February 2012 - Herbs for Healing Newsletter in association with Transition Tradition:
Cinnamon and its medicinal benefits
Hot cross buns, with cinnamon please!
Don't we love delicious hot cross buns? So buttery, sweet and spicy! A tasty treat to mark the end of winter, traditionally eaten on Good Friday, sharing a hot cross bun with a friend is said to ensure friendship throughout the coming year.
Hot cross buns contain mixed spice, one of which is cinnamon.
They also contain flour and sugar, both of which will raise the blood sugar levels when you eat them. This can be a problem for people suffering from insulin resistance or diabetes.
Insulin resistance is the stage before type 2 diabetes, i.e. late-onset diabetes.
The good news is that insulin resistance can be reversed. Cinnamon can help play a part in reversing this condition, as research is showing.
When people suffer from insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is often still capable of producing insulin but the body cells are less able react to it.
This means that sugar is not taken up by the cells and stays in the blood leading to high blood sugar level, which can result in ill health.
Research has found that cinnamon in any sweet bun or pudding works with the body's insulin and helps re-sensitise cells to use the insulin correctly so the sugar moves from the blood stream into the cells.
Studies have shown that cinnamon significantly increases the ability of the cells to use the sugar which has a positive effect on the blood sugar level.
Less than 1/2 teaspoon per day of cinnamon has a positive effect on the blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Traditionally cinnamon is a warming spice, it can ward off the onset of a cold when mixed in tea or hot water together with some fresh ginger. Make sure it is true Ceylon cinnamon and not Cassia.
Cinnamon can practically be added to most sweet dishes but also to many savoury dishes, especially Middle Eastern dishes.