Cinnamon - great food enhancer

"Cinnamon makes muscle and liver cells more sensitive to signals from insulin, an inportant blood-sugar controlling hormone", says study author Richard Anderson, Ph. D.

Have a little (about 1/6 tsp) at breakfast, lunch and dinner for a daily total of about 1/2 tsp, he recommends.

The name cinnamon comes through the Greek kinnámōmon from Phoenician. It is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savory foods. While Srilanka produces leads in 80-90% of Cinnamon production, Seychelles,  Madagascar, Indonesia, China and India also do significant production of cinnamon for commercial use.

While Ayurveda sees cinnamon as an appropriate remedy for thin, cold, prone to nervousness since cinnamon tends to have a heating and energizing effect, Herbalists and acupuncturists in the Chinese tradition value cinnamon for its warming qualities.

Health Benefits

  • Studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol. Reducing it may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Cinnamon has been shown in studies at the Department of Internal Medicine, Kangnam Korean Hospital, to reduce cytokines linked to arthritic pain.
  • Cinnamon contains a natural chemical called cinnamaldehyde, that increases the hormone progesterone and decreases testosterone production in women, helping to balance hormones.
  • According to the researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
  • Researchers at Kansas State University found that cinnamon fights the E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.
  • Cinnamon reduces chronic inflammation linked with these neurological disorders including: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, brain tumor, and meningitis, by a research at the Cytokine Research Laboratory, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas.
  • It is a good fighter for ArthritisIn a study at Copenhagen University, patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.
  • It is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.
  • It is a natural food preservativeWhen added to food, it inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.
  • It has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.
Adding cinnamon to Tea, coffee and bakery products gives a very rich taste apart from its health benefits. Cinnamon forms an unavoidable ingredient in Briyani and Kurma varieties.