What is it?
Common name: Dal-chini, darchini, dhall cheene
Botanical name: Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Part used: bark
Cinnamon is the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree. Cinnamon comes in 'quills', strips of bark rolled one in another. The pale browns to tan bar strips are generally thin, the spongy outer bark having been scraped off. The best varieties are pale and parchment-like in appearance. Cinnamon is very similar to cassia, and in North America little distinction is given, though cassia tends to dominate the market. Cinnamon is also available ground, and can be distinguished from cassia by its lighter colour and much finer powder.
What is in it?
Cassia bark can contains up to 4% oils, as well as tannins, catechins, proanthocyanidins, resins, mucilage, gum, sugars, calcium oxalate, cinnzelanin, cinnzelanol, and coumarin.
How it will help you?
1. Numerous studies show that cinnamon powder regulates blood sugar, making it a great choice for diabetics and hypoglycemics alike. That’s also great news for anyone who wants stable energy levels and moods.
2. It reduces LDL cholesterol levels. LDL is also known as the harmful cholesterol. Reducing it may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
3. It has natural anti-infectious compounds. In studies, cinnamon has been effective against ulcer-causing H. pylori bacteria and other pathogens.
4. It reduces pain linked to arthritis. Cinnamon has been shown in studies at the Department of Internal Medicine, Kangnam Korean Hospital, to reduce cytokines linked to arthritic pain.
5. Research at the University of Texas, published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, shows that cinnamon may reduce the proliferation of cancer cells, holding promise for cancer prevention and sufferers of the disease.
6. It is a natural food preservative.
7. It contains fiber, calcium, iron, and manganese—albeit small amounts to the typical dose of ground cinnamon.
8. It’s been proven effective for menstrual pain and
9. infertility. Cinnamon powder contains a natural chemical called cinnamaldehyde, which studies show increases the hormone progesterone and decreases testosterone production in women, helping to balance hormones.
10. Cinnamon powder holds promise for various neurodegenerative diseases, including: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, brain tumor, and meningitis, according to research at the Cytokine Research Laboratory, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas. Their research shows that cinnamon reduces chronic inflammation linked with these neurological disorders
How to take it?
Doses range between 1g daily of cinnamon powder (approximately 1 level teaspoon) to 6 g. However, data emerged from a study that 6g daily was no more effective than the 1g which effectively reduced blood glucose and blood lipid levels for the sustained period during the testing. It is possible that even lower doses are just as effective. This is particularly interesting because the higher the dose the more coumarin – which is a particular concern when consumers are being sold much cheaper cassia and not true Ceylon cinnamon.
What should you remember?
Cinnamon powder in high doses may have an estrogenic effect.
Pregnant and lactating women should avoid cinnamon powder in high doses.