There is something about the smell of cinnamon that is warm and inviting.  It is a distinct scent that has been used since ancient Egyptian days.  The Egyptians used it in their embalming process, to mask the scent of decay, but that is not all. They, as well as many other societies through time, have used it for medicinal purposes as well as food preservation.  Cinnamon was a “must have” spice back then and taking a tip from those ancient days, it should become a staple ingredient in your spice rack today.  There are two types of cinnamon:  Ceylon and cassia.  When purchasing cinnamon be sure to choose cassia.  The Ceylon cinnamon (or Chinese cinnamon as it is sometimes called) is less effective.  Cassia cinnamon is the optimal type for your health and what is being discussed here.

Medicinal Use

Cinnamon is jam packed with goodness.  In today’s western world, cinnamon is mainly associated with flavoring foods.  The tables are beginning to turn a bit as researchers are investigating its medicinal properties.  One of the first assets is its antimicrobial powers.  It has been proven to kill yeast infections like oral candida and foot fungus.  Also, according to scienceofeating.com, cinnamon was rated number one in quantity of antioxidants.  It outranks, grapes, oregano and garlic.  It’s a powerhouse.

Continued Research

Cinnamon is also being studied in conjunction with diabetes.  It has proven to lower blood sugar which in turn can be a big plus for those suffering from type 2 diabetes.  Doctors and researchers have also begun studying the effects of cinnamon in conjunction with those infected with HIV type1.  The direct use, thus far, has been in the treatment of sores in the mouth.  The findings have been very promising with most finding significant healing. Research on cinnamon’s effectiveness in all areas of health is just scratching the surface.

Weight Loss and Total Body Health

One of the other surprises, is the level of manganese.  Cinnamon packs a whopping 22% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) in one teaspoonful.  “Manganese is needed for the formation of healthy skin, nerves, bones and cartilage,” states nutritionalwellness.com.  This high level of manganese is also responsible for cinnamon’s weight loss properties.  Cinnamon helps in the function of the thyroid, which regulates your metabolism.  It speeds up the metabolism and thus, burns more calories.  As an added bonus, cinnamon helps to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol.  In addition to manganese, cinnamon is full of iron and calcium – two things that everybody needs but are essential to women’s health.

Aromatherapy

That distinct cinnamon scent does more for you than make you feel all warm and cozy.  As it turns out, inhaling the smell of cinnamon has proven to boost brain function.  It improves your memory and ability to recall details (thus the research for Alzheimer’s patients).   The taste, also has the same effect if you are eating cinnamon candy or gum.  According to an article in a November 2011 edition of Prevention studies on cinnamon revealed the following:

“The taste or smell of cinnamon may boost your memory, health and your brainpower, say two studies at Wheeling Jesuit University. In one study, 31 people were tested on their attention, memory, and other intellectual skills while chewing cinnamon, peppermint, cherry, or flavorless gum, or not chewing gum at all. In the second, 39 people took the same tests while smelling no odor, or sniffing cinnamon, peppermint, or jasmine. In both studies, only cinnamon improved scores on memory tests, such as recalling a long sequence of images.”

Now that you have learned about some of cinnamon’s amazing health benefits, head out to the store and pick up some today.