Cinnamon has a long history of being used as a spice as well as medicine.
Cinnamon comes from the bark of a tree, available as a quill or ground powder in its dried form. The Ceylon type one is slightly sweeter, more refined and harder to find than its Chinese counterpart. Its unique healing abilities mostly come from three components found in the oils of its bark.
Cinnamaldehyde prevents unwanted clumping of blood platelets by inhibiting arachidonic acid from platelet membranes and thus reducing the formation of molecules responsible for inflammations. This also puts cinnamon into a category of food which helps in lessening inflammation. Cinnamon is also qualified as an anti-microbial food because some studies have shown that it stops the growth of bacteria and fungi and also has turned out to be a marvelous food preservative.
Cinnamon also has a beneficial effect on people with type 2 diabetes, because it improves their response to insulin and by doing so it also normalizes their blood sugar levels. Besides this, cinnamon also stimulates insulin receptors and at the same time inhibits the enzyme that actually inactivates them, which increases the cells’ ability to use glucose significantly.
A diet which includes cinnamon greatly reduces the risk factors that are usually associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The best possible antioxidation among all other spices and chemical antioxidants is provided by cinnamon.
Even by just smelling the scent of cinnamon, cognitive processes and other brain activities are increased. Cinnamon improves the response of attentional processes, virtual recognition and working memory, as well as visual-motor speed while using various software on computers.
A study exposed participants to four different odorant conditions and the cinnamon one had the most positive effect on various brain functions.
Cinnamon is a great source of manganese and dietary fiber, iron and calcium. These elements are crucial in removing bile salts from the body, thereby greatly reducing the risk of colon cancer. During the process, the body must break down cholesterol so that new bile can be made. It’s a savior for those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome because it provides relief from constipation or diarrhea. Cinnamon also has a warming quality and it provides relief from the cold or flu when mixed with tea.
Cinnamon comes in quills which originate from the brown bark of the tree. The Chinese and the Ceylon cinnamon are the most common among a hundred varieties. It is one of the oldest spices known to man and in ancient Egypt, it was considered more valuable than gold.