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Cinnamon has been a coveted spice since ancient times and at one point was considered more precious than gold. Not only did past civilizations appreciate the flavor, but they understood the health benefits of cinnamon as well. Cultures from the Far East, Middle East and West have all discovered the value of this spice made from the inner bark of a tree in the laurel family.
The ancient Egyptians used cinnamon for embalming. In the Middle Ages, it was placed in sick rooms of patients having Bubonic Plague. In Asia, it was been prescribed for longevity. All early civilizations recognized cinnamon’s ability to retard the growth of bacteria and designed their specific recipes accordingly. Some formulas indicated cinnamon should be made into a paste and used externally. It was considered a gift from nature and was used extensively.
Modern science continues to research the health benefits of cinnamon. It has discovered that cinnamon is proving to be valuable in the brain functions of the young and old alike. For both groups, it is helpful in cognitive processing, memory as well as reducing anxiety.
The health benefits of cinnamon are numerous. Its antibacterial and antifungal qualities make it an excellent remedy for colds and coughs. It is a carminative so it can help eliminate nausea and flatulence. It is an astringent, a stimulant as well as an antiseptic. Cinnamon helps stabilize the body’s operating temperature and keeps it running at its optimal level. It improves the assimilation of the nutrients from the foods you eat. The most notable health benefits of cinnamon are its ability to help control the body’s blood sugar levels.
Research has discovered that cinnamon helps the body metabolize sugars more efficiently. Studies indicate that as little as a half-teaspoon of cinnamon daily increases your insulin production while reducing your glucose levels. For this reason, it is important for diabetics to consult their physician before starting a cinnamon regimen.
If you are a pre-diabetic patient, the health benefits of cinnamon will not only lower your blood sugar level, but also lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In addition, by maintaining more even blood sugar levels, you also will not develop sudden cravings, so it is an excellent aid for weight loss.
Many holistic practitioners agree that the health benefits of cinnamon are universal and can be prescribed without reservation. It combines well with honey, which is another natural food with many health benefits. Many prescribe the combination in order to cure most diseases. The combination of cinnamon and honey has been prescribed for arthritis, bad breath, bladder infections, cancer, fatigue, hair loss, hearing loss, heart disease, immune system, indigestion, ulcers and upset stomach, infertility, skin infections and blemishes and toothache.
Cinnamon has become available in capsule form to accommodate those who do not care for the taste. However, most enjoy the aromatic and sweet flavor. It blends well with any natural sweetener. It can be added to rice, all forms of legumes, fruit salads and teas. It is naturally available in stick or powdered form.
For the ultimate health benefits of cinnamon, it is important to use fresh cinnamon. An easy test is to smell the contents of your container. The aroma should be strong and sweet. If the smell is light, the health benefits have weakened and it should be replaced. Cinnamon should be stored in a tightly sealed container and should be protected from light.
I drink cinnamon tea before bed and before breakfast. But because cinnamon tea itself has a sweet aftertaste, I don't use honey.
To make it, I put a cinnamon stick with 1 1/2 cup of water, bring it to boil until it reduces to about 1 cup [15 min or so]. Then I let it steep for 30 min or so. I drink it lukewarm, when it still sweet. The sweet aftertaste goes away when it's cold. Enjoy!
@healthnwell--A good recipe that I found is
* 1 cinnamon stick
* 1 cup of boiling water
* 1 green or white teabag
* organic honey as desired
1. Place the cinnamon stick in a cup.
2. Add the boiling water and steep covered for 10 minutes.
3. Add the teabag. Steep for one to three minutes.
4. Sweeten to taste, if desired.
This tea is yummy and healthy!
Cinnamon tea sounds like a wonderful way to get the benefits of cinnamon. I know it's best to use fresh cinnamon, does anyone know of a recipe?
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