Cinnamon is the bark of the cinnamon tree. There is actually only one true Cinnamon. It is more expensive and harder to find than the "cinnamon" you find at the store. It is called Ceylon Cinnamon, more common names include Real Cinnamon and Sweet Cinnamon. This is the variety I use because it has the most health benefits.
The "standard" Cinnamon you find at the store is not actually Cinnamon - it's Cassia. There are three varieties of cassia and they include: Saigon cinnamon, Chinese cinnamon, and Indonesian or Korintje cinnamon. Saigon is the spiciest of the three and Indonesian is the least spicy. Ceylon cinnamon is produced in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, India, Brazil, and the Caribbean. Cassia primarily comes from Indonesia, China, and Vietnam.
The Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is not only a spice, it has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. It was more valuable than gold and used in ancient Egypt as a spice, a medicine, and an embalming agent. Laboratory tests have found that cinnamon may fight bacteria, control blood sugar, reduce inflammation, have antioxidant effects, help with weight loss and digestion, and prevent cancer.
Cinnamon for Skin and Body
Cinnamon is Antibacterial, Antiviral, Antifungal, and Anti-inflammatory, and Antioxidant.
Cinnamon's antimicrobial properties are so powerful that it is can be used as a food preservative.
Teeth & Gums
Cinnamon’s antimicrobial action helps to prevent cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. It also helps to relieve tooth pain and sore gum tissues.
Cinnamon is an effective odor neutralizer because it kills the bacteria that create the odor.
Due to the warming quality of cinnamon, it can be used to relax muscles and relieve pain. Combine a few drops with a carrier oil to make a great massage oil for tired muscles and body aches.
Cinnamon’s antifungal properties help to killing the fungus that causes athletes foot fungus.
Cinnamon can be used to repel mosquitos and ants, and kill head lice treatment and bed bugs.
Cinnamon’s Health Benefits
Cinnamon contains Manganese, Fiber, Iron, and Calcium. One teaspoon of Cinnamon contains 16% daily value of Manganese, 4% daily value of Iron, and 2% daily value of Calcium.
Blood Sugar Regulation
Studies have found that Cinnamon helps to regulate blood sugar. Ceylon Cinnamon is the variety that most helps with blood sugar regulation. It’s properties assist those with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. It is also an excellent benefit to anyone, since blood sugar spikes compromise immune function, cause fat storage, and can cause heart disease and cancer. When added to higher-glycemic meals, it will help stabilize blood sugar by slowing the rate at which the rate at which the stomach processes through food.
Cinnamon increases blood circulation; and therefore, helps boost metabolism.
Cinnamon is one of the top seven antioxidants, with a high ORAC value of 267536 μmol TE/100g (USDA 2007).
Cold & Flu
I like to combine cinnamon with plenty of fresh ginger and a little spring water, blend, strain and drink whenever I feel run down or there’s illness going around. Its antimicrobial properties help kill illness and its warming properties bring oxygen to the blood, helping to boost immunity.
Cinnamon has shown to fight yeast infections. Both E-coli bacteria and Candida albicans fungus can be treated with Cinnamon Oil.
Similar to ginger, cinnamon aids digestion. It stimulates gastric juices, helps reduce bloating and cramps, and it kills bacteria in the Gastro-Intestinal tract.
Research shows that sugar can be responsible for causing and promoting cancer cells, so it’s blood sugar regulation can help with prevention. It’s antioxidant activity and its chemical properties, Eugenol and Cinnamaldehyde can also help fight cancer.
Ceylon Cinnamon vs Cassia
Besides all of the properties above, which are associated with Ceylon Cinnamon, another reason to consume Ceylon Cinnamon over Cassia, is that Cassia contains Coumarin, which thins the blood. This can be hepful for those with heart disease. But, used in high quantities, coumarin can cause liver damage. Cassia contains 4% coumarin and Ceylon Cinnamon contains 0.04% coumarin.
How much Cinnamon do I take?
In order for cinnamon to have the therapeutic health benefits mentioned, it is recommended to take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (Ceylon) per day.