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  CINNAMON

 A SPICE FOR LIFE

By Patrick Moore, N.D., M.S. 

        Health/Nutrition Coach & Educator

Cinammon Bark Peeler            April, 2013

Mablog-peeler-1-dsc_0191.jpgny years ago, I traveled  for several  months across the vast land of India. The travel was challenging, to say the least, but the knowledge gained and mind-opening cultural episodes I faced in this ancient civilization were more memorable, powerful, and profound, than any country I’ve ever encountered. Of the thousands of villages I either passed through, stopped in, or stayed in, one poignant memory relevant to this article stands out. I noticed most of the village children were brushing their teeth with Cinnamon bark. Toothpaste and toothbrushes were beyond the budget of most of the poor so Cinnamon sticks were the dental “standard of care.” This both intrigued  and amused me  because my perception of this colorful spice was limited to warm memories of grandma’s apple and pumpkin pie, the holiday season, hot apple cider, and all kinds of sweet pastries. I never  thought of Cinnamon as a medicinal spice and I  never imagined scrubbing my teeth with the bark of a tree. It’s a reflection of how far removed our western culture has become from the wisdom of the past and our ancestral roots as we step deeper into a “standard of care” medical system enveloped in a singular world of drugs and chemical solutions to address our health concerns. In the last twenty years, modern science has commenced to catch up with the wisdom of the past and re-discover anew the inside story of Cinnamon’s astonishing array of health benefits by analyzing its phyto-nutrient composition. And wow! I now understand why the villagers in India were brushing their teeth with Cinnamon sticks and why this magical spice has been so valued for thousands of years. I appreciate why the Romans valued it more than silver; why the ancient Egyptians used it as one of the key ingredients for embalming and preserving mummies; why in Colonial America it was added to raw apple cider to prevent bacterial growth; why it was commonly added to sweet foods for its remarkable ability to slow the rise of blood sugar; and how those children in India knew that Cinnamon bark would remove tooth plaque and cleanse their teeth with its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. And how knowledgeable dentists in America today are not averse to advising kids to chew genuine Cinnamon gum to inhibit dental bacterial growth.  Below is a list I’ve compiled of most of the currently researched health benefits of Cinnamon with more studies ongoing this very moment.

 

RESEARCHED  BENEFITS

 

Antiseptic – Anti-fungal/yeast/candida  -  Anti-microbial  -  Anti-parasitic  -  Antioxidant  -  Anti-inflammatory  -  Anti-aging  -  Anti-tumor/cancer  -  Protection against infectious disease  -  Cardiovascular health  -  Circulatory stimulant  -  Inhibits platelet clumping (stroke prevention)  -  May reduce blood pressure  -  Reduces triglycerides  -  Reduces LDL cholesterol  -  Diabetes prevention & treatment  -  Lowers blood sugar  -  Inhibits insulin resistance  -  May combat obesity/metabolic syndrome  -  May diminish nausea/vomiting.

  • May help prevent and diminish dementia/Alzheimers
  • May boost brain function by improving memory, attention, visual-motor speed, processing information more quickly, and other intellectual qualities
  • Prevents food-borne bacteria like E. Coli, Salmonella, and Campylobacter 
  • Food preservative – inhibits bacterial growth of the pathogen Bacillus Cereus
  • May inhibit the formation of stomach ulcers (H. Pylori)
  • May help treat coughing, sore throats, hoarseness (used by medieval European & Chinese  physicians)
  • May inhibit uterine bleeding (Cinnamon tincture taken every 15 minutes)
  • May diminish the pain and stiffness of muscles, joints, and menstrual discomfort
  • Benefits digestive function and acts as a Carminative (gas reliever)
  • And, of course, most importantly, Cinnamon counters Bad Breath               

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 cinammon.jpg                                             Cinammon                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Cinnamon is derived directly from the bark of the tree. The bark serves as the immune system of the tree. Cinnamon trees are highly resistant to pathogens which further confirms that compounds found in Cinnamon possess extraordinary therapeutic properties. So, when you ingest Cinnamon, you are actually eating the bark of the tree. Have you ever considered yourself a “bark eater.” Question: Can you think of any other food substance you ingest that comes from the bark of a tree???

The next section of this article reviews in more depth  a few selected health applications for the use of Cinnamon.

 

DIABETES

America is in the midst of a Diabetes epidemic and the rest of the world is following our lead. Cinnamon can help! And much of the research on Cinnamon has been funded by WELady-Behind-The-Curtain-Upside-Down-Cinnamon-Apple-Coffee-Cake-7.jpg, the taxpayers, and conducted by C. Leigh Broadhurst and her team at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. So let’s put this research to use! Their studies have discovered that Cinnamon has an uncanny ability to modulate blood sugar. An active ingredient in Cinnamon called Methylhydroxychalone (MHCP) seems to mimic insulin function and increase glucose uptake by our cells and instructs our cells to turn glucose into glycogen, the storage form of sugar. Further, it helps stimulate the production of glucose-burning enzymes and boosts insulin’s effectiveness. In fact, Cinnamon made insulin 20 times more capable of breaking down and metabolizing blood sugars! Cinnamon also helped to diminish insulin resistance in our cells, a bio-marker of metabolic aging – a factor observed occurring today at a younger and younger age. Cinnamon is also infused with numerous nutrients which play a vital role in sugar management, including Chromium, Zinc, Manganese, Vitamin C and B Vitamins. Dr. Broadhurst’s research showed that as little as a half-teaspoon of Cinnamon each day produced a 20% reduction in blood sugar levels if used over a period of several weeks

                                            

BRAIN WELLNESS

 

Researchers froCinnamon-Saigon.ashx.jpgm Tel Aviv University report in the PLOS ONE Journal that Cinnamon may be an important factor in preventing Alzheimers disease. They found that extracts from Cinnamon bark inhibit the toxic amyloid polypeptide oligomers and fibrils that have been found in Alzheimers disease brain plaque formations.  Their research demonstrated that Cinnamon reduced s-amyloid brain plaque associated with the pathology of Alzheimers. One animal study showed Cinnamon extract to completely abolish tetrameric species of plaque in the brain. They found that specific therapeutic compounds in Cinnamon called proanthocyanids were responsible for the bulk of Cinnamon’s brain benefits. And two studies from Wheeling Jesuit University found that the scent, aroma, and flavor of Cinnamon affected attention, memory, visual-motor speed while using a computer by enhancing cognitive processing skills.

 

ANTI-MICROBIAL – FIGHTS INFECTION


The healing power of Cinnamon has been known for thousands of years. High priests since biblical times used the spice to protect against infectious disease. Modern research has confirmed its antiviral and antibacterial properties. A 2003 study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology reported on Cinnamon’s superb ability to halt the spread of yeast growths and the nasty pathogen Bacillus Cereus. During the post World War 1  Spanish Influenza outbreak (1918) that killed over 20 million people worldwide, workers at Cinnamon factories seemed immune to the deadly flu. And a recent Kansas State University study discovered what our ancestors knew so well, Cinnamon eliminates E. coli in unpasteurized Apple Cider.

 

HOW TO USE CINNAMON

 

Cinnamon can be used therapeutically as a powder, capsule, essential oil, or Cinnamon stick. According to America’s top expert, C. Leigh Broadhurst, PhD., you can achieve excellent results from Cinnamon spice bought from your local supermarket. A good source for those interested in buying in bulk is www.mountainroseherbs.com. A beneficial habit to consider is to find ways to incorporate Cinnamon in your regular diet. Try adding it to your cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, applesauce, fruits, toast, smoothies, ice cream, sweets, meats or vegetables. My preference is to add it to my coffee, tea, or hot cocoa. You can also add it into your coffee grains when you brew your coffee. A therapeutic dose is about ½ teaspoon daily. Research suggests a 500mg capsule taken twice a day (breakfast/dinner) for diabetes prevention/complementary treatment.  In summary, Cinnamon is more than a pleasant condiment.  It’s a powerhouse spice in possession of numerous nutrients with a host of therapeutic applications for our health and well-being. Enjoy!

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