Food as medicine in your daily life is an exciting way to take your health by the reigns in a stress free and empowering way
Cinnamon is another great example of how you can do this. It’s easy to incorporate into your daily life through cooking, and has a fantastic warming, sweet flavour.
Cinnamon has been used medicinally for thousands of years and is still used in many cultures today on a daily basis. It dates back 4,000 years to ancient Egypt where it was considered a rare and valuable spice. As time has gone on we have learnt more and more about this wonderful spice, with a great body of research supporting the medicinal claims of cinnamon that our ancestors have known about for centuries.
Benefits of Consuming Cinnamon
Cinnamon is packed with protective antioxidants that reduce free radical damage and ranks highly when compared to other powerful herbs and spices such as garlic and oregano.
The antioxidants also promote anti-inflammatory effects. This in turn may help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer and cognitive decline. In addition it can be used to help with pain, reducing swelling and inflammation.
Cinnamon is associated with a lowering of bad cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels and high blood pressure – all factors that suggest it is good for heart health.
Blood sugar rebalancer:
Cinnamon is renowned for helping lower blood sugar levels and is appears to be beneficial in relation to glucose control. It also helps protect against insulin insensitivity, which is important for keeping blood sugar levels balanced.
Cognitive and brain function:
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds are associated with helping to protect the brain from forming neurological disorders, eg Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant, and as such may help protect against several processes associated with cancerous growth, such as DNA damage and cell mutation. There is ongoing research into Cinnamon and its promising natural anti-cancer properties.
Infections & viruses:
Cinnamon has natural anti-microbial, antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral properties. Cinnamon is used in many cultures to naturally help fight harmful infections and viruses.
I’ve used Cinnamon with many clients to help treat Candida overgrowth, as part of a larger protocol. It has powerful antifungal properties.
In shops you will find there are two main types of Cinnamon you can buy easily: Ceylon cinnamon (aka true cinnamon) and Cassia cinnamon which is cheaper and more commonly used and available. They are interchangeable in cooking. However, there is a big difference between the two, which is the coumarin content. I recommend you seek out and use the Ceylon cinnamon which I believe has greater health benefits and is not compromised by a high coumarin content. Organic is also recommended so that you can ensure purity.
Caution over coumarins
Coumarins are blood thinning agents found in many plants. High intake of coumarins can cause too low a blood thinning affect. Cassia cinnamon has 1,200 x more coumarins and needs to be used in moderation in comparison to the Ceylon Cinnamon. Consuming large amounts of coumarins over a period of time are thought to be damaging to the liver and kidney. This is why I would always recommend sticking with the slightly more expensive Ceylon cinnamon when using it medicinally.
How much to take?
Including small amounts of cinnamon regularly in your diet is the best way to harness the benefits of this wonderful spice. A little bit goes a long way. Just half a teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon a day can have a positive impact on blood sugar levels, digestion, immunity and more.
Research indicates that higher doses help with reducing risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, but taking higher dosages (eg cinnamon extract supplements or using cinnamon essential oil) should be done under guidance as it is possible to take too much, which in turn can interfere with other medicines and medical conditions. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, have diabetes, have liver disease, or just had surgery speak to your doctor first to avoid complications.
On this site, I aim is to provide well-researched information, in order to empower readers to make informed choices about their health and wellbeing. In both alternative and allopathic medicine new discoveries are being made and there are vast choices available to people, something to be mindful of. Nicholas Dale, Naturopath is not seeking to impose his views on readers, but rather encourage them to seek out any professional help they may need (in whatever form that may take) and discover what is best for them.
Information on this site should not be taken as medical guidance or advice. Readers should always consult personally with their healthcare provider. Information published on this site is not intended to act as a substitute for advice of medical professionals, and should not be taken as such.