Cinnamon has been around for millennia. It was a sought-after spice that comes from the soft, inner bark of the Cinnamomum species. Most cinnamon found in grocery stores is from Cinammomum Cassia, which originates from China. Ceylon cinnamon, or Cinnamomum Verum ("true cinnamon") can be find in specialty stores and is sweeter, milder, and more aromatic than its stronger, harsher, and less expensive counterpart.
Cassia cinnamon also contains a chemical called coumarin*, which if taken in high quantities can cause liver toxicity. For this reason, Cassia cinnamon importation is banned in Germany.
*coumarin, which is a fragrant, organic compound also found in sweet grass and sweet clover, can be converted to the anticoagulant dicoumarol by certain fungi. It caused the spontaneous bleeding death of cows when they ate moldy sweet clover. Coumarin is also the precursor to making warfarin, or Coumadin, which many people take to prevent their blood from clotting and causing strokes or deep vein thrombosis (DVT or pulmonary embolism). Coumarin smells like freshly cut hay, and is used sometimes in cosmetics. Like the lotion I used yesterday that covered my hands in a rash. YUCK!
- helps with nausea, indigestion, menstrual cramps, colds, diabetes,
- increases energy, circulation
Some interesting cinnamon research:
- cinnamon has been shown to kill mosquito larvae
- it's been found in some studies to work against HIV and HSV (herpes virus), and found to have general anti-viral properties
- may inhibit Alzheimer's in mice
- may prevent colon cancers
- cinnamon supplements have helped treat type 2 Diabetes in some patients
(I wanted to insert a YouTube video of someone doing the Cinnamon Challenge, but every single one has serious profanity, for obvious reasons. So here's a picture instead.)
|I didn't actually do the challenge. Cinnamon aspiration is NOT on my To-Do list.|
Maybe it's funny, but there is a serious risk to doing this challenge. Inhaling cinnamon can cause serious inflammation of the lungs, gagging, and can lead to infection. Also, most commercial cinnamon in the U.S. is made of Cassia, which means a tablespoon of ingested cinnamon has moderately toxic levels of coumarin in it.
So yeah, leave this challenge to the YouTube fame-mongers. Please!
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