Know Your Medicinal Herbs: Cinnamon

Much of the cinnamon in the world is grown in Sri Lanka, where it was discovered in the 1500s. It has been used for many purposes since that time, and today we understand more about the benefits of cinnamon. It not only tastes delicious, it also offers several outstanding health benefits.  
 
Cinnamon is chock-full of antioxidants like polyphenol. When compared to dozens of other spices, including garlic, a known super food, cinnamon outranks all of them for it’s antioxidant protection factor. This is a key component in protecting our bodies and cells from the damage caused by free radicals.  
 
Another important benefit of cinnamon use is it’s power as an anti-inflammatory. Chronic inflammation within the body can cause pain and damage tissues. Cinnamon offers the ability to keep damaging inflammation in check, thus reducing inflammation, which lowers the risk of disease over time.  
 
A powerful protective agent against heart disease, cinnamon shows promise in reducing bad cholesterol, as well as offering protection for people with hypertension. A small dose, about half to one teaspoon, per day can increase “good,” or HDL, cholesterol while it reduces the bad. By using small amounts of cinnamon everyday, a person cuts their overall risk of heart disease significantly.  
 
A protein in the brain called tau appears to be built up in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and cinnamon helps to inhibit this build up, potentially helping slow or stop a person’s progression into the disease. While mice with Parkinson’s who were given cinnamon showed improved motor functioning and their neurotransmitter levels appeared to normalize with regular consumption of cinnamon. This means that cinnamon may offer measurable protection against neuro-degenerative conditions.  
 
When all is said and done, cinnamon has shown itself to be a powerful medicinal herb. It’s also delicious, and by simply incorporating a small amount into the diet every day, a person will benefit from these incredible protective properties offered by cinnamon. Research is ongoing, but all signs point to long-term health benefits with small daily portions of cinnamon.