search
Health Insiders
Cinnamon – A Seasonal Craving with [Powerful] Health Benefits

Cinnamon – A Seasonal Craving with [Powerful] Health Benefits

Cinnamon is a flavorful, aromatic, antioxidant-rich spice. Let's take a peek at all the remarkable health benefits and traditions in which this distinctive spice is put to the test.

Cinnamon

Does Cinnamon have Health Benefits? Photo via Shutterstock

All around town, the deep mellow flavor and distinct aroma of cinnamon are abundant in corner coffee shops and pretty bakeries.

My personal go-to drink this time of year is my homemade Chai tea. The warm generous spices, especially cinnamon, are a delight to my morning palette.

In my humble opinion, almost nothing is more enticing than the aroma of cinnamon wafting through a cozy kitchen.

Harvesting Cinnamon

During harvest, branches from tropical evergreen trees[1] are chopped off. The outer bark is peeled away revealing an inner bark of the wondrous cinnamon. This is aptly called, cinnamon bark or sweet wood.

As the thin layer of brown bark dries, it coils into the familiar spiral which you purchase from your local grocer. Grinding turns the bark into the rich brown powder that you commonly use in drinks, baked goods, and sachets.

Powerful Oil

That familiar smell and flavor come from an oil called cinnamaldehyde. This oil is actually bottled as an essential oil. It is an ancient oil known for numerous health benefits.

As our culture looks for healthier options personalizing health, the popularity and knowledge of using essential oils are on the rise.

Major essential oil companies all have their own special brand of cinnamon oil or an oil blend using cinnamon.

Cinnamon essential oil is known as a natural health remedy. It is commonly used for limiting the duration of a cold and soothing a sore throat[2]. The warm brown spice is packed with antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties.

It is interesting to note that Cinnamon Essential Oil can be attained from either the tree’s outer bark or its leaves. The two main varieties[3] are:

  • Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
  • Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil
  • Using a diffuser is a wonderful way to use this warm spicy oil. Breathing the oil is known as aromatherapy. This can diminish feelings of depression, faintness, and exhaustion. This oil is known to boost immunity.

    A cinnamon essential oil can be used topically[3]. You can easily mix the cinnamon essential oil with jojoba oil and place it into a rollerball application. Rolling it onto your skin is known to alleviate aches, pains, and stiffness in muscles and joints. It addresses acne, rashes, and skin infections.

    Did you know that you can also use cinnamon oil to nourish the skin, slow the look of aging, and boost overall skin tone?

    Two Types of Cinnamon

    Not all cinnamons are created equal. Ceylon is beneficial regarded for its lighter, more complex flavor found in Sri Lanka.

    Cassia is a cheap lesser version grown in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia[1]. In America, the FDA allows for both kinds to be listed as cinnamon.

    Ceylon has wonderful wellness benefits. But, more than a teaspoon of Cassia daily might lead to liver toxicity and damage the kidney because of its coumarin content. Be savvy reading the back label choosing Ceylon cinnamon.

    Ethnic markets and local grocery stores sell both varieties. Select organically grown Ceylon for the healthiest option.

    Health Benefits

    This earthy spice is a champion known for balancing blood sugar. It slows the release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream.

    In fact, in a recent Pubmed article, it showed that Ceylon cinnamon can lower blood sugar by an impressive 29%.

    This magical effect on blood glucose levels can also assist your body in ultimately losing weight. One teaspoon contains 1.6 grams of fiber. This can help you increase a feeling of fullness at meals encouraging weight loss.

    Did you know that Anti-inflammatory properties are present in cinnamon?

    In this study[4], it was shown that spices demonstrated a high antioxidant capacity. It is full of polyphenols which is why it is antioxidant-rich.

    Interestingly, it has been used as a tooth powder to treat toothaches [5]. It assists dental problems by reducing oral microbiota and bad breath. For this reason, it’s a popular ingredient in chewing gum.

    If you are having a struggle with lowering your triglycerides and cholesterol, it can help. This study showed that triglycerides dropped by a whopping 23 to 30% by consuming 1/2 a teaspoon for 40 days.

    According to Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, having a stick soaked in warm water with a few drops of honey about two or three times a day can help clear a sore throat and cold.

    Culinary Uses

    Throughout the world, this warm earthy alluring spice is tucked away in kitchen cupboards everywhere.

    From the most exclusive culinary kitchens to small rustic cabins. In fact, it is recognized in nearly all cultures worldwide[6].

    It has a long history of culinary uses, adding spice to desserts, entrees, and hot drinks. Here are some fantastic and interesting edible uses.

    • Baking with cinnamon in homemade cakes and biscuits.
    • Sprinkle it on apple crumble or pie.
    • It can be used in a recipe for mulled wine.
    • Dust your yogurt, chia seed pudding, or whipping cream with cinnamon.
    • Sprinkle it into tea or coffee.
    • Boil a stick with warm milk.
    • Added it to plain rice dishes.
    • For an interesting back note, use it in hot meat dishes or Indian rice ‘pulao’ dishes.
    • Ground cinnamon is a considerable addition to fruit desserts.
    • When the butter is melting on your hot breakfast french toast, dust it with cinnamon.
    • Add a sprinkle to top warm rice pudding.
    • It is delectable in marinades for beef or lamb.
    • It offers a unique taste when added to black beans.

    Storing

    The sticks should be stored in a glass container and kept in the refrigerator for the best level of freshness.

    The cool dark place preserves the quality of the bark. Make sure the lid is secured tightly, eliminating moisture.

    For optimal shelf life, fresh ground cinnamon can be kept either in the freezer or the refrigerator. It can be kept up to about 6 months in a cupboard without refrigeration.

    The best source of freshness is, of course, your nose!

    Household Recipes

    1. The Scent of the Season: In a reusable squirt bottle, combine water with a few drops of cinnamon essential oil. Spray this throughout your home to eliminate odor.
    1. Massage Magic: This lovely oil can aid in a relaxing massage. Combine 1⁄2 cup almond or jojoba oil, 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon oil and 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract in a clean container. Shake gently. To soften skin, this oil is especially nice added into a warm bath as well.
    1. Stomach Soother: Like ginger, it contains catechins, which can assist in relieving nausea. To make cinnamon tea, boil 1 teaspoon cinnamon bark in a cup of water for about 8 minutes. Strain and drink while it’s warm.
    1. Cinnamon Cleaner: Here’s a recipe to make a gorgeous wintry-scented all-purpose cleaner. In a large reusable spray bottle, combine 1-1⁄2 cups pure white vinegar, 1-1⁄2 cups water, and 30 drops cinnamon essential oil.

    Home Infused

    Sending the cinnamon aroma spilling into the nooks and crannies throughout your home is easy. Your home is certain to smell like the holidays!

    Here are some lovely ideas.

    • Sprinkle a small amount of powdered cinnamon into boiling water on the stovetop and then simmer. Spice up your kitchen aroma even more by adding cloves, nutmeg, orange peels, and a bit of anise.
    • Dust the top of your candles with powdered cinnamon.
    • Add a dash of cinnamon to wax in your favorite candle warmer.
    • Naturally permeate your entire kitchen by baking with this warm dark spice.
    • Place it in a ceramic pot near your fireplace, radiator or clothes dryer.
    • Add it into pretty homemade sachets.
    • Scatter some cinnamon powder over the dirt on your pretty house plants.
    • Add it onto your favorite decorative items like pinecones or wreaths.

    Final Thought

    Lastly, note that it was highly valued by ancient cultures[7]. The Egyptians, Arabs, Chinese, and Ayurvedic medicine practitioners throughout the world have used it for thousands of years.

    Whether in the extract, oil, tea, or herb, it has provided people with a wide range of natural culinary and health applications for centuries.

    Go ahead, enjoy your favorite cinnamon craving today!

    Feedback:

    References

    [1] Capturing the Cinnamon Harvest in Sumatra KELSEY NOWAKOWSKI https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/food/the-plate/2015/06/25/capturing-the-cinnamon-harvest-in-sumatra/
    [2] Winter Immunity: 4 Winter Spices To Relieve Cold And Cough https://www.ndtv.com/food/winter-immunity-4-winter-spices-to-relieve-cold-and-cough-1958768
    [3] Cinnamon Leaf & Bark Oils - Top Benefits & Common Uses https://www.newdirectionsaromatics.com/blog/products/all-about-cinnamon-oil.html
    [4] Antioxidants (Basel). 2017 Sep; 6(3): 70. Published online 2017 Sep 15. doi: 10.3390/antiox6030070 PMCID: PMC5618098 PMID: 28914764 Antioxidant Activity of Spices and Their Impact on Human Health: A Review
    [5] Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014; 2014: 642942. Published online 2014 Apr 10. doi: 10.1155/2014/642942. Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plan https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003790/
    [6] Global Cinnamon Market 2017-2021 | PR Newswire https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-cinnamon-market-2017-2021-300487304.html
    [7] Cinnamon History and Uses https://www.thespruceeats.com/history-of-cinnamon-1807584
    Author
    Facebook Twitter instagram

    Laurie Chocholous, NTP

    Laurie Chocholous, NTP is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Laurie is a graduate of the Nutritional Therapy Association. She is a con...

    More Posts

    View All
X

How helpful was it?

icon This article changed my life! icon This article was informative. icon I have a medical question.
X

How helpful was it?

icon This article changed my life! Change
Your Rating
Note: Health Insiders isn't a healthcare provider. We can't respond to health questions or give you medical advice.
Your Privacy is important to us.
X

How helpful was it?

icon This article was informative. Change
Your Rating
Note: Health Insiders isn't a healthcare provider. We can't respond to health questions or give you medical advice.
Your Privacy is important to us.
X
icon I have a medical question. Change

We’re unable to offer personal health advice, but we’ve partnered with JustAnswer who offers on-demand doctors to answer your medical questions 24/7. Talk online now with a doctor and get fast 1-on-1 answers from the comfort of your couch.

just answer logo
ASK A DOCTOR NOW

If you’re facing a medical emergency, call your local emergency services immediately, or visit the nearest emergency room or urgent care center.

X

How can we improve it?

icon This article contains incorrect information. icon This article doesn’t have the information I’m looking for. icon I have a medical question.
X

How can we improve it?

icon This article contains incorrect information. Change
Your Rating
Note: Health Insiders isn't a healthcare provider. We can't respond to health questions or give you medical advice.
Your Privacy is important to us.
X

How can we improve it?

icon This article doesn’t have the information I’m looking for. Change
Your Rating
Note: Health Insiders isn't a healthcare provider. We can't respond to health questions or give you medical advice.
Your Privacy is important to us.
X
icon I have a medical question. Change

We’re unable to offer personal health advice, but we’ve partnered with JustAnswer who offers on-demand doctors to answer your medical questions 24/7. Talk online now with a doctor and get fast 1-on-1 answers from the comfort of your couch.

just answer logo
ASK A DOCTOR NOW

If you’re facing a medical emergency, call your local emergency services immediately, or visit the nearest emergency room or urgent care center.

X

Healthinsiders.com is intended to be used for educational and information purposes only. All Health Insiders content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a board of medical experts to ensure accuracy.

In keeping with our strict quality guidelines, we only cite academic research institutions, medical authorities, or peer-reviewed studies in our content. You will be able to find links to these sources by clicking the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) that appear throughout our content.

Medical Disclaimer: This product/supplement review is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment, or medical advice. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or health-related diagnosis or treatment options.

Health Insiders does not assume liability for any actions undertaken after visiting these pages and does not assume liability if one misuses supplements. Healthinsiders.com and its Editors do not ensure that unforeseen side effects will not occur even at the proper dosages, and thereby does not assume liability for any side effects from supplements or practices hosted under the domain of Healthinsiders.com.

We invite you to contact us regarding any inaccuracies, information that is out of date, or any otherwise dubious content that you find on our sites via our feedback form.