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Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that can be used in both sweet and savoury foods. Cinnamon trees are native to South East Asia.cinnamon1 Cinnamon

While widely known only as a spice, cinnamon has many clinically proven health benefits and antioxidant properties. Read Dr. Joyal’s article Cinnamon Spice Can Save Your Life!

In medicine it acts like other volatile oils and had a reputation as a cure for colds. It has also been used to treat diarrhea and other problems of the digestive system. Cinnamon is high in antioxidant activity. The essential oil of cinnamon also has antimicrobial properties, which can aid in the preservation of certain foods.

Cinnamon has been reported to have remarkable pharmacological effects in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes mellitus and insulin resistance. The plant material used in the study was mostly from Chinese cinnamon (see Chinese cinnamon’s medicinal uses). Recent advancement in phytochemistry has shown that it is a cinnamtannin B1 isolated from C. verum which is of therapeutic effect on Type 2 diabetes, with the exception of the postmenopausal patients studied on C. Cassia. Cinnamon has traditionally been used to treat toothache and fight bad breath and its regular use is believed to stave off common cold and aid digestion.

Pharmacological experiments suggest that the cinnamon-derived dietary factor cinnamic aldehyde (cinnamaldehyde) activates the Nrf2-dependentantioxidant response in human epithelial colon cells and may therefore represent an experimental chemopreventive dietary factor targeting colorectal carcinogenesis. Recent research documents anti-melanoma activity of cinnamic aldehyde observed in cell culture and a mouse model of human melanoma.

It is reported that regularly drinking tea made from the bark of Sri Lanka cinnamon could be beneficial to oxidative stress related illness in humans, as the plant part contains significant antioxidant potential.

Ancient Uses and Cultural Impact

Cinnamon has been known from remote antiquity. The Old Testament makes specific mention of the spice many times: first when Moses is commanded to use both sweet cinnamon (Hebrew קִנָּמוֹן, qinnāmôn) and cassia in theholy anointing oil;[4] in Proverbs where the lover’s bed is perfumed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon; and in Song of Solomon, a song describing the beauty of his beloved, cinnamon scents her garments like the smell of Lebanon. It was so highly prized among ancient nations that it was regarded as a gift fit for monarchs and even for a god: a fine inscription records the gift of cinnamon and cassia to the temple of Apollo at Miletus. Though its source was kept mysterious in the Mediterranean world for centuries by the middlemen who handled the spice trade, to protect their monopoly as suppliers, cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka. It was imported to Egypt as early as 2000 BC, but those who report that it had come from China confuse it with cassia. It is also alluded to byHerodotus and other classical writers. It was too expensive to be commonly used on funeral pyres in Rome, but the Emperor Nero is said to have burned a year’s worth of the city’s supply at the funeral for his wife Poppaea Sabina in A.D. 65. Before the foundation of Cairo, Alexandria was the Mediterranean shipping port of cinnamon.

Indonesian rafts transported cinnamon (known in Indonesia as kayu manis- literally “sweet wood”) on a “cinnamon route” directly from the Moluccas to East Africa, where local traders then carried it north to the Roman market.

Arab traders brought the spice via overland trade routes to Alexandria in Egypt, where it was bought by Venetian traders from Italy who held a monopoly on the spice trade in Europe.

References:

Wikipedia and other online sources.

  1. ^ Felter, Harvey. “Cinnamomum.—Cinnamon.”. Retrieved 2007-05-01[unreliable source?]
  2. ^ Shan B, Cai YZ, Sun M, Corke H (October 2005). “Antioxidant capacity of 26 spice extracts and characterization of their phenolic constituents”. J. Agric. Food Chem. 53 (20): 7749–59. doi:10.1021/jf051513y.PMID 16190627.
  3. ^ Mancini-Filho J, Van-Koiij A, Mancini DA, Cozzolino FF, Torres RP (December 1998). “Antioxidant activity of cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum, Breyne) extracts”. Boll Chim Farm 137 (11): 443–7.PMID 10077878.
  4. ^ López P, Sánchez C, Batlle R, Nerín C (August 2005). “Solid- and vapor-phase antimicrobial activities of six essential oils: susceptibility of selected foodborne bacterial and fungal strains”. J. Agric. Food Chem. 53 (17): 6939–46. doi:10.1021/jf050709vPMID 16104824.
  5. ^ George Mateljan Foundation, Cinnamon, ground. “Research: Thalido…”. Retrieved 2007-05-01
  6. ^ Khan A, Safdar M, Ali Khan MM, Khattak KN, Anderson RA (December 2003). “Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes”Diabetes Care 26 (12): 3215–8.doi:10.2337/diacare.26.12.3215PMID 14633804.
  7. ^ Verspohl, Eugen J. et al.; Bauer, K; Neddermann, E (2005). “Antidiabetic effect of Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum zeylanicum In vivo andIn vitro“. Phytotherapy Research 19 (3): 203–206. doi:10.1002/ptr.1643.PMID 15934022.
  8. ^ Taher, Muhammad et al.“A proanthocyanidin from Cinnamomum zeylanicum stimulates phosphorylation of insullin receptor in 3T3-L1 adipocyties” (PDF). Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  9. ^ Vanschoonbeek, Kristof et al.“Cinnamon Supplementation Does Not Improve Glycemic Control in Postmenopausal Type 2 Diabetes Patients”. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  10. ^ Alice Hart-Davis (16 January 2007). “Chillies Are the Spice of Life”. Retrieved 2007-12-17.
  11. ^ Wondrak GT, Villeneuve NF, Lamore SD, Bause AS, Jiang T, Zhang DD (May 2010). “The Cinnamon-Derived Dietary Factor Cinnamic Aldehyde Activates the Nrf2-Dependent Antioxidant Response in Human Epithelial Colon Cells”Molecules 15 (5): 3338–55.doi:10.3390/molecules15053338PMID 20657484.
  12. ^ Cabello CM, Bair WB, Lamore SD, Ley S, Bause AS, Azimian S, Wondrak GT (January 2009). “The cinnamon-derived Michael acceptor cinnamic aldehyde impairs melanoma cell proliferation, invasiveness, and tumor growth”Free Radic. Biol. Med. 46 (2): 220–231.doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2008.10.025PMID 19000754.
  13. ^ Beck, Leslie. “Cinnamon — December 2006′s Featured Food”. Retrieved 2007-05-01
  14. a b “Cinnamon Oil Kills Mosquitoes”. www.sciencedaily.com. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
  15. ^ Ranjbar, Akram et al.“Antioxidative stress potential of Cinnamomum zeylanicum in humans: a comparative cross-sectional clinical study”.doi:10.2217/14750708.3.1.113. Retrieved 2008-05-11.

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