Cinnamon the Miracle Spice
The benefits of cinnamon is well known. It has been widely used for centuries. The cinnamon spice comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree, which is native to Asia. It is a very popular addition to foods, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. It is a popular flavoring in desserts such as apple pie and doughnuts.
The Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is used in traditional medicine to treat muscle spasms, vomiting, diarrhoea, infections, and the common cold. Modern research indicates that this spice may indeed have some beneficial properties.
Researchers in Tel Aviv University have stated that an extract from cinnamon bark can inhibit the development of Alzheimer's disease. According to the National Institutes of Health in the USA, cinnamaldehyde (a chemical found in cassia) can help fight bacterial and fungal infections.
Studies on plants used in traditional Indian medicine have concluded that extracts from cassia are effective against HIV-1. Other studies have found that eugenol, a chemical found in cinnamon essential oils, inhibits the replication of the virus that causes herpes. And, according to a neurological scientist at Rush University Medical Center, cinnamon may help halt the destructive process of multiple sclerosis.
Though promising, most of these conclusions seem to be theoretical as they are based, as far as I could find out, on laboratory tests and have not been proved in replicable clinical trials using human subjects. In addition, the big question for diabetics is:... can adding a daily dose of cinnamon to the diet help control blood glucose levels?
What is the Relationship between Diabetes and Cinnamon?
Ayurveda remedies for diabetes include the use of cinnamon to reduce blood sugar. It can help sugar to metabolize better, meaning it is helpful in controlling the levels of blood sugar. Cinnamon is also believed to make fat cells within the body respond better to insulin. Again, this helps to regulate blood glucose levels. It is believed that only a small amount of cinnamon added to food per meal is enough to make a difference, even as little as one-eighth of a teaspoon. Cinnamon added to mince dishes can enhance the flavor slightly, making a very tasty meal. Cinnamon is also a popular addition in drinks such as coffee, so you can have your daily intake without too much effort.
Cinnamon and Insulin Resistance
Any improvement of insulin resistance can decrease the risk of heart disease and help weight control. It is said that adding cinnamon to the diet can do both of those things. One way of getting the daily recommended amount of cinnamon is to mix one-fourth teaspoon with one-half teaspoon of honey in some warm water, allow the cinnamon to settle, then drink it, once first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and once last thing before bedtime. Cinnamon can also be beneficial to women with polycystic ovary syndrome, as most of the sufferers also have some form of insulin resistance.
Word of Caution
Please be aware that before using cinnamon in large quantities for diabetes or insulin resistance, especially if you are already taking prescribed medications, a medical practitioner should first be consulted.
There is a consensus that cinnamon can help improve glucose levels for diabetics. But, according to a study published in Diabetics Care, for cinnamon to be effective you would have to consume up to six grams (about three teaspoons) of it a day. However, ingesting large amounts of cinnamon on a daily basis could have an adverse effect on your liver.
Hence it is advised to take moderate amount of cinnamon in diet and not overdo it. You will see a noticeable difference within yourself .