Cinnamon begins to be used more often as the weather turns cooler and we draw closer to the holidays that seem to rely on this fragrant spice. In many ways this is a shame. It really should be used year round. Cinnamon is full of healthy surprises that will have you questioning why we lock away these amazing health benefits and limit them to only one or two seasons.
1. Blood Sugar Control – Cinnamon is showing promise as a way to prevent and counteract the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, having a beneficial effect on glucose levels and insulin sensitivity. Diabetics can easily add it to more meals more often, drink it as tea, or even take it as a supplement.
2. Lower LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides – Apart from improving glucose levels, cinnamon lowers LDL cholesterol, triglyceride concentrations, and overall cholesterol levels without affecting HDL cholesterol. These all reduce risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
3. Cancer – Cinnamon may actually prevent the spread and growth of cancer cells. Cancer cells abnormally take up glucose, ignoring regular metabolic signals. Cinnamon may play a role in reestablishing the proper signals and keeping sugar levels under control so cancer cells cannot grow as quickly or spread as far.
4. Antimicrobial – Cinnamon essential oil is one of the best antimicrobial substances known to man. It is effective against many dangerous bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This makes cinnamon tea a helpful weapon against the cold and flu season and cinnamon essential oils an effective way to sanitize and disinfect your home. Simply dilute cinnamon oil in distilled water, shake, and spray. You only need 1% cinnamon oil in this solution.
5. Anti-Fungal – The antimicrobial properties of cinnamon make it an effective way to treat candida, ringworm, athlete’s foot, and so much more. Cinnamon tea is a great way to increase your body’s natural resistance to candida. You can also use tea or diluted essential oils externally, but avoid sensitive areas since cinnamon can cause irritation and burning sensation. Dilute a couple drops of cinnamon oil in coconut oil for a very effective treatment of athlete’s foot.
6. Food Poisoning – Cinnamon’s ability to kill several types of bacteria, including E.coli, make it a very good way to combat food poisoning. Make a batch of tea as soon as you begin to feel symptoms.
7. Nutrition – So much more than a spice, cinnamon is rich in manganese, iron, calcium, and fiber too. By adding it to any recipe, you are increasing your minerals.
8. Odor Neutralizer – Add a little cinnamon oil to your diffuser and the warm, spicy fragrance will chase away odor. It also kills any bacteria that may be causing the odor so it does more than just mask foul scents.
9. Alertness, Mood, and Memory – There are many essential oils that seem to have a stimulating effect on our memory, cognitive function, focus, and alertness. Peppermint, rosemary, and cinnamon are some of the best. We all know that our sense of smell and memory are tied closely together, but it seems we can use this to our advantage. Simply a whiff of cinnamon boosts alertness and even improves mood.
10. Antioxidant – Cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant, beating out most other spices in this category. This means cinnamon protects the body against free radicals that lead to premature aging, cancer, and other damage.
11. Weight Control – Cinnamon improves circulation, thins blood, and manages blood sugar levels. This results in fewer sugar cravings so you eat less and can more readily control your calorie intake.
12. Tooth and Gum Health – Cinnamon is a common ingredient in many chewing gums and mouthwashes for good reason. The antibacterial nature of cinnamon helps protect teeth and gums from damage and improves breath too. Try oil pulling with a drop of cinnamon oil in coconut oil or simply sip lightly sweetened cinnamon tea.
13. Insect Repellant – Cinnamon’s pest control abilities don’t stop at the microbe level. It repels many insects too. Place a few cinnamon sticks in your closet to keep moths away. Sprinkle a line of ground cinnamon in front of doorways to keep pests from coming in. And spray 1% diluted essential oils onto clothing, hair, and even skin to repel mosquitos and other biting insects. Use a 5% concentration in doorways, windowsills, and in front of garages.
14. Food Preservative – Since cinnamon repels pests and kills bacteria, it makes a pretty good food preservative. Add it to recipes you want to keep a little longer in your fridge or sprinkle a little cinnamon dust into your bread bag to prevent mold. Cinnamon lined packaging is even in the works.
15. Arthritis – Cinnamon improves circulation and has a warming effect that people with arthritis feel eases their symptoms. There aren’t many studies that back this up yet, but the anecdotal evidence is still encouraging that this spice may play a role in reducing pain and inflammation.
16. PMS and Infertility – Manganese, which cinnamon is rich in, reduces mood swings and cramps during PMS and cinnamaldehyde, an active compound in cinnamon, can help balance hormones.