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7 Incredible Cinnamon Benefits
Today you will discover some incredible cinnamon benefits for your health. Cinnamon is a popular culinary spice that is obtained from the branches of the “Cinnamomum” family of wild trees.
The natural herb which is native to Southeast Asia, South America, and the Caribbean can be classified into two main types, namely Chinese cinnamon which is also called Cassia cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon.
The consumption of the highly delicious herbal spice can be traced back to the ancient Egypt in the 200 BC where cinnamon was highly prized both for its potent medicinal and nutritional properties.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
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Cinnamon’s distinct flavor and smell are as a result of its oily part that is made up of a unique compound called “cinnamaldehyde1.” Apart from giving the herb its unique flavor and smell, the beneficial compound is also responsible for providing the natural herbal remedy with most of its beneficial health properties. Discussed below are some of the common benefits of Cinnamon.
1. Preventing cancer
Cancer is a dangerous disease that is often characterized by the uncontrolled growth of harmful body cells. Cinnamon can be highly beneficial in both the prevention and treatment of cancer. This beneficial spice can reduce the formation of blood vessels, particularly in tumors as well as the growth of cancer cells. Apart from that, some major compounds in the natural herb are highly toxic to cancer cells hence end up killing them.
A scientific study that was published by a group of scientific researchers from the Maryland “U.S. Department of Agriculture” revealed that cinnamon can significantly reduce the proliferation of lymphoma and leukemia cancer cells2 . Eugenol and Cinnamaldehyde are the two beneficial chemical constituents of the natural herb that have been widely used to develop potent nutraceutical products which are used to combat human hepatoma cells as well as colon cancer cells.
2. Alleviating neurodegenerative diseases
Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases are the two common types of neurodegenerative disorders facing man today. Both diseases are often characterized by the progressive loss of brain cell function or structure. Some compounds found in cinnamon have been proven to inhibit the buildup of a harmful protein (called tau) in the brain that is known to cause Alzheimer’s disease.
The natural herbal remedy can also be consumed to improve motor function, help in protecting neurons as well as normalizing neurotransmitter levels which are all common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. A scientific study that was carried out on the herb revealed that orally administered cinnamon extracts can help correct cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s disease sufferers.
3. Managing diabetes
Insulin resistance is a serious condition that can result in type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Cinnamon has unique properties that can greatly reduce insulin resistance, hence helping the insulin hormone to perform its essential role in the body. This particular property of regulating blood sugar levels is highly beneficial to type 2 diabetic sufferers.
The natural herb is also capable of regulating blood sugar levels through reducing the amount of glucose allowed to enter the bloodstream during digestion.
This is easily achieved when its chemical compounds directly interfere with digestive enzymes, thus slowing down carbohydrate breakdown in the digestive tract. Various scientific research3 findings indicate that cinnamon can significantly reduce blood sugar levels by up to 30%. Daily consumption of about 6 grams of the natural herbal remedy is recommended.
4. Improving brain function
It is scientifically proven that you can enhance your cognitive process just by smelling the cinnamon herb. Apart from that, consuming of the natural herb is likely to increase your brain function tremendously. A scientific study carried out at the “Agricultural Research Service,” showed that cinnamon extracts can prevent the swelling of brain cells especially in individuals that have experienced a stroke or those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Other scientific studies4 have indicated that the flavor and aroma of the natural herb can act as a potent cognitive stimulant that improves working memory, virtual recognition, and visual-motor speed.
5. Reducing the risk of heart disease
Heart disease, which is considered to be the world’s most common cause of premature death has been scientifically proven to be reduced by consuming cinnamon5 .
This is often achieved by regulating the overall cholesterol levels in the body. Cinnamon has the ability to reduce Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is also commonly referred to as bad cholesterol while increasing High-density lipoprotein (LDL) or good cholesterol.
By regulating these body cholesterol levels through increasing good cholesterol while reducing bad cholesterol as well as reducing blood pressure cinnamon, then becomes highly effective in reducing the risk of experiencing heart disease.
6. Combating the HIV virus
HIV, which can eventually lead to Aids if left untreated for a long time, is a common virus that is known to weaken the immune system. Cinnamon especially the type extracted from Cassia cinnamon is thought to help in fighting against the HIV-1 virus which is the most common HIV virus strain in humans.
A laboratory study that was used to analyze the effectiveness of over 60 medicinal plants in terms of treating HIV-infected cells revealed that cinnamon was the most effective of them all. The natural herb can, therefore, help in fighting the HIV virus through preventing the entry of the deadly virus into body cells.
The beneficial natural herb has been shown to contain various potent antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties, all of which can be used to prevent and treat most common diseases. According to the “National Institute of Health, (NIH)” the Cinnamaldehyde chemical compound found in cinnamon can be used to fight against stubborn fungal and bacterial infections.
Cinnamon oil extract has also been shown to be effective in treating various respiratory tract infections that are caused by fungi. The natural herbal remedy can also inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, including Salmonella and Listeria. Cinnamon’s antimicrobial effects can also be beneficial in preventing tooth decay while reducing bad breath.
Cinnamon is generally considered to be a safe herb that can be used in the culinary and medical field without any severe side effects whatsoever. However, it is considered wise to consult a certified herbal expert or qualified medical professional before deciding to use the natural herb or any of its extracts so as to be on the safe side. Also note Cinnamon can effect blood sugar levels so if you have diabetes consult your doctor before using the herb.
Consumption of cinnamon is known to reduce both specific and systematic inflammation. Adding the natural herbal spice to your diet regularly is guaranteed to significantly reduce systematic inflammation, thus preventing the occurrence of various chronic diseases including headaches, arthritis and other types of pain.
Cinnamon can also be used in boosting circulation, thus helping with common circulatory problems like Raynaud’s syndrome and arthritis. Kindly note that although inflammation is relatively important in the body having a chronic or long-term inflammation may be problematic.
This amazing herb can also help in the treatment of muscle spasms, vomiting, diarrhea, infections, loss of appetite and weight loss. How to use, just simply sprinkle some on your food and also enjoy some cinnamon herbal tea.
- https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/cinnamaldehyde#section=Top ↩
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16253769 ↩
- http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/12/3215.full ↩
- http://advances.nutrition.org/content/2/1/32.full ↩
- http://www.ift.org/food-technology/daily-news/2010/august/25/cinnamon-extracts-may-reduce-diabetes-heart-disease-risk-factors.aspx ↩