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Variety is the Spice of Life: The health benefits of the spices

Nothing signals the start of the holiday season better than the scent of holiday spices filling your home. But popular holiday spices have much more to offer than pleasing scents--they each have unique health benefits that will add not only great taste to your holiday dishes but also a healthy boost.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon:  here’s to your health

A dash of cinnamon can be the perfect way to add delicious flavor to many food dishes, but this spice can actually benefit your health in a variety of ways as well. Cinnamon has been used for medicinal purposes around the world for centuries, and it is known for its unique and potent remedial qualities.

In traditional Chinese medicine, Cassia cinnamon is used for colds, flatulence, nausea, diarrhea, and painful menstrual periods. At the same time, it is also used by these Oriental herbalists to normalize the temperature of liver and stomach.  It's also believed to improve energy, vitality, and circulation and be particularly useful for people who tend to feel hot in their upper body but have cold feet.

In Ayurveda, cinnamon is used as a remedy for diabetes, indigestion, and colds, and it is often recommended for people with the kapha Ayurvedic type.  Cinnamon is sweet, bitter, and pungent all at the same time. This is another heating spice. It relieves thirst and stimulates salivation. It also stimulates kapha, while decreasing vata and pitta.

It is said that the famous seductress Cleopatra indulged in the practice of aromatherapy, using the intoxicating scents of cinnamon, cardamom and rose to bewitch and entice Marc Antony.

The sweet and spicy flavor of cinnamon has been used by many different cultures for its medicinal properties for hundreds, even thousands, of years.   Cinnamon’s unique healing abilities come from three basic types of components in the essential oils found in its bark. These oils contain active components called cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol, plus a wide range of other volatile substances.

Although available throughout the year, the fragrant, sweet and warm taste of cinnamon is a perfect spice to use during the winter months. Cinnamon has a long history both as a spice and as a medicine. It is the brown bark of the cinnamon tree, which is available in its dried tubular form known as a quill or as ground powder. The two varieties of cinnamon, Chinese and Ceylon, have similar flavor, however the cinnamon from Ceylon is slightly sweeter, more refined and more difficult to find in local markets.  One of the most talked about benefits of cinnamon relates to type 2 diabetes. A study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day significantly reduces blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It also reduces triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels among this group. >>>

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Disclaimer.
Information on this web site was gathered from many sources in public domain such as published books, articles, studies and web sites. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.  Please discuss your health conditions and treatments with your personal physician.

 

 

 

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