Cinnamon has been used for millennia, both as a spice and also as a form of natural treatment, especially by the Ancient Egyptians and Chinese. Cinnamon once had so much that it was traded as currency, with more worth than gold. These days, it is commonly used as a spice. It is used in cooking and baking to enhance the taste and aroma of dishes and pastries. Cinnamon has a rich, zesty taste and smell that makes it great for spicing meals with.
Most times, when you buy cinnamon, it comes in the form of powder. But sometimes, you could also buy cinnamon sticks or barks. The bark is gotten from the inner bark of trees that belong to the genus Cinnamomum. The bark is cut and left to dry. It is during the process of drying that it curls and takes the form it is most popular for.
Besides its amazing flavour and aroma, cinnamon is also rich in nutrients. Little wonders, it was used as medicine in ancient times as it has a lot of healing properties, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon bark is high in cinnamaldehyde, which is believed to be responsible for most of its health benefits. Cinnamon bark also contains procyanidins and catechins.
In this article, we will be looking at some of the health benefits of cinnamon bark.
1. Blood Sugar Regulation
Cinnamon bark may help with better regulation of blood sugar levels. This makes it great for people who suffer from diabetes. The extent of how effective cinnamon is for blood sugar regulation is still under study, however, but the signs are present that it could be effective in helping to reduce blood sugar levels. A 2018 study found out that daily consumption of cinnamon for 90 days significantly reduced the blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetic patients.
2. Cholesterol Reduction
Another benefit of cinnamon is that it may help reduce LDL or bad cholesterol levels in the blood. One study also showed that it might increase HDL or good cholesterol levels. This makes it helpful in the prevention of heart diseases and other problems that could arise from having high levels of LDL in the blood. Several studies have attested to the cholesterol-lowering effects of cinnamon bark.
3. Antioxidant Properties
Cinnamon is also popular for its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help eliminate free radicals from the body. Free radicals are agents that contaminate cells, which could lead to diseases like cancer. Antioxidants also help to reduce inflammation. Another good thing about antioxidants is that they help strengthen the immune system, making it easier for the body to fight off infections. There is medical evidence that shows cinnamon bark has effective antioxidant properties.
4. May Protect Against HIV
Studies have shown that cinnamon offers protection against Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The antimicrobial properties in cinnamon are effective against certain viruses, including the type that causes HIV. According to a particular study, cinnamon may prevent HIV from entering the body. In fact, in a laboratory study that examined HIV-infected cells, they discovered that cinnamon was the most effective treatment for HIV of all 69 medicinal plants studied.
5. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
There are also studies that suggest that cinnamon may help treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is marked by an irregular bowel movement, stomach pain, bloating, and so on. Drinking a concoction prepared with cinnamon could reduce the effects of IBS and restore regularity in the bowel.
6. Treat Allergic Rhinitis
Some researchers have suggested that cinnamon bark extract can be used to treat allergic rhinitis (hay fever). In a 2019 study, it was concluded that the use of a nasal spray of a standardized extract of cinnamon bark over seven days reduced symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
Cinnamon bark also has positive benefits on the eye. When used with other herbs, it could be helpful in the treatment of conjunctivitis and other eye disorders.
7. May Help Prevent Premature Ejaculation
There is some medical evidence that suggests that specific creams containing cinnamon and many other ingredients might prevent premature ejaculation. However, there needs to be more research done to ascertain its effects.
Cinnamon bark has powerful compounds and potential health benefits. However, you should always consult with your doctor before using any cinnamon bark or cinnamon supplements for any medical use.
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