Cinnamon is a tropical evergreen tree whose leaves and inner bark is used to make Cinnamon oil and cinnamon sticks. Leaves from a wild cinnamon tree are harvested by growing the tree for two years then coppicing it. The next year, about a dozen shoots will form from the roots. The branches harvested this way are processed by scraping off the outer bark, then beating the branch evenly with a hammer to loosen the inner bark. The inner bark is then pried out in long rolls. The cinnamon that we buy in our supermarkets is actually fake, either sold as sticks or ground into a powder. That's right most of you have never even tasted real cinnamon. The two most recognized types of cinnamon are Ceylon (real) and Cassia (fake), which come from different trees. Cinnamon is the fine inner skin of fragrant tree bark, of the cinnamon and cassia trees, which grow wild throughout Asia. To the western consumer, cassia bark is cinnamon, it's not. Real cinnamon has extremely high anti-oxidant activity, and the oil of real cinnamon has strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Cinnamon is also a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium. As a result, it has been used as an effective home remedy for, reducing blood sugar levels, and treating type 2 diabetes, lowering cholesterol, aiding digestion, treating diarrhea, curing the common cold, reducing arthritis pain, boosting memory, and cognitive function, treating toothaches, cooking, eliminating bad breath, curing headaches, and migraine pain. First a little history...
Spices are the richest known source of antioxidants, based on ORAC value, and cinnamon is ranked among the top. The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) assessment was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture to measure the ability of a substance to disarm harmful free radicals in cells. Free radical damage within cells has been linked to many disorders. Antioxidants have been shown to prevent damage to cells caused by harmful free radicals.
|Cinnamon Powder||1 tsp.||6,956|
|Pomegranate Juice||8 oz.||5,853|
So in addition to the potent antioxidant benefits of cinnamon, there are more and more scientific studies showing cinnamon's amazing ability to support glucose metabolism, lower cholesterol, and reduce joint pain. Although most scientific research has focused on cinnamon's ability to lower blood sugar levels, because researchers have identified compounds in cinnamon that increase insulin sensitivity by activating enzymes that stimulate insulin receptors. People inflicted by asthma suffer from symptoms such as repeated episodes of cough, chest congestion, wheezing, sinus irritation, and shortness of breaths. Honey and cinnamon is a well-known home remedy for asthmatic symptoms. Mix one teaspoon of honey with half teaspoon of cinnamon powder and take the concoction just before going to sleep at night and first thing in the morning. It is not meant to be a rescue or quick-relief medication, but with repeated dosage, many have found to be an effective asthma treatment. So, if you know if anyone who is looking alternative medicine for asthma, tell them about it.
I also read a study where just sniffing, deep smelling but not snorting cinnamon resulted in a group performing better on standardized tests. That's fairly promising as a non-pharmacological solution for the elderly, and others with diseases which involve cognitive decline, or even people with imbalances like "test" anxiety. You know I added some to my tea this morning and I'm feeling absolutely brilliant as I'm writing this morning. You can add cinnamon to just about anything you drink or eat from breakfast to dinner meals for added flavor. Try it, real Ceylon cinnamon that is. If you can't find it locally it is relatively inexpensive online. You'll love it I promise, and if you're looking for something to do with those cassia sticks or ground cassia cinnamon. Boil some water and add some thin apple slices and cassia cinnamon for a great winter fragrance in your home. Good Luck..
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