The Sweet Fragrant Cinnamon
Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants that inhibit blood clotting and bacterial growth (including the bad-breath variety). Studies suggest that cinnamon can help stabilize blood sugar, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, Furthermore it may help reduce bad cholesterol. Try half a teaspoon a day in yogurt or oatmeal.”
Cinnamon is also used to natural sweeten dishes with a subtle taste. Remember the chewing gum Dentyne, cinnomon is very popular stateside, used in numberous recipes and hot drinks.
How it looks – It is a moderate sized evergreen tree with reddish brown soft bark, with warts and dark purple avoid fruits. Here at The Academy we would use the bark and its oil in cooking. The Bark is a not widely avaiable but we stock it in the Cookery school and it can be bought here on line.
What it does – Bark- Acrid, aromatic, astringent, aphrodisiac, febrifuge, diuretic, and carminative.
The Medicinal value of Cinnamon
There are numerous ways in which cinnamon can be used in the treatment of a range of disorders.
In coughs and colds – Cinnamon helps in expulsion of mucus from lungs, if 250 mg is boiled in milk and given to the patient 3-4 times at an interval of 4 to 6 hours.
In loose motions and gripes – mix a pinch of cinnamon powder with a pinch of catechu and give 3-4 times a day for relief of disorders. To thicken the mixture and to improve digestion, 1 gm powder of cinnamon should be taken with hot water.
In headache – Rub the oil lightly onto the temples to ward off headaches.
In vomiting – Add a few drops of the oil to water/milk and drink for nausea and vomiting to subside.
In heavy periods – Take a glass of the decoction of the bark twice a day to control heavy menstrual bleeding.
In cavities in teeth - A piece of cotton soaked in the oil held in between teeth helps keep infection away.
In wheezing – Boil pieces of cinnamon, liquorice and palm candy in 3 cups of water and reduce to a cup. Take an ounce of this decoction thrice a day.
In shooting pain in abdomen – Take a paste of pieces of cinnamon bark with saunph seeds to avoid indigestion and relieve abdominal pain.
So there you have it – as well as a wonderful taste ina number of sweet and savoury dishes Cinnamon also has fantastic healing properties. Not bad for something that looks like decorative bark chips.
For further information please contact Kumud Gandhi – Food Scientist, writer and broadcaster on food food programmes. Kumud Founded The Cooking Academy, cookery school in Hertfordshire, a unique cookery school that puts the beneficial properties of ingredients at the heart of everything they teach. Kumud gandhi is also Master Chef of their range of Indian cookery classes.