Cinnamon bark, originating from Sri Lanka, has been used since ancient times. It was a gift to kings because of its value in cooking and healing. It was used in the embalming of mummies, in religious ceremonies and in perfumes. It was even mentioned in the bible.
The modern world uses cinnamon almost completely as a spice--especially in sweet dishes and drinks. Its ancient uses as an aphrodisiac, a digestive and a cold and flu treatment has not been appreciated again until recently.
The main areas that cinnamon is applied to in alternative medicine is where the most research has been done on it--in diabetes mellitus, or Type 2 diabetes. One study has dramatically shown that it not only reduces blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, but has beneficial effects on these patients’ lipid levels as well.
The component of the spice that seems to be most effective are the proanthocyanidins which appear to be protective to a body that has abnormally high glucose levels. These high levels cause other problems like atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Proanthocyanidins are naturally occurring in many plants that prevent and treat illness.
Another study, which further backs up the benefits of cinnamon bark, has indeed shown that it prevents Alzheimer’s disease-not only prevents but can help to treat it as well. It attacks and blocks the formation of plaques that are the cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
Other studies have shown it to be anti-inflammatory and thus may be helpful in treating and preventing the growth of cancer. One study found that it inhibits inflammatory pathways while another study backs up the claim.
Further proof of its revered status in ancient times, research on cinnamon has suggested its use as a natural food preservative because of its anti-microbial properties.
And cinnamon has been used for thousands of years in both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine to aid the digestive process.
Once again, ancient wisdom is shown to be exceptional in the treatment of modern illness.
Image courtesy of NaturalOne.org.