Though not approved by the FDA, yet Cinnamon is trusted worldwide for its medical benefits, improving health conditions and its nutritional value. By type, it’s a spice obtained from the bark of the tree genus named Cinnamomum, and is named as “true cinnamon”. However, in trade, similar types are generated from related families, and are termed as “cassia”. Learn more the spice and its benefits below:
Cinnamon is mentioned as a useful spice since centuries and has aged with times to come up with new benefits and usages. Worldwide, it’s basically distinguished into four major variants, as mentioned below. However, many other insignificant variants are also recognized.
• Cassia (mentioned above): the inner bark of the Cinnamomum genus coming from Arabia and Ethiopia.
• True cinnamon: the inner bark of C. verum genus coming from Sri Lanka.
• Malabathrum (or malobathrum, derived from Sanskrit): the inner bark of the C. tamala genus coming from North India.
• Serichatum: the inner bark of the C. cassia genus coming from China.
Major Usage: As a spice
Cinnamon is widely used as a spice, both for sweet and savoury products. Its major importer, Mexico, uses it for chocolate preparation, however, it’s also used in preparing candies, doughnuts, apple pie, Indian sweets such as kheer, and the most popular cinnamon buns. It is used for flavoring tea, coffee and hot cocoa.
In savoury, it’s often used for flavoring dishes, especially made out of lamb or chicken. It’s used in Persian and Turkish cuisine, as well as in the U.S. where is often used in the form of powder. It is also popularly used in Europe for preparing alcoholic beverages, majorly towards Greece. It’s also said to have medical properties, though no evidence of it has been brought forward by any research studies till date.
Benefits of Cinnamon:
Power-packed with magnesium, fiber and calcium, its benefits are as follows:
1. Stomach Flu: Cinnamon has anti-bacterial elements and is a great help during stomach flu. You can also consume it in the form of cinnamon tea. It is also helpful in yeast infection.
2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome: It is a natural reliever from IBS and helps you to calm down bloating and takes care of your GI tract as well.
3. Blood Sugar: Variations in blood sugar can be controlled with cinnamon, especially in Type 2 diabetes. Try Cassia Cinnamon for better results.
4. Major diseases like Cancer: There are chances that you can also fight health situations like Gastric Cancer, Tumors and Melanomas. It has anti-oxidants which reduces the growth of free radicals, which causes cancer majorly. It is also effective in toenail fungus.
5. Weight Loss: Cinnamon is also helpful in weight loss as it’s an effective metabolism booster.
6. Anti-bacterial properties: Cinnamon has proved to have anti-bacterial qualities, and therefore is used majorly in Asian countries especially Sri Lanka to preserve food, with turmeric and chili.
7. Extended use of its anti-bacterial qualities: It also acts as an effective natural disinfectant and can be used to clean sinks, refrigerators, bathrooms, etc. It’s used to eliminate bad and foul smell, for example placing 2-3 sticks in the dustbin can really help. You can also use the oil to sweep floors, etc.
8. Cosmetic usage: A pinch of its powder can be diluted in lukewarm water and can be used to wash your face/body to get rid of germs. You can also gargle with its boiled water to avoid tooth decay. Use cinnamon oil to massage your body; this will relieve you of muscle pain.
9. Cognitive Development: Though vaguely proven, it can also be used for cognitive development. Some studies throw some light on how its consumption helps you to sharpen your memory as well. It’s also recommended for Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. It’s now being used for aiding ADHD too.
10. Everyday Use: It’s a warm spice and therefore is widely recommended in winters to keep cold, cough and sore throat at bay. It’s also a virus fighter and can be helpful in conditions like Herpes. Its consumption is also effective for arthritis and PMS patients. Its tea can help you calm down depression and reduce irritability.