Cinnamon is a frequent addition to holiday meals such as pumpkin pie and mulled cider. Cinnamon can also be used to lower blood sugar, treat the common cold and thin blood. In fact, the drug Coumadin is derived from a synthetic form of cinnamon.
Used in Chinese medicine, cinnamon is derived from the bark of a tree native to Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The oil from the tree bark contains the active ingredient, cinnamonaldehyde. Cinnamon oil is calming to the nervous system.
Healing Properties of Cinnamon
Cinnamon can be used to treat heart disease, as it is known to reduce cholesterol. And ongoing research on the use of cinnamon continually shows that it reduces blood sugar.
Cinnamon acts as an antifungal and can treat yeast infections and thrush. It can also treat Helicobacter pylori bacterial infections, which lead to ulcers. Cinnamon can be used as a gargle to treat sore throats.
Cinnamon Used in Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, Egypt and Rome
In traditional Chinese medicine, cinnamon has been used for over five thousand years to cure colds, improve digestion and treat nausea, diarrhea and painful menses. It can also be used to improve the health of those who have chronically cold feet and hot upper bodies, a condition known in Chinese medicine as “kwai.”
Cinnamon was used by the Egyptians to embalm mummies and also to preserve meat. Ancient Romans used cinnamon for coughs and colds and also burned it to clear the air. Romans also used cinnamon for offerings at shrines. Pliny the Elder in the first century A.D. wrote that cinnamon was 15 times more valuable than silver.
In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, cinnamon is utilized to treat diabetes, indigestion and those with kapha temperaments. Cinnamon is an ingredient in chai tea and, as such, aids digestion of fruit and dairy.
Warning for Use of Cinnamon
Pregnant women should avoid the use of cinnamon, as it can cause blood thinning that is not beneficial while pregnant. Also, it’s recommended that anyone on blood-thinning medication or on diabetic medicine consult with their medical advisers before adding cinnamon to their diet.