Cinnamon, known as ‘canelle’ here in Dominica, is actually the bark of the cinnamon tree. Cinnamon is an amazing spice and has been used for centuries for healing many types of ailments.

Cinnamon’s healing power comes mainly from two properties: it is an anti-bacterial and an antioxidant.

Medicinal Uses of Cinnamon include treating these conditions:

  • High Cholesterol
    As little as half a teaspoon a day has been proven to reduce LDL cholesterol. A half-teaspoon of cinnamon has only 3 calories.
  • Diabetes (Type II)
    Cinnamon actually lowers blood-sugar levels. Based on a recent study,  cinnamon was found to  contain polyphenols, or antioxidants, that boost proteins which are important in activating insulin, transporting glucose and responding to inflammation (Web MD). Richard Anderson, PhD, was among the first modern researchers to link the antioxidants in cinnamon to increased anti-inflammatory response and blood sugar reductions in diabetes patients.
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma
    Another study suggested cinnamon can reduce the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.

Further, one study even indicated that simply smelling cinnamon gave a boost to memory and overall cognitive function. It is also great for women as a source of iron, calcium, fibre and manganese, and it has been shown to provide relief from arthritis pain.

In addition to all these health benefits, Cinnamon is used as a  Natural Food Preservative. Its anti-bacterial properties make it perfect for preserving meat. Perhaps this was the origin of the delicious middle eastern dish known as Lamb Tajine (lamb sauted in cinnamon, among other spices).

How to Get More Cinnamon in Your Diet

It’s easy!

Drink Cinnamon Tea

  • Buy it pre-packaged in tea bags; get a natural Cinnamon Tea like Blow’s Tea here in Dominica
  • Make your own cinnamon tea by grating a stick of cinnamon into a cup of boiling water.

Chew Cinnamon Toothpicks

  • These are easy to make. Buy some toothpicks and soak them in a jar of cinnamon oil overnight (cinnamon oil can be found with other essential oils). Then chew them after meals to freshen breath and get the added health benefits.

Sprinkle it!

  • On your cereal, in your yoghurt, over your oatmeal… wherever else you can.
  • Into your existing recipes. Or experiment with new recipes like Lamb Tajine – you will be surprised at the delicious flavour cinnamon adds to meats, provisions and vegetables!

Check in with us next week to learn how cinnamon can be used around the home.