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    cinnamon

    13 Reasons to take Cinnamon Daily

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    Whenever you read about ‘super foods’ and ingredients, Cinnamon always ranks highly for its protective and antioxidant characteristics.  Here Ramon Levy-Vassie of Ceiba Drinks, which has recently launched a new range that uses cinnamon as its main ingredient, explains the benefits this ‘wonder’ spice delivers and why we should be consuming more of it on a daily basis.

    This powerful spice has been used medicinally for thousands of years and is still in daily use in many cultures because of its far reaching health benefits; not to mention its wonderful natural sweetness and warming taste.

    The health benefits of Cinnamon can be obtained by consuming it in various forms that include pure bark, essential oils, from ground spice derived from powdered bark, or in extract form, when its special phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and antioxidants are isolated. But what health benefits can this super spice deliver? A daily intake of as little as half a teaspoon of Cinnamon can have positive effects on blood sugar levels, digestion, immunity and more, however, in stronger doses there are other proven benefits and these include:

    Antioxidant: Ranked seventh[i] on the ORAC scale which measures the concentration of antioxidants in all foods, the health properties of Cinnamon are attributed to the types of antioxidants that can be found in other superfoods such as berries, red wine and dark chocolate, which fight oxidative stress, which if unchecked can lead to disease formation[ii]. The antioxidants in Cinnamon are free radical scavengers with the ability to limit nitric oxide build up in the blood and lipid peroxidation, which if unchecked can lead to brain disorders, cancer, heart disease and other conditions.[iii]

    Anti-inflammatory: The antioxidants in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory properties[iv] which can lower the risk of heart disease, cancer and brain function decline. Cinnamon lowers swelling and inflammation and is a good pain management supplement, relieving muscle soreness, the severity of allergic reactions, as well as symptoms of age related pain[v].

    Improves Heart Health: Regular studies continue to prove that one of the major health benefits of Cinnamon is that it reduces the most common risks of heart disease, namely high cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels and high blood pressure[vi]. Cinnamon also increases blood circulation and advances the body’s ability to heal itself, which includes heart tissue which needs regeneration to fight heart attacks, heart disease and stroke.

    Helps Fight Diabetes: Cinnamon is recognised as having anti-diabetic qualities, lowering blood sugar levels plus improving sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which is vital to keep blood sugar levels balanced.[vii] Cinnamon blocks certain enzymes called ‘alanines’, which allows glucose to be absorbed into the blood. Various studies have shown that people with type 2 diabetes can experience significant positive effects on blood sugar markers by taking Cinnamon supplement[viii].

    Protects brain function: It has been proven that Cinnamon can defend against cognitive decline and protects against brain function[ix]. One of the ways Cinnamon does this is by activating neuro-protective proteins that protect the brain cells from mutation and undergoing damage, stopping cells from morphing and self-destruction. The many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds Cinnamon contains reduce the effect of aging on the body and brain, which may in the future be used as a possible therapeutic treatment or prevention for age-related degenerative diseases.

    Lowers risk of cancer: Studies have proven that the antioxidant properties of Cinnamon can help protect against DNA damage, cell mutation and cancerous tumour growth. It is thought that ‘cinnamaldehyde’, the compound within Cinnamon can inhibit the growth of the cancer tumour, protecting the DNA from damage[x]. This is especially true in the colon[xi].

    Fights infections and viruses: Cinnamon is a natural anti-microbial, anti-biotic, anti-fungal and anti-viral agent, with immune boosting properties within its essential oils[xii]. Used in many cultures to fight infections and virus’s Cinnamon oils also have protective abilities against various infections that can affect the surface of the skin and lead to colds or the flu.

    Aids dental health: Cinnamon has been shown to be protective against bacterial living in the oral microflora that could cause bad breath, tooth decay, cavities and mouth infections. The essential oils from Cinnamon are seen as a potent compound that naturally combats bacteria in the mouth, acting like a natural anti‑bacterial mouthwash. As a result Cinnamon is often used as a flavouring for chewing gums[xiii].

    Prevents Candida:With powerful anti-fungal properties Cinnamon is effective in stopping and curing Candida overgrowth in the gut, as it has been shown to lower the amounts of Candida albicans, a yeast that causes overgrowth of Candida in the digestive tract[xiv].

    Benefits skin health: Applying Cinnamon as an essential oil directly to the skin can be helpful in reducing inflammation, swelling, pain, allergic reactions and redness, and when used with honey can boost skin health and are beneficial for acne and rosacea[xv].

    Fights allergies: Cinnamon has been shown to be helpful in fighting allergy symptoms, as it can reduce inflammation, fights histamine reactions, and has been proven to reduce the symptoms of asthma attacks.[xvi] In essential oil form, Cinnamon has immune-boosting abilities, is beneficial for absorbing nutrients during digestion, which can reduce auto immune reactions when absorbing food.[xvii]

    Used as a natural sweetener: Naturally sweet, Cinnamon contains no sugar plus it has an anti-diabetic effect that slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream. This helps to manage food cravings and weight gain. Adding Cinnamon to coffee, tea, other beverages, baked goods, yoghurt or fruit, can help reduce the intake of calories, helping fights weight gain as well as low energy levels.

    As a natural food preservative:  Because Cinnamon has anti-bacterial properties and acts as an anti-oxidant, it can be used as a preservative for many foods, negating the need for chemicals and artificial ingredients[xviii]. Cinnamon can play a part in the action of tyrosinase inhibitors, which are useful in helping stop fruit and vegetables from discolouring, oxidising and rotting.

    Ramon Levy-Vassie concluded: “Cinnamon is one of the most beneficial spices on earth, with fantastic anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, immunity‑boosting and potential cancer and heart disease-protecting abilities. It delivers so many health benefits making it a real super food and one everybody should consume more of it which is why we have made it an integral part of our new drinks range.”

    “We are still discovering some of the beneficial properties that this spice delivers but the nutritional benefits in a single tablespoon of ground Cinnamon include 3% of daily value of vitamin K, 4% of your daily value of iron, 8% of your daily value of calcium. And a massive 68% of your daily value of manganese.  What’s more at only 19 calories per tablespoon it has zero grams of fat, sugar or protein and 4 grams of fibre. Based on the information already available shouldn’t you be increasing your daily intake of Cinnamon?”

     

    [i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16190627
    [ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003790/
    [iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003790/
    [iv] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20924865
    [v] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23717759  / https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25629927
    [vi] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20854384
    [vii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19930003
    [viii]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003790/
    [ix] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003790/
    [x] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12860272
    [xi] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003790/
    [xii] www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22594097
    [xiii]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003790/
    [xiv] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21761153
    [xv] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ptr.5822
    [xvi] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01267773 /https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/cpb1958/23/5/23_5_941/_article/-char/ja/ / https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ptr.5269
    [xvii] https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-1-60761-061-8_30 /https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960852407006098 /https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464614000061
    [xviii] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1977.tb12677.x

    cinnamon tea benefits

    The Incredible Benefits of Cinnamon Tea

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    Delicious and with an amazing aroma, the incredible benefits of cinnamon tea are also more easily absorbed by the digestive system so you’ll feel the difference faster!

    Among the many benefits of cinnamon include its use for regulating blood sugar levels, weight loss, aiding digestion, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, an antioxidant, anti-coagulant, stimulates brain function… and the list goes on.

    The spice is rich in vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium and magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin B1. It effectively treats diarrhoea, bloating, indigestion and helps boost the immune system. Traditionally it is an age-old treatment for cold and flu.

    A common use for cinnamon is for weight loss. The spice is thermogenic, increasing the body’s ability to burn fat. As an antioxidant, cinnamon is one of the most powerful in nature with an ORAC value high above garlic and acai. These antioxidants slow down cellular degeneration and reduce the effects of free radicals.

    Taking in cinnamon is great for your brain. It improves attentention, visual memory, recognition and processing speed as shown by Dr. P. Zoldz from the Association of Chemoreception Studies in Florida’s report. Zoladz found that cinnamon could be particularly beneficial for the elderly. Furthermore, cinnamon helps relieve inflammation and reduce pain and so can improve the symptoms of arthritis.

    We have looked further into the benefits of cinnamon and looked at the evidence for it’s use with diabetics, weight loss and the general benefits of cinnamon.

    CEIBA’s Recipe for the Perfect Cinnamon Tea

    You will find many recipes online that will tell you to put a teaspoon of ground cinnamon into some boiling water with honey… don’t do it! Well do it and you will get the benefits of the cinnamon, but you’ll miss out on the flavours and aromas of a truly delicious, real cinnamon tea.

    The one downside of our real cinnamon tea recipe is that you will need at least 30 minutes to brew it. But it is worth the wait and whilst the cinnamon is steeping in the warm water, you house will be filled with its incredible aroma.

    1. Take 15g of Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks (roughly 3 x 3” sticks)
    2. Bring 1 litre of water to the boil
    3. Add the cinnamon to the water and turn the heat down to its lowest so the water gently simmers.
    4. Gently brew the cinnamon for 30 minutes (1 hour if you have the time).
    5. Optionally filter the cinnamon tea through coffee filter paper.
    6. Again, optionally… Add a squeeze of lime/lemon with a touch of honey/agave

    how to make cinnamon sticks

    How are cinnamon sticks made?

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    Ceylon cinnamon sticks are made like cigars – fine layers dried and rolled together. It comes as a surprise to many, but cinnamon is made from the inner bark of a cinnamon tree. So the craft in the producing the spice doesn’t just come from successfully cultivating it, there is also skilled preparation, drying and grading to go through before the cinnamon sticks are ready for the market.

    We found a great little documentary that takes you from harvesting the crop through to making cinnamon sticks.

    How Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks Are Made

    Grow Your Own Cinnamon

    It sounds like a challenge, but growing your own cinnamon can be possible in a green house. Cinnamon’s leaves look beautiful too as the fade from green to riper pinks. We’ve also seen seedlings available for sale on eBay. The seedlings are sent straight from Sri Lanka and saves the most challenging part of growing a plant, germination.

    Cinnamon is generally harvested from branches that are at least 2 years old… doesn’t sound too long at all for the patient among us.

    So much goes into the making of Ceylon cinnamon that you can see why it’s such a premium spice. It’s also got a fantastic history and full with incredible benefits.

    Cinnamon and Weight Loss

    Cinnamon and Weight Loss

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    We’ve looked at some studies for cinnamon and weight loss and it looks like promising stuff. For the cinnamon lovers out there, this means making sure you eat a few grams of the spice everyday if you a looking to lose weight… a sprinkle in some yoghurt here, a touch in some porridge there, a cinnamon tea or a cheeky CEIBA?

    Cinnamon and weight loss

    Studies show the benefits of cinnamon for weight loss by a few factors:

    • Regulating Blood Sugar Levels
    • Lowers Triglycerides – a type of dietary fats
    • Lowers LDL Cholesterol
    • Reducing certain sugar/protein compounds
    • Helps control hyperphagia (the desire to eat)
    • Contains chromium which is good for the metabolism

    Cinnamaldehyde, an active ingredient in cinnamon is behind many of these weight loss benefits, such as lowering triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, and we looked deeper into its affects on the body in this article.

    Much of the research on cinnamon focuses on the spice’s effect on diabetes. It is believed cinnamon is an effective medicine because it can help dampen the release of sugar into blood after meals and in doing so reduces insulin spikes which occur to counteract any rises in sugar. This is beneficial for those wanting to lose weight because insulin is a very powerful fat storing hormone. The presence of insulin encourages the body to store fat rather than burn it. By cinnamon slowing the flow of sugar into the blood, it also reduces the need for large insulin dumps which in turn reduces the potential for storing fats.

    Have a read of another good study into cinnamon and weight loss. In this 2003 study, the researchers found that a diet of between 1,3 or 6 grams of cinnamon per day lead to the following results:

    • Fasting blood glucose reduced by 18-29%
    • Triglycerides reduced by 23-30%
    • LDL cholesterol reduced by 7-27%
    • Total cholesterol reduced by 12-26%

    Cinnamon and Honey Weight Loss

    Cinnamon and honey sound like two guilty pleasures, so it’s fantastic news that they work together for weight loss. We know the benefits of cinnamon so why honey?

    Good quality honey has a lower glycaemic index than sugar – around 45 compared to sugar which is around 65. The glycaemic index tells us how likely a food will increase blood sugar levels (that whole sugar insulin loop again) and so we want a low index to avoid insulin spikes.

    The sweetness of honey does not just have to be for pleasure. A little sugar, especially the low GI and easily regulated sugars of honey, will help to keep the metabolism going. Metabolism is another important aspect for weight loss as we need an active metabolism to burn up any food we consume.

    Cinnamon and Honey weight loss drinkThe most popular way to take cinnamon and honey for weight loss is to drink it. Most would recommend a simple drink of 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of honey (the best you can find) and water. Mix it all up and drink.

    Real lovers of cinnamon would say yes that’s okay, but really you’re missing out on a delicious drink. We would recommend making a batch of cinnamon tea that you can keep cool in the fridge, and then add honey to a drink when you need.

    You could also add some honey to a CEIBA. The extra honey even helps to bring out more of the cinnamon’s flavour so another win!

    Cinnamon and Chromium Weight Loss

    A common drug in health food shops is cinnamon tablets but you will often find cinnamon and chromium capsules too, with both medicines combined into one.

    Chromium is a mineral that is known to be good for maintaining normal macronutrient metabolism as well as the maintenance of normal blood sugar levels.

    Chromium is also found in cinnamon as a naturally occurring mineral and so chromium and cinnamon tablets have that extra chromium to boost the effects.

    You may think great, let me eat more chromium, but be aware of the two types of chromium commonly found – one being much less toxic than the other. Trivalent chromium has much less toxicity to hexavalent chromium which we commonly find in chrome plated car parts for example. Trivalent chromium occurs naturally in foods and we normally consume it in such small amounts to not have to worry.

    Cinnamon capsules weight loss

    Cinnamon capsules are out there and are marketed for weight loss. The main thing to be concerned with here is the type of cinnamon used.

    Cassia cinnamon is cheaper and more commonly used in cinnamon tablets. Cassia is a concern in excess amounts as it contains coumarin which is toxic to the body. Ceylon cinnamon (cinnamomum zeylanicum or cinnamomum verum) contains negligible amounts of coumarin.

     

    Cinnamon is perhaps a love or hate spice but it is beneficial to add cinnamon to your diet not just for weight loss. We look at some of the other benefits here. To get a few ideas rolling, try adding it to your coffee, curries, yoghurt, porridge but definitely, definitely try it as a tea!

     

     

     

     

    Science of Cinnamon for Diabetes

    The science of cinnamon for diabetes

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    Cinnamaldehyde has safe hypoglycaemic action on gestational diabetes by potentiating insulin secretion… Sooo, what does that actually mean?

    Cinnamaldehyde – an organic compound that makes up 65-75% of cinnamon’s essential oil (its flavour and aroma).

    You may have heard that cinnamon is good for diabetes here and there. Articles crop up (Daily Mail, Telegraph) and health food shops stock cinnamon tablets for the spice’s dedicated followers. It’s incredible to discover the underground love for the spice as a herbal medicine once you know a little more about it.

    Of course at CEIBA we are big advocates of cinnamon – we love the stuff! And we are equally in awe of cinnamon’s use as an herbal medicine. And because we are starting to hear here, there and everywhere that it’s a great ingredient, we are writing these articles to get deeper into the science behind it. One of the main topics is cinnamon for diabetes.

    Coming back to our opening statement, cinnamaldehyde has safe hypoglycaemic action on gestational diabetes, how then does this help us understand why it is good to use cinnamon for diabetes?

    Our statement comes from a 2017 study by scientists from the Beni-Suef University and the Theodor Bilharz Research Institute, both in Egypt. They studied the actions of cinnamaldehyde against a diet high in sugar and fat and with gestational diabetes. The study was undergone with mice.

    They found that cinnamaldehyde controlled hyperphagia (the intense desire to eat) and aided glucose intolerance. They found that it also reduced levels of fructosamine, total cholesterols, triglycerides, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitric oxide (NO).

    To break those scientific terms down…

    • Fructosamine – a compound of fructose sugar with protein
    • Triglycerides – the main constituents of body fat
    • Tumor necrosis factor-alpha – a protein that promotes inflammation
    • Malondialdehyde – organic compound that marks oxidative stress
    • Nitric oxide – free radical associated with cell damage

    Cinnamaldehyde also significantly increased levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), adiponectin and liver glycogen.

    Breaking that down…

    • High-Density Lipprotein (HDL) – the ‘good’ type of cholesterol that reduces and recycles Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) aka bad ‘cholersterol’.
    • Adiponectin – A protein involved in regulating glucose levels and fatty acid breakdown
    • Liver Glycogen – a form of energy storage for glucose

    To now sum up the study after breaking down the complicated terms behind it, the study showed that cinnamaldehyde is helping to reduce inflammation by reducing levels of TNF-α, control the amount of sugars by reducing fructose compounds and boosting levels of proteins that can regulate sugar.

    Glycogen levels are improved, so any stored sugars are put to burnable use, and boosting the good kind of cholesterol (HDL) helps remove the bad type of cholesterol and transport it to the liver for processing. In all, less bad fat and less sugar in the body.

    Finally, and as a bonus, the occurrences create an environment for less oxidation to take place, with lower levels of nitric acid and malondialdehyde. Oxidation damages cell membranes and other structures in the body so the less that it occurs, the better.

    We hope you have a better idea now behind the science of cinnamon for diabetes. We have written another article on why cinnamon is good for diabetes so you may want to check that out. Also you can read the 2017 study on cinnamon and cinnamaldehyde’s effect on diabetes here.

    how to detox your body with cinnamon tea Himalayan salt and sweat

    How To Detox Your Body Using 3 Bona-Fide Natural Tips

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    You’ve got to love a good detox. It’s like wiping a clean slate, breathing in some cool air and that feeling when your skin rejuvenates all silky and fresh the day after is worth it alone. It’s easy to go out of your way to detox your body so, trimming the fat, here’s our tips for a fast and natural detox that can slip into daily life.

    1. Sweat it Out

    You cannot forget that amongst other things, our body sweats to eliminate toxins. People who exercise regularly are constantly changing their oil so to speak so no wonder their skin looks pristine. But when we’re considering an all out detox, we want to take this sweating notion a step further. A great way to approach this is to do an early morning run on an empty stomach. Your body will have consumed anything inside you during the overnight fast so when you wake there is little in the way of impurities lingering around in your stomach. It should all be absorbed. Now is the time to run and sweat out the toxins so you can start the day clean.

    1. Himalayan Salt Cleanse

    Speaking of making the most of that empty stomach, the Himalayan salt cleanse is another great way to start detoxing your body. In the morning and before you eat breakfast make a salt cleanse by adding two teaspoonful’s of pink Himalayan salt to a litre of lukewarm water. WARNING: This is very disgusting to drink! So do it as fast as possible and within 30 minutes. Trust me, you will need that long to get it down you sip by sip. It’s also suggested that you lie on your left side so that the waters can drench your liver. ANOTHER WARNING: Be close to a toilet and perhaps evacuate your home of anyone else. The alkalinity of the water is designed to trigger its involuntary expulsion from your body, cleansing and flushing your colon in the process. If ever there was only one sure-fire way how to detox your body, this would be it. You will feel empty and cleansed within a few hours but you may need a while for your bowels to settle down.

    1. Make Fresh Herbal Teas

    Liquids and plenty of them will help flush the body of any impurities, but it is also helpful to use teas as they can carry some added benefits in the process. And not only detoxing your body, the preparation and aromas of teas has a spiritually cleansing power too. Our top 3 teas are as follows:

    Peppermint Tea – Great for digestion so ideal in this scenario where we’re focussing on cleansing our gut. It also the simplest of our teas to make. Pour some boiling water into a hearty mug and fill it with some fresh peppermint leaves. Allow the leaves to brew in the water for a good three minutes and enjoy the aroma in the process. A little sweetener does help to bring out the flavours but try and enjoy the plant in its essence.

    Ginger Tea – This one is also great for digestion but serves as an anti-inflammatory too. Cut a good inch off a ginger root and slice it thinly. There’s no need to skin it if you wash it thoroughly. Bring a pot to the boil and then simmer once you add the ginger. Leave the spice to brew for 10 minutes at a low a heat as possible until your water turns a slightly golden colour. The tea goes well with a squeeze of lemon and a touch of honey to take away the fiery spice.

    Cinnamon Tea – How could we not recommend a cinnamon tea? Bring a pot of water to the boil and then simmer after adding a few Ceylon cinnamon sticks. Don’t be stingy, I would say you need two small ones to every cup of water. This tea takes the most patience as you’ll need to leave to brew for at least a good 20 minutes (at CEIBA we brew ours for an hour). The rewards will be worth it and your kitchen will smell divine. Cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory so there’ll be nothing but goodness entering your body (check out its health benefits here). And if you pick the right cinnamon, it will be naturally sweet so no need for any sugar.

    No need to make a meal of it. Dedicate the first half of your day to a cleanse using these three tips and then continue the rest of it eating kick ass healthy food whilst living well. And if anyone asks how to detox your body, send them over here!

    Honey And Cinnamon Cures

    Honey And Cinnamon Cures

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    Let’s talk about honey and cinnamon cures… when it comes to medicine, and deciding whether something can cure an ailment, I think one should tread with extreme caution. By all means try things out, but why risk the health of your body on a cure which has not been substantiated? That is not to say honey and cinnamon could not be a cure for certain things. After all, nature’s ingredients often provide powerful remedies and their ingredients are extracted for use in modern medicines. What I am saying is that honey and cinnamon cures have not yet been backed up with prominent medical studies. But that might simply be down to no real tests being done at all!

    Known Honey and Cinnamon Cures

    I have come across a wide range of remedies that honey and cinnamon can be said to cure. It would be interesting to put some of them to the test.

    1. Arthritis
    2. Hair Loss
    3. Bladder Infections
    4. Toothache
    5. Cholesterol
    6. Colds
    7. Indigestion
    8. Pimples
    9. Obesity

    There are of course others, but these are the most common illnesses I found that honey and cinnamon is said to be able to cure.

    Many studies have shown that cinnamon does have antibacterial properties so there could be a vague argument for it being good against bladder infections. Studies also show that cinnamon has anti-inflammatory so I could see why there might be a link with arthritis. When it comes to obesity, cinnamon does contain chromium which is proven to aid in the regulation of blood sugar levels and healthy metabolism, so there might be a link there also. But to rest the responsibility of curing obesity, or any of the illnesses list, on the shoulders of cinnamon might be a cumbersome task.

    Honey and Cinnamon cures the Common Cold?

    Okay… having said my spiel about how unfounded the many of the cures honey and cinnamon are supposed to aid, I would have to recommend honey and cinnamon for those with a cold. But it is through personal experience that I do this.

    I suppose it is like the age old recipe of honey and lemon with rum for cold and flues. Although perhaps a strong enough rum, renders all senses (and all worries) obsolete. The notion of cinnamon and honey curing the cold is one that was passed on through word of mouth; a common knowledge if you will. It’s a remedy made of all natural ingredients that could be eaten as food so what harm could it bring?

    Every time I feel a cold coming on, I do go hard on the honey and cinnamon. I make strong cinnamon tea with some honey (manuka when I can afford it) and then add a some lemon. I think having a cold is a great excuse to make this delicious tea, so perhaps it is more of a soothing indulgence than an actual remedy? Either way I feel better for taking it, it feels like it fends off any coughs trying to emerge, and I do recommend it.

    That about wraps up my piece on honey and cinnamon cures. If you have any honey and cinnamon wisdom you would like to share, we’d love to hear it – post a comment!

    Effects of cinnamon on diabetes

    Is Cinnamon good for Diabetes and regulating blood sugar levels?

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    One of the most intriguing aspects of the spice is whether there is an effect of cinnamon on diabetes. The list of research is growing (see references) and has a focus on cinnamon’s effect on helping regulate blood sugar levels. But there are also many variables to consider – the type of cinnamon (cinnamomum zeylanicum, cinnamomum cassia etc.) quality and freshness of the spice, format of consumption etc. Another problem with much of the research is that many studies were performed in vitro (i.e. using a test tube) or by using mice, when really we need to see the effects of cinnamon on diabetes in people.

    A respected body, the American Diabetes Association (AMA), holds the position that “there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate efficacy of individual herbs and supplements in diabetes management. In addition, commercially available products are not standardized and vary in the content of active ingredients.” Specifically on cinnamon, “There is not enough evidence from research to claim that including cinnamon in your daily diet will help regulate blood glucose in people with diabetes.”

    So should we end this discussion there? Perhaps… Or we might consider that the AMA does concede that many aspects of medical nutrition therapy do require further research.

    Let’s have a look at what research is out there.

    One such piece is a study by Professor Robert Allen of the Western University of Health Sciences, who led a systematic review and meta-analysis (combining results of many studies) of previously conducted randomised controlled trials on the effects of cinnamon on glycaemia (presence of glucose in the blood) and lipid levels. The study covered the results of 10 trials with 543 patients in total, all with Type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon doses ranged between 120mg per day and 6g per day for 4 to 18 weeks. Results showed decreases in fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides. They also found that cinnamon increased levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL-C or good cholesterol).

    They concluded…

    “The consumption of cinnamon is associated with a statistically significant decrease in levels of fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, LDL-C, and triglyceride levels, and an increase in HDL-C levels.”

    A similar study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, conducted by Paul A. Davis of the University of California and Wallace Yokoyama of the US Department of Agriculture found positive results for cinnamon concluding that cinnamon extract and/or cinnamon improves fasting blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. The paper can be found here.

    So the research is out there, be it for or against to cinnamon’s effects on diabetes, but universally it is believed that more research needs to be undertaken. I think that is all that can be said so far!

    Further References on Cinnamon’s effects on Diabetes

    Effects of short-term cinnamon ingestion on in vivo glucose tolerance.
    Isolation and characterization of polyphenol type-A polymers from cinnamon with insulin-like biological activity.
    Antidiabetic effect of Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum zeylanicum in vivo and in vitro.
    Insulin-like biological activity of culinary and medicinal plant aqueous extracts in vitro.

    Also read our article on the some of the science behind cinnamon’s use for diabetes.

    Peeling A Cinnamon Stick for cinnamon health benefits

    Cinnamon’s Health Benefits

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    NEW: Read 13 reasons why you need cinnamon in your life

    Why cinnamon? When we started the drink, it was not only because it tasted great, but looking deeper into cinnamon as an ingredient, we came across a bewildering list of health benefits linked to it… from an anti-bacterial to a booster of the metabolism, the wide range of cinnamon’s health benefits will probably surprise you too. Let’s have a look.

    Antibacterial, Antifungal and Antiviral

    Herbs and spices have been used since ancient times for their antimicrobial properties. Plants’ natural defences against the outside world are made up of chemicals such as polyphenols, terpenoids, alkaloids, lectins, polypeptides, and polyacetylenes – all known to be antimicrobial agents. A lot of science… but cinnamon particularly excels in these, making it a traditional medicine of choice against cold and flu… they even help maintain healthier gums and teeth!

    One of the most powerful antioxidants

    We all know the term antioxidant but what exactly does it mean? Simply put, it’s a substance that prevents the damaging effects of oxygen in the form of a free radical on our body’s cells. The damage can lead to premature ageing, high blood pressure, mutation of healthy cells into cancerous ones and infertility. An antioxidant’s strength can be measured by the ORAC scale –its oxygen radical absorbance capacity. The USDA compiled a list of the top antioxidants ranking cinnamon 2nd!

    Boost the metabolism

    A compound known as methylhydroxy chalcone polymer (MCHP) has been found in cinnamon to help metabolise sugar. However, tests have only been done in vitro so far (i.e. in a test tube), so until they’re done on people, it’s not fair to say how beneficial this could be. Still, it sounds promising, as well as other tests that show cinnamon being beneficial to insulin production.

    Anti-inflammatory

    If you do a lot of exercise you’re going to need some good anti-inflammatories in your life. Wear and tear leads to swelling in your body that can be eased, but inflammation can be a little more serious. There are numerous diseases with ‘itis’ which is basically short for inflammation of this and that – arthritis, appendicitis etc. So having good anti-inflammatories in your diet can not only ease the pain of wear and tear, it helps fight against diseases too. Cinnamon has an abundance of phytochemicals, the substance believed to help reduce inflammation, making it a potent anti-inflammatory.

    Cinnamon for Diabetes

    Perhaps the most exciting findings with cinnamon are its uses for helping manage diabetes. We have a couple of posts on cinnamon’s effects of regulating blood sugar levels and the science behind cinnamon for diabetes that you need to check out if this aspect of cinnamon interests you.

    There’s a quick insight into cinnamon’s most well-known health benefits but we’re always on the lookout for new studies, so I’m sure this is a topic we’ll come back to time and time again.