Cinnamon is a sweet, aromatic spice and a medicine. It is one of the oldest spices known to man. Its uses and benefits have been documented as early as 2700 B.C. throughout China, Europe and Egypt. There are two types of cinnamon, Ceylon and Chinese (cassia). Cinnamon offers anti-clotting and anti-microbial benefits, boosts brain function and contributes to a healthy colon. It may also help control blood sugar in people with diabetes.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Inflammation and Bacteria
Cinnamaldehyde works against harmful blood platelet clotting, which can result in inadequate blood flow. It accomplishes this by inhibiting the release of arachidonic acid (a fatty acid responsible for the inflammatory response) from cell membranes. Thus, cinnamon is beneficial for any condition that causes inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Because they are anti-microbial, cinnamon extracts may help stop the growth of harmful bacteria or fungi, such as those that are responsible for candida, or yeast infections. As a powerful anti-bacteria agent, cinnamon may have applications in food preservation, protecting against microbial overgrowth of certain food borne pathogens.
- Cinnamaldehyde works against harmful blood platelet clotting, which can result in inadequate blood flow.
- Because they are anti-microbial, cinnamon extracts may help stop the growth of harmful bacteria or fungi, such as those that are responsible for candida, or yeast infections.
Here’s How Cinnamon Can be Used for A Duodenal Ulcer
The benefits of cinnamon on blood-sugar control have been well documented. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, seasoning a high-carbohydrate food with cinnamon helped lessen its impact on participants' blood sugar levels. Part of the reason that high-carbohydrate meals increase blood sugar quickly is because they are emptied rapidly by the stomach. Cinnamon reduces the rise in blood sugar after eating because it slows the rate at which the stomach empties after meals.
Cinnamon may work in another way to help lower glucose levels. It appears to bring blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes to normal by improving their cells' ability to respond to insulin. This occurs due to the ability of compounds in cinnamon to stimulate insulin receptors. In addition, these compounds inhibit an enzyme that inactivates insulin receptors, so cells are better able to use glucose effectively. The general consensus is that consuming approximately 1/2 tsp.
- The benefits of cinnamon on blood-sugar control have been well documented.
- According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, seasoning a high-carbohydrate food with cinnamon helped lessen its impact on participants' blood sugar levels.
Brain and Gut Health
Some research suggests that the aroma and flavor of cinnamon acts as a cognitive stimulant, possibly improving working memory, visual-motor speed and virtual recognition memory. Positive early results have encouraged researchers in the area of Chemoreception Sciences to see if cinnamon may be beneficial for slowing or alleviating age-related cognitive decline.
Cinnamon is an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese and a very good source of dietary fiber, iron and calcium. Calcium and fiber are a powerful combination. They both bind to bile salts and remove them from the body. These bile salts have a reduced ability to damage colon cells, decreasing the risk of developing colon cancer. Since cinnamon is rich in dietary fiber, it may also provide relief from constipation.
- Some research suggests that the aroma and flavor of cinnamon acts as a cognitive stimulant, possibly improving working memory, visual-motor speed and virtual recognition memory.
- They both bind to bile salts and remove them from the body.
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- Effect of Cinnamon on Postprandial Blood Glucose, Gastric Emptying and Satiety in Healthy Subjects; J Hlebowicz, G Darwiche, O Björgell and LO Almér; June, 2007
- In Vitro Effect of Cinnamic Aldehyde, A Main Component of Cinnamomi Cortex on Human Platelet Aggregation and Arachidonic Acid Metabolism; M Takenaga, A Hirai, T Terano, et al; May, 1987
- The Whole Foods Encyclopedia; Rebecca Woods; 1988
- Rao PV, Gan SH. Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:642942. doi:10.1155/2014/642942
- Khan A, Safdar M, Ali Khan MM, Khattak KN, Anderson RA. Cinnamon Improves Glucose and Lipids of People With Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2003;26(12):3215-3218. doi:10.2337/diacare.26.12.3215
- Mollazadeh H, Hosseinzadeh H. Cinnamon effects on metabolic syndrome: a review based on its mechanisms. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2016;19(12):1258-1270. doi:10.22038/IJBMS.2016.7906
- Gruenwald J, Freder J, Armbruester N. Cinnamon and Health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010;50(9):822-834. doi:10.1080/10408390902773052
- Goel N, Rohilla H, Singh G, Punia P. Antifungal Activity of Cinnamon Oil and Olive Oil against Candida Spp. Isolated from Blood Stream Infections. J Clin Diagn Res. 2016;10(8):DC09-11. doi:10.7860/JCDR/2016/19958.8339
- Murali MR, Naveen SV, Son CG, Raghavendran HRB. Current knowledge on alleviating infections through the use of some commonly known natural products: bench to bedside. Integr Med Res. 2014;3(3):111-118. doi:10.1016/j.imr.2014.04.001
- Hawrelak JA, Myers SP. Effects of Two Natural Medicine Formulations on Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms: A Pilot Study. J Altern Complement Med. 2010;16(10):1065-1071. doi:10.1089/acm.2009.0090
- Walanj S, Walanj A, Mohan V, Thakurdesai PA. Efficacy and safety of the topical use of intranasal cinnamon bark extract in seasonal allergic rhinitis patients: A double-blind placebo-controlled pilot study. Journal of Herbal Medicine. 2014;4(1):37-47. doi:10.1016/j.hermed.2013.12.002
- Connolly M, Axtell A, Hickey S, et al. Chemical Burn From Cinnamon Oil. Eplasty. 2017;17:ic11.
Michele Turcotte is a registered, licensed dietitian, and a certified personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She has more than 12 years of experience in clinical and corporate settings, and has extensive experience in one-on-one diet counseling and meal planning. She has written freelance food and nutrition articles for Trouve Publishing Inc. since 2004.