When I think about cinnamon, I imagine my days in high school when I used to have oatmeal with a piece of cinnamon for breakfast. It was the perfect combination. I don’t eat it much now, although I use it for my hair—but that is another story.
Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the branches of wild trees that belong to the genus ‘Cinnamomum.’ It is native to the Caribbean, South America, and Southeast Asia.
There are two types of cinnamon: Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), which is often considered to be ‘true cinnamon,’ and Cassia cinnamon or Chinese cinnamon (Cinnamomum aromaticum), which originates from southern China and is typically less expensive than Ceylon cinnamon.
Whether expensive or inexpensive, cinnamon is considered to be the second most popular spice, after black pepper, in both Europe and the United States. It has been consumed since Ancient Egypt and medieval times to treat medical conditions such as arthritis and sore throats.
This tells us that the spice has more than five health benefits. However, it’s essential to consult your doctor for proper medical advice first and always do an allergy test as cinnamon can also be poisonous in large doses.
1. Fights infections and viruses
Cinnamon is really good in defending the body from illnesses simply because the spice is a natural antimicrobial, antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral agent.
This spice is very powerful at boosting immunity, which is why many cultures use cinnamon as a natural means to fight strong infections and viruses. Some studies have even shown that it may be able to reduce the risks of contracting the HIV virus.
So, where can you find these immune-boosting qualities in cinnamon? They are found in cinnamon’s essential oils. These oils can also protect us from different bacteria, which can cause outbreaks on the skin’s surface, lead to colds or the flu and cause problems in the digestive tract.
2. Prevents or cures Candida
First, let me tell you what is Candida. It is a yeastlike, parasitic fungus that sometimes causes thrush. You already know that cinnamon has antifungal properties.
These properties may be effective in stopping or curing Candida overgrowth in the digestive tract. Why? The cinnamon reduces the amount of the dangerous Candida Albicans. It is dangerous because it’s the yeast that causes Candida overgrowth that leads to other digestive and autoimmune symptoms.
Researchers showed evidence that people who were given cinnamon oil or cinnamon extract showed improved candida yeast levels and a reduction in symptoms.
They also concluded that this spice helps to fight candida by fighting inflammation, yeast and autoimmune reactions within the gut and to boost immune health. Finally, cinnamon also helps to control blood sugar levels—too much sugar in the digestive tract is believed to increase the risk of candida.
3. Fights allergies
I don’t know how people feel when they have allergies, but their expressions tell a lot. Here’s some good news: some studies have shown that people who suffer from allergies have found relief thanks to the benefits of cinnamon’s compounds, which not only reduces inflammation and fights histamine reactions in the body, but also helps to reduce symptoms of asthma attacks. So, if you suffer from allergies, try cinnamon.
4. Improves skin health
Which qualities of the cinnamon can improve your skin health? Well, cinnamon has antibiotic and antimicrobial effects, which protect the skin from infections, rashes, allergic reactions and irritations. If you want to use it for your skin, buy either cinnamon oil or cinnamon powder.
It’s easier to use the oil. You just need to apply it directly to the skin, and it will help to reduce inflammation, pain, swelling and redness. When mixed with honey, another antimicrobial ingredient, this spice can boost skin health and help with acne, rosacea and other skin allergies.
5. Improves dental health and breath
While it may sound crazy to use cinnamon as a toothpaste, it definitely does the job. Some people use it as a natural antibacterial mouthwash or tooth powder because it is more potent than other tested plant extracts, and as shown by some studies, cinnamon will protect your teeth against bacteria in your mouth.
As you know, bacteria cause bad breath, tooth decay, cavities or infections. Compare the cinnamon to peppermint: they can both be used as a natural flavoring agent and refreshers.
Cinnamon is more than just a spice in the kitchen that is used to flavor foods. It has numerous health benefits—some that are still disputed while others are more accepted—and should be part of our health and beauty routines, too. Do you know of other benefits of cinnamon? Are you going to include cinnamon in your diet? Share your thoughts below.