Cinnamon is a powerful spice that has been used medicinally around the world for thousands of years.
The spice comes from the inner bark of a small evergreen tree. The bark is peeled and laid in the sun to dry, where it curls up into rolls known as cinnamon sticks. Cinnamon is also available in powdered form.
Known for its distinct and pleasant taste, It’s commonly used in cooking and baking.
Below are some health benefits of cinnamon:
1. Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties
Cinnamon is thought to have many medicinal and soothing properties and is used frequently in Chinese herbal medicine. The distinctive smell and flavour of cinnamon come from the essential oils contained in the bark, called cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamaldehyde has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
2. Helps reduce risk of type 2 diabetes
Cinnamon is known to have an anti-diabetic effect. It helps lower blood sugar levels and also can improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin which is the vital hormone needed for keeping blood sugar levels balanced.
3. Protects against cancer
Cinnamon can help protect against DNA damage, cell mutation and cancerous tumor growth. Studies have revealed the health benefits of cinnamon that come from a compound called cinnamaldehyde include its possible ability to inhibit cancer tumor growth and protect DNA from damage, while also encouraging cancerous cells to self-destruct.
4. Prevents tooth decay and bad breath
In studies, the extracts found in cinnamon were shown to be protective against bacteria living in the oral microflora that could cause bad breath, tooth decay, cavities, or mouth infections. The essential oil from cinnamon has been shown to be more potent than other tested plant extracts and can be used to naturally combat bacteria in the mouth, acting like a natural anti-bacterial mouthwash.
5. Cures vaginal infections like candidiasis
Certain studies have concluded that cinnamon’s powerful anti-fungal properties may be effective in stopping or curing Candida overgrowth in the digestive tract. Cinnamon has been shown to lower amounts of dangerous Candida albicans, which is the yeast that causes Candida overgrowth that can cause multiple digestive and autoimmune symptoms.
6. Promotes skin health
Cinnamon has anti-biotic and anti-microbial effects that protect the skin from irritations, rashes, allergic reactions, and acne. Applying cinnamon essential oil directly to the skin can be helpful in reducing inflammation, swelling, pain, and redness.
7. Aids digestion
Cinnamon has prebiotic properties that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria which may help improve gut health. It also helps with digestion by treating symptoms of digestive and gastrointestinal issues. To alleviate digestive symptoms, cinnamon should be prepared as a hot tea with a dash of honey.
8. Protects and fights against HIV
Study shows that cinnamon may help fight the HIV virus by preventing the virus from entering cells thereby contributing to the management of HIV.
A cinnamon-derived substance could block viral entry which the study notes is one of the most promising approaches to preventing HIV’s development into AIDS.
9.May help treat Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Adding cinnamon to your diet may be effective in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Research shows that there is a link between PCOS and insulin, the hormone that helps the body use sugar.
PCOS is said to be the most common cause of fertility in women. It is caused by insensitivity to the hormone insulin.
10. Helps lower blood pressure
Cinnamon has been found to help in dealing with hypertension and other heart diseases like stroke.