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Herbology 101 - Herbal Remedies and Herb Information

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Cinnamon (Cinnamomum)
Photo: Cinnamon (Cinnamomum) Cinnamon is a spice derived from the dried aromatic bark of one of several evergreen trees in the genus Cinnamomum, including the Ceylon cinnamon tree. These plants are part of the Lauraceae or laurel family.

Cinnamon is usually sold as rolled strips or ground into a medium fine powder. It is high in antioxidants and tannins, and is a low glycemic index food. Because of its highly aromatic nature, it is used as a spice in many regional dishes from Asia and the Middle-East. It is used in both sweet and savoury dishes.

In powdered form, it has been shown to have benefits in lowering blood sugar, improving insulin function, killing bacteria, and reducing triglyceride response. It is being studied for benefits in preventing neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis. As an oil, it kills mosquito larvae, and repels many adult insects. In both states it is good for killing bacteria such as E coli and aflatoxins.

History

Ceylon cinnamon (from Sri Lanka, C. verum) is the original variety, and it produces a lighter, more delicate cinnamon than the more common and less expensive Chinese or Burmese cinnamon, (from Myanmar, Cinnamomum cassia) that we typically find in the US and Canada.

As you can tell by the old country names (Ceylon and Burma), cinnamon has been used since biblical times. It is referenced as being one of the oils used to annoint the Ark of the Covenant.

Burmese or Chinese cinnamon is often referred to simply as "cassia", but it is not to be confused with Cassia obovata or senna which originates from the Fabaceae family, and are actually legumes.

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), ròu gùi, or Gui Zhi is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs (more in the Lore section).

Chinese cinnamon flower buds are also sometimes used as a spice in pickling.


WARNING: Some cinnamon oil-entrained compounds could prove toxic in high concentrations.
Due to a toxic component called coumarin, European health agencies have warned against consuming high amounts of cassia (Chinese cinnamon).

Lore:

China One of the 50 Fundamental Herbs.

Quality: Pungent(Acrid), Sweet, Hot.
Meridians: Heart, Kidney, Liver, Spleen.
Actions: Tonifies kidney yang, leads fire back to its source, disperse cold, encourages generation of qi and blood, promotes blood circulation, alleviate pain due to cold, dysmenorrhea.
India In Ayurveda, cinnamon is considered pungent, sweet, with hot potency, and an Anti-Tridosha effect. It is recommended for people with the kapha Ayurvedic type for its bitter tastes and rough, light, hot and penetrating qualities.

It is used as a remedy for diabetes, indigestion, and colds, and thought to improve the digestion of fruit, milk and other dairy products.

Related studies, articles, and news items


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Disclaimer: This content is provided here for informational purposes only. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or treat. Check with a qualified Health Practitioner before using any herbal treatment. Use of these reference pages signifies acceptance of this notice and our Terms and Condition.

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