7 Essential Cinnamon Benefits and Uses
Infinitely more useful than just as a fragrant spice, cinnamon has been used by Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for literally thousands of years. I believe cinnamon is one of the healthiest herbs in the world along with turmeric, ginger and garlic.
Legend tells us that because of the powerful health benefits of cinnamon it had a value equal to gold.
Some of the biggest cinnamon benefits include balancing blood sugar, killing candida, boosting energy, supporting weight loss and improving skin health.
Also referred to by its scientific names, Cinnamomum verum and Cinnamomum cassia, the history of cinnamon is actually quite intriguing.
Some of the earliest reports date cinnamon use to ancient Egypt around 4,000 B.C. as a perfuming agent during their sacred embalming process.
Also, cinnamon benefits are referenced 4x in the Bible being used in the sacred holy anointing oil and it was used to destroy plagues.
Cinnamon Nutrition Facts
When you look at cinnamon nutrition facts one of the first things that will jump right out at you is it’s super high antioxidant rating. The ORAC value of ground cinnamon is 131,420, which ranks it #7 of all antioxidant foods in the world! It is also rich in:
- Vitamin K
- Dietary Fiber
Because of this outstanding nutritional profile, cinnamon benefits the body by healing digestive disorders, joint pain and menstrual discomfort because of its high content of cinnamaldehyde (the natural anti-inflammatory chemical that gives cinnamon its wonderful flavor and odor) it’s known as one of the most nutrient dense in the world.
7 Researched Cinnamon Benefits
1. Acne & Skin Infections
Widely considered to be a cure-all for countless illnesses, a mixture of cinnamon oil and honey can be extremely effective at treating skin conditions such as acne and skin infections because of its antimicrobial capacity.
Just take 1 tsp of honey and 1 tsp of cinnamon (or 2 drops cinnamon oil) and mix them together then rub on face. Leave on for 1 minute then rinse off and in a few days you can see clearer skin.
One of the most profound examples showing how cinnamon benefits allergies is seen in a 2006 Egyptian study, which evaluated its ability to keep house mites at bay.
These potent allergens have become a global menace and, according to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, at least 45% of children with asthma are allergic to them!
When Egyptian researchers evaluated the ability various essential oils had in killing the highly allergic house mite, they discovered that cinnamon was #1.
3. Digestive Issues
Due to its antimicrobial characteristics, cinnamon has helped millions of people all across the globe overcome bacterial overload in their gut.
Several studies like a recent one out of Iran have even described its powerful ability to control dangerous E. coli infections.
If you do have stomach cramps or upsets, a cup of Cinnamon tea 2-3 times per day will dramatically reduce the pain. Also, adding in licorice root, ginger or chamomile are also great for gut issues.
4. Common Cold
Also because of its powerful antimicrobial properties, a paper published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine highlights that cinnamon essential oil was found to be highly effective in controlling the common cold.
Specifically, by slowing the growth of a number of bacteria and fungus, the microorganisms that commonly cause the common cold are regularly kept at bay by cinnamon supplementation.
A study published in the journal of Lab Medicine found that cinnamaldehyde from cinnamon essential oil was effective against adenovirus because it’s anti-viral properties.
To kick a cold fast I recommend you check out my article on the honey and cinnamon cure.
Several studies have found that cinnamon can help increase insulin sensitivity and improve diabetes. According to professor Paul David from UC Davis, cinnamon has a 3-5% effect on balancing blood sugar levels which is almost the equivalent of diabetes drugs.
Nutrition Research and Parmacognosy Research have recently published reports suggesting that 1,500 mg of cinnamon supplementation can greatly benefit the lipid profile, liver enzymes, insulin resistance, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in diabetics and people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease patients (NAFLD).
The study is especially promising because NAFLD is the #1 cause of liver disease in the world.
According to various historical accounts, Chinese folk medicine has used cinnamon to promote vital energy (Qi) and, because of its insulin-boosting property, cinnamon has been known to give people sustained energy and prevent crashing after carb-rich meals because it stabilizes your blood sugar.
Drinking Cinnamon tea with tulsi or diffusing cinnamon essential oil in the air with peppermint oil are both great ways to harness the energy boosting benefits of cinnamon.
7. Candida and Yeast Infections
This past year, the Iran Journal of Medical Sciences published a study, which evaluated 28 plant extracts against Gram-negative such as E. coli; the main bacterial cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs).
The species Cinnamomum zeylanicum ranked as one of the top 4 most potent plants, which provides an explanation to why people who supplement cinnamon into their diets generally suffer from less UTI’s than people who don’t.
Ceylon Cinnamon vs. Cassia Cinnamon
The current cinnamon industry dates back to 1518, when Portuguese traders discovered the “Ceylon Cinnamon” variety in Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka). After being taken over by the British in 1784, cinnamon became more commonplace and today we typically see more cassia cinnamon on our grocery store shelves.
Cassia is native to Burma and today is farmed in China and Vietnam. Cassia is darker in color compared to Ceylon, and has a stronger, more bitter flavor.
While both Cassia and Ceylon both have good nutritional value, Ceylon cinnamon is preferable. Ceylon cinnamon is considered a finer quality spice due to its sweeter, more delicate and complex flavor.
Also, “true cinnamon” is actually considered ceylon cinnamon not cassia.
A very important distinction to why ceylon cinnamon benefits are superior to those of cassia are because cassia contains coumarin. Courmarin is a naturally occurring compound that is toxic to the liver in higher doses. Cassia contains high levels of this compound where ceylon cinnamon only has none or trace amounts.
If you are taking cinnamon for therapeutic benefits, than taking a ceylon cinnamon supplement is preferred.
Cinnamon Side Effects and Contraindications
Even though the vast majority of people receive HUGE cinnamon benefits for their health, some sources recommend that certain people should not take it.
Various reports claim that cinnamon puts pregnant women at risks of premature labor, and coumarin-rich varieties (such as cassia cinnamon) can damage the liver, acts as a blood thinner, and can cause an increase in heart rate.
Overall, cinnamon is an incredible healing herb but if on certain medications like blood thinners you will want to talk with your doctor.
Cinnamon Uses in the Bible and History
Cinnamon is used 4 times in the Bible:
- As a holy anointing oil mixed with myrrh and sweet-smelling cane (Exodus 30:21).
- As a perfume mixed with myrrh and aloe (Proverbs 7:17).
- As a symbol of the Shulamite’s beauty and luscious fragrance listed with spikenard, myrrh and frankincense in the Song of Solomon (4:14).
- As one of the precious commodities of the last days (Revelations 18:13).
Other cinnamon uses throughout the world include:
- Flavoring in food
- Preserving meat
- Embalm the dead
- Incense during religious ceremonies
- Home deodorizer
- Mold treatment
Want to experience the incredible health benefits of cinnamon simply by adding it to your food? Then try these great tasting cinnamon recipes:
If you want to learn more about the health benefits of cinnamon, then you may want to learn how combing cinnamon and raw honey may amplify the healing effects.
So, how do you use cinnamon? Have you experienced cinnamon benefits for your personal health?