Uses and Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon used to be worth more than gold. While most of us would rather have 24 karats than 24 ounces these days, it turns out that this fragrant tree bark may be more valuable than gold in terms of health advantages.
While preliminary studies on cinnamon is promising, more well-designed human trials are still needed. However, there are a few health benefits that appear to be very promising (and it certainly doesn’t harm to use this spice to season your food). An extra dash of cinnamon could be part of a plan to combat common diseases like diabetes and pain management.
We enlisted the help of a number of health experts to help us separate fact from fiction when it came to one of our favorite spices. We double-checked each claim and combed through the most recent research to bring you the most comprehensive information on cinnamon’s health benefits.
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Cinnamon has been used as a medicine throughout history.
Cinnamon has been used as a medicine in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for millennia. Because of its digestive and gastrointestinal benefits, cinnamon has long been used as a home remedy for heartburn, indigestion, and nausea.
A 2011 systematic review highlighted dozens of “folkloric” benefits of cinnamon, ranging from acne to premature ejaculation (and even possible uses as a snake repellant); many of these have yet to be confirmed by modern science.
What You Need to Know
Scientific research is complex and ever-changing. To demonstrate the benefits of any supplement, medicine, or food, researchers go through a lengthy process of testing in lab conditions first, then in animals. Only after human trials have confirmed alleged benefits can they be considered proven.
This is problematic in light of today’s “clickbait” media trends. Research that is far from conclusive is frequently cited as fact.
At Organic Authority, we distill ongoing research, examining both clinically proven benefits and promising, if not yet conclusive, studies. We update our guides on a regular basis to ensure that you always have access to the most recent research available.
8 Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon has been shown to aid in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.
Health benefits of Cinnamon have been related to type 2 diabetes, which is perhaps the most promising research. Although there is no cure for this metabolic disorder, cinnamon can help manage its symptoms.
Cinnamon can help control this disease in two ways, according to Lori Kenyon Farley, a Certified Nutrition Consultant who specializes in wellness, fitness, and anti-aging and is one of the experts behind Project Juice. “For patients with Type 2 diabetes, it can lower blood pressure and improve blood indicators,” she says. Cinnamon can also help with insulin resistance, which, according to Farley, “has been shown to lower fasting blood sugar levels by up to 29%, which can help with weight loss.”
Several studies have pointed to these potential benefits, including a 2016 review that found that cinnamon supplements, when used in conjunction with standard hypoglycemic medications, had “modest effects” on Fasting Plasma Glucose and HbA1c, though the authors noted that “larger and more rigorous” studies were needed.
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Cinnamon has been shown to aid in the treatment of metabolic disorders.
It should come as no surprise that if cinnamon may help with type 2 diabetes, it can help with metabolic disease management as well. Cinnamon was reported to be useful in lowering blood pressure, plasma glucose, obesity, and dyslipidemia in a 2016 research review. However, while the potential benefits of cinnamon consumption are intriguing, more well-designed subject trials are required before definitive conclusions can be formed.
Cinnamon, because of its naturally sweet taste, can also be used as an appetite suppressant for people who have a sugar addiction.
Cinnamon has the potential to lower your bad cholesterol levels (or LDL).
Even if you don’t have diabetes or metabolic syndrome, you should add cinnamon to your diet for many of the same reasons.
According to Parikh, a number of factors contribute to the improvement of Type 2 diabetes symptoms, including “improving serum glucose, lowering fasting blood glucose, and reducing triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol.” These are all advantages that can benefit people who aren’t diabetic, such as those who have hereditary cholesterol concerns or problems.
“It also raises HDL (the “good”) cholesterol,” she adds. LDL cholesterol is removed from the body by HDL cholesterol.
Not only that, but there’s a whole lot more. “Regular cinnamon consumption may also assist to attenuate the consequences of high-fat meals by reducing the rise in blood sugar after a meal,” Parikh says. This means that if you include cinnamon in your diet, the negative effects of infrequent high-fat foods may not be as harmful to your health as they would be otherwise.
Cinnamon is antibacterial.
Cinnamon has been shown to have antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties in foods: It’s no wonder that many sweet and savory recipes were seasoned with the spice throughout the Middle Ages, when food spoiling was significantly more common due to a lack of refrigeration.
But cinnamon’s benefits aren’t limited to the foods it season. According to our specialists, cinnamon can be utilized as part of a treatment for everything from lung difficulties to the common cold.
Cinnamon, according to Denise Baron, a wellness expert and director of Ayurveda for Modern Living, can aid with a variety of lung congestion difficulties. “It helps cleanse mucous and stimulates circulation,” she continues, implying that when used in conjunction with other medicines, it can help with everything from a mild seasonal cough to bronchitis.
These advantages were underlined in a study that found evidence that cinnamon can suppress bacteria by destroying cell membranes and changing their lipid composition, among other things. However, while first findings are encouraging, more well-designed trials are required before clear advantages can be demonstrated.
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Cinnamon has the potential to aid with HIV treatment.
Cinnamon has antibacterial characteristics that extend to viruses, suggesting that it could aid in the treatment or prevention of HIV.
According to Parikh, “research suggests that cinnamon extract may aid in the fight against HIV by stopping the virus from entering cells.” “As a result, cinnamon extract may be useful in HIV treatment.”
According to a 2016 study published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS One, a cinnamon-derived chemical can block viral entrance, making it one of the most promising techniques to preventing HIV from progressing to AIDS, according to the study. To confirm this benefit conclusively, more human trials are needed.
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Cinnamon may be used to treat candidiasis.
Cinnamon’s antimicrobial qualities also include fungi, making it a possible treatment for candidiasis. While cinnamon has been found to have efficacy against Candida in in vitro experiments, human efforts, including a pilot study in five HIV-positive patients with oral candidiasis, have yielded conflicting results, according to a 2011 review. It will take more clinical research to confirm these benefits definitively.
Cinnamon is a natural anti-inflammatory agent.
Cinnamon ingestion may lower both systemic and localized inflammation, but further human trials are needed to prove these claims. According to Parekh, the first is especially significant in the Western world.
“Systemic inflammation is a prevalent problem in the West that has led to the development of chronic disease,” she says. This systemic inflammation can be considerably lowered by adding cinnamon to one’s daily diet.”
Cinnamon is an insect repellant that comes from nature.
Anecdotal evidence suggests cinnamon is a natural insect repellent, and a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Entomology in 2013 indicated that cinnamon essential oil, along with eucalyptus and star anise, may be effective natural insect repellents, particularly against certain mites. The benefits of the oils, however, “demand additional study,” according to the study’s authors.
It’s possible that we’re only scratching the surface. Cinnamon has long been regarded in Chinese medicine and Ayurveda for its near superpowers, with it being used to treat colds, indigestion, and cramps, as well as anti-clotting capabilities and cognitive function and memory benefits. Cinnamon was also thought to improve energy, vigor, and circulation in these communities.
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