Cinnamon: A Spice or An Herb

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You can put cinnamon on toast, in cookies and apple pies, and I even like it in my coffee! But it is more than just a great spice for a sweet tooth! Cinnamon is one of the worlds’ oldest healing herbs, it is listed in Ancient Chinese manuals from 2700 BC as a very aromatic, medicinal plant. The Greeks and the Romans offered it to their gods!!

Today Science has confirmed its value for indigestion, infection and to help control insulin in diabetes. This herb was used for medicinal health long before they found out it was also a great culinary spice and started adding it to their food!

In the 12th century, German herbalist recommended cinnamon as a universal spice for sinuses and treatment for cold, flu and “inner decay and slime”. Cinnamon is a stimulant, it “warms “ the organs and that is why, especially during the winter, we use it for colds, sinus infections and body warmth because it moves the circulation.

It is also a carminative, as many other warming herbs are; like cloves, cardamom and ginger, which we also use as spices. A carminative means its good for digestion, gas or flatulence, nausea and vomiting. A great way to use cinnamon is to heat it with milk and honey, sort of like a Chai tea, it just warms your soul!

When cinnamon is used to spice up a low-fat food, a compound called eugenol, works to help reduce arteriole clogging clots to form and reduces cholesterol. A Japanese study indicates that an acid in Chinese cinnamon fortifies the stomachs natural defenses and helps stop any bad bacteria from forming stomach ulcers.

A 10-year Diabetes Prevention Study shows that cinnamon can play a role in everyday management of blood sugar levels and cardiovascular risk factors. So, along with a total approach of weight loss, exercise and good nutrition, or for some who may need more help, insulin medication; the spice Cinnamon is a wonderful aroma to add to your daily routine.

References: Healing Spices by Bharat Aggarwal