Cinnamon has long been used as a food and as a medicine. Originating from the cinnamon zeylanicum plant, cinnamon has been used since ancient times and is one of the oldest known spices. The part used is the bark of the tree, which grows from Brazil to South East Asia. The oil in the bark has a component called cinnamonaldehyde, which is the medicinal part of the plant. Cinnamon also contains coumarin, which is a blood thinner. The pharmaceutical drug, Courmadin, is made from a synthetic form of this compound.
Cinnamon as a Remedy for Diabetes
Modern research has shown that cinnamon can be used to help lower blood sugar in diabetics. With over 23 millions Americans diagnosed with this condition, this comes as welcoming news. An article in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” suggested that cinnamon slowed the digestion, thereby lowering sugar in the blood. A study published in 2003 suggested that diabetics take between one quarter to one teaspoon of cinnamon a day to gain the health benefits.
Cinnamon Heals Ulcers as an Antifungal
Cinnamon can kill fungi. For this reason it is used to treat thrush. It can also help heal ulcers, which are caused by Helicobacter pylori. Cinnamon is added to some mouthwashes because it can kill mouth fungi and also used to treat a sore throat.
Cinnamon Use in Chinese Medicine
Chinese medicine has used cinnamon for centuries to treat problems with the digestion. It is used as a remedy for nausea and vomiting as well as for menstrual irregularities.
Ayurvedic Treatment with Cinnamon
In India, cinnamon is used as a remedy in Ayurvedic medicine. It is used to treat people with a kapha temperament, and as a remedy for diabetes. The smell of cinnamon has a calming effect, and it is used as an essential oil for this purpose. Cinnamon is also used in India for indigestion.
Egyptian Usage of Cinnamon
Cinnamon was used in Ancient Egypt to purify air and as a burnt offering at shrines. The Egyptians also used it as a remedy for colds and for coughs. It has also known as a preservative and to embalm mummies.
Warnings about Cinnamon Use
Because of its blood thinning ability, those on blood thinners should be careful when adding cinnamon to the diet. Pregnant women are also advised to use caution. Diabetics taking insulin should consult with a medical professional before making any changes to the diet or adding any herbal supplements.