Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum)

Cinnamon Benefits

Cinnamon (Dalchini) is a herb traditionally used by many ancient cultures. It is indicated for a variety of ailments including gastrointestinal problems, urinary infections, relieving symptoms of colds and flu and has remarkable anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Some studies have shown that Cinnamon helps people with diabetes metabolise sugar better.

True cinnamon, or Cinnamomum Zeylanicum, is the inner bark of a small evergreen tree native to Sri Lanka and was used in ancient Egypt for embalming. It was also added to food to prevent spoiling. During the Bubonic Plague, sponges were soaked in cinnamon and cloves and placed in sick rooms. Cinnamon was the most sought after spice during explorations of the 15th and 16th centuries.

Most therapeutic uses of Chinese cinnamon bark are rooted in its historical use as a traditional medicine and on laboratory and animal studies. Test-tube or animal research does not guarantee safety or effectiveness in humans, but German health authorities (Commission E) do approve of cinnamon bark for mild gastrointestinal spasms, stimulating appetite and relieving indigestion.

It is used in flatulent dyspepsia, dyspepsia with nausea, intestinal colic and digestive atony associated with cold & debilitated conditions. It is known to relieve nausea and vomiting, and because of its mild astringency it is particularly used for infantile diarrhea.

Cinnamon warms and stimulates the digestive system, useful in weak digestion, colic, griping, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, wind and distension. The tannins have an astringent action, stemming bleeding in nosebleeds, heavy periods and resolving diarrhea and catarrhal congestion.

Cinnamon may help to:

Soothe an upset stomach

Cinnamon extracts have been used medically to treat gastrointestinal problems and to help calm the stomach. Cinnamon is a carminative, an agent that helps break up intestinal gas that has traditionally been used to combat diarrhea and morning sickness. Both test-tube and some animal studies have found that cinnamon may help to relieve mild abdominal discomfort caused by excess gas.

Clear up urinary-tract infections

One German study showed that Cinnamon "suppresses completely" the cause of most urinary-tract infections (Escherichia coli bacteria) and the fungus responsible for vaginal yeast infections (Candida albicans).

Allow diabetics to use less insulin

Some studies have shown that Cinnamon helps people with diabetes metabolise sugar better. In adult-onset (Type II) diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin, but the body can't use it efficiently to break down blood sugar.

Richard Anderson at the US Department of Agriculture's Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland found that Cinnamon enhances the ability of insulin to metabolise glucose, helping to control blood sugar levels. Cinnamon contains the anti-oxidant glutathione and a type of flavonoid called MHCP (methylhydroxy chalcone polymer). It is believed that cinnamon makes fat cells much more responsive to insulin, the hormone that regulates sugar metabolism and thus controls the level of glucose in the blood.

"One-eighth of a teaspoon of cinnamon triples insulin efficiency," say James A. Duke, Ph.D., a botanist retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and author of The CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. Dr. Duke suggest that people with adult-onset diabetes discuss Cinnamon's benefits with their doctor. Taking ½ to ¾ teaspoon of ground Cinnamon with each meal may help control blood sugar levels.

Aid digestion

Cinnamon contains compounds called catechins, which help relieve nausea. The volatile oil in cinnamon bark may also help the body to process food by breaking down fats during digestion.

Kill many disease-causing fungi and viruses

Preliminary results from test tube and animal studies suggest that cinnamon oil and cinnamon extract have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic properties. For example, cinnamon has been found to be active against Candida albicans, the fungus responsible for vaginal yeast infections and thrush (oral yeast infection), Helicobacter pylori (the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers), and even head lice.

An incredible experiment in the journal of Food Science for 1974 demonstrated the power of cinnamon over most yeasts and fungi. Slices of white, raisin, rye and whole wheat breads, manufactured without the usual mold inhibitors, were subjected to various aflatoxins, a group of toxic molds so dangerous that they can cause liver cancer and kill humans and animals alike and often occur in food. The toxic molds grew vigorously on all of the other breads, except for the raisin bread where growth was described as being "scant or not visible at all." In trying to identify whether it was the raisins or cinnamon responsible for this, food scientists discovered that as little as 2% or 20 mg. of the spice per ml of a yeast-extract and sucrose broth inhibited 97 -99 per cent of these molds.

Relieve Pain

Cinnamon is considered a pain-killer due to its prostaglandin-inhibiting action.

Relieve Colds and Flu

In both India and Europe, cinnamon has been traditionally taken as a warming herb for "cold" conditions, often in combination with ginger (Zingiber officinale). The herb stimulates the circulation, especially to the fingers and toes and has been used for arthritis. Cinnamon is also a traditional remedy for aching muscles and other symptoms of viral conditions such as colds and flue.



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Cinnamon Herb Notes / Side Effects

Latin Name

Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Cinamomum saigonicum

Common Names

Saigon cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon, Dalcini, Gui, Twak, Yueh-kuei

Properties

Alterative, analgesic, anodyne, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-infective, anti-oxidant, anti-parasitic, anti-septic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, haemostatic, hypotensive, sedative, stimulates and then depresses the nervous system, stomachic.

Indicated for

Abdominal Pain, arthritis, asthma, backaches, bloating, bronchitis, candida, cholera, cold or flu with chilliness, aching, sweating but cold skin, constipation, coronary problems, diarrhea, digestive irritation, dysmenorrhea, excessive menstruation, fevers, flatulence, gastric disorders, haemorrhoids, hypertension, indigestion, nausea, nephritis, parasites, passive gastric/pulmonary/intestinal/renal bleeding, psoriasis, stomach upset, vomiting, warts.

Cinnamon bark is generally safe to use in medicinal amounts, but allergic skin rashes or mucous membrane reactions are possible. Spice workers have occasionally developed asthma and some people have had allergic reactions to cinnamon chewing gum. Very large amounts of cinnamon bark could cause dangerous nervous system reactions.

Do not use:

during pregnancy due to cinnamon's emmenagogic effect.

if you suffer from stomach or intestinal ulcers due to the carminative effect.

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Has Cinnamon Worked For You?

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Joyce 's avatar  Joyce 31/05/2011 22:24

I have just started using 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp honey every morning to help with my blood pressure and other problems I have been having. How long can I continue to use the ceylon cinnamon safely? Also when do I have to stop, and whats the time limit before I can use it again. I would like to use it regularly diabetes runs high in my family and I have been diagnosed pre diabetic. It really does keep your sugar levels down!

15 people liked this.
Grazynamaria 's avatar  Grazynamaria 30/12/2010 11:44

Good, but would like to see all the spices included in your index. After all their natural and powerful healing properties put them in the same bracket as other herbs. And their use in cooking can not only be beneficial to health but can help reduce the amount of salt and sugar added daily to our food.

4 people liked this.
Lilly 's avatar  Lilly 03/02/2013 17:22

I read that raw honey and cinnamon mixed in hot water to drink like a tea will help with upset stomach. I suffer from ibs and although I dont have raw honey but the kind you buy in the store I tried it anyway. Twice cramps, gas and a few rtips to the bathroom I made the cinnamon tea & it stopped my stomach pains & everything else associated with upset stomach. I also suffer from eczema & ground up plain oatmeal, mixed in cinnemon & olive oil & placed it on my skin. I declared a whole Saturday as herbal therapy day as it could be a little messy & the olive oil can ruin what you're wearing but the remainder of my concoction I put in my aveeno body wash as the cinnamon is a great exfolient & the olive oil makes for extra skin softening. I have to say, ive gone a whole day and a half with very little itching. Im a believer that cinnamon works!

2 people liked this.
Maxinecc 's avatar  Maxinecc 21/01/2011 21:10

Approaching menopause, my periods were lasted up to 21 days--very heavy bleeding and large clots. My gynocologist set me up for surgery, but before that, I learned about cinnamon and started taking it--3 large capsules, or 1 T. in water and drank it. The bleeding stopped dead in its track in just a little while. I did not have surgery. Before trying cinnamon, I was skeptical, but having personally experienced its effectiveness, I highly recommend it. Also, I pulled the top off a wart-like thing on my finger and I couldn't get it to stop bleeding, though the flow was slight, it continued. I tried several things then sprinkled a little cinnamon powder on it. It stopped immediately.

2 people liked this.
joyce 's avatar  joyce 14/01/2014 05:17

I have been suffering from chronic diahrrea for nearly 19 years following an emergency surgery that removed 6 ft of my small intestine with a resection. Within the past week, for the first time in 19 years, my diahrrea has all but disappeared. Pondering this, I realized that it was a little over a week ago that I started adding cinnamon to morning coffee, so I did an internet search about whether cinnamon could control diahrrea. Amazing!!!!

1 person liked this.
Sammy  's avatar  Sammy  12/12/2013 02:28

I have used cinnamon mixed with honey (1:1 ratio) as effective for mild asthma attacks. Usually a couple teaspoons, mixed into a paste is good enough to set me right!

1 person liked this.
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