Cinnamon: Health Benefits, How to Use, Side Effects and More

In this blog, we’ll discuss the health advantages and uses of several forms of cinnamon and how cinnamon is harvested and preserved, and how to incorporate them into one’s diet. Keep reading to get insights into the world of cinnamon. 

What is Cinnamon? 

Cinnamon is a spice made from the leaves of the Cinnamomum species of trees. It’s the Caribbean and Southeast Asian, and South American native.

Since 2000 BC, people had used cinnamon in Ancient Egypt, when it was highly valued. In addition, doctors used it in medieval times to alleviate coughing, arthritis, and sore throats.

It is presently the second most popular spice in the United States and Europe, behind black pepper.

Cinnamon as a spice comes in the form of powder or complete bits of bark. Cinnamon essential oil and pills are also available.

According to some research, the chemicals in cinnamon have antioxidant, antibacterial qualities, antidiabetic, and anti-inflammatory and may protect against heart disease and cancer, among other things. More data is needed, however, to validate cinnamon’s benefits.

How is Cinnamon Harvested?

Step 01- Choose a tree that is at least two years old.

The tree from which cinnamon will be harvested should be at least two years old. After two years, you can chop the tree down to a stump and cover it with soil to produce fresh shoots.

Step 02- Cinnamon is easiest to collect after heavy rain.

The rain will soften the tree’s bark, making it easier to peel away the top layer. Cinnamon can be harvested at any time of year, although the process will be more straightforward if you wait until after the rain. You can harvest cinnamon typically twice a year, so don’t harvest it more than that to maintain the tree strong.

Step 03- The cinnamon layer should be cut into 3 in (7.6 cm) parts.

Cutting the cinnamon into 3 in will make working with the cinnamon a lot easier. Next, carefully cut around the circumference of the branch with a knife. When scoring the cinnamon, aim to cut it into three-inch (7.6-centimeter) portions along the stem. It would be best if you sliced cinnamon, not chopped through the branch.

Step 04- Scrape off the cinnamon in sheets with a paint scraper or equivalent instrument. 

Scrape upwards from one end of the scored line to remove the reddish-brown cinnamon. Using a paint scraper, peel the cinnamon in solid sheets as slowly as possible.

It’s OK if the cinnamon crumbles as you pull it off.

Step 05- Allow the cinnamon to dry in a clean, warm area.

Allow each slice of cinnamon to dry on a kitchen counter or other comparable surface. If desired, place plastic or paper towels on top of the cinnamon.

If at all feasible, dry the cinnamon in a single layer.

Step 06- Allow the cinnamon to dry for 4-5 days.

Cinnamon will coil up into small scroll-like structures as it dries. If you’re not sure whether the cinnamon is dry or not, let it sit for at least five days.

After the cinnamon has dried, you can split the pieces up.

Step 07- Roll up the cinnamon or grind it into a powder.

If you scraped off small pieces of cinnamon, ground them in a coffee grinder to make cinnamon powder. You can use longer cinnamon scrolls for drinks or recipes if you leave them curled up.

How Should Cinnamon be Stored?

Cinnamon should be kept in a cold, dry area. To keep the cinnamon out of hot, humid settings, put it on your shelves or in the pantry. To keep the cinnamon fresh, store it in airtight containers. 

To keep the flavor and aroma of cinnamon, store it in glass jars or plastic containers.

Cinnamon can be stored in a sealed container for up to two years, though it may lose its intense flavor and fragrance over time.

Forms of Cinnamon 

We can find cinnamon in a wide range of forms, including:

Quills

Roll-up chunks of cinnamon bark are deliciously steeped in tea, coffee, or hot cider or tossed into a slow cooker with meat.

Powder

The United States Department of Agriculture analysis shows that the most common cinnamon in kitchen cabinets is ground cinnamon bark, commonly used in breakfast meals like oats.

Essential Oil (Essential Oil)

Oils derived from the cinnamon tree’s bark, leaves, and root bark are utilized for their aroma, flavor, and therapeutic effects.

Extract

This solution is created by soaking cinnamon sticks in ethanol alcohol, straining off the particles, then flavoring with the residual liquid. You can buy it or manufacture it yourself.

Supplements

These are available in pill and capsule form, and you can use them for various therapeutic applications, including those listed above.

 

Benefits of Cinnamon 

Cinnamon is a highly delightful spice. For years, it has been treasured for its therapeutic powers. Finally, what people have understood for a long time has now been validated by modern science. 

Antioxidants

Antioxidants protect your body against free radical oxidative damage. Cinnamon came out on top in a study that assessed the antioxidant activity of 26 spices, even beating out “superfoods” like garlic and oregano.

Anti-Inflammatory

Inflammation is significant for all human beings. It helps in the fight against infections and the restoration of tissue damage.

However, it can become a concern when inflammation is continuous and directed against your body’s tissues. Cinnamon could be effective in this situation. This spice and its antioxidants have been shown in studies to have potent anti-inflammatory qualities.

It helps to Reduce the Risk for Heart Disease. 

Cinnamon has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Extensive review research published recently found that a daily intake of 120 milligrams of cinnamon can have these effects. In addition, according to this research, cinnamon also boosted levels of “good” HDL cholesterol in the blood. 

In animal experiments, cinnamon was shown to lower blood pressure. All of these characteristics, when combined, may significantly reduce your risk of heart disease.

It Improves Sensitivity to the Insulin Hormone 

Insulin resistance is a symptom of major illnesses such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

The good news is that cinnamon can significantly lower insulin resistance, allowing this crucial hormone to function more effectively (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).

Cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels through increasing insulin sensitivity, as detailed in the next chapter.

Lowering of Blood Sugar Levels

Cinnamon, for starters, has been demonstrated to reduce the quantity of glucose that enters your system following a meal. It accomplishes this by interfering with several digestive enzymes, slowing the digestion of carbs in your intestines.

Second, a chemical found in cinnamon can act on cells by imitating insulin. As a result, it boosts glucose uptake by your cells significantly; however, it does so at a far slower rate than insulin.

Cinnamon’s antidiabetic properties have been validated in numerous human trials, with results indicating that it can reduce fasting blood sugar levels by 10–29%.

Cinnamon helps in Inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. 

In neurodegenerative diseases, the brain cells’ structure or function gradually deteriorates over time. In the United States, the two significant types are Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

One of the defining characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease appears to be the build-up of a protein in the brain named tau.

Jasmine helped protect neurons, normalize neurotransmitter levels and enhance motor function in Parkinson’s disease mouse models. More research on these effects should be done on humans.

Prevents Cancer

It seems poisonous to cancer cells, leads to cell death, reduces the growth of cancer cells, and end the formation of new blood vessels in tumors.

According to research in mice with colon cancer, cinnamon is a potent inducer of detoxing enzymes in the colon and protects from further cancer growth.

Cinnamon May Aid in the Battle Against the HIV Virus

HIV is a virus which slowly weakens the immune system, eventually leading to AIDS if left untreated. 

Cinnamon derived from Cassia species is thought to be effective in the fight against HIV-1, the most prevalent strain of HIV in living beings.

Cinnamon was the most effective therapy of all 69 medicinal herbs studied in a laboratory of HIV-infected cells.

Human trials are required to confirm these research results.

Aids in the Fight Against Bacterial and Fungal Infectious diseases

Cinnamaldehyde, one of cinnamon’s primary active ingredients, may aid in the fight against various types of infection.

You can use cinnamon oil to treat fungi-caused respiratory infections successfully.

Cinnamon’s antimicrobial properties may also aid in the prevention of tooth decay and the reduction of bad breath.

There is a component in cinnamon that has significant medicinal properties.

Cinnamon is a well-known spice, and it contains a high concentration of cinnamaldehyde, which is assumed to be responsible for most of cinnamon’s medical benefits.

Cinnamon is now inexpensive, widely available in supermarkets, and used in various foods and recipes.

Side Effects of Cinnamon

Allergies and irritation 

Cinnamon has almost no known side effects. However, excessive use may irritate your mouth and lips, resulting in sores. In addition, it causes allergic reactions in certain persons. Finally, if you apply it to your skin, it may cause irritation and redness.

Toxicity 

Cassia cinnamon can be harmful if consumed in large quantities, especially if you have liver problems. In addition, coumarin – a compound found in several cinnamon products – may cause liver damage when consumed in small doses.

Do not use cinnamon to treat children, pregnant women, or breastfeeding women due to a lack of data about its safety.

Lower your blood sugar levels.

Cinnamon supplements may impact blood sugar levels; therefore, your therapy may need to be adjusted if you have diabetes and take cinnamon supplements.

Interactions.

If you use any medications daily, consult your doctor before beginning to consume cinnamon supplements. Antibiotics, diabetes medications, blood thinners, heart medications, and other medications may be affected.

Doses

The right dose of Ceylon cinnamon is determined by several factors, including the user’s age, health, and other circumstances. Unfortunately, there is currently insufficient scientific evidence to define an optimum dosing range for Ceylon cinnamon. 

Remember that natural products aren’t always safe and that dosages are crucial. So please consult a pharmacist or other healthcare professional before taking.

Precautions 

Pregnancy:

When eaten in food proportions, Ceylon cinnamon is LIKELY SAFE to consume during pregnancy. When eaten in proportions more extraordinary than those found in foods during pregnancy, Ceylon cinnamon is LIKELY UNSAFE. Avoid overeating.

Breast-feeding:

Ceylon cinnamon is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in food proportions while breastfeeding. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough information about the safety of using greater doses. Avoid overeating. 

Surgery:

Ceylon cinnamon can alter blood pressure and blood sugar levels, making blood pressure and blood sugar regulation difficult before and after surgery. Therefore, you should avoid taking cinnamon for at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Where to Buy? 

Cinnamon powder and products are available in the following places- 

Online Stores 

Grocery Stores 

Mountain Rose Herb

Bulk Supplements

Conclusion 

Cinnamon Spice is one of the world’s most delicious and healthiest spices. It has several health advantages if you take in the correct quantity. So pleases make sure to consult your doctor if you have any health issues. 

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