Understanding the Spice and its Alternative Remedies!
Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Cinnamonum verum, Cinnamomum cassia
Cinnamon- Origin and Growth.
Cinnamon is prepared from bark of the cinnamon tree that grows in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, China, Madagascar, Brazil, Vietnam, Egypt and some other tropical countries. Although there are four main varieties of cinnamon, the Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon are popular.
Cinnamon is available in stick, powder an oil form. The sticks have a longer shelf life compared to the cinnamon powder. Ground cinnamon stays fresh for about six months, while cinnamon sticks will stay fresh for about one year stored is a cool, dry place. A smell test will help you know the freshness of the cinnamon. Fresh cinnamon has a sweeter smell.
Cinnamon sticks are used to enhance the flavors of meat and curries and stew in south Asian and Mediterranean recipes. Cinnamon sticks are an important part of garam masala in Indian cooking. Ground cinnamon is used in cakes, puddings, breads, cinnabons and cereals. Cinnamon is often used in drinks and beverages such as eggnog, hot chocolate, mulled wine, coffee and tea to add extra zing.
Cinnamon –Alternative Medical Remedies
Some spices come with natural health benefits. Cinnamon is one such spice which gives more than it utilitarian flavoring benefit in our cooking.
(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, or aurvedic or therapeutic medicine consultant. I am not qualified to prescribe anything or advice anybody. I personally practice a lot of alternative medicine at home, but cannot vouch for cures.)
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp local honey acts as an expectorant which loosens the phlegm if you are suffering from chest congestion or an infection in the lungs or bronchial tubes.
- ½ tsp of cinnamon with one teaspoon of local honey helps reduces cold and sinuses especially for cold caused due to allergies.
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and ½ spoon of honey eaten everyday can lower LDL cholesterol. Another method is drinking – 2 tablespoons of honey and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon powder mixed in 16 ounces of warm water decreases ones cholesterol and triglycerides effectively.
- Cinnamon may contain some antibacterial and antifungal properties because drinking 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of honey in a glass of warm water can help cure bladder infections, yeast infections, thrush and even stomach ulcers.
- Cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.
- Cinnamon is also a good source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.
- Apparently smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with 1 tablespoon of honey in 1 cup warm water every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain.
- Cinnamon powder and honey taken before food helps digest foods and reduces acidity.
- Cinnamon and honey can also reduce gas in stomach and in flatulence.
- Drinking one glass of warm water with ½ tablespoon honey and ¼ tsp cinnamon is believed to improve energy, vitality, and circulation and decrease fatigue.
Cinnamon- Other Uses
- The oils of the leaves bark and roots are used to prepare incense and perfumes.
- Food preservative- When added to food, it can inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative!
. Cinnamon –Side Effects
- Cinnamon has Anti-clotting effect and blood thinning effect, so people with bleeding and clotting disorders should avoid the cinnamon cures.
- Chronic use of cinnamon may cause inflammation in the mouth.
- The cinnamon oils should be avoided during pregnancy as its strength and warmth may not be good during pregnancy.
- People under prescription medication for diabetes or blood sugar shouldn’t simultaneously take both allopathic and therapeutic medicines as it may reduce blood sugar too low. But they should also not stop medication without doctor’s consultation as it may cause complications due to improper treatment.
Remember one cannot expect miracles from any cure, not even modern prescription medicines. But if you believe in the power of natural medicine, alternative medicines offers help and cures to many an ailment with lesser side effects.