Natures Beauty - Cinnamon

NATURES BEAUTY - LILY

Easter is upon us, and no flower is more associated with the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection than the lily. Traditional lore says white lilies emerged where drops of Christ’s sweat fell to the earth in his final hours on the cross. The ancient Greeks believed lilies came from the breast milk of Hera, the queen of the gods. In Roman mythology, Venus, the goddess of beauty, was jealous of the flower’s white loveliness. A European legend says if you approach an expectant mother holding a lily….

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NATURES BEAUTY - SQUASH

Is squash a vegetable or a fruit? You would probably call a zucchini squash a vegetable, but you would most likely call a pumpkin a fruit. The definitive answer, from a botanical view, is squash are fruits because they contain the seeds of the plant.  Squash are some of the oldest cultivated crops on earth, believed to have originated in Mexico and Central America more than 10,000 years ago. The word squash comes from the Narragansett Native American word askutasquash, which means…..

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NATURES BEAUTY - CINNAMON

One of the best-loved spices of cooks and food lovers alike is cinnamon. Made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree, cinnamon has been around since the days of ancient Egypt, where it was used to embalm mummies. The tree is native to the Caribbean, South America and Southeast Asia. Indonesia and China produce three-quarters of the world’s supply of cinnamon today.

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NATURES BEAUTY - CINNAMON

One of the best-loved spices of cooks and food lovers alike is cinnamon. Made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree, cinnamon has been around since the days of ancient Egypt, where it was used to embalm mummies. The tree is native to the Caribbean, South America and Southeast Asia. Indonesia and China produce three-quarters of the world’s supply of cinnamon today.


There are two main types of cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is called “true” cinnamon, while cassia is the most widely used variety. Cinnamon’s distinctive smell and flavor are created by a compound called cinnamaldehyde. More than just a flavoring for cakes, cookies, gum and candy, cinnamon also has significant effects on health and metabolism. It is full of antioxidants, which protect the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. It is has more antioxidants than several other beneficial herbs and spices, such as garlic, thyme, rosemary and oregano. It has anti-inflammatory properties and has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Cinnamon appears to reduce cholesterol levels and has also been shown to lower fasting blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance, which is associated with type 2 diabetes. It decreases the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a high-glycemic meal by interfering with the digestive enzymes.


Research demonstrates this common spice has some uncommon possibilities for improving health outcomes. Cinnamon has a pair

of compounds that apparently inhibit the buildup of the protein tau in the brain. This protein is a prime culprit in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists are trying to show definitively that cinnamon extracts have potential in the prevention and treatment of cancer by reducing the growth of cancer cells and the formation of blood vessels in tumors. Even more promising, cinnamon appears to be toxic to cancer cells, causing their death. According to Healthline (www.healthline.com), a study in mice with colon cancer revealed cinnamon to be a potent activator of detoxifying enzymes in the colon, protecting against further cancer growth. Human trials still need to be performed. Research is ongoing to see what effect cinnamon may have on other conditions such as HIV/AIDs.


This does not mean you should take that infamous cinnamon challenge, wherein you attempt to eat a tablespoon of dry ground cinnamon in less than a minute. The lungs can’t break down the fibers in the spice, so it may accumulate in the lungs and cause aspiration pneumonia. Cassia cinnamon has a substance in it called coumarin, which may cause liver damage or an increased risk of developing certain cancers. Eating large amounts of cinnamon can trigger an allergic reaction that may create mouth sores, an itching sensation in the mouth

or swelling of the tongue or gums. The cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon is a throat irritant and may cause breathing problems, especially for people with asthma. Consuming moderate amounts of cinnamon for short-term use as a supplement is deemed safe for most people, although those with liver disease should limit their consumption of cinnamon.

TANYA TYLER

Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

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