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January 28, 2016

By Ariadne Weinberg, Contributing Columnist








Cinnamon is a sweet, nostalgic spice. Particularly for those of
us on the North American continent because we put it in our
most beloved desserts and drinks. It is a common pairing
with apples, and often goes in cider or on top of pie. But it
adds a certain pleasant intensity to almost everything sweet
or savory, including chocolate, coffee, and of course, French
toast.


Now popular and omnipresent in many parts of the world,
cinnamon was first adopted thousands of years ago. The
Egyptians used cinnamon for embalming, potions, perfumes,
incense, and anointing oils. Cinnamon was even mentioned
in the Old Testament, originating from the Hebrew
"kinnamon", which possibly stemmed from the Malay or
Indonesian term "kayamanis", meaning “sweet wood.” In
Bible stories, cinnamon appeared as an anointing oil or as a
token of affection between lovers or friends.


As well as being a culinary delight, cinnamon has been used
for practical and medicinal purposes as well. The Romans
used to burn cinnamon in their funeral pyres to subdue the
smell of burning bodies. Later, cinnamon was a practical
meat preservative and flavor additive.

Cinnamon was also a status symbol for the European elite.
In the middle ages, cinnamon was believed to aid in
indigestion and was thought to be antiseptic. An old recipe
from the Middle Ages called “thieves oil” included cinnamon
bark, lemon oil, and eucalyptus. Cinnamon supposedly
originated from thieves who stole dead bodies and never got
sick. Nowadays, it's more used as a hand wash, to keep
bacteria away, although surely thieves could still benefit
from it.


Today, we are rediscovering the power of cinnamon and
cinnamon oil for their various curative properties. Here are 7
you may not know:






























1.  
Cinnamon Protects Your Teeth


Cinnamon oil makes your teeth happy.  Scientists recently
discovered that cinnamon is one of the most effective oils for
killing the bacteria found in oral cavities.

In 2012, Chaudari CK and researchers at the department of
Oral Medicine and Radiology in India tested antimicrobial
activity of commercially available essential oils against
Streptococcus mutans (a group of bacteria found in the
mouth that often contributes to tooth decay).

Cinnamon oil turned out to be the winner amongst eight
other essential oils, including wintergreen oil, lime oil,
spearmint oil, peppermint oil, lemongrass oil, cedarwood oil,
clove oil and eucalyptus oil. Gargling with cinnamon sounds
like a delicious way to prevent tooth decay and other
bacterial mouth infections.



2.
Fight Dangerous Infections with Cinnamon


One of the biggest modern health problems is the presence
of bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics.

Researchers have been experimenting with different
essential oils to discover alternatives to treating infections.

One of the most dangerous kinds of bacteria is the
methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) because
it can cause severe soft tissue, bone or implant infections.

A 2009 study by Patrick H. Warnke of Griffith University in
Brisbane, Australia tested the effects of various essential oils
on 6 Staphylococcus strains including MRSA, 4 Streptococcus
strains, and 3 Candida strains including Candida krusei.

They found that cinnamon oil (along with thyme white,
lemon, and lemongrass) were the most effective in inhibiting
bacteria. Cinnamon could be a powerful fighter against many
hospital-acquired infections.




3.
Wake Up Your Brain with Cinnamon


Looking to connect those neurons just a little more quickly?
Cinnamon has been shown to improve cognitive function.

A 2015 study conducted by students Phillip Zoladz and Sarah
Lilley from the Wheeling Jesuit University found that simply
smelling cinnamon improves attentional processes, virtual
recognition memory, working memory, and visual-motor
response speed.

This could be a huge advantage for those who have text
anxiety, as inhaling the spice can relieve tension and boost
memory.  Cinnamon also has the potential to improve the
quality of life of the elderly and benefit patients with
diseases that lead to cognitive decline. Thanks for keeping us
sharp, cinnamon.


4.
Ease your Pain with Cinnamon


Before popping a few ibuprofen, see what happens with
cinnamon.

Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory, so it can aid in all different
kinds of pain, including stiffness of muscles and joints,
headaches caused by colds, and menstrual cramps.

It turns out that not only can cinnamon essential oil aid in
memory, cognition, and staying calm, it can also help with
period pain and discomfort.

In a 2013 study lead by Marzouk TM from the Department of
Maternity and Gynecology of Nursing in Mansoura University,
Egypt, researchers studied aromatherapy with essential oils.
They took a group of 48 women with Dysmenorrhea (the
technical term for menstrual discomfort), and tested them
seven days prior to menstruation.

They gave them a daily abdominal massage with a mix of
aromatherapy oils, including cinnamon, clove, rose, and
lavender in a base of almond oil. The 47 women in the
control group were given the same treatment, but only with
a placebo of almond oil. In addition to reducing menstrual
pain, the aromatherapy treatment actually reduced bleeding,
as well.

So, ladies, next time you feel those symptoms of PMS, try a
cinnamon oil massage.



5.
Cinnamon Speeds Up Your Metabolism

In recent years, both obesity and diabetes have become
epidemic.

The World Health Organization has grouped the factors
associated with these into what they call “
metabolic
syndrome” (MetS). This often comes from a diet high in fat,
simple sugars, and a sedentary lifestyle.

In 2015, Cicero AF and researchers at the Diseases Research
Center at the University of Bologna, Italy, found that many
phytochemicals improved the factors associated with
metabolic syndrome.

Cinnamon products were tested, including cinnamaldehyde,
cinnamic acid and other cinnamon phytochemicals. A little bit
of cinnamon in your coffee could spice it up (literally) and
help you burn fat (and process sugars) throughout the day.


6.
Cinnamon Helps Regulate Diabetes


Cinnamon's ability to boost metabolism gives it special
powers for those with
Type II (adult onset) diabetes.

With Type II diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin, but
the body can't use it efficiently to break down blood sugar.
This is where cinnamon can step in to help metabolize the
sugar.

A study in 2000, performed by Richard A. Anderson and
Marilyn Polansky at the Nutrients Requirements and
Functions Laboratory in Baltimore found that cinnamon
increases insulin's ability to metabolize glucose, helping
blood sugar levels stay stable.

Anderson and his colleagues discovered that the main active
compound in cinnamon, "methylhydroxy chalcone polymer
(MHCP)", enhanced glucose metabolism by 20 times when
tested on fat cells.

This has huge implications for modern health, since almost
six percent of the U.S. population is estimated to have
diabetes, and the majority with type II. Cinnamon products
could be a valuable asset in the prevention and cure.



7.
Cinnamon Calms Your Stomach


Have a little cinnamon after a big meal. Research has shown
that it improves digestion by breaking up intestinal gas and it
also slows down digestion.

A 2007 study at Malmo University Hospital in Sweden lead by
Joanna Hlebowicz, M.D. showed that eating pudding with 3
teaspoons of cinnamon slowed down the movement of food
from the stomach into the small intestine (a part of digestion
called “gastric emptying”).

Any after-dinner dessert or tea with cinnamon could be a
great way to bond with friends while you leisurely digest
your food.






































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/
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Waist / Ideal Weight for Women / Swollen Ankles -Causes
and Cures /Tight Bras and Briefs-Health Dangers /Are Diet
Sodas Bad for Your Health?
Bowel Color-What It Means/ Urine Color-What It Means


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Cinnamon slows down your
digestion and reduces gas, which
helps to control weight gain and
bloating.