10 March 2014

Cinnamon, the wonder spice

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Indian folk medicine has been in practice from time immemorial. Traditional medicine interconnects our body with nature for a healthy living. The practice of consuming natural foods must be cultivated rather than loading one’s body with chemicals.

Let’s be acquainted with the benefits of cinnamon:

Cinnamon, the wonder spice
Cinnamon, the dried bark of an evergreen tree that grows in the tropics, is one of the world's most popular spices. It can be found in foods, chewing gums, toothpaste, beverages and medications. Researches carried out to prove its effectiveness in treating high blood sugar levels and lipid levels are very promising.

Among several plant materials of the genus Cinnamomum, only the bark of Cinnamomum zeylanicum contains the major phenolic metabolite methyl hydroxyl chalcone polymer (MHCP) accountable for its therapeutic use. While there are approximately one hundred varieties of Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon) and Cinnamomum aromaticum (Chinese cinnamon) are the leading varieties consumed. Ceylon cinnamon is also referred to as "true cinnamon", while the Chinese variety is known as "cassia". While both are relatively similar in characteristics and both feature a fragrant, sweet and warm taste, the flavour of the Ceylon variety is more refined and subtle.

Scientists have discovered that cinnamon has insulin-like properties, and can be useful for those suffering from type 2 diabetes. Researchers believe the benefits of cinnamon may include decreasing blood glucose levels as well as triglycerides and cholesterol all of which are especially important for diabetes sufferers.

The benefits of cinnamon include treating
  • stomach disorders,
  • diarrhoea,
  • nausea and
  • vomiting.

It acts as a digestive aid and can relieve gas and bloating. One of the many health benefits lies in its antibacterial capabilities. Researches have proved that the essential oil of cinnamon can provide an adequate degree of protection against food borne pathogens to a certain extent due to its anti-bacterial quality.

Cinnamon has thermo genic properties that help accelerate your metabolic engine and narrow your waistline. Obese subjects who consumed cinnamon on a regular basis experienced a significant alteration in body composition. Their body fat decreased by 0.7%, and their muscle mass increased by 1.1%. These changes took place without alterations in the diet or physical activity of the subjects.

Other common uses include treatment for
  • common infections,
  • the common cold,
  • menopausal symptoms,
  • rheumatic conditions,
  • hypertension,
  • angina and
  • kidney disorders.

Consuming roughly one half of a teaspoon of cinnamon per day or less leads to dramatic improvements in
  • blood sugar,
  • cholesterol,
  • LDL-cholesterol and
  • triglycerides.

Intake of cinnamon, at these levels, is found to be very safe and has no side effects. Avoid using cinnamon during pregnancy or when breastfeeding.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Priya,
    How to take cinnamon for blood sugar? Need to mix with water or milk?
    Thanks ,
    Hema

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hema,

      Take half teaspoon of cinnamon powder per day; you can mix it with buttermilk or sprinkle over porridge or take it as dicoction by mixing it with water. Be sure to consume only ceylon cinnamon variety.

      Thanks,
      Priya

      Delete