Cinnamon! The name itself evokes a magical aroma. We know too well how cinnamon spices up motley foods from soup to gravies to bread and more. We use it in our biryanis and pulaos, meats and vegetables, cakes and pastries, pizzas and cookies, ice-creams and shakes…just about everywhere.
As a spice cinnamon root has the versatility of a culinary gymnast. It is also so gentle and comforting it fits into every cuisine. But do you know cinnamon also heals, clears away acne, and lends its heavenly fragrance to your space? That’s how versatile cinnamon's benefits are.
Not only is it among the world's oldest spices, cinnamon's benefits are also multi-faceted: it is anti-fungal, antibacterial, antipyretic, analgesic and antioxidant, to name a few of them. So whether you savour its aroma, eat it, or apply it, any which way you reap cinnamon’s benefits. Now get surprised with these 8 amazing and ingenious uses of cinnamon.
Some diabetic patients were each given a quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon powder over a period of forty days during Clinical studies conducted on them. Researchers then observed marked falls in blood sugar levels, which reduced their insulin resistance. In fact, the studies indicated many other beneficial effects on the body’s metabolism. Some of these effects are an increase in insulin sensitivity and glucose transport, a decrease of inflammation, an inhibition of Alzheimer’s disease, and strokes. Cinnamon is found to improve fasting sugar, decrease systolic blood pressure, and enhance antioxidant protection of lipids and proteins. It also triples insulin’s capacity to metabolize blood sugar so your hunger decreases and craving for sugar diminishes, which promotes lean body mass and ultimate weight loss.
The studies also indicated a decrease in fasting glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol), while the good cholesterol HDL or high-density lipoprotein increases. Cinnamon also thins the blood, allowing for an increase in circulation, alleviating pain and maximizing oxygen supply to the blood cells. Complement your diet with cinnamon to help improve your heart’s health. Sprinkle cinnamon powder on your salads or soups.
Researchers discovered how cinnamon can slow down or suppress several major bone diseases like osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and bone metastasis. The phytochemical cinnamaldehyde present in the herb inhibits osteoclast (cells that nibble the bones) formation, preventing damage to the bones and alleviating arthritic pains.
The compounds eugenol and cinnamaldehyde present give cinnamon its powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties that help in treating UTI (urinary tract infections). Because of its diuretic properties, it helps to flush out toxins from the body system. Cinnamon added to teas is a great way to imbibe its goodness.
Cinnamon contains carminative properties that help relieve gastrointestinal problems like diarrhoea, flatulence, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, dyspepsia, appetite loss and stomach ulcers. A little cinnamon every now and then will let its great anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-analgesic powers keep your stomach problem-free.
Acne and pimples are the banes of most teenagers and young adults alike. But cinnamon’s essential oils can end the colonization of acne-causing bacteria on your skin. Mix it with organic honey and you get a skincare treatment to effectively help root out acne. Combine a teaspoon of cinnamon powder with three teaspoons of organic honey. Apply and leave overnight. Wash thoroughly in the morning.
Two of cinnamon’s compounds, cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin, are found to inhibit the growth of the brain proteins (tau) responsible for causing Alzheimer's disease. Further, the cinnamon you ingest gets into the liver which metabolizes the cinnamaldehyde into sodium benzoate, which is a neuroprotective compound that helps prevent your brain cells from Parkinson’s disease. What’s more, studies reveal that even taking a whiff of cinnamon raises your cognitive and memory functions. So boost your brain power and stay alert with cinnamon every day.
Use it in powder form with your tea, or mix it with honey or both. To boost brain power you may keep a stick and sniff it whenever you feel the need to energize your brain. A word of caution though: consume no than ¼ teaspoon of the powder a day. Large amounts can be dangerous. If you have low blood pressure or low sugar, restrict or reduce cinnamon consumption to amounts used in food or medicinal preparations. Also, check if you are allergic to cinnamon.
Organic is, of course, the best. Zizira explorers discovered cinnamon organically grown in Meghalaya and manually peeled and sun-dried, it is filled with goodness, flavor and taste. Find out more about us and what we do at www.zizira.com.