In ancient Egypt cinnamon was used as a medicine and for embalming mummies, in Rome it was valued more highly than gold. Through the middle ages its sweet woody scent made it popular in cooking – especially in dishes such as pies and pastries. While Chinese medicine and Ayurveda have long revered cinnamon as a superpower used to treat a plethora of illnesses such as colds, indigestion and cramps and to improve energy, vitality and circulation. Cinnamon heats the digestive fire – thus promoting a healthy digestive system. It also has a natural cleansing action that stops the growth of microbes and kills bacteria. It is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.
Cinnamon and Honey
In Ayurvedic medicine, honey is known as ‘Yogavahi’, which translates as ‘the carrier of the healing values of the herbs to the cells and tissues.’ In other words, it it is believed that honey when mixed with another healing herb or spice enhances its medicinal qualities and helps it reach the deeper tissues in the body more effectively. Like cinnamon, honey has strong antimicrobial properties and the combination of the two can be a powerful barrier to fungi and bacteria.
Drinking a mix of one teaspoon of ground cinnamon and one teaspoons of honey in a glass of hot (not boiling) water twice a day will help cure bladder infections, ease period pain (cinnamon is a powerful ant inflammatory) and common colds and when drunk morning and night over several weeks or months may assist in weight loss as cinnamon boosts metabolism and encourages more effective digestion.
A paste of equal parts cinnamon and honey can be applied on the hair and left for fifteen minutes to prevent hair loss, or massaged on to areas afflicted with arthritis twice a day (drinking a tea of honey and cinnamon will also ease the symptoms of arthritis as it helps improve circulation and brings warmth to the body) You can also try applying the paste to an aching tooth to relieve some of the pain.
Recipe: Cinnamon and Vanilla Body scrub
This is a great body scrub to use in the wet season in Bali when the humidity can play havoc with the skin
¾ cup organic palm sugar (or brown sugar) mixed with 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons organic coconut oil ( olive, almond or apricot kernel oil can also be used)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Vitamin E or Rosehip Oil (optional)
Mix all ingredients together and store in a glass jar. Gently rub on the skin while showering and rinse off with warm water.
Banana Cinnamon Smoothie serves two
The combination of perfectly ripe bananas and the exotic aroma of cinnamon makes an intoxicating combination. You can swap the yoghurt for rice milk or soy milk if you prefer, and add 2 tspoons organic cocoa powder if you want to make it a little chocolatey. When I make this in the morning i also like to add a tablespoon of Bali Boost (from Zula/Down to earth) – a nutritional powerhouse of macca, guarana, cocoa and other ingredients that gives an instant lift to my day
- 4 bananas
- 250 ml low fat yoghurt
- 1 cup water
- half cinnamon stick
- 2 tspoon coconut syrup or palm sugar
Blend all ingredients and serve with a sprinkle ground nutmeg on top