Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known to man, dating back to 2,700 BC according to both Chinese and Egyptian texts. Cinnamon is a small tree grown in Asia and South America, and is produced by taking the bark from the tree and drying it. It is then typically ground into powder for consumption. There are 4 different varieties of cinnamon, but the most common type found in grocery stores is Cassia cinnamon.
Cinnamon offers a good deal of health benefits including regulation of blood sugar, relieving pain associated with arthritis, improved memory and brain functioning, anti-clotting and blood thinning effects, helping with cold symptoms including a stuffy nose, reducing flatulence and nausea ,and can help with painful menstrual cramping. Cinnamon also contains important nutrients including manganese, iron, calcium and fiber. The combination of calcium and fiber is particularly important in that it has been linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer. Both calcium and fiber bind to bile salts and bile salt has been scientifically linked to colon cancer. Cinnamon has also been demonstrated to reduce both cholesterol and blood pressure. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition confirms that cinnamon reduces blood pressure.
A 2003 study published in the medical journal Diabetes Care reported that after 40 days of cinnamon consumption, test subjects presented a 18 to 29% reduction in fasting blood glucose levels and a reduction in total cholesterol by 12 to 26%. Before using cinnamon to reduce blood glucose levels, consult with your doctor, especially if taking medications for diabetes.
Cinnamon has an anti-microbial effect and therefore has been shown to help treat yeast infections. Cinnamon stops the growth of harmful bacteria in the stomach and intestines.
Cinnamon is also high in antioxidants (see my earlier blog on antioxidants). Antioxidants help to reduce free radicals in the body, which are damaging to cells.
In Wellness and Love,
Dr. Christopher Weaver DC, PAK is a Doctor of Chiropractic and Professional Applied Kinesiologist. He's published two books on health and Wellness.