For centuries, people have known about the medicinal benefits of spices, especially cinnamon. The properties found in cinnamon can improve your health in many ways. Not only is cinnamon a tasty spice, but when taken on a daily basis, it acts as a natural healing agent, improving your health from head to toe. For starters, the aroma of cinnamon can improve your memory and boost brain function. It also has relaxing properties which reduce stress and lowers blood pressure. Placing a sachet of cinnamon in your home and office will greatly reduce stress on a daily basis.
Because of its strong antimicrobial properties, cinnamon effectively stops the growth of yeast, fungi and bacteria that grow in food and in your body. When added to foods, cinnamon acts as a natural alternative to chemical food preservatives. When used in powder form or made into a tea, cinnamon can be used to topically treat vaginal infections and athlete's foot. It also treats bad breath caused by bacterial growth in the mouth. Studies have shown that when taken in small amounts on a daily basis, cinnamon significantly lowers cholesterol, since cinnamon has the ability to act as an anti-clotting agent in the blood.
Cinnamon has been proven to dramatically reduce diabetes and also alleviates the pain and swelling of arthritis. Cinnamon is also a natural antioxidant. Taken on a daily basis, it can lower your risk of cancer. Cinnamon also aids the digestive system. Take a tablespoon of cinnamon water after meals to reduce flatulence and to stimulate digestion. If you have a stomach bug, cinnamon decreases nausea and diarrhea. Cinnamon also eases menstrual cramps and reduces the chance of developing stomach ulcers.
When cinnamon is mixed with raw honey, it fights the common cold and other flu-like symptoms. Drinking the mixture will ease the pain of sore throats, malaria and even fight off influenza. If you suffer from a headache, mix powdered cinnamon into a paste and apply it to your forehead and your headache will be gone. Apply a pasty mixture to the face to clear up pimples, blackheads and other acne problems. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on over-the-counter and prescription medicines, cinnamon is an affordable alternative to care for your health. You can improve your health and quality of life without breaking your bank account. You’ll soon find that this aromatic spice isn’t just for cooking, but is nature’s pharmacy.
"There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance…"
–Ophelia to Laertes, Hamlet
There are only a few things that make me break out in a cold, heart-stopping, sweaty panic: getting stuck in a dark, tight cave; snakes; and dying alone. Oh, uh, uh… I almost forgot. There is one other thing: losing my memory… my mind… to a life-robbing disease such as Alzheimer’s.
For many of us, the experience of watching a person (be it family, friend, patient, or hero) in the throes of Alzheimer’s is sad, frustrating, and heart wrenching. How helpless it must feel to watch a once vibrant, intelligent, and competent person slowly lose his ability to tie his own shoelaces or recognize his own children. If you know someone close to you or have a friend, there is a wonderful book called The 36 Hour Day by Nancy Mace and Peter Rabins that drives home the point of how frustrating a day for the caregiver of an Alzheimer’s patient truly is. In fact, it is more like a day and a half – hence the title. Often the days are filled with impatience, anger, and “what ifs.” If you know anyone with memory problems or, like me, want to maintain your own mental prowess, try these simple spices in your food regularly. Just maybe we can avoid the predicament altogether.
One spice, Cinnamon, is especially powerful. It affects several physiologic functions of the body. Cinnamon kills bacteria and yeasts that cause stomach ulcers and urinary-tract infections, and even helps the body regulate blood sugar. But for me, the most important benefit of its consumption is increased brainpower. A few years ago, it was discovered that just the smell of cinnamon could improve cognitive function. In that study, it was true that either tasting (technically it was chewing) or smelling cinnamon worked to improve brainpower. WOW… this may lead me to renew my old grade-school days’ habit of chewing cinnamon toothpicks... read on