How To Use Cinnamon For Its Amazing Health Benefits

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Cinnamon is a versatile spice with a rich history. It has been used for centuries for its distinct flavour and impressive health benefits. Derived from the bark of Cinnamomum trees, cinnamon bark is harvested after the tree has matured. This bark can be sold as is (cinnamon sticks/quills) or made into powder. In this blog, we cover some of these health benefits and show you how to use cinnamon at home.

Historically, cinnamon has been used to support health in many cultures, such as traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and Western herbal medicine. There is even documentation that medieval herbalists used it for coughs and sore throats. In a practical sense, it was also used to help preserve food due to its high antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, which could stop food-spoiling bacteria from growing. 

Cinnamon is still widely used and loved today. It is also a key component in perfume and is used in aromatherapy to help with fatigue and irritability. We use this amazing spice in our Throat Spray to help with oral health and throat discomfort and in our Immunity Tonic to help with circulation and supporting the respiratory and digestive system. Here are some ways you can use cinnamon at home.

how-to-use-cinnamon

How much cinnamon should I use?

If you want to know how to use cinnamon at home, you probably also want to know how much to use in order to experience its health benefits. And this depends on the form:

Tea/infusion: Up to 3 cups a day
Tincture: 1.5ml - 3 times a day
Powder: 2- 4gm a day (around a teaspoon)

High doses of cinnamon can be toxic due to the coumarin content found in cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia). Topically, cinnamon should not be used on children under two years of age due to the active constituent called carvacrol, which can be irritating to the skin. A little goes a long way. 

cinnamon-tea


Here are 5 health benefits of cinnamon


1. Cinnamon is high in antioxidants 

Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols, which protect the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Free radical damage can occur from the environment (e.g. sunburn), from your diet or from inflammation. Antioxidants are crucial in helping to reduce the risk of chronic conditions and promoting overall health.


2. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties

Chronic inflammation is the root cause of many conditions. Acute inflammation helps as a protective method when we injure ourselves; however, chronic long-term inflammation can lead to poor health and fatigue, as the body struggles to heal and expends a lot of energy to get back to baseline health.

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Cinnamon contains compounds like cinnamaldehyde that have potent anti-inflammatory effects. Cinnamon is used in Ayurveda when there is congestion (excess mucus or fluid). It helps support and move circulation and helps with digestion.

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Cinnamon can also be a key component in supporting gastric inflammation. Cinnamaldehyde, has been shown to help with inflammation from Helicobacter pylori infections.

3. Cinnamon can help to regulate blood sugar levels

Cinnamon has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels, making it an excellent addition to the diet for those managing blood sugar imbalances, PCOS, diabetes or looking to maintain stable energy levels. It can help slow the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract, reducing the spike in blood sugar after meals.

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4. Cinnamon can support heart health

Cinnamon's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may contribute to heart health by reducing the risk of heart disease. It has been found to lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides while maintaining or even improving levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.

5.  Cinnamon has antimicrobial properties

Cinnamon has natural antimicrobial properties that can help fight bacterial and fungal infections. It has been particularly effective against Candida yeast infections and certain strains of bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli. Cinnamon has been used to help with food preservation for years due to its antimicrobial abilities.

How to use cinnamon at home

Cinnamon tea - Boil a stick of cinnamon in water for 10 minutes, strain, and enjoy a warm cup of cinnamon tea. You can add a bit of honey or a slice of lemon for extra flavour. Another option is leaving it to cool and then having it as infused water throughout the day.

Cinnamon tincture - Knowing how to use cinnamon in a tincture is a great way to utilise its health benefits. Fill a small jar (250ml capacity) with ¼ cup cinnamon chips or use broken up cinnamon sticks. Top with vodka, label the jar and leave for one month. Shake it every day. Strain into a clean bottle and use as required. You only need a small amount of cinnamon tincture, so start small with ½ -1ml. You can add to water as a mouth gargle or add to hot drinks. 

Smoothies - Add half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to your morning smoothie to increase the antioxidant content.

Add it to your porridge - Sprinkle ground cinnamon over your rolled oats, cereal or banana on toast. A tasty and easy way to provide some anti-inflammatory benefits.

Add it to soups and stews - Add a cinnamon stick to your soups or stews while they simmer to infuse a lovely flavour as well as helping to support digestion.

Baked goods - Incorporate cinnamon into your baking recipes. Try adding it to bread, muffins, or cookies.

Yoghurt - Mix a teaspoon of cinnamon into a bowl of plain yogurt for a high protein, delicious and healthy snack.

Spiced nuts - Coat nuts (which contain natural healthy fats) with a mixture of honey or maple syrup and cinnamon, then bake for a heart-healthy snack. You can add the nuts to cereal, yoghurt or salads.

Coffee - Add a pinch of cinnamon to your coffee grounds before brewing to enjoy the added health benefits. Interestingly cinnamon is added to cappuccinos to help coffee taste sweeter without sugar. 

Cinnamon oil - Mix a few drops of cinnamon essential oil with a carrier oil (like coconut oil) or add it into a balm or moisturiser to help with skin irritation. Always perform a patch test first to ensure no skin reactions, and do not apply to broken skin.

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