Ceylon Cinnamon: This Warming Spice is Extraordinary for Health

Ceylon Cinnamon: This Warming Spice is Extraordinary for Health

Posted on 21. Sep, 2016 by in Articles, Nutrition

We’re all familiar with the fragrant aroma and sweet flavor of cinnamon. Once considered more precious than gold, cinnamon was historically regarded as a gift fit for a king. The ancient Egyptians used cinnamon as an essential ingredient in the embalming process. Cinnamon was also valued in China, where it was mentioned in one of the earliest books on Chinese botanical medicine dating to around 2700 BCE.

Today, cinnamon is widely used to add warmth and spice to foods, and its oil is commonly used as a flavoring agent in personal health and cosmetic products. It can also be taken in supplemental form for its health-promoting properties.

What are the Benefits?

Cinnamon has been used throughout history in cases of arthritis, asthma, insomnia, psoriasis, menstrual problems, and fever. While science supports some of these uses, recent studies are showing consistently promising results for cinnamon’s benefits for blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. One study of 60 individuals with type 2 diabetes found that 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon taken daily for 40 days helped to reduce fasting glucose, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol. There were no clear changes in those who did not take cinnamon.

In addition to its effects on blood sugar, cinnamon helps to relieve diarrhea and nausea and helps enhance digestion, especially the metabolism of fats.

Why Take a Supplement?

Add Ceylon cinnamon liberally to your favorite recipes; however, it is unlikely that you’ll experience benefits to blood sugar from a daily sprinkle on your oatmeal. Taken consistently and as directed, a Ceylon cinnamon supplement will provide a therapeutic dose to help maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

Dosage and Considerations

There are two main forms of cinnamon, Cassia and Ceylon. Although related, cinnamon and Cassia are not obtained from the same plant. Cassia cinnamon is a source of coumarin, a naturally occurring compound that has the potential to damage the liver in high doses. Ceylon cinnamon, on the other hand, contains only trace or undetectable levels of coumarin. Look for supplements and culinary spices that contain Ceylon cinnamon, also called “true cinnamon.” Products containing Cassia are often referred to as “Chinese cinnamon” or “Saigon cinnamon.”

Cinnamon also contains moderate amounts of oxalate, another naturally occurring compound. If you’ve had kidney stones containing oxalate, talk to your health care practitioner before taking a cinnamon supplement. Cinnamon should not be taken in large amounts during pregnancy.

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