As you know, cinnamon is a very popular food used in holiday baking, gingerbread houses and holiday beverages such as egg nog. Hot cinnamon tea is a delicious and nutritious drink for a cold winter night. While you are enjoying these Christmas treats remember that the cinnamon in them is a benefit to your health.
Cinnamon is a tree grown in the Middle East and South Asia. The cinnamon common to most supermarkets is the bark from this tree, in the form of sticks or powder and is called Cassia or Chinese Cinnamon. It has been used in Chinese medicine for years. Ceylon cinnamon which is the real stuff, tastes lighter than the variety sold in most supermarkets today and originates in Sri Lanka. It is more expensive than Cassia and can be found in specialty food stores and health food stores. You can also get cinnamon in a capsule to take as a supplement.
Cinnamon is very high in antioxidants and minerals and is a natural anti-inflammatory. It is a good source of calcium, fiber, iron and manganese as well as Vitamin C and Vitamin K. It is an effective home remedy for reducing blood sugar, a digestive aid, anti-diarrhea, good for memory and cognitive function. It also helps with bad breath, toothaches, the common cold, relieving headache pain, lowering cholesterol and it’s anti-inflammatory properties help with arthritis pain. Cinnamon has anti-fungal properties making it a good weapon against yeast infections. It is used to help eliminate head lice because it has antiparasitic properties as well.
To make cinnamon tea which is great for the common cold and sore throat add a cinnamon stick to boiling water and let it boil for 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick. Drink this tea twice a day. If you prefer it with a little sweetness then add a little honey or stevia. It is so soothing.
European studies have shown that the Cassia plant contains an element called Coumarin which is toxic to the liver and kidneys in high doses. The amount of cinnamon used in baking and tea is not enough to be concerned. The health benefits of cinnamon far out perform the possible negatives of high concentrations of Cassia.
Enjoy your cinnamon treats! Reap the benefits and the savour the yummy and comforting taste.