Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum, and Cinnamon cassia), the eternal tree of tropical medicine, belongs to the Lauraceae family. Cinnamon is one of the most important spices used daily by people all over the world. Cinnamon primarily contains vital oils and other derivatives, such as cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, and cinnamate. In addition to being an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anticancer, lipid-lowering, and cardiovascular-disease-lowering compound, cinnamon has also been reported to have activities against neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. In addition to being used as a spice and flavouring agent, cinnamon is also added to flavour chewing gums due to its mouth refreshing effects and ability to remove bad breath. Cinnamon can also improve the health of the colon, thereby reducing the risk of colon cancer Cinnamon is a coagulant and prevents bleeding Cinnamon also increases the blood circulation in the uterus and advances tissue regeneration.
Cinnamon has also been traditionally used as tooth powder and to treat toothaches, dental problems, oral micro biota, and bad breath .
Medicinal Properties :
The active principles in the cinnamon spice known to have anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, antiseptic, local anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative and anti-flatulent properties.
Cinnamon spice has the highest antioxidant strength of all the food sources in nature. The total measured ORAC (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity) value for this novel spice is 2,67,536 Trolox equivalents (TE), which is many hundred times more than in chokeberry, apples, etc. Antioxidant compounds present in foodstuffs play a vital role in human life, acting as health-protecting agents. In addition to this role, antioxidants are one of the key additives used in fats and oils. Even in the food processing industry, antioxidants have been used to delay or prevent food spoilage.
Spices and medicinal plants have received rapid consideration as sources of beneficial antioxidants against various diseases. Antioxidants have been considered the most important drivers in the progress and existence of humans, as they respond to free radicals and damage in metabolic diseases and age-related syndromes of humans and other animals.
The spice contains health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, a phenylpropanoids class of chemical compound that gives pleasant, sweet aromatic fragrance to it. Eugenol has got local anesthetic and antiseptic properties, hence; employed in the dental and gum treatment procedures.
Other important essential oils in cinnamon include ethyl cinnamate, linalool, cinnamaldehyde, beta-caryophyllene, and methyl chavicol.
Cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon sticks has been found to have anticoagulant (prevents blood-lotting) function, prevents platelet clogging inside the blood vessels, and thereby helps prevent stroke, peripheral arterial and coronary artery diseases.
The active principles in this spice increase the motility of the intestinal tract and aid in digestion by increasing gastro-intestinal enzyme secretions.
This spicy stick is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Iron is essential for cellular metabolism as a co-factor and in RBC’s production. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese and copper also work as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
It also contains good amounts of vitamin-A, niacin, pantothenic acid, and pyridoxine.
Further, it is also a very good source of flavonoid phenolic antioxidants such as carotenes, zeaxanthin, lutein, and cryptoxanthin.
|Cinnamon spice (Cinnamonum verum),
ORAC Value-267536, Nutritional value per 100 g.
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||1.24 g||4.5%|
|Dietary Fiber||53.1 g||133%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.358 mg||7%|
|Vitamin A||295 IU||10%|
|Vitamin C||3.8 mg||6%|
|Vitamin E||10.44 mg||70%|
|Vitamin K||31.2 µg||26%|