Sunday, 10 April 2016

True Cinnamon from Sri Lanka is the right choice

Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum. 4 types or varieties of Cinnamon are used for commercial purposes. These are True Ceylon Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) from Sri Lanka, Cassia Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia) from China, Saigon Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Loureiroi) from Vietnam and Korintje Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Burmanni) from Indonesia.
The warming spice cinnamon has been valued for its culinary, medicinal, and natural preservative powers since ancient times. First described by Shen Nung, the father of Chinese Medicine, circa 2800 BC, ancient Egyptians used cinnamon as part of the mummification process.
Cinnamon contains:
Cinnamaldehyde- gives cinnamon its flavor and odor. Anti-inflammatory. The essential oil of cinnamon bark is about 98% cinnamaldehyde.
Cinnamyl alcohol - has a distinctive odour and is used in perfumery and as a deodorant.

Cinnamic acid - is used in flavors, synthetic indigo, and certain pharmaceuticals.

Eugenol – is used in perfumes, flavorings, and essential oils. It is also a local antiseptic and anaesthetic. Eugenol is hepatotoxic, meaning it may cause damage to the liver.
Safrole - The European Commission on Health and consumer protection assumes safrole to be genotoxic and carcinogenic.
Coumarin – Coumarin is a phytochemical which has demonstrated hepatotoxic and carcinogenic properties in animal-based studies. Based on this the European Food Safety Authority established a tolerable daily intake (TDI) for coumarin of 0.1 mg/kg body weight.
Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) only contains low levels of coumarin which in the opinion of the BfR are safe in terms of their health effects. Cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia) contains higher levels of coumarin. For this reason, it is not advisable to consume large quantities of it over prolonged periods of time. Coumarin might causes liver damage although the effects are apparently reversible.
% Coumarin by Species:
Cinnamomum verum (True Cinnamon) - 0.017 g/kg
Cinnamomum cassia - 0.31 g/kg (18 x C. verum)
Cinnamomum burmannii - 2.15 g/kg (126 x C. verum)
Cinnamomum loureiroi - 6.97 g/kg (410 x C. verum)

Unfortunatelly most of spice with Cinnamon at shops is coming from Cassia Cinnamon or the origin is even not written on the label.

Health benefits:
Antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antioxidant properties - Cinnamon kill E. coli and many other bacteria. Prevent  urinary tract infections, tooth decay, and gum disease. Cinnamon is natural antibiotic.
Calm Inflammation -Anti-inflammatory compounds help relieve pain and stiffness of muscles and joints due to arthritis. Chronic inflammation plays a major role in the development of various neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, brain tumor, and meningitis.
Boost Brain Function – Cinnamon improves virtual recognition memory, working memory, and visual-motor response speed. Cinnamaldehyde and Epicatechin have an inhibitory effect on the aggregation of a particular protein called tau. Tau plays a large role in the structure and function of neurons, it can begin to accumulate, forming "neurofibrillary tangles" that are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Both compounds were found to protect tau from oxidative damage that can lead to dysfunction.
Diabetes support, helps with blood sugar control - Cinnamon reduces blood glucose concentration and enhances insulin sensitivity.
Support Weight Loss - Cinnamon is effective in moderating postprandial glucose response, the amount of sugar in your blood after a meal and have a favorable impact on hunger and weight gain.
Soothea Sore Throat or Cough – Cinnamon is antibacterial, in traditional Chinese medicine used for chesty wet cough.
Anti-Cancer - The cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon appears to suppress colon cancer cells and may also be effective against human liver cancer cells.
Source of fiber, manganese and calcium
Relieve Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)- Cinnamon aromatherapy along with rehabilitation can significantly reduced symptoms.
Blood thinner - Cinnamon thins blood. This blood thinning properties are particularly high in Cassia Cinnamon, while Ceylon Cinnamon does not seem to thin your blood. This blood thinning property of Cassia Cinnamon helps it in acting as an anti clotting agent especially for those suffering from heart disease. However care must be taken to NOT to take it with other blood thinning medication (f.e.warfarin).

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