Cinnamomum verum or “True” cinnamon
Cinnamon, one of the first trade spices of the ancient world, is highly delicious and powerfully medicinal! Cinnamon is one of the oldest tonic plants on the globe. It’s been used medicinally for thousands of years, dating back to before the great pyramids of Egypt were built. The plant can reach heights of up to 30 feet. The leaves are deep green and the blossoms usually white. Once the trees reach six or seven years old, the bark is peeled off into cinnamon sticks.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, cinnamon heats up a cold body, improves the circulation (gets the blood rushing around) stoking up the waning fire, and is prescribed for loss of vigor, whether due to stress, aging, or illness. In-vitro and in-vivo studies from different parts of the world have demonstrated numerous beneficial medicinal effects of Cinnamomum:
- Loaded with powerful antioxidant: one teaspoon of cinnamon packs as much antioxidant potency as a half cup of blueberries
- Strongly anti-inflammatory: Cinnamaldehyde inhibits the NF-kappaB proteins (transcription factors for pro-inflammatory genes) and it prevents blood platelets from clumping – all of which protect against heart disease and other diseases of inflammation
- Improves sensitivity to insulin: this is arguable the most well researched health benefit from cinnamon
- Lowers blood sugar levels: Numerous human trials have confirmed the anti-diabetic effects of cinnamon, showing that it can lower fasting blood sugar levels by up to 10-29%
- Antibacterial and antifungal: Research has shown Cinnamon is one of the most effective substances against E-coli, and Salmonella, as well as,Campylobacter . Another study found Cinnamaldehyde from Cinnamon Bark Oil in its various forms is effective against adenovirus. Cinnamon Oil was effective against three strains of Candida, Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis, and Candida krusei.
- Great for digestion: As a digestive, cinnamon dramatically reduces the uncomfortable feelings associated with IBS especially bloating.
- Stomach bugs or stomach flu: Cinnamon is a natural astringent and will dry up your bowel very quickly.
- Reduces LDL Cholesterol: Studies have shown that just a half of teaspoon of cinnamon per day can help lower LDL cholesterol.
- Great source of trace minerals: great source of manganese
- Enhances cognitive processing – just from smelling cinnamon!
Adding cinnamon to your diet is simple, healthful, and tasty. You’ll want to purchase ceylon cinnamon or “true” cinnamon, which does not contain high contents of coumarin (a substance that can be toxic to the liver at high doses). A typical dose of cinnamon may be up to 2 tsps a day. A safe dose may be 1 tsp per day – but be sure to check with your doctor before taking regularly. While cinnamon is a very safe spice for children, be sure to test them for allergies or sensitivities before adding it to their diet. A sprinkle a day would be appropriate for the youngsters.
- Sprinkle cinnamon into your coffee, or add it to your coffee grounds before brewing
- Stir cinnamon into any nut or seed butter and use as a dip for fresh apple wedges
- Add to smoothies, soups, and stews
- Sprinkle on top of your toast
- Boil the sticks or powder and strain. Serve as a tea adding some honey and almond milk to taste