10 Health Benefits of the Wonder Spice Cinnamon
Healthy Living

10 Health Benefits of the Wonder Spice Cinnamon

Farzana Chauhan profile Authored by Farzana Chauhan on 12 Dec 2014 - 10:32.

Cinnamon, an aromatic spice, is a hot and sweet flavoursome spice used in various recipes not only for flavour but for its medicinal properties too.

It is obtained from the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree belonging to the laurel family.This spice though not approved by FDA, is known to help health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, stomach flu, cold, cough and tooth decay among others.

Enumerated below are some of itscompelling health benefits of Cinnamon in relation to various disease conditions.

1. Type 2 Diabetes:

It has been proved time and again that cinnamon helps in controlling blood sugar levels by decreasing insulin resistance in Type 2 diabetic patients.Some studies conclude that regular use of cinnamon has a potential effect on glycaemic control. It’s been found that subjects who were on 500mg capsule of cinnamon twice a day, for three months improved their haemoglobin A1C levels drastically as compared to those who had standard diabetes medicine.(HB A1C is a reflection of the blood sugar level in the past 2-3 months)

Researchers state that cinnamon bark contains potassium, manganese, chromium, copper, calcium, iron iodine, phosphorus, vitamins A, Bi, B2, C and zinc that help in preventing and curing diabetes.

2. High Cholesterol:

According to Mayo Clinic, the only possible way Cinnamon could lower cholesterol indirectly in the way sugar and fat are processed. However there is no direct effect on cholesterol. Still another study in Pakistan found Cinnamon reduced triglyceride (23-30%), LDL cholesterol (7-27%), and total cholesterol (12-26%). A review in 2011 found that intake of cinnamon significantlydecreases complete cholesterol, LDL-C, triglyceride levels and increases HDL-C (the good cholesterol).

3. Weight Loss:

Cinnamon has a regulatory effect on blood glucose levels and simultaneously increases insulin levels in the body and metabolic rate of glucose. Since high blood sugar levels leads to increased fat storage by the human body, cinnamon helps prevent this elevated storage of fat and also thus enables you to lose weight. It also helps the entire body to process carbohydrates more effectively. Studies show that the abdominal fat is more sensitive to the effects of cinnamon than excess fat from other parts of the body.

4. Stomach Flu:

Stomach infection can give you sleepless nights. Cinnamon, known for its strong anti-bacterial properties, is an effective way to cure this condition.The strong anti-bacterial properties of this wonder spice helps in destroying the Salmonella, Campylobacter and Escherichia coli bacteria that cause stomach flu. Cinnamon also works faster as compared to other natural herbs.

5. Cancer:

 Cinnamon is also known to prevent cancer.Researchers claim that cinnamon extracts limit the growth of various kinds of cancer including melanoma, colorectal, cervical and lymphoma cancers.This super spice apparently interferes with a protein that aids tumors in establishing blood supply, imperative for its growth.

6. Cold and Flu:

One of the most common problems is cold and flu, which may be prevented with the consumption of cinnamon. Its anti-bacterial and warming properties help in fighting against this ailment.

7. Yeast infection:

Cinnamon has the unique ability to prevent medicated resistant yeast infections. Cinnamon oil especially is known to neutralize infection against E.coli bacterial species and Candida albicans fungus. Genuine Ceylon Cinnamon Tea energized with cinnamon bark oil can combat internal Candida infections and also boost the immune system.

8. IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome):

Cinnamon dramatically minimizes the discomfort associated with IBS, especially the bloated tummy. It does this by eliminating bacteria and healing bacterial infections in the GI tract and enables the gastric juices to work normally. But if you have stomach cramps or problems, a cup of Cinnamon tea 2-3 times daily will dramatically reduce the discomfort.

9. Osteoporosis:

Some people claim ingesting Cinnamon tea helps this from arthritis while others declare Cinnamon Oil based massage therapy helps ease this.

Cinnamon has high levels (73% Dietary value in two twigs of Cinnamon) of manganese which is used to build bones, blood and other connective tissues. The body needs manganese for optimal bone health and cinnamon intake can help osteoporosis condition.

10. Food preservation:

Cinnamon inhibits bacterial growth. It is popularly used in Srilankan cuisine. Ceylon Cinnamon in combination with additional spices like Turmeric and Chili is an age old preservative.Besides, it is known to helpcure arthritis, heart disease, depression, Parkinson’s diseaseand increase concentration power.

How is cinnamon used?

Cinnamon sticks can be boiled in water for some time and taken with honey in it. Ginger can also be added to make it more effective. Artificial flavours of cinnamon are best avoided. 

Tip: It isrecommended to go for Ceylon cinnamon and not Cassia cinnamon, which is readily available at the retail stores. This is because cassia cinnamon contains high levels of coumarin which may damage the liver.

*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.