What is a spice anyway? Is an herb a spice? What’s the difference? Simply put, its all about how and where it grows. Spices are generally derived from shrubs or trees (woody plants) that grow in tropical or sub-tropical regions. An herb on the other hand, can be easily grown in a garden pot and does not develop persistent woody tissue.
Spices have been documented for health concerns as early as 2700 B.C. The oldest spice known to man is CINNAMON. The bitter tasting, brown spice, was thought in ancient times, to be more precious than gold by the Egyptians and was also used it as a healing medicine.
Cinnamon comes from the bark of an evergreen tree grown primarily in South East Asia and Sri Lanka. Of the many types of cinnamon, there are two primary types that are consumed throughout the world: Ceylon (Sri Lanka), known as the “true” cinnamon and Cassia (South Asia), the less expensive type. This is the cinnamon that is more consumed in North America.
Research shows the health benefits of cinnamon are many. The woody spice contains antioxidants and is a good source of magnesium, fiber, calcium, and iron. It has been found to reduce cancer cell proliferation in leukemia and lymphoma, lower blood pressure and cholesterol (LDL), prevent blood clots and is good for your circulatory system. Despite its bitter taste, cinnamon helps stomach issues such as nausea and diarrhea. It slows the emptying rate of the stomach reducing blood sugar spikes. Cinnamon also increases oxygen to cells, an attribute good for heart and brain function. Just the smell of cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory. It’s natural anti-inflammatory properties help arthritis suffers navigate better after taking as little as a half teaspoon taken with honey for a week.
Cinnamon is as a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent. It acts as a natural food preservative. The phenols contained in cinnamon inhibit bacterial growth that lead to food spoilage. Such effects fight dangerous bacteria like e-coli. And, on the other end of the spectrum, cinnamon was effective in curing some medicine-resistant yeast infections when all else failed.
Like many other natural remedies, the jury is still out on a complete list of health benefits. But beside the medicinal properties, most would agree that there’s nothing like the welcoming aroma of a burst of cinnamon jolting the olfactory, or the comforting flavor of a frosted cinnamon roll or buttered toast warming your mouth.
Bobbi Klebenow is a 20 year veteran of the Medical College of Wisconsin. She is a Reiki Master Teacher and a student of alternative medicine therapies. Bobbi is certified a nutriceutical consultant and is a weight management lifestyle coach. Please visit her website at www.marketamerica.com/chuckd and take a free nutraPhysical to get an idea of how you can look better, feel better, and have more energy through proper supplementation. While your at it, check out the cash back program that will benefit Feronia Wellness Center too.