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Cinnamon: Species and Health Benefits of the Spice

  1. Cinnamon is a spice made from the inner bark of certain trees (Cinnamomum). Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of cinnamon trees. The inner bark is then extracted and the woody parts removed. When a cinnamon bark from a tree is placed in the sun to dry, the well-known 'cinnamon stick' is created. These cinnamon sticks can be ground into cinnamon powder. Cinnamon comes in two types namely 'real cinnamon' and 'regular cinnamon'. This spice is used in a variety of foods and recipes. The distinctive smell and taste of cinnamon is due to the oily part, which contains very much of the compound cinnamaldehyde. This substance is responsible for many health benefits, such as metabolism.

Types of cinnamon

  1. Cassia Cinnamon

Treatment of eye disorders

  1. Cinnamon in combination with other spices (such as turmeric) may be useful for the treatment of eye conditions such as conjunctivitis and dry eye syndrome. However, in October 2020, more research is needed to determine these benefits for eye health

Treatment of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

  1. Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition in which a woman has to gain weight due to insulin resistance (cells are insensitive to insulin). Cinnamon reduces insulin resistance in women with PCOS. Cinnamon may also relieve heavy menstrual bleeding caused by, for example, endometriosis and uterine fibroids

  2. The polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition in which a woman experiences weight gain due to insulin resistance (cells are insensitive to insulin). Cinnamon decreases insulin resistance in women with PCOS. Cinnamon may also relieve heavy menstrual bleeding caused by, for example, endometriosis and uterine fibroids

Protection against cancer

  1. Cancer is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. Cinnamon may be useful in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Test-tube and animal studies suggest that cinnamon extracts may protect against cancer. Cinnamon reduces the growth of cancer cells and the formation of blood vessels in tumors and is toxic to cancer cells, causing cell death. Cinnamon may be beneficial for lung and stomach cancer

Fight against bacterial and fungal infections

  1. Cinnamaldehyde, one of the main active ingredients in cinnamon, helps treat a variety of infections. Cinnamon oil, for example, is effective in treating respiratory infections caused by fungi such as Candida. It also inhibits the growth of certain bacteria, including Listeria and Salmonella. However, in October 2020, scientific evidence is limited and it has also not been shown whether cinnamon can reduce infections elsewhere in the body. The antimicrobial effects of cinnamon may also help prevent tooth decay and reduce bad breath

Fight against HIV virus

  1. HIV

Combating inflammation

  1. Inflammation helps the body fight infection and repair tissue damage. However, chronic inflammation targets the body's own tissues. Cinnamon and its antioxidants

Combating oxidative stress

  1. Antioxidants protect the body against oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Cinnamon contains many powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols. Cinnamon is one of the most antioxidant-rich foods, even more so than garlic

  2. Antioxidants protect the body against oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Cinnamon contains many powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols. Cinnamon is one of the foods that contains the most antioxidants, even more so than garlic

Improved sensitivity to the hormone insulin

  1. Insulin is one of the most important hormones for the regulation of metabolism and energy use. Furthermore, insulin is also required for the transport of blood sugar from the bloodstream to the cells. Insulin resistance is a symptom of serious conditions such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus type 2

Reduced risk of heart disease

  1. Cinnamon reduces the risk of heart disease. In patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, the daily consumption of just 120 mg of cinnamon has beneficial effects on blood markers. Namely, it reduces the levels of total cholesterol

Reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases

  1. In neurodegenerative diseases there is a progressive loss of the structure or function of brain cells. Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease are two well-known neurodegenerative conditions. Cinnamon aids neurons and improves motor function in people with these conditions. Further scientific research is needed in October 2020 to convincingly prove these benefits.



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