Latin Name: Cinnamomum verum
Description: Cinnamon is the bark of fast-growing trees native to India. These trees can be grown in warm, moist conditions and sandy soil. It requires a large space to grow. Cinnamon, (with warming, drying energetics) is one of the best herbs for improving many common chronic illnesses, and is particularly known for its ability to stabilize blood sugar levels.
Parts Used: Bark, prepared as sticks, chips, powder, or essential oil
Plant Properties: aromatic stimulant, warming, demulcent, sweet, astringent, analgesic, hypoglycemic, antioxidant, antimicrobial
Uses: The warming, stimulating properties of cinnamon can boost vitality, improve circulation, and clear congestion. In addition to the benefit of stabilizing blood sugar levels, it is a digestive aid that helps relieve sluggish digestion. Cinnamon is also a powerful antiseptic, with antiviral and antifungal properties. So, it can be used as part of a treatment plan for viral and fungal infections, including colds and flus. Cinnamon, because of its antimicrobial properties, can be used in powder form as a toothpaste to maintain healthy teeth and gums, or as a diluted essential oil to alleviate toothaches.
Tea – Combining ginger with cinnamon in a warm tea can help relieve stomach and menstrual cramps. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tsp of chopped cinnamon bark and 1 tsp of dried ginger or freshly grated gingerroot. Cover and let the tea steep for 30-45 minutes, strain, and add honey to taste. Sip slowly and drink as often as needed until cramps subside.
Tincture – A cinnamon tincture is extremely helpful in regulating blood sugar. Place 2-4 ounces of chopped cinnamon bark in a glass quart jar. Cover with 2-3 inches of alcohol. Let steep for 4-6 weeks, shaking daily. Strain, and bottle the liquid. Take ¼ to ½ tsp two times a day for 5 days. Take 2 days off, then repeat the cycle. Continue for several weeks, or until blood sugar levels normalize.
Cinnamon tooth powder – Blend 2 tablespoons cinnamon powder, 1 teaspoon activated charcoal, and 1 teaspoon licorice root powder, and store in a small container with a lid. Use within 6 months. To use, wet the toothbrush and heap a small mound of powder on the toothbrush, and lightly brush.
Chia Seed Pudding with Cinnamon-Maple Syrup – Here’s a delicious way to eat your medicine.
PUDDING: Mix together 1/3 cups chia seeds, 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk, and 7/8 cups (1/2 can) each of water and plain yogurt. Let sit, covered, in the refrigerator for 3-5 hours, or overnight. It should have a thick, puddinglike consistency. Eat within 48 hours.
SYRUP: Melt 2 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil in a small saucepan. Add 1 tsp cinnamon powder, ¼ tsp ground cardamom (blend), and then add ¼ cup maple syrup (blend).
COMBINE: Pour equal amounts of syrup into four small jars or cups. Fill the cups with chia seed pudding (the syrup will naturally layer as you add the pudding) and enjoy!
The therapeutic amount for cinnamon is 1-6 grams per day. It should not be taken in large amounts during pregnancy. If you are using cinnamon regularly to lower blood glucose levels, you should monitor insulin levels closely. Since cinnamon is also an effective blood thinner, you should avoid taking therapeutic doses of cinnamon while taking pharmaceutical blood thinners.