The characteristic flavor and aroma of cinnamon comes from a compound in the essential oil of the bark called cinnamonaldehyde, which is added to many dishes prepared in India. Although there are four main varieties of cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon are the most popular. Ceylon cinnamon is sometimes called true cinnamon, is more expensive, and has a sweet taste. This kind is imported to India and used extensively. The quills are softer and can be easily ground in a coffee grinder. Ceylon cinnamon is sold in specialty stores and used for various purposes.
The benefits of Cinnamon mainly revolve around medicinal properties. Besides using it in cooking, cinnamon is also believed to have health benefits. In traditional Chinese medicine, Cassia cinnamon is used for colds, flatulence, nausea, diarrhea, and painful menstrual periods. It's also believed to improve energy, vitality, and circulation and be particularly useful for people who tend to feel hot in their upper body but have cold feet. Since then, Cinnamon is highly regarded to be a medicinal spice in India as well.
In Ayurveda, cinnamon is used as a remedy for diabetes, indigestion, and colds, and it is often recommended for people with the kapha Ayurvedic type. Cinnamon is a common ingredient in chai tea, and it is believed to improve the digestion of fruit, milk and other dairy products. Recent studies have found that amongst the benefits of cinnamon, checking blood sugar is another important one. Preliminary lab and animal studies have found that cinnamon has antibacterial and antifungal properties and is active against Candida albicans, the fungus that causes yeast infections and thrush, and Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers.
People taking diabetes medication or any medication that affects blood glucose or insulin levels however should not take therapeutic doses of cinnamon unless they are under a doctor's supervision. Taking them together may have a preservative effect and cause blood glucose levels to dip too low. Also, the people who have been approved medication to manage their blood sugar should not reduce or discontinue their dose and take cinnamon instead. Improperly treated diabetes with Cinnamon can lead to serious complications, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and nerve damage.
Cassia cinnamon, the kind of cinnamon normally sold in grocery stores and in supplement form, naturally contains a compound called coumarin. Coumarin is also found in other plants such as chamomile, celery, sweet clover, and parsley. At high levels, coumarin can damage the liver. Coumarin can also provides a "blood-thinning" effect, so cassia cinnamon supplements should not be taken with prescription anti-clotting medication, such as Coumadin (warfarin), or by people with bleeding disorders.
Cinnamon can also be found in a concentrated oil form that is derived from cinnamon bark. Some of these products are not intended for consumption, but instead are used for aromatherapy essential oils. Also, the oil is highly powerful and an overdose can depress the central nervous system. People should not take the oil to treat a condition unless it is prescribed by close supervision of a qualified health professional. Pregnant women should avoid excessive amounts of cinnamon but moderate amounts of Cinnamon shall keep her healthy.
It is found that mixture of honey and cinnamon cures most of the diseases. One part honey if added to two parts of luke warm water and a small teaspoon of cinnamon powder, thus making a paste and should massage it on the itching part of the body. It is noticed that the pain deceases within a minute or two. For arthritis patients, cinnamon is suggested daily morning and night with one cup of hot water with two spoons of honey and mixing one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. If drunk regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured.
The doctors treat their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon cinnamon powder before breakfast to relieve from any kind of pain within a week and out of the 200 people, 73 patients are successfully cured. Those suffering from hair loss or baldness may apply a paste of hot olive oil, one tablespoon or honey, one teaspoon cinnamon powder before bath, keep it for approximately 15 minutes, and then wash the hair. Two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey if taken with a glass of Luke warm water and drunk, it destroys the germs of the bladder.
A paste of one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and five teaspoons of honey and if applied on the aching tooth, gives great relief. This may be done 3 times a day daily till such time that the tooth has stopped aching. Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of cinnamon powder if mixed in 16 ounces of tea water if given to a cholesterol patient, it reduces the level of cholesterol in the body by 10% within 2 hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, if taken 3 times a day any chronic cholesterol is cured. Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon Luke warm honey with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days that will cure most chronic cough, cold and clear the sinuses.
If honey is taken with cinnamon powder, it cures stomachache and also clears stomach ulcers from the root. According to the studies done in India, it is revealed that if honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas. A paste of honey and cinnamon powder if applied on bread or chappati instead of jelly and jam and taken regularly for breakfast, it reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from Heart attack. Also those who have already had an attack, if they do this process daily, are kept miles away from the next attack. Daily intake of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacteria and viral attacks. Cinnamon powder if sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey and taken before food, it relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals.
Cinnamon also helps to cure influenza, as it kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu. Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when if taken regularly arrests the ravages of old age. The mixture of cinnamon and honey also keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste is probably the best natural remedy for pimples. Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts also cures skin infections like Eczema, Ringworm and others. Also drinking of this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person is consuming a high calorie diet.
Cinnamon is also effective for checking bad breath and daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder taken in equal parts restores hearing. The benefits of Cinnamon are almost unlimited and the consumption of this spice can be done in different forms, like powder, paste, bark and so on. The alluring taste and aroma of this spice has also made it an integral ingredient of Indian dishes.
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