(NaturalNews) Most people tend to associate cinnamon with holiday foods such as pumpkin pie or eggnog. The truth is that cinnamon can be used all year round in a wide variety of foods and dishes. It contains many vitamins and minerals and therefore comes with a great deal of health benefits, ranging from being an all-natural anti inflammatory to being able to assist with lowering blood sugar levels.
True cinnamon (also known as Ceylon cinnamon) originated in Sri Lanka and has a more delicate taste than most cinnamon which is sold today. The most popular variety being sold today is known as Chinese Cinnamon or Cassia. This version has been used successfully in Chinese medicine for many centuries. A single teaspoon of cinnamon is loaded with nutrients: among them iron, manganese, calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and approximately one gram of fibre. This list may look small, but the health benefits that they offer in the form of cinnamon are enormous. It has been used as a traditional medicinal treatment for other ailments such as upset stomachs, bloating, diarrhoea and indigestion.
For centuries, cinnamon has been used as a food preservative. In ancient Egypt, it was used when embalming and preserving dead bodies. It possesses anti-fungal properties, making it an excellent option for those suffering from yeast infections. Its antiparasitic properties result in it being able to help eliminate head lice without the need for chemical based products.
Those suffering from stomach ulcers can benefit from consuming cinnamon, owing to the fact that it possesses anti-inflammatory properties. This also results in cinnamon being beneficial in fighting against heart disease, strokes and heart attacks. Diabetics can benefit from using this wonder spice, as it is able to lower blood sugar levels and help increase insulin resistance naturally. It also has a natural anti-clotting effect on the blood.
A study done in 2003 using cinnamon showed that people, who consumed just a single gram of cinnamon each day over a 40 day period, experienced a substantial decrease in their blood sugar levels. Decreases in LDL cholesterol triglycerides and total cholesterol levels were also reported. Other studies have shown that cinnamon has been able to stop yeast infections, which were previously resistant to medication treatments. Yet another published study showed that taking half a teaspoon of cinnamon combined with a tablespoon of honey significantly reduced pain in those suffering from arthritis after just one week.
The next time you stop to enjoy your cinnamon based treats and foods, you can do so knowing that you can literally have your treat and eat it (and enjoy it).
Shona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography. Her blog may be viewed here Some of her photography work may be viewed here Other articles written by her may be viewed here