Sorry about that…I drifted away for a minute.
Seriously though, there’s a lot more to cinnamon than a guilty-pleasure at your local ‘Bon. Cinnamon is a spice, obtained from the inner bark of perhaps a dozen species of trees, that is used in both sweet and savory foods. While native only to the island of Sri Lanka, cinnamon trees are now naturalized in South East Asia.
Cinnamon has been known from remote antiquity. It was imported to Egypt as early as 2000 BC, and the Bible makes specific mention of the spice many times: first when Moses is commanded to use both sweet cinnamon and cassia in the holy anointing oil.
It’s principally employed in cookery as a condiment and a flavoring. It’s often used in the preparation of chocolate, especially in Mexico, which is the main importer of true cinnamon.In the Middle East, it is often used in savory dishes of chicken and lamb.
In a 2000 study published in The Indian Journal of Medical Research, it was shown that of the 69 plant species screened, 16 were effective against HIV-1 and 4 were against both HIV-1 and HIV-2. A 2003 study at National Institutes of Health shows benefits of cinnamon in diet of type 2 diabetics, specifically having a regulatory effect on blood sugar. “Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes”.
Cinnamon bark, a component of the traditional Japanese medicine Mao-to, has been shown in a 2008 study published in the Journal of General Virology to have an antiviral therapeutic effect. A 2011 study isolated a substance in the cinnamon plant that inhibits development of Alzheimer’s in mice.
Cinnamon has also had suggested benefits in:
- Weight Loss
- Stomach Cramps
- Menstrual Cycle Problems
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties
- Antibacterial Properties
So basically…cinnamon is awesome!
But, before you write yourself a prescription for a Supersize Chocobon… here’s what hautemealz.com’s health and fitness guru, Cheryl Cranston, M.Ed., has to say on the subject:
“A tasty, simple tip for slashing your triglycerides and total cholesterol by 12 to 30 percent while boosting your body’s ability to maintain balanced blood sugar levels: sprinkle cinnamon on your morning coffee…or toast…or oatmeal!
A half-teaspoon of cinnamon each day is all that’s needed! And here’s an added perk: cinnamon can slay the symptoms of mild food poisoning!”
Here’s a super-simple way to start your day with a warm, comforting, cinnamon boost:
- 1 quart of water
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 clove (optional)
- 4 tsp. pure honey
Combine water, clove, and cinnamon sticks in saucepan, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
Pour into a coffee cup, add a teaspoon of honey, and stir with a fresh cinnamon stick (optional).