Cinnamon is one of the first herbs I used as a kid. I would get out the white bread and smear it with butter and sprinkle on cinnamon and sugar, then broil it in the oven. I still love cinnamon and now know the health benefits are as great as the taste.
Not too long ago I read something about cinnamon being good for blood sugar imbalances. That really got my attention, because most people have issues with sugar handling. Added sugars on an average make up 15% of caloric intake in the U.S. and up to 25% in some individuals. To put it simply, the average sugar consumption is a staggering 176 lbs. per person per year.
Studies at the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggest that daily use of cinnamon extracts increase insulin activity, help with the breakdown of sugar and improve blood sugar concentrations. In addition, cinnamon use may also lead to lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
Here are some of the other great benefits of cinnamon:
- It is antiseptic, antifungal, and astringent.
- It contains calcium, chromium, potassium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, iodine, iron, beta-carotene and vitamins B, C and A.
- Cinnamon has been used for lowering fever, arthritis, hypertension, low back pain, athlete’s foot, and candida and yeast infections. Its astringent properties make it useful for excess menstrual flow and internal bleeding. It will help with most gastrointestinal problems like- gas, diarrhea, nausea, and indigestion.
- Feeling like you are getting a cold? Try cinnamon. It will dissolve mucus and help with irritating coughs and congestion. Make a tea and add ginger to speed your recovery.
- Cinnamon has benefits for healthy teeth and gums too. Try cinnamon powder as a toothpaste or in a DIY tooth powder. It tones tissue and is antimicrobial so it can decrease harmful bacteria in the mouth.
- Give it to children for diarrhea. It tastes good and aids in avoiding dehydration.
Another thing I like about cinnamon is that it is warming and helps to clear damp, cold conditions in the body. That makes it beneficial for people with cold hands and feet. The warmth of cinnamon also assists in the digestion of fats and cold foods.
The easiest way to take cinnamon is in your food. Make it as a tea, add it to hot chocolate or coffee and try it in your smoothies and yogurt.
It is not advised to use cinnamon in large amounts during pregnancy or if you are taking blood thinners.