When we were kids, part of our breakfast most mornings was a piece of buttered toast, on which we would pour honey and sprinkle ground-up sunflower seeds. To this day, I consider it one of the best-tasting things that I eat.
But once in a while we would switch it up and sprinkle some cinnamon on our toast instead. It provided a very different and enjoyable taste (not to mention a great smell), especially for kids who were not allowed to consume much in the way of sugar.
Cinnamon still tastes great on toast – as well as a number of other items – but it’s not just for eating and it’s not just for the holidays. This ancient yet relevant spice has a multitude of uses, especially when it comes to its healing capabilities.
Whether eaten, applied or smelled, it can exercise its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties. For those of you keeping score at home, one tablespoon of ground-up cinnamon contains 19 calories, four grams of fiber and – best of all – no fat or sugar.
Here’s a look at 12 of the benefits your body might receive from cinnamon:
Better Circulation. Due to its ability to thin blood, cinnamon can increase circulation in the body, which sends needed oxygen to blood cells.
Improved Digestion. During the digestion process, cinnamon can help to break down fats. So, add it to foods or drink it mixed with tea prior to eating.
Lower Cholesterol. Triglycerides and bad cholesterol (LDL) dropped for diabetic patients in a study in which individuals consumed just one-quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon daily.
Brain Booster. Just the smell of cinnamon can improve memory and cognitive function, according to researchers. Add it to your coffee or cereal in the morning, and carry a stick to smell periodically.
Lose Weight. By reducing hunger and sugar cravings, cinnamon can help people lose unwanted weight. This is especially effective for diabetics trying to shed pounds.
Pain Reducer. Because it contributes to the contraction and relaxation of muscles, especially as it reacts with the hormone-like substance prostaglandin, cinnamon is used to treat pain.
Yeast Infection Enemy. The combination of cinnamon’s ability to lower blood sugar levels and battle fungal infections makes it a candidate for fighting medication-resistant yeast infections.
Dental Health. Cinnamon extracts have been shown to fight bacteria living in the mouth that can cause cavities, bad breath and tooth decay.
Skin Treatment. Skin irritations, including those caused by insect bites, can be treated with a mixture of cinnamon and honey… disinfecting, moisturizing and healing along the way.
Stomach Settler. Once again, combine cinnamon and honey to accomplish this task. Their anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties can reduce stomach gas and treat ulcers.
Bladder Issues. Infections in the bladder and urinary tract might be avoided with a regular dose of cinnamon in your diet. This diuretic keeps the flow going while providing anti-bacterial help.
Complexion Helper. Cinnamon has proven effective in treating skin blemishes including acne. Mix three tablespoons of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon and apply to your skin. Let it sit for a few hours before washing off with warm water.
Now let’s take a look at five additional uses for cinnamon:
Insect Repellent. Here’s a concoction you can make and then place in small perfume bags to keep by your clothes in drawers and a closet. Take one-half of a cup of whole black peppercorns and one-half of a cup of whole cloves and combine them with several broken cinnamon sticks. Each sachet should include one tablespoon of this mixture. This should keep moths away.
Food Preserver. Merely adding a pinch of cinnamon to any of your recipes will help prevent food spoilage because it will delay bacterial growth.
Aroma Enhancer. Take any dry potpourri, put it in a bowl and add several drops of oil of cinnamon. Then place the bowl where it will receive good ventilation.
All-Purpose Cleaner. Take an empty spray bottle and pour in 1.5 cups of water, 1.5 cups of vinegar and 30 drops of cinnamon essential oil. Use if for a variety of surfaces at home.
Earning the Bronze. Mix cinnamon, cornstarch and cocoa powder together until you have the color you desire. Mix in unscented lotion and use to bronze home items.