Cinnamon is a spice which is derived from the barks of cinnamomum trees. It has been utilised since thousands of yeas to treat a number of ailments like cough, cold and infections. The long known medicinal benefits of cinnamon have now been proven by modern science.
It appears to have the potential to reduce blood sugar and blood fat levels, but further research is needed to validate this.
Cinnamon is a term used to describe a group of plants native to Southeast Asia.
The bark, which is high in essential oils, is used as a spice and flavouring ingredient.
Cinnamon has been used as a herbal remedy for a long time.
It contains antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects, according to research.
It may help lower blood sugar, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, as well as lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes, according to human studies.
However, further research is needed to validate these findings.
For thousands of years, extracts from the cinnamon tree’s bark, leaves, flowers, fruits, and roots have been utilised for their health benefits in traditional medicine all throughout the world.
Types of cinnamon :
There are mainly two types of cinnamon.
In the United States, the darker-colored cassia cinnamon is the most popular.
It’s cultivated throughout Southeast Asia.
In other nations, Ceylon cinnamon, sometimes known as true cinnamon, is widely used.
The cinnamon at the grocery shop might be either Ceylon or cassia, or a combination of the two.
Health benefits :
Improves metabolism : It contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde which has shown to improve health and boost metabolism.
It is high in antioxidants : Antioxidants help the body reduce oxidative stress. Cinnamon is high in polyphenols, which are strong antioxidants. Cinnamon came out on top in a research that evaluated the antioxidant activity of 26 spices, even beating out “superfoods” like garlic and oregano. It is so potent, in fact, that it may be used as a natural food preservative.
It possess anti-inflammatory properties : It helps in reducing chronic inflammation and thus, reduces the risk of a no. of inflammatory diseases.
Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases :
It has been associated to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of mortality worldwide.
1 gram, or approximately half a teaspoon, of cinnamon per day has been found to improve blood indicators in patients with type 2 diabetes.
It lowers total cholesterol, “bad” LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides while maintaining “good” HDL cholesterol levels. It also boosted “good” HDL cholesterol levels in one research.
It has been found to lower blood pressure in animal experiments. All of these variables, when combined, may significantly reduce your risk of heart disease.
It can help increase insulin sensitivity :
Insulin is a hormone that controls metabolism and energy expenditure. It’s also required for the transfer of blood sugar from the blood to the cells. The issue is that many people are resistant to insulin’s effects. Insulin resistance is a symptom of severe diseases such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon can significantly lower insulin resistance, making the cells more sensitive to insulin, allowing this vital hormone to perform its function more effectively. It can help decrease blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity.
It is beneficial for neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s :
It has the potential to help with neurodegenerative diseases. The gradual loss of the structure or function of brain cells is a hallmark of neurodegenerative disorders. Two of the most prevalent kinds are Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Cinnamon contains two chemicals that appear to prevent the accumulation of tau in the brain, which is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. It also helped preserve neurons, regulate neurotransmitter levels, and enhance motor performance in mice with Parkinson’s disease, according to a research.
It may help prevent cancer :
Cinnamon’s efficacy for cancer prevention and therapy has been extensively researched. All in all, the evidence for cinnamon extracts protecting against cancer is confined to test-tube and animal research. It works by inhibiting cancerous cells development and the creation of blood vessels in tumours, and it appears to be toxic to cancer cells, leading to apoptosis. It is a strong stimulator of detoxifying enzymes in the colon, which protects against cancer growth, according to an animal research Test-tube investigations demonstrated that it stimulates protective antioxidant responses in human colon cells, confirming our findings.
It possess antifungal and antibacterial properties :
Cinnamaldehyde, one of cinnamon’s primary active ingredients, may aid in the battle against a variety of infections. Cinnamon oil has been found to successfully cure fungi-caused respiratory tract infections. It can also stop some germs from growing, such as Listeria and Salmonella. However, the data is limited, and cinnamon has yet to be proven to decrease infections in other parts of the body. It’s antibacterial properties may also aid to prevent tooth decay and foul breath.
It may help fight HIV virus :
It could assist in the fight ggainst HIV. HIV is a virus that steadily erodes your immune system and, if left untreated, can lead to AIDS. Cinnamon derived from Cassia types is considered to aid in the fight against HIV-1, the most prevalent strain in people. It was shown to be the most effective therapy for HIV-infected cells in a laboratory investigation involving 69 medicinal plants.
It has prebiotic characteristics, which may help with intestinal health :
Cinnamon, for example, has prebiotic qualities that assist stimulate the growth of good bacteria while inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria.
Therefore, incorporating spices consistently in your diet may assist improved intestinal health. It is a good source of manganese and also includes calcium and fibre in modest amounts.
It’s worth noting that while these findings are promising, most studies have been conducted in test tubes or animal models. There is a lack of large-scale human studies specifically investigating cinnamon’s anti-cancer effects. Therefore, more research is needed to determine the optimal dosage, duration, and safety of using cinnamon as a cancer prevention or treatment strategy in humans.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that cinnamon alone cannot be considered a cure for cancer or a substitute for conventional cancer treatments. If you or someone you know has cancer, it’s crucial to consult with healthcare professionals and follow recommended medical treatments.
Side effects :
In the short term, most people appear to be safe when they consume moderate doses of cinnamon as a spice or supplement.
Cinnamon, on the other hand, contains coumarin.
This is a natural flavour, but it’s also used in the production of warfarin, a popular blood thinner.
Too much coumarin can harm the liver and cause clotting problems. People who are taking anti-coagulants, have diabetes or have a liver condition should always seek guidance from a health professional before including cinnamon supplements.
Cinnamon should never be used as a full substitute for medical therapy for any health issue.
Cinnamon is offered as a spice and a supplement.
Supplements may have a positive or negative influence on one’s health and illness.
However, because supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there may be issues regarding quality, purity, and strength.
Before using supplements, people should always consult their doctor.