Healing Herbs and Spices: Cinnamon

Native to Southeast Asia, cinnamon is derived from the inner bark of several trees belonging to the Cinnamomum genus.  It is available as a quill (the dried tubular stick) or as a ground powder.   Its sweet, pungent taste and penetrating fragrance has made it a favorite flavoring for many foods and beverages throughout the world.  Since antiquity, it has also been prized for its healing properties, and used to treat various ailments.

Cinnamon is known to contain a number of antioxidant compounds and is an excellent source of manganese, fiber, calcium, iron, zinc, potassium and magnesium.  It also contains a good amount of Vitamin A, niacin, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine and several health-promoting essential oils, including eugenol.

In Ayurveda, it is known as "dalchini" and is used in many ayurvedic herbal preparations.  It is believed to pacify the cold Vata dosha as well as regulate the metabolism of sugars and fats in the Kapha dosha.  One of nature's remarkable spices, cinnamon is believed to:
  • Help eliminate toxins from the GI tract
  • Control and stabilize blood sugar
  • Reduce overall body fat and improve lean muscle mass
  • Lower high cholesterol
  • Stimulate circulation, especially in the lungs, joints and limbs
  • Have anti-clotting actions
  • Relieve indigestion, colic, nausea, bloating and gas
  • Enhance digestion and absorption of nutrients
  • Protect intestines and stomach lining from infection
  • Reduce risk of food-borne diseases caused by bacteria
  • Stimulate liver and kidney function
  • Invigorate the nervous system
  • Tone and dry mucous membranes throughout the body
  • Curb heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Alleviate colds, congestion, sore throat and bad breath
  • Increase physical stamina
  • Promote warmth in the body, particularly in extremities
  • Boost brain functions and mental energy
  • Reduce stress
  • Have aphrodisiacal properties
Related:  How to Use Cinnamon Sticks (Infographic)

 This information is provided for general interest and informational purposes only. It is not intended as guidance for medicinal use. Consultation with professional health care provider is always advised and encouraged.
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