Cinnamon and its Health Benefits
Most of the traditional spices are not only tasty but have medicinal properties. Cinnamon is one among the least overlooked spices. There are actually two types of cinnamon – Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon. It is always best to use Ceylon cinnamon, which has lesser amounts of compound called coumarin and is good for health. The distinct flavor and smell of cinnamon is gotten from the oily part due to the presence of a compound called cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamon is actually got from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree. The usage of cinnamon can be dated back to ancient history, right from the time period of Ancient Egypt, where it was considered a rare and valuable gift to kings. The various health benefits of cinnamon make it a healthy as well as medicinal spice.
Health Benefits of cinnamon
- The presence of cinnamaldehyde has powerful effects on health and body metabolism. Since it increases body metabolism, it is beneficial for weight loss.
- Loaded with high antioxidants like polyphenols, cinnamon protects the body from free radicals that causes oxidative damage.
- The anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon helps in fighting body infections and repairing cell tissues damages.
- Cinnamon has the ability to lower cholesterol and thus reduces risks of heart diseases.
- It improves the functioning of insulin hormones and is essential for blood sugar regulation in body.
- It is beneficial for type 2 diabetes and conditions like metabolic syndrome as it reduces insulin resistance.
- It has excellent anti-diabetic effect and helps in lowering Blood Sugar Levels. It decreases the amount of glucose in the body and slows down the carbohydrates breakdown in the digestive system.
- Cinnamon is also helpful in fighting bacterial and fungal infections due to its antimicrobial effects.
Uses of cinnamon
Cinnamon can be used in different ways for health, medicinal, and household purposes.
Cinnamon for fungal infections
You can make a foot soak using cinnamon tea. Boil few cinnamon sticks in water and soak your feet for few minutes. Do this every night to see the results. It reduces athlete’s foot problems.
Cinnamon for Home Spa
You can use cinnamon as a relaxing massage ingredient.
Almond oil or sesame oil – ½ cup
Cinnamon (ground) – ½ tsp.
Vanilla essence – ½ tsp.
Combine all the ingredients together in a container. Shake well before using. You can use this as a bath oil or a massage oil for oil bath.
Cinnamon for Household uses
- Ants are repulsive to cinnamon. Sprinkling some cinnamon along the places of ants can deter them.
- The aroma of cinnamon can scent your room eliminating any odour. You can use few drops of cinnamon essential oil to a bottle of water and use it to fragrance the room.
- You can make an all-purpose cleaner with cinnamon.
Vinegar – 1 cup
Cinnamon essential oil – 30 drops
Water – 1 cup
Combine vinegar, water and cinnamon essential oil in a spray bottle and use it for household purposes.