesterol 7-27%, and total cholesterol 12-26%, while no significant changes were seen in those groups receiving placebo.
The active ingredient in cinnamon turned out to be a water-soluble poly-phenol compound called MHCP. In test tube experiments, MHCP mimics insulin, activates its receptor, and works synergistically with insulin in cells.
Since MHCP is water-soluble, it leaches into the water of your drink when you pour boiling water over cinnamon and you can discard any remaining cinnamon solids left in your cup after having your drink.
It is believed that including cinnamon in the diet of people with type 2 diabetes will reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Not only does consuming cinnamon improve the body's ability to utilize blood sugar, but also just smelling the wonderful odour of this sweet spice boosts brain activity.
In addition to the positive effects of cinnamon on glucose regulation, there is data which supports the beneficial effects of cinnamon on blood pressure.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2006;25:144–150. [PubMed]
Cinnamon's essential oils also qualify it as an 'anti-microbial' food, and cinnamon has been studied for its ability to help stop the growth of bacteria as well as fungi.
Lab and animal studies have found that cinnamon may have antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is active against Candida albicans, the fungus that causes yeast and thrush infections and also Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers.
For irritable bowel syndrome sufferers, the fibre in cinnamon may also provide relief from constipation or diarrhoea.
Cinnamon's ability to lower the release of acid from cell membranes also puts it in the category of an 'anti-inflammatory' food that can be helpful in lessening inflammation.
ARTHRITIS and BACK PAIN
Cinnamon is believed to be effective in treating arthritis and low back pain. It also used as a sedative agent and to treat psoriasis. It stops vomiting, relieves flatulence, treats anal fistula and rectal prolapse. Given with chalk and astringents it is useful for diarrhoea and uterine haemorrhage.
Cinnamon has high antioxidant activities. The essential oil of cinnamon also has antimicrobial properties, which aid in the preservation of certain foods.
Chewing cinnamon flavoured gum or just smelling cinnamon enhanced study participants' cognitive processing. Specifically, cinnamon improved participants' scores on tasks requiring concentration, virtual recognition memory, working memory, and visual-motor speed while working on a computer-based program.
The cinnamon oil, Cinnamaldehyde has been well-researched for its effects on blood platelets. It helps prevent unwanted clumping of blood platelets. by inhibiting the release of an inflammatory fatty acid called arachidonic acid from platelet membranes
Bad Breath: Cinnamon (½ teaspoon added to a glass of water and used as a mouthwash) alleviates Halitosis.
Cinnamon has been used to provide relief when faced with the onset of a cold or flu, especially when mixed in a tea with some fresh ginger.
Fatigue: Taking honey and cinnamon power in equal parts may help individuals become more alert and flexible.
Skin infections: Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected part cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections.
Cinnamon is also used as an insect repellent.