Cinnamon has been known from remote antiquity. It was so highly priced back then that it was considered as a gift fit for monarchs and even god! It was so expensive that it was considered more precious than gold.
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of the trees from the genus ‘Cinnamomum’. It originated in Sri Lanka and due to its medicinal and highly preservative properties, its popularity spread throughout the word.
It is used in both sweet and savoury dishes, like apple pie, doughnuts, tea, liqueurs, rich gravy or while cooking chicken or lamb. As I mentioned before, it has great medicinal properties which is a major reason for its popularity.
In this post, I have picked the top 10 medicinal uses of cinnamon and cinnamon health benefits. The health problems that I am mentioning here are very common these days, and since you can easily find cinnamon in your kitchen or at your local grocery store, it works as a very inexpensive solution. Let’s begin now, shall we?
Here are all the uses of cinnamon!
Our body needs cholesterol to produce hormones, vitamin D and digestive salts. However if your body has more amount of this waxy substance than it needs, it can build up in your arteries which puts you at risk of serious health problems like heart diseases.
Cinnamon is an excellent source of calcium and fiber. The combinations of these two components bind and removes salt from the body that have a damaging effect on the colon (bile). The body then has to break down cholesterol to generate new bile hence having a positive impact on heart diseases.
What you can do to use its benefits: Take two table spoons of honey and three teaspoons of cinnamon powder in 16 ounces of tea water. This will reduce the 10% cholesterol level in body within two hours.
Cold is a very common issue these days. Although it can be treated by the intake of various allopathic medicines, which have a lot of side-effects; you can treat it at home with this simple recipe:
Add ¼ th teaspoon of cinnamon powder into 1 tablespoon honey and mix this well together. You can make this in a large amount and take this twice a day and the cold will vanish within three days.
Another way to treat cold with the help of this spice is to mix about a teaspoon of cinnamon powder in you hot cup of green tea.
There are many types of arthritis. All cause pain, swelling and reduced motion in the joints. Although cinnamon may not cure all types of arthritis, a few can be cured by using this simple home remedy:
Take one cup of hot water. To this add two spoons of honey and one small tea spoon of cinnamon powder. Drink this daily in the morning and at night to relieve pain.
Acne or pimples have cursed women’s for a long time now; it’s time to get rid of these by using cinnamon and honey mixture.
The following mask is one of the best remedies to get rid of acne:
Here is the simple recipe that will help you get rid of acne forever:
·Take two table spoons of honey
A little more than half tea spoon of cinnamon powder
Mix both of these together and apply it all over your face.
Once the mask starts to dry, wash it off.
Use this daily for a month and see the results yourself.
5. Indigestion or stomach problems:
Honey and cinnamon used together cures ulcers from the root. It also relieves gas and destroys germs from the bladder.
Take one glass of warm water.
Take One teaspoon of honey
Take One or two tablespoon of cinnamon powder.
Mix everything together and drink daily.
6. Heart Diseases:
Mix honey and cinnamon powder together and apply on bread instead of jam and consume daily. This will keep you safe from heart attacks. You can apply this mixture on roti’s as well.
7. Skin Infections:
If you have any kind of skin infections, make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder in equal quantity and apply it on the affected area. This will solve almost all types of skin problems.
Another way is: If you have any cuts, clean this wound and simply dust some cinnamon powder on it. The bacteria will start getting killed and the wound will heal quickly.
8. Weight loss:
Drinking honey and cinnamon powder boiled in a cup of water, at least half an hour before breakfast and at night daily has shown amazing results to control weight loss. Taken regularly it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Cinnamon helps to reduce weight quickly.
A study showed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones can be cured successfully by the intake of cinnamon with honey. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder for one month 3 times a day.
Who does not want to stay young forever and increase their life span?
I do! Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly arrests old age.
Take 4 spoons of honey 1 spoon of cinnamon powder and 3 cups of water and boil to make like tea. Drink 1/4 cup, 3 to 4 times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans also increases and even if a person is 100 years old.
11. Anti- infectious agent:
It has a number of anti-infectious compounds which makes effective against a number of infectious agents. One such example is its activity against the ulcer causing H. Pylori bacteria.
12. Source for essential minerals:
Cinnamon though in small quantities contains calcium, manganese, iron and some fiber too. These are all essential in various processes and even this small supplement adds great benefit to the body functions.
13. Natural food preservative:
Cinnamon with its ability to preserve food can be used in replacement of chemical agents. It not only preserves the food but also adds a nice taste and smell to it. Its various health benefits are an added boon.
14. Reduces menstrual pains:
Cramps and pains during periods can some times be caused due to the stagnation of blood. And effective way to treat this pain is by drinking cinnamon tea daily.
Cinnamonaldehyde in Cinnamon is said to increase the progesterone levels in women and decrease the testosterone too. This helps balancing the hormonal levels and reduce infertility problems in women.
16. Neurodegenerative disease:
Cinnamon helps reduce the chronic inflammation that is associated with various neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis etc.
17. Boosts brain function:
Smelling cinnamon tends to boost the cognitive ability and memory of a person.
Cinammon: Skin Benefits
This flavorful spice is a great home-made remedy for various skin problems and has been widely used in Ayurvedic medicine. Some of the ways in which it can be beneficial for your skin are mentioned below.
18. Treatment of Acne and Blemishes:
The anti-fungal and anti-bacterial qualities as well as antioxidant power of cinnamon make it effective in treating acne and blemishes.
To get rid of them, you can mix 1 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon with 3 tablespoons of honey. Make a thick paste and apply this all over your face. Wash off after 10 minutes.
he cinnamon will inhibit the acne causing bacteria while the honey will help in reducing redness and restoring moisture.
19. Treatment of Dry Skin:
Cinnamon helps to remove dead skin cells and restore the shine and softness to your skin. In order to combat dryness, you can make a scrub by combining sea salt, olive oil, almond oil, honey and ground cinnamon.
20. Treatment of Eczema:
Cinnamon can provide relief from patches of eczema.
For this purpose, mix 1 teaspoon of cinnamon with 1 teaspoon of honey. Apply a thin layer of this paste on the affected areas. The results will be visible in a week. However, this should not be tried on children or patches of eczema on the face. Moreover before using it, try a small test area and wash off immediately if the skin becomes red or irritated.
Cinnamon can also cure ringworms and other skin infections.
21. Treatment of Insect Bites:
A mixture of cinnamon and honey is also beneficial for treating skin irritation. The duo when applied topically can alleviate the pain and itchiness caused by insect bites. It will also disinfect the infected area as well as moisturize and heal it. Hence, it is a far better option than the various dangerous chemicals.
22. Plumps Skin:
Cinnamon improves blood flow to the surface of the skin, causing minor swelling and plumping.
A mixture of 3 drops of cinnamon essential oil and a few tablespoons of petroleum jelly or olive oil when applied topically to the fine lines can plump your skin, making them less visible. However, the eye area should be avoided while applying it as it might cause burning sensation.
This mixture is quite helpful in plumping your lips and can be used instead of lip gloss. You can simply apply Vaseline on your lips and gently pat a pinch of cinnamon on top. Rub it for a few seconds and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Dry cinnamon should not be applied directly on the skin as it might cause irritation. Add another coat of Vaseline to get fuller lips.
23. Breath Freshener:
Cinnamon also helps in combating bad breath. Chewing on a few cinnamon sticks or gargling with warm cinnamon water can sweeten things up, thus ridding you of bad breath.
24. Treatment of Rough Feet:
Being rich in antioxidant, cinnamon softens rough and tired skin of your feet.
You can prepare a pampering foot bath by mixing the juice of 5 lemons, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ cup whole milk, ½ cup water and 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon. Soak your feet in this mixture for 15 minutes.
Cinammon: Hair Benefits
We all crave for long and lustrous hair. But unfortunately, the unhealthy lifestyle, exposure to pollution and harsh chemicals take a toll on our hair, leaving them damaged and causing various hair and scalp problems. Cinnamon, when added to other ingredients, acts as a natural ingredient to get rid of these problems.
25. Stimulates Hair Growth:
Hair loss is a common problem that adversely affects hair growth and health. Cinnamon paste or oil can prevent hair breakage by reducing the amount of hair that falls out.
To stimulate hair growth, you can prepare a weekly cinnamon mask by mixing two tablespoons of cinnamon and honey into a half cup of olive oil. Thicken this mask by adding an egg. Wet your hair and comb the solution through to set your hair for 10 to 15 minutes. Wash off with a shampoo.
26. Scalp Cleanser:
Cinnamon can clean and nourish your scalp by acting as an exfoliant and improving blood circulation to the scalp as well as oxygen to nourish the hair follicles.
For this purpose, mix 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon with 1 tablespoon of honey and ¼ cup of warm olive oil. Apply this on your scalp, massaging it firmly during application process. Leave for 15 minutes and shampoo your hair as usual. You might feel a tingling sensation as the cinnamon stimulates your scalp.
27. Lightens Hair:
Cinnamon is a natural way to lighten your hair without going near the sun.
For this purpose, mix an equal amount of cinnamon powder with conditioner that is enough to cover the hair from top to bottom. Before applying this mixture, rinse your hair with water but squeeze out the excess water. It should be applied evenly to prevent streaking and tangles should be removed to ensure the even application of the mixture. After this, brush your hair a few times and tie it into a bun, covering it with a shower cap. Leave this mixture overnight and wash off the next morning.
How to Select and Store?
Selection: True cinnamon quills or sticks are curled in a telescopic form whereas cassia sticks curl inward from both sides, like a scroll. Similarly, in powdered form, true cinnamon is tan in colour with a warm, sweet flavour whereas ground cassia is reddish brown with a coarser texture, and a bitterer and stronger flavour. The cinnamon stick has a longer shelf life while the ground powder has a stronger flavour.
While buying cinnamon, smell it to ensure that it has a sweet smell which is an indication of freshness. Since both the Ceylon cinnamon and Chinese cinnamon are labelled as cinnamon, you have to be careful while buying it, keeping in mind your requirements. If you are looking for a sweeter, more refined tasting cinnamon, then Ceylon variety is apt for you. Since this variety is less available, you have to shop for it either at a local spice store and ethnic market. Always prefer to buy organically grown cinnamon as it is less likely to be irradiated. Irradiating cinnamon causes a significant decrease in its vitamin C and carotenoid content.
Storage: Proper storage is essential to increase the shelf life of cinnamon and retain its freshness. When stored properly, powdered cinnamon can last up to 3 years and cinnamon sticks up to 4 years. Cinnamon powder or quills (sticks) should be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dark and dry place. It should be kept away from light and heat. Faded color or diminished aroma or taste is an indication that the cinnamon s no longer fresh and hence, should be discarded.
It is advisable to buy small amounts of ground cinnamon as it quickly becomes stale, thus losing flavor and aroma. In fact, you can prepare cinnamon powder at home by grinding your own cinnamon quills, using a spice or coffee grinder for best flavor. You can also extend their shelf life by refrigerating them. Keep smelling it occasionally to check if it is still fresh. If it does not smell sweet, it means that it has become stale and should be replaced.
Tips for Usage (Cooking/Eating)
Cinnamon is widely used as a spice in almost all types of cuisines. Ground cinnamon is suitable for baking as well as adding an earthiness to stews, chilli dishes and curries. Cinnamon sticks on the other hand have a smooth earthy and sweet flavour. They can be steeped in warm beverages, like mulled wine and apple cider or used to season stews and curries. This spice is used as a prime ingredient in many sweets and baked dishes. It also makes a great addition to marinades, beverages, dressings, meats, poultry and fish.
1. In Mexico, it is used to flavour chocolate. It is also used as an ingredient in the most exquisite liqueurs.
2. Cassia is more suitable for savoury dishes rather than sweets. Dried cassia buds resemble cloves in appearance and are used in eastern countries in pickles, curries, candies and spicy meat dishes. These tiny yellow flowers have a mild cinnamon flavour and are sold preserved in sweetened brine which is used to perfume sweets, fruits, teas and wines.
3. Cassia leaves are used as flavouring in dishes in the same manner as bay leaves.
4. You can prepare a cinnamon toast which is great for kids besides being a healthy twist. Add some flax seed oil onto a whole wheat toast and sprinkle some cinnamon and honey to make a nutritious snack for children.
5. Cinnamon sticks can be sprinkled with soymilk and honey and can be enjoyed as a deliciously warming beverage.
6. Frozen waffles can be made into sweet snacks by sprinkling them with sugar and cinnamon and cooking makes caramelized and crisp to prepare delicious cinnamon sugar waffle fingers.
7. Cinnamon can be added to black beans that are used in burritos or nachos to give them a uniquely delicious taste.
8. Chewy cinnamon cookies known as snicker-doodles are quite popular among children.
9. Lamb can be sautéed with cinnamon sticks, eggplant and raisins to create a delicious and healthy Middle Eastern dish.
10. Cinnamon is used as an ingredient in lamb tagines with prunes. It suitably combines the rich flavour of lamb and deep sweetness of the prunes.
11. Cinnamon stick is added to chicken biryani where it infuses the chicken and rice with its incredible flavour.
12. You can prepare cinnamon spiked tomatoes. For this purpose, heat olive oil in a pan and jalapeno pepper. Season it with a pinch of salt and sauté it for 1 to 2 minutes so that the jalapeno softens a bit. Add ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon and cook for 30 seconds. Now add this jalapeno and cinnamon mixture to the tomatoes. Add sugar and stir and then add more salt and pepper to taste. This serves as an excellent appetizer.
13. Hot doughnuts are great with cinnamon. This spice adds a depth of flavour to soups and stews as well as a multitude of cakes and puddings.
14. Cinnamon can form part of a very simple but extremely versatile and tasty tuna salad. This salad can be made into a sandwich or snack.
15. Cinnamon can impart its unique taste to apple pies, blueberry cakes and desserts. For this purpose, cinnamon sticks can either be grated or used as they are and removed before serving the meal.
16. A bit of cinnamon when added to coffee, improves its taste. It can also be used with baked apples and other fruit dishes.
As you can see for yourself, cinnamon has a lot of beauty benefits especially when it comes to skin and hair. So what are you waiting for? Get into the practice of using cinnamon, and make it a part of your daily diet and beauty routine and experience the goodness of cinnamon.
I hope this article on cinnamon benefits helped you. Take care and stay healthy!
Source: Style Craze
Published: 17 Dec 2013