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Medicinal Foods

Eastern Health Description

Cinnamon also known as the chinese herb Rou Gui is considered hot in temperature and has a acrid sweet flavor. It benefits the heart, kidney, liver, spleen. Rou Gui medicinal key characteristics are: warms and tonifies the yang, disperses cold, & promotes the movement of blood.
Helps with: Cold limbs, weak back, urinary frequency, impotence, diarrhea, heart palpitations, & shortness of breath(if due to deficiency of of the spleen & kidneys)

Cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom all have expansive, drying, warming qualities which reinforce the expansive aspects of sweet foods while reducing their moistening aspects. Foods which generally digest better with the addition of these spices include yams, sweet potatoes, winter squash as well as any other very sweet fare, particularly desserts and cooling fruit dishes. Adding pinches of these spices to highly mucus forming foods- milk, yogurt, kefir, sour cream, and other dairy- also greatly improves digestion, especially in the cold or damp individual.

Pitchford, Paul. Healing with Whole Foods. CA: North Atlantic Books, 2002.

Western Health Description

The active principles in the cinnamon spice are known to have anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-septic, local anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative and anti-flatulent properties.

Cinnamon has highest anti-oxidant strength of all the food sources in nature. The measured ORAC(Oxygen radical absorbance capacity) value for this exotic spice is 267536 trolox equivalents (TE), which is many hundred times more than in chokeberry, apples etc.

The spice contains many health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, a phenylpropanoids class of chemical compound, which gives pleasant, sweet aromatic fragrances. Eugenol has got local anesthetic and antiseptic properties, hence; useful in dental and gum treatment procedures.
Other important essential oils in cinnamon include ethyl cinnamate, linalool, cinnamaldehyde, beta-caryophyllene, and methyl chavicol.

Cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon-sticks has been found to have anti-clotting action, prevents clogging of platelets in the blood vessels, and thus helps prevent stroke and coronary artery disease.

The active principles in this spice may increase the motility of the intestinal tract as well as help increase the digestion power by increasing gastro-intestinal secretions.

This spicy bark is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Iron is required for cellular metabolism as a co-factor and in RBC's production. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese and copper used by the body as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

It also contains very good amounts of vitamin A, niacin, pantothenic acid, and pyridoxine.

The spice is also very good source of flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants such as carotenes, zeaxanthin, lutein and cryptoxanthins.

Cinnamon can help with weight loss for several reasons:

Cinnamon Decreases Blood Sugar: When your blood sugar is constantly spiking from the foods that you are eating, you will be more likely to gain weight or have a hard time losing extra weight that is already present. Keeping your blood sugar levels in check is an essential element of weight loss.

Cinnamon Manages Insulin Levels: Along with maintaining blood sugar
levels, cinnamon also helps to keep insulin levels in check. The insulin levels go hand-in-hand with your blood sugar levels, and maintaining lower insulin levels is an important element of overall health and weight loss.

Cinnamon Creates a Chemical Reaction: When cinnamon is consumed, the body actually reacts chemically to digest the cinnamon. This reaction actually speeds up the metabolism in order to offset the extra heat that is occurring as a result of the cinnamon. When the metabolism speeds up, you are burning more calories and you will lose weight more quickly.The active principles in the cinnamon spice are known to have anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-septic, local anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative and anti-flatulent properties.

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