Cinnamon

Cinnamon species

Cinnamon traditional remedies

Cinnamon healing properties research

Cinnamon recipes

Coumarin warning

References

Cinnamon species

Cinnamon is a spice harvested from the inner bark of several trees in the genus cinnamomum. These trees are native to south and east asia. Cinnamon is used in both sweet and savoury foods, and also has medicinal uses. For sweet foods, true cinnamon (c. verum) has the best flavour.

C. verum originated in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). This is the traditional true cinnamon, used for thousands of years. It is highly aromatic, and has a refined, subtle flavour. Its coumarin content is negligible.

C. aromaticum (Cassia or Chinese cinnamon). It has a stronger, harsher flavour than c. verum. The bark is hard and tough. Coumarin content is high.

C. burmannii (Korintje or Indonesian cinnamon). Has the hardest and toughest bark. Coumarin content is low.

C. loureiroi (Saigon cinnamon or Vietnamese cinnamon). Often sold in pieces, because the bark does not roll well. Coumarin content is low.

Sri Lanka produces 90% of the world's cinnamon, followed by China, India, and Vietnam. Indonesia produces 40% of the world's Cassia.

Cinnamon traditional remedies

Cinnamon healing properties research

  • Antioxidant. (5)
  • Potent antiviral properties. (4,7)
  • Anti-melanoma activity. (6)
  • Prevention of colon cancer. (5)
  • Alzheimer's prevention. (8, 9)
  • Protection against HIV-1 and HIV-2 using cassia bark. (2)
  • Protection and healing benefits of cinnamon for type 2 diabetics. (3)

Cinnamon recipes

Cinnamon paste.

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder 1 teaspoon raw honey Mix to paste. Do not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes before or after eating it.

Cinnamon tea.

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder 1-2 teaspoons of raw honey Mix them in half a glass of tepid (NOT hot) water. Do not heat the raw honey higher than body temperature or you destroy the enzymes in it.

Coumarin warning

Cinnamon is a spice that you can use and enjoy in moderation. However, some of the cinnamon species (particularly cassia) contain coumarin. Coumarin can cause liver and kidney damage in some susceptible individuals with excessive and long-term use. This will usually manifest as jaundice. I suggest you do not take cassia in large doses (more than 1 teaspoon per day) or for extended periods (more than a couple of weeks). The benefits of cinnamon can be substantial for some ailments, so simply monitor how you feel when taking high doses.

References

1. Archer Alan W. Determination of cinnamaldehyde, coumarin and cinnamyl alcohol in cinnamon and cassia by high-performance liquid chromatography. 1988. Journal of Chromatography A 447: 272.

2. Premanathan M., Rajendran S., Ramanathan T., Kathiresan K., Nakashima H., Yamamoto N. A survey of some Indian medicinal plants for anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) activity. 2000. The Indian journal of medical research 112: 73-7.

3. Khan A., Safdar M., Ali Khan M.M., Khattak K.N., Anderson R.A. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Department of Human Nutrition, NWFP Agricultural University, Peshawar, Pakistan. Article

4. Wen Chih-Chun, Kuo Yueh-Hsiung, Jan Jia-Tsrong, Liang Po-Huang, Wang Sheng-Yang, Liu Hong-Gi, Lee Ching-Kuo, Chang Shang-Tzen et al. Specific Plant Terpenoids and Lignoids Possess Potent Antiviral Activities against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. 2007. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 50 (17): 4087-95.

5. Wondrak Georg Thomas, Villeneuve Nicole F., Lamore Sarah D., Bause Alexandra S., Jiang Tao, Zhang Donna D. The Cinnamon-Derived Dietary Factor Cinnamic Aldehyde Activates the Nrf2-Dependent Antioxidant Response in Human Epithelial Colon Cells. 2010. Molecules 15 (5): 3338-55.

6. Cabello Christopher M., Bair Warner B., Lamore Sarah D., Ley Stephanie, Bause Alexandra S., Azimian Sara, Wondrak Georg T. The cinnamon-derived Michael acceptor cinnamic aldehyde impairs melanoma cell proliferation, invasiveness, and tumor growth. 2009. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 46 (2): 220-31.

7. Orihara Y., Hamamoto H., Kasuga H., Shimada T., Kawaguchi Y., Sekimizu K. A silkworm baculovirus model for assessing the therapeutic effects of antiviral compounds: Characterization and application to the isolation of antivirals from traditional medicines. 2008. Journal of General Virology 89 (Pt 1): 188-94.

8. Article

9. Frydman-Marom Anat, Levin Aviad, Farfara Dorit, Benromano Tali, Scherzer-Attali Roni, Peled Sivan, Vassar Robert, Segal Daniel, et al. Dawson Ted. ed. Orally Administrated Cinnamon Extract Reduces b-Amyloid Oligomerization and Corrects Cognitive Impairment in Alzheimer's Disease Animal Models. 2011. PLoS ONE 6 (1): e16564.

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Cinnamon. Traditional remedies, healing properties, recipes