Cinnamon - Overview, History, Benefits, Precaution, Dosage

What Is Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is an evergreen tree that belongs to the Lauraceae family. To make cinnamon, the bark of the trunk and branches is cut with a knife into long, thin pieces, the cork layer is removed, and the bark is dried. Although there are other varieties of cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon is typically referred to as cinnamon. Depending on the use, many varieties of cinnamon are used, including nikki and cassia. Cinnamon has a distinct flavour with a hint of spice mixed in with the sweetness, as well as a pungent scent that is invigorating.

Fragrant cinnamon is known as the king of spices. Two types of cinnamon are used as spices: cinnamon sticks, which are made by rolling the bark into long pieces, and cinnamon powder, which is processed into powder, but commercially available cinnamon is generally made from multiple seeds.

It has long been used for years in India. It is part of Ayurveda and Chinese medicine uses it for its benefits on intestinal regulation, analgesia, stomach health, and cleansing & detoxification in addition to its ability to aid in digestion.

Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and India are the original home of cinnamon. These days, tropical countries including Borneo, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Burma, Brazil, and Jamaica farm it extensively.

History of Cinnamon

Cinnamon is considered to be one of the oldest spices in the world and has a long history with humans. In Egypt, it was applied as a preservation to mummies as early as 4000 BC. Cinnamon was also reportedly regularly used in rituals.

Japan first encountered dried cinnamon in the first part of the eighth century. Known as "Keishin," cinnamon was first used as a medication and is still kept among Shosoin's valuables. It is also stated that during the Age of Discovery, explorers risked their lives in search of this spice, which is utilised as a taste agent in addition to a preservative.

It was brought to Japan in the form of a tree during the Edo period's Koho era (1716–1735). It is believed that the Sieboldi kind of cinnamon was first introduced during this period.

Cinnamon is also the ideal present to express affection & love. Ancient Greeks believed that the fragrant aroma of cinnamon could "stir up love," and nobility and royalty regarded it as the ideal present to express deep affection and love. It is said that after the death of his beloved wife, the Roman tyrant Nero gathered up a year's worth of cinnamon and burned it all as a gift for his wife's journey and as a token of his love.

Types of Cinnamon

Cinnamon, which has a sweet scent, belongs to the Lauraceae family. One variation with a distinct aroma is named "Ceylon Cinnamon." Another type of cinnamon that is also treated as cinnamon is called Cassia.

While Ceylon cinnamon has a thick bark, a rich sweet perfume, and a spicy aftertaste, Ceylon cinnamon is mostly grown in Sri Lanka. It has a moderate flavour and sweet aroma without any spiciness. The bark is either rolled into balls or crushed into little pieces before being dried and used. Additionally, "nikki," a spice used in candies, is commonly mistaken for cinnamon. It's a Japanese-grown herb with a strong spicy flavour and a sweet aroma that comes from using the root section. Nikki is said to be more expensive than cinnamon due to its lower yield.

Nutritional Value of Cinnamon

We will now discuss the nutrients and calories of cinnamon. With 364 calories per 100g, cinnamon is roughly the same as spices like black pepper powder (364 calories) and ginger powder (365 calories).

Nutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and niacin are found in cinnamon. Let's go over each nutrient's properties and impacts in more detail.

Calcium: There are 1,200 milligrams of calcium in 100g of cinnamon. The primary nutrient that forms teeth and bones is calcium. Those who are pregnant or nursing, elderly and children during their growing years should be especially encouraged to eat it because deficiency can lead to growth abnormalities and osteoporosis. It is also necessary to consume calcium and engage in moderate exercise because when the bones are subjected to a modest load, bone-forming cells become active and strong bones are formed.

Potassium: The potassium content per 100g of cinnamon is 550 mg. Potassium is a nutrient that helps control blood pressure, cell conditions, and the maintenance of a steady, healthy body condition. It encourages the body to excrete salt, which lowers blood pressure and reduces swelling. It is reasonable to expect that it will prevent osteoporosis because it also improves the effect of storing calcium in bones. The World Health Organization (WHO) urges adults to consume more potassium to lower blood pressure and lower their chance of developing lifestyle-related illnesses such as coronary heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.

Magnesium: The magnesium content per 100g of cinnamon is 87 mg. A magnesium deficiency causes it to be released from the bones. Approximately 50% of magnesium is contained in bones, and when it is deficient in the body, it is released from bones, it is a nutrient that plays important roles such as suppressing nerve excitement, supporting energy production, and maintaining blood pressure. Magnesium is necessary for protein synthesis and the development of bones in addition to supporting the activities of several enzymes. It can also be expected to have the effect of relieving irritation, so be sure to take it with your meals.

Iron: Iron content in 100g of cinnamon is 7.1 milligrams. The body uses more than half of its iron as part of haemoglobin in the blood, which is a nutrient that helps carry oxygen to all of the body's cells. Depending on whether they are menstruating, pregnant, or nursing, women require more iron than men do, so it is especially important for women to take iron supplements proactively.

Niacin: Niacin content per 100g of cinnamon is 1.3 mg. One of the most prevalent water-soluble vitamins in the body, niacin is necessary for the body to convert proteins, lipids, and carbs into energy. A general term for nicotinic acid and nicotinic acid amide, which the body uses as a coenzyme component of redox enzymes and which also helps to maintain the health of mucous membranes and the skin, so a deficiency can cause loss of appetite, indigestion, and dermatitis.

Benefits of Cinnamon

Cinnamon is said to have many health benefits. It is combined with different herbal medications to create herbal medicine, and it has a broad variety of medical properties. As said, cinnamon is a good source of iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and niacin. In addition, we will introduce the ingredients contained in trace amounts of cinnamon, such as "cinnamaldehyde," along with their effects and efficacy.

Antioxidant Effect: Among polyphenols, proanthocyanidins found in cinnamon are thought to have the most antioxidant effect. Cinnamon demonstrated the strongest antioxidant activity among 26 spices, including cloves and oregano, in a comparative study. It is expected to have anti-ageing and preventive effects against lifestyle-related diseases.

Anti-inflammatory Effect: Chronic inflammation causes long-term harm to the body and raises the risk of conditions including cancer, arteriosclerosis, and Alzheimer's. It has been demonstrated that cinnamon has the potential to be utilised as a natural anti-inflammatory agent because it includes several components that have anti-inflammatory properties.

Cholesterol Improvement Effect: Cinnamon seems to have the effect of lowering the level of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) while maintaining HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). It has been demonstrated to be useful in reducing blood pressure in animal studies, and it is also anticipated to be useful in preventing heart disease.

Blood Sugar Control Effect: It is well known that cinnamon lowers blood sugar levels. Its benefits for diabetes have been demonstrated in numerous trials, and it has been demonstrated to reduce blood sugar levels during fasting.

Capillary repair: Cinnamaldehyde, the active component in cinnamon, acts by activating the receptor Tie2, which brings capillary cells together. The parietal and endothelial cells that make up the two layers of the capillaries' structure peel off as the capillaries age, leaving gaps in between. These openings allow nutrients and blood to seep through, impairing blood flow and inflaming blood vessels. Tie2 is activated by cinnamaldehyde, which also improves "leakage" by bringing separated capillary cells closer together. It is anticipated that by reducing inflammation, it may also halt the advancement of illnesses linked to a lifestyle, like arteriosclerosis and the consequences from diabetes.

Improve Gastrointestinal Function: It acts as an aromatic stomachic that improves loss of appetite, heaviness in the stomach, stomach pain, etc., and is included in many gastrointestinal medicines. It is very common in India to use cinnamon sticks or cinnamon powder in their regular dishes to improve digestion and support stomach health.

Sweating & antipyretic action: It has sweating and fever-reducing effects, and can be expected to be effective in preventing colds and treating early symptoms. Additionally, it is a famous component of Ayurveda, which is popular for cold remedies. The essential oil component, which is the main component, evaporates when heated, so it is more efficient to incorporate it with medicinal sake rather than brewing it.

Prevent Swelling: Chinese medicine claims that cinnamon can control how water is metabolised. Water metabolism refers to the process of expelling unnecessary substances from the body along with sweat and urine. Swelling results from the body accumulating too much water when there is a problem with water metabolism. Cinnamon can promote sweating and prevent swelling.

How To Use Cinnamon?

There are two varieties of cinnamon: cinnamon sticks and cinnamon powder.

  • Cinnamon Powder: It's simple to include or add a little amount of cinnamon powder to desserts like apple pie, sweet potato, and pumpkin tarts. The well-known cinnamon toast and cinnamon buns are also made with cinnamon powder. Sometimes, it's sprinkled on top of drinks. It is very easy to use. You can sprinkle some cinnamon powder on any dish or drink.
  • Cinnamon stick: For flavouring drinks or stew foods, we suggest utilising cinnamon sticks. Cinnamon powder is often used to finish drinks such as cappuccino, but since cinnamon is made from tree bark, it does not dissolve in water. Therefore, if you want to add a strong cinnamon aroma and flavour to drinks, etc., cinnamon sticks are suitable because they are easy to remove after transferring the aroma. When you use it, fold it slightly and use it to bring out the cinnamon flavour even more.

Cinnamon Dosage

As per FSSAI, the recommended daily allowance is 1-2g of cinnamon stick or cinnamon powder. Well, cassia cinnamon or any other cinnamon has no health concerns unless it is ingested in large quantities over a relatively long period but be sure to follow the following intake amount.

However, "Ceylon Cinnamon" has a very low concentration of coumarin, which does not appear to be a concern in the amount that is typically used as a spice. You're not likely to use even a teaspoon of cinnamon because of its powerful scent, but if you use cassia, watch how much you consume.

Well, the dose of cinnamon varies from person to person as per their health concern. Hence, it is also advisable to consult a healthcare professional.

Cinnamon Precaution

When used as a supplement or as a spice in food, cinnamon is usually regarded as safe. But it's important to be aware of any possible safety measures related to consuming cinnamon:

  • Coumarin Content: The natural chemical coumarin is present in the more popular form of cassia cinnamon. Liver damage has been associated with high coumarin consumption. Because Ceylon cinnamon has lower quantities of coumarin, people who have liver problems or are taking drugs that damage the liver should be cautious while using it.
  • Blood Sugar Levels: Cinnamon's ability to assist with blood sugar regulation is frequently advocated. Despite some studies' positive effects, people with diabetes should constantly watch their blood sugar levels, especially if they take supplements containing cinnamon, since it may interfere with their diabetic treatments.
  • Allergic Reactions: Although uncommon, allergic responses to cinnamon are conceivable. People who have a history of allergies to similar plants, such as cassia or bay laurel, ought to exercise caution. Certain people may get skin sensitivity when exposed to cinnamon oil.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Although cinnamon is typically safe in food levels, women who are expecting or nursing should speak with their doctors before taking supplements because it is unclear whether greater dosages of the spice are safe in these circumstances.
  • Interaction with Medications: Blood thinners and drugs that the liver metabolises are among the drugs that cinnamon may interact with. If you're thinking about taking supplements with cinnamon and you take medicine, you should speak with a healthcare provider.

Moderation is essential with dietary supplements as well. Seeking advice from a healthcare professional is advisable, particularly if you already have any health issues.

How to use cinnamon powder and cinnamon sticks?

If you want to add cinnamon to your routine, here are some easy recipes that you can try-

  1. Soy Milk Cinnamon: Soy milk contains isoflavones that activate female hormones. Since female hormones are related to bone health, we can expect a synergistic effect with cinnamon.

Ingredients- 250ml Soy milk, Cinnamon (powder)

How To make - Warm the soy milk and pour it into a cup. Sprinkle it with cinnamon powder.

Be careful not to add too much powder as it will become powdery. (Cinnamon powder does not dissolve in water. If you want to add sweetness, we recommend using honey or brown sugar.

  1. Rich Cocoa Drink: An adult cocoa made with cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom for spice lovers. When you warm it up in a pot, the aroma of spices and cocoa spreads out.

Ingredients- 150ml Milk, 10g cocoa powder, 50 ml water, some whipped cream, 2g cinnamon powder, 2 cloves, 2 cardamom

How To Make- Put 50ml of water, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon powder into a small pot and heat. When it boils, add 10g of cacao powder and stir with a wooden spatula to dissolve. Add 150ml of milk little by little and stir. Just before it boils, turn off the heat, strain through a tea strainer to remove the spices, and pour into a cup. Decorate the whipped cream.

You can add sugar if you like. If you don't like strong spices, you can make it without spice. Just Add a sprinkle of cinnamon powder at the end to enjoy a slight spice scent.

  1. Cinnamon Detox Water: Cinnamon goes great with citrus fruits. When combined with orange, which is rich in vitamin C, it is also effective for improving skin tone.

Ingredients- Half orange, 1L water, 1 stick cinnamon

How To Make- Cut the orange into rounds and soak them in mineral water along with the cinnamon stick. After about an hour, remove the cinnamon stick and once the orange juice has absorbed it, it's done.

Store in the refrigerator and consume on the same day you make it. If you like, add mint to add a refreshing taste. With its citrus and mint scent, it's the perfect drink to wake up to in the morning.

FAQ(Frequently Asked Question) on Cinnamon

What kind of effects does cinnamon have as a herbal medicine?

Cinnamon is also known as an herbal medicine called “cinnamon bark,'' and is said to have effects on stomach health, sweating, pain relief, fever reduction, and intestinal regulation.

Is cinnamon effective for dieting?

Research at the cellular level has confirmed that it has the effect of promoting fat breakdown.

Does cinnamon lower blood sugar levels?

In addition to lowering fasting blood sugar levels, it is said to have the effect of suppressing blood lipids.

Does cinnamon help prevent grey hair?

It is said to help prevent grey hair and hair loss by improving blood flow and making it easier for nutrients to reach the scalp and hair.

What happens if you take too much cinnamon?

It is known that ingesting large amounts can lead to liver damage. Cassia, a type of cinnamon, contains a large amount of coumarin. In the case of ``Cassia'', the recommended amount for adults is a little less than 1 teaspoon per day. On the other hand, the amount of coumarin contained in "Ceylon Cinnamon" is extremely small, and it does not seem to cause any problems in the amount normally used as a spice.

Can cinnamon cause allergy symptoms?

Although cinnamon may cause allergies such as hives in some people, it is safe for many people and is said to have anti-allergic effects.

I want to take cinnamon supplements. Are there any precautions?

Among cinnamons, ``cassia'' contains a large amount of coumarin, and it is said that ingesting too much of it each day can put a strain on the liver. When taking supplements, it is safe to use products that use Ceylon Cinnamon, which has a low amount of coumarin.

How to use cinnamon sticks?

In addition to using it in drinks like cinnamon coffee, you can also add it to stews and other stewed dishes and take it out when the aroma comes out, or insert it into the core of a baked apple to add flavour.

You have successfully subscribed!
This email has been registered