- Fights tooth decay: The antibacterial properties of cinnamon kill the harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. It also combats oral fungal/yeast problems, and is great for fighting halitosis (bad breath). Cinnamon oil is commonly used in chewing gums for this very reason. My kids enjoy chewing/sucking on cinnamon sticks, and so do I.
- Soothes upset stomach: Like many culinary spices, cinnamon helps calm the stomach. The stimulating properties of cinnamon increase circulation and healing in the GI tract, help to get the gastric juices flowing, and kill foreign bacteria. A Japanese study revealed that this spice may also help prevent ulcers.
- Clears up urinary-tract infections: One German study showed that cinnamon “suppresses completely” the cause of most urinary-tract infections (Escherichia coli bacteria) and the fungus responsible for vaginal yeast infections (Candida albicans). The tea recipe below can be used to combat urinary and vaginal yeast infections. Sweeten with honey and pour over ice to drink the tea all day long if you are fighting a bacterial or fungal infection.
- Allows diabetics to use less insulin: Some studies have shown that cinnamon helps people with Type II diabetes metabolize sugar better. In adult-onset diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin, but the body can’t use it efficiently to break down sugar. Researchers discovered that cinnamon reduces the amount of insulin necessary for glucose (sugar) metabolism. “One-eighth of a teaspoon of cinnamon triples insulin efficiency,” says James A. Duke, Ph.D., a botanist retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and author of The CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. Taking ½ to ¾ teaspoon of ground cinnamon with each meal may help control blood sugar levels.
- Other Benefits: Chinese herbalists tell of older people, in their 70s and 80s, developing a phlegmy cough. A helpful remedy, they suggest, is chewing and swallowing a very small pinch of powdered cinnamon every day. This remedy can also help people with cold feet and hands, probably because of improved peripheral circulation. It is also said to relieve nausea and vomiting, and, because of its mild astringency, is said to be particularly useful in infantile diarrhea.