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Cinnamon Health Benefits

Cinnamon. Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

I personally love cinnamon. Indeed, some of my favorite things in this world contain cinnamon, such as life savers, cinnamon tic tac's (awesome!) and even my favorite toothpaste.

And I'm not alone being a cinnamon junkie. Cinnamon is a very popular flavoring in the United States due to its ability to cover up "unpleasant things," along with its "kick," also known as spice.

Cinnamon, whose scientific name is Cinnamomum verum, comes from a small evergreen tree. It is most commonly grown in India and Sri Lanka.

The "spice" of cinnamon comes from the oil it contains. The oil is extracted from the bark of the tree, not the leaves, something I found rather interesting.

In addition to having a wonderful taste, cinnamon has a few health benefits. The health benefits of cinnamon include :

  1. Antioxidants : One reason for cinnamons popularity in tea is due to its antioxidants. The problem is determining exactly how much antioxidants is in any particular tea that contains cinnamon. Unless it is a pure cinnamon tea, a herbal tea that just contains a "bit" of cinnamon is unlikely to have much in the way of antioxidants. As a general rule, if you seek antioxidants, go with black teas, white teas or green teas instead of herbal teas.
  2. Insect Repellent! : Yes, cinnamon has been shown to have a negative effect on biting insects. Still no substitute for DEET though! More commonly, cinnamon is used as a insecticide when "nothing else works" or when popular insecticides can't be used due to enviornmental reasons.
  3. Diabetes : Depending on which type of cinnamon is used (which depends on where it is grown), cinnamon can help control diabetes. Note that in most herbal teas there is not likely to be anywhere near enough cinnamon to help control this disease.

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