Beyond its wide use in desserts, cinnamon has been used since ancient times by many cultures for its numerous beneficial health properties. Among them are its ability to help detox the body, lower blood sugar, promote weight loss, regulate menstruation, and help fight indigestion.
Properties of cinnamon
Cinnamon is a spice that originates on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Specifically, it comes from the island of Sri Lanka, south of India. The most well-known aspect of cinnamon is its smell, which is known for its relaxing properties as well as its use in various cleaning, health, and beauty products.
This exotic spice is a rich source of magnesium, iron, calcium, fiber, and vitamins C and B1. It’s an effective treatment for diarrhea, indigestion, bloating, and can even boost the immune system. It’s also used as an expectorant and can relieve problematic respiratory symptoms.
Cinnamon also helps you slim down by increasing the body’s ability to burn fat – it’s thermogenic. It contains antioxidants that slow the natural cellular degeneration process and reduce the effects of free radicals. Those antioxidants prevent fat from getting deposited in the arteries, which helps fight cardiovascular disease. Drinking cinnamon tea can help control the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood and regulate blood sugar.
Consuming cinnamon on a regular basis improves digestion and eliminates gas. It also helps treat anorexia by stimulating the appetite. Cinnamon is a powerful anticoagulant – that is, it prevents blood platelets from accumulating more than they should at normal levels.
A study by Dr. P. Zoladz of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences in Florida concluded that cinnamon stimulates brain function, especially in the elderly. It improves other processes in the brain that are responsible for attention, visual memory, recognition, and processing speed. Cinnamon also helps reduce inflammation and eases pain. Because of this, it can improve the symptoms of arthritis.
External uses for cinnamon include treating it as an antiseptic, a skin disinfectant, and its ability to eliminate fungi and bacteria. It can be used to treat fungus of the foot and nails, as well as mouth ulcers and vaginal infections.
Health benefits of cinnamon tea
As we’ve indicated above, cinnamon is a spice with many excellent qualities that you can obtain from your daily diet in a variety of ways. But one of the best ways to consume cinnamon is in tea. This way you preserve all the active components of the spice without any interference from other foods. Furthermore, it’s easier for the digestive system to absorb cinnamon tea, meaning you see the benefits in a shorter amount of time.
People with Type II diabetes (a condition that occurs when the body fails to respond normally to an increase in insulin, generating high levels of blood sugar) stand to benefit the most from cinnamon. One cup of this tea can help stabilize blood sugar levels.
Vitamin B1 stimulates insulin receptors and inhibits the enzyme that activates them. That increases the body’s ability to process glucose. In this case it’s best to drink cinnamon tea while fasting and after meals.
Helps promote weight loss
The same qualities that make cinnamon tea a good choice for diabetics also make it useful for weight loss. When you eat more than your body needs, the pancreas overcompensates to produce more insulin. That extra insulin tells your body there’s a lot more energy available for it. But once your energy needs are met, the insulin stores all the extra glucose, or sugars, in your body for use later.
Because cinnamon tea reduces your levels of blood sugar, there’s less insulin in your whole system, which causes the body to store less fat and lose weight. One advantage of using this tea for weight loss is that you’ll notice good results very quickly. Just drink two cups a day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
Good for your stomach
Cinnamon tea is also good for your digestive system. It reduces gases in the stomach, helps prevent ulcers from forming, and stops vomiting and nausea. Generally speaking, your food will be digested more easily thanks to cinnamon’s stimulating effects on the production of saliva and stomach acids.
Likewise, cinnamon naturally controls diarrhea and regulates your intestinal rhythm. Because of this, it’s recommended for anyone suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. It also helps prevent inflammation of the intestines and triggers your appetite.
Cinnamon contains dietary fiber, iron, and calcium, which combine with bile salts and help remove them from the body. These salts can be harmful to the colon if not eliminated properly.
Helps prevent irregular menstruationDrinking cinnamon tea is a great home remedy for regulating your menstrual cycle, thanks to its anticoagulant properties. This has two effects: first, it can trigger the start of your period if you’re a little late. Second, it has an analgesic effect and reduces pain during this stage.
It reduces cholesterol levels
It’s been found that cinnamon tea can reduce the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. This prevents the formation of atheromas and thrombi, which slow down blood flow.
It fights the common cold and flu
When flu season arrives, cinnamon tea can be one of your best allies. Chinese medicine has long used this tea to treat illnesses. Cinnamon is also an antibiotic, reduces inflammation, lowers fever, reduces coughing, and it tastes great! Furthermore, it provides relief from headaches and migraines.
Don’t forget that while cinnamon tea has many wonderful benefits, you shouldn’t drink too much of it. For this reason, we recommend you talk with your doctor before you start the cinnamon tea regimen to be sure it’s going to complement any other medication or weight loss regimen you’re following.
Reasons to avoid cinnamon tea
In some cases you should avoid consuming cinnamon because many of those wonderful properties can actually have negative effects on your health.
Don’t use too much of it
Coumarin is a toxic compound that’s found in cinnamon. In high doses it can cause damage to the liver and kidneys, so don’t apply it too liberally to your food.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
During pregnancy it’s important to avoid consuming cinnamon. It stimulates blood flow and can cause the uterus to contract. This can be detrimental to the fetus. Similarly, nursing mothers should avoid cinnamon tea because it can cause an allergy to develop in the baby.
Avoid cinnamon if you have ulcers
When you have ulcers of the stomach or intestine, consuming cinnamon will only irritate them more. It’s best to avoid it entirely in this case.
Be careful with your heart
Cinnamon has the ability to slightly increase your heart rate. For this reason, people with known heart conditions shouldn’t drink cinnamon tea. Otherwise it could increase the heart rate and endanger your health.
Don’t combine it with antibiotics
Cinnamon is a natural antibiotic, so it’s not a good idea to mix it with any man-made substance. Its properties could interfere with the way other medications work and cause unpredictable side effects. So avoid it any time you’re taking a regular prescription antibiotic.
Recipes for cinnamon tea
A slimming cinnamon tea
It’s easy to make this slimming cinnamon tea – here’s all you need:
- 1 cup hot water
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of honey
Mix the cinnamon and honey together in your hot water. Let it steep for 10 minutes before drinking.
Cinnamon tea for menstruation
The ingredients you need are:
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup of boiling water
Put the cinnamon stick in a bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Allow the mixture to cool and remove the cinnamon stick. Now you’re ready to drink your tea. If you need to, you can sweeten it with sugar or honey.
Cinnamon tea for colds and flu
All you need is:
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Boiling water
- An herbal tea, like green tea
Place your cinnamon stick in the boiling water and leave it for two minutes. When the water cools, remove and discard the stick. Use this cinnamon water to make an herbal tea of any kind that will help reduce your cold and flu symptoms.