Cinnamon is a common spice used by different cultures around the world for several centuries. It is obtained from the inner bark of trees from the genus Cinnamomum, a tropical evergreen plant that has two main varieties; Cinnamomum zeylanicum (CZ) and Cinnamon cassia (CC) (also known as Cinnamomum aromaticum/Chinese cinnamon). In addition to its culinary uses, in native Ayurvedic medicine Cinnamon is considered a remedy for respiratory, digestive and gynaecological ailments.
Almost every part of the cinnamon tree including the bark, leaves, flowers, fruits and roots, has some medicinal or culinary use. The volatile oils obtained from the bark, leaf, and root barks vary significantly in chemical composition, which suggests that they might vary in their pharmacological effects as well.
The different parts of the plant possess the same array of hydrocarbons in varying proportions, with primary constituents such as; cinnamaldehyde (bark), eugenol (leaf) and camphor (root). Thus cinnamon offers an array of different oils with diverse characteristics, each of which determines its’ value to the different industries.
For example the root which has camphor as the main constitute, has minimal commercial value unlike the leaf and bark]. It is this chemical diversity that is likely to be the reason for the wide-variety of medicinal benefits observed with cinnamon.
Common Name: Cassia, Chinese cinnamon, false cinnamon, cassia lignea, bastard cinnamon, cassia bark, cassia-bark tree, Chinese cassia, Saigon cinnamon
Indian Name- Dalchini.
Scientific Name: Cinnamomum verum J. Presl (Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume, Laurus cinnamomum L.)
Botanical Family: Lauraceae (laurel family)
Properties – Astringent, stimulant, carminative, anti-infective, antifungal, digestive aid
Common Uses – Used as a flavoring for foods, it may aid digestion, and lessen the potential of food poisoning or food-borne disease.
Cinnamon consists of a variety of resinous compounds, including cinnamaldehyde, cinnamate, cinnamic acid, and numerous essential oils. Singh et al. reported that the spicy taste and fragrance are due to the presence of cinnamaldehyde and occur due to the absorption of oxygen. As cinnamon ages, it darkens in color, improving the resinous compounds. Sangal reported various physiochemical properties of cinnamon. Thepresence of a wide range of essential oils, such as trans-cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, eugenol, L-borneol, caryophyllene oxide, b-caryophyllene, L-bornyl acetate, E-nerolidol, -cubebene, -terpineol, terpinolene, and -thujene, has been reported.
Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, apply on bread, chappati, or other bread, instead of jelly and jam and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from heart attack. Also those who already had an attack, if they do this process daily, they are kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of the above process relieves loss of breath and strengthens the heartbeat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as age the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalizes the arteries and veins.
Take one part honey to two parts of lukewarm water and add a small teaspoon of cinnamon powder, make a paste and massage it on the itching part of the body slowly. It is noticed that the pain recedes within a minute or two.Arthritis patients may take daily, morning and night, one cup of hot water with two spoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. If taken regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured.
In a recent research conducted at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week out of the 200 people so treated practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain and within a month, mostly all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis started walking without pain.
Those suffering from hair loss or baldness, may apply a paste of hot olive oil, one tablespoon of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder before bath and keep it for approx. 15 min. and then wash the hair. It was found to be effective even if kept on for 5 minutes.
Make a paste of one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and five teaspoons of honey and apply on the aching tooth. This may be applied 3 times a day till the tooth stops aching.
Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water, given to a cholesterol patient, was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10% within 2 hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, if taken 3 times a day, any chronic cholesterol is cured. As per information received in the said journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complains of cholesterol
Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold and clear the sinuses.
Yunani and Ayurvedic Medicine have been using honey for thousands of years to strengthen the semen of men. If impotent men regularly take two tablespoon of honey before going to sleep, their problem will be solved.
Antioxidant compounds present in foodstuffs play a vital role in human life, acting as health-protecting agents. In addition to this role, antioxidants are one of the key additives used in fats and oils (Vangalapati et al., 2012). Antioxidants have been used to delay or prevent food spoilage. Spices andmedicinal plants have received rapid consideration as sources of beneficial antioxidants against various diseases. Antioxidants have been considered the most important drivers in the progress and existence of humans, as they respond to free radicals and damage in metabolic diseases and age-related syndromes of humans and other animals.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second major widespread neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease, with a prevalence of 2% in people 65 years and older. PD protein 7 (PARK7) is an autosomal recessive form of early-onset Parkinsonism caused by alterations in the DJ-1 gene. Khasnavis and Pahan reported that sodium benzoate, a cinnamon metabolite, upregulates DJ-1 by modulating mevalonate metabolites.
Cinnamon and its metabolite sodium benzoate also upregulate the neurotropic factors BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factors) as well as neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) in the mouse central nervous system. PARK7 is one of the main neuroprotective proteins that protects cells from damage and from the further detrimental effects of oxidative stress; therefore, this protein may be an effective molecule that can be incorporated into the therapeutic intervention of Parkinson’s disease
Another study reported that the aqueous extract of C.zeylanicum can reduce tau aggregation and filament formation,two of the main features of Alzheimer’s disease.The extract can also encourage the complete fragmentationof recombinant tau filaments and cause the considerablemodification of the morphology of paired helical filamentsfrom Alzheimer’s disease brain, indicating the potentialof cinnamon in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
A study comparing the insulin-potentiating effects of many spices revealed that the aqueous extract of cinnamon was 20-fold higher than the other spices. Methylhydroxychalcone polymer (MHCP) is the purified polymer of hydroxychalcone with the ability to stimulate glucose oxidation. Anderson et al. isolated and characterized the polyphenol type-A polymers from cinnamon and found that these substances act as insulin-like molecules. Following this characterization, a new compound from hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives named naphthalenemethyl ester, which has blood glucose-lowering effects, has been identified, further confirming cinnamon’s antidiabetic effects.
Go˜ni et al. described the antibacterial activity of a combination of cinnamon and clove oils against Gram-positive organisms (Listeria monocytogenes, Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus cereus), as well as against Gram-negative bacteria (Salmonella choleraesuis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Yersinia enterocolitica). A study from Hili et al. indicated that cinnamon oils have potential action against various bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli) and yeast (Torulopsis utilis, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Candida albicans, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae). A recent studyreported the activity of the aqueous extract of cinnamonand other plants against oral microflora. Overall, the essentialoil from cinnamon is more potent than other testedplant extracts, such as Azadirachta indica and Syzygium aromaticum
Cabello et al. reported that cinnamic aldehyde inhibits the activity of NF-B and the production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-) induced interleukin-8 (IL-8) in A375 cells. This inhibition provides additional support to the existing unrecognized role of cinnamic acid as a potential anticancer agent. Fang and others reported the anticancer effect of trans-cinnamaldehyde fromC. osmophloeum, finding that trans-cinnamaldehyde showed potential effects in restraining tumor cell growth and in enhancing tumor cell apoptosis