Cinnamon has been widely used as a spice and medicine since ancient times and comes in two main varieties called Ceylon and Cassia. Both of these varieties are derived from the bark of evergreen trees. Ceylon is mainly grown in Southeast Asia, South America and the West Indies while its counterpart comes from Central America, Indonesia and China.
The cinnamon bark of Cassia looks like a loosely rolled scroll, whereas that of the other strain resembles tightly rolled pads. In the United States, most people prefer using Cassia since it’s readily available. While most individuals only think of cinnamon as a warm, versatile scent for candles or potpourri, there are actually many health benefits associated with it.
5 Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Check out these 5 health benefits of cinnamon that you may not have known about.
- Relieves ADHD Symptoms
- Fights Diabetes
- Protects from Parkinson’s Disease
- Improves Digestion
- Prevents Multiplication of Disease-Causing Bacteria and Viruses
1. Relieves ADHD Symptoms
The term ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and it usually affects children but some adults also suffer from it. Those with this condition often get easily distracted by events happening around them, they can’t sit still, have short attention spans and also lack patience. These tendencies make them unable to socialize well with others at times. Low self-esteem and learning disability are other common symptoms of ADHD.
Research shows that children suffering from this condition who received regular cinnamon aromatherapy, along with rehabilitation significantly reduced their behavioral anomalies. Cinnamon enhances motivation and performance, while also decreasing frustration and jitteriness when conducting serious activities that need concentration such as driving. Additionally, kids with ADHD have been found to be suffering from oxidative stress, and cinnamon is a potent antioxidant that can help counteract such effects. That is just one of the health benefits of cinnamon.
2. Fights Diabetes
Cinnamon is effective in lowering blood glucose levels for those suffering from type 2 diabetes. Even so, before taking it for this purpose, first consult with a doctor to get more advice. The product also lowers triglyceride or LDL levels in the blood. These are known as “bad cholesterol” responsible for causing cardiovascular diseases as well as aggravating diabetes itself. Cinnamon keeps LDL levels low for approximately 20 days after consumption.
Though it’s relatively safe to use, some individuals may react to the substance and experience skin burn or mouth sores when taken in large quantities. For maximum safety, start by taking a small amount of 1 gram and check your blood sugar levels regularly to see if there are any significant changes. Afterwards, if no adverse effects are encountered, sprinkle the spice on your cereal, toast or add in a cup of tea for breakfast. Another effective option is taking the substance in capsule form consuming 500 milligrams at least twice in a day. However, keep in mind that cinnamon supplements like most other nutrition pills are not regulated by the FDA in regards to quality and effectiveness. It’s recommended that you do your own research before buying any capsule brand from the store.
3. Protects from Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is named after the renowned English doctor James Parkinson who first discovered it in 1817. Early Chinese manuscripts also mention it meaning that the illness might have been around since ancient times. It’s a terminal, degenerative neurological condition that affects around 1 in every 100 people aged 60 years and above.
The disease is progressive in nature, initially affecting just a tiny portion of cells around the mid-section of the brain called the substantia nigra. These cells gradually degenerate causing a significant reduction in the vital chemical neurotransmitter, dopamine. This consequently results in tremors on one section of the body as well as limb stiffness, slowed movements and body balance issues. Approximately 60,000 Americans get diagnosed with Parkinson’s each year, though these figures still don’t reflect thousands of other cases that go undetected.
After powdered cinnamon is consumed, it usually gets metabolized into a compound known as sodium benzoate which then enters the brain. Some positive effects of this process include normalized neurotransmitter levels, improved motor functioning and neuron protection. Likewise, Sodium Benzoate regulates the amount of Ammonia in your bloodstream, preventing it from going overboard. High levels of Ammonia in your system can damage your brain as well as nervous system.
4. Improves Digestion
Cinnamon boosts food absorption in various ways such as increasing metabolism, soothing the stomach wall and increasing appetite. Its extracts are also used to treat gastrointestinal problems like bowel spasms as well as calm down stomach pains. This substance is ranked within the carminative category of herbs since it contains a powerful agent that helps break up intestinal gas. These ingredients were traditionally used for treating diarrhea and morning sickness.
Cinnamon is very effective in relieving abdominal pain caused by flatulence as shown by lab tests that have been conducted so far. It’s advisable for those with digestive issues to take a cup of warm tea or milk with one teaspoon of fresh cinnamon after every meal. Those who suffer from constant heartburn will also find it very useful in calming down their esophagus.
5. Prevents Multiplication of Disease-Causing Bacteria and Viruses
Cinnamon has powerful antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties that fight disease-causing micro-organisms. Many communities around the world also used it to prevent food spoilage in ancient times. Additionally, cinnamon can treat common discomforts such as the flu and lung problems which are usually caused by bacteria. When taken in moderation, it clears up mucus and fosters air circulation, thus lending its healing properties to everything ranging from bronchitis to simple seasonal coughs, especially when used together with other related natural remedies.
However, the most surprising attribute of the herb is in combatting the HIV virus. It does this by preventing the micro-organisms from entering new cells and multiplying. Hence, doctors believe that cinnamon extract can potentially contribute to HIV virus management.
And if that’s not enough, check out these additional 17 health benefits of cinnamon.
Cinnamon is considered a superfood because of the many health benefits it possesses. Both of the two strains available can be taken in various forms such as powdered tea, capsules and so on. They have strong antioxidants and anti-carcinogenic properties which destroy free radicals, keeping the cells strong and functioning at optimal conditions to help prevent cancer and any other opportunistic disease.
Nevertheless, the most active ingredient in cinnamon is called cinnamaldehyde. It’s the main source of this herb’s antibacterial and antifungal properties, which make cinnamon an excellent spice for everyday consumption.
Hopefully this article on the health benefits of cinnamon was helpful. Do you know of any other benefits? If so, feel free to comment below.