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Subheshaja (सुभेषज) – Ceylon Cinnamon

Cinnamon Cassia
Ceylon Cinnamon

Subheshaja: More Benefits of Cinnamon

“How have you been, Preethi?” asked Dr. Radha of her young friend. 

“Great, Aunty!” smiled Preethi, and then, sniffing the air, she asked, “Ooh, have you started using a new mouth freshener, Aunty? It smells really good!”

“It’s my own remedy for fresh breath, Preethi. You can use it too. All you need to do is take a small piece of cinnamon bark and chew on it for a while. Do you know that some studies have shown cinnamon to be as effective as clove against bacteria that cause gum diseases?”

“Oh! I didn’t know that although I do remember you telling me about how Ceylon cinnamon is good for diabetes and saying it has many other health benefits too!”

“Yes, the oil in cinnamon contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, and this is responsible for a wide range of effects on our body’s metabolism, Preethi. In traditional medicines from across the world, cinnamon oil has been used externally for its ability to reduce pain and stiffness in the joints, to improve digestion, and to treat cough and cold. Now, research shows it to have a strong antioxidant action, and laboratory studies have shown it to have a protective action against inflammation, cancer and several neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.” (1)

“Last week, when I had stomach pain, my mother boiled cinnamon in water and made me drink it after it cooled a bit. My pain reduced quite a bit after drinking it.”

“Yes, Preethi. Cinnamon has been used in traditional medicine for its digestive properties and to reduce gas and stomach cramps. Now, research is showing that it may have a beneficial effect on reducing gastric ulcers that are caused by an organism called Helicobacter pylori.” (2)

“What other benefits does cinnamon have, Aunty?”

“It has been found to be good for the heart too, Preethi. Firstly, it reduces the levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides and ‘bad’ cholesterol. Some studies have shown that cinnamon may increase the levels of ‘good’ cholesterol, too. This, along with what I already told you last time about cinnamon’s benefits against diabetes, means that it can really reduce the risk of heart diseases.” (3), (4)

“Oh! I never realized that cinnamon has so many health benefits! Now I must stop complaining when I happen to bite on a piece of it when eating the pulao my mother makes!”

References

1. Rao, P. V., & Gan, S. H. (2014). Cinnamon: a multifaceted medicinal plant. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM2014, 642942. Available online at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003790/ 

2. Imani G, Mehrpoya M, Khalilian A, Dastan D, Imani B. Effects of cinnamon extract on complications of treatment and eradication of Helycobacter pylori in infected people. J Herbmed Pharmacol. 2020;9(1):x-x. Available online at: http://www.herbmedpharmacol.com/Files/Inpress/jhp-22459.pdf  

3. Khan A, Safdar M, Ali Khan MM, Khattak KN, Anderson RA. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2003;26(12):3215-3218. Available online at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14633804/   

4. Allen RW, Schwartzman E, Baker WL, Coleman CI, Phung OJ. Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Fam Med. 2013;11(5):452-459. Available online at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24019277/ 

Anusuya Kashi

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