SERVING SIZE: 1/16 tsp
SPECIES: Cinnamomum cassia
How Can This Ayurvedic Food Make You Feel Great?
Expectorant for Your Lungs
Cinnamon not only helps your hands and feet, it stimulates circulation especially in the lungs and joints. It's pungent spiciness warms up the lungs and liquefies mucus congestion. You may have noticed that when you make tea with cinnamon, a thick, gooey substance settles to the bottom of your cup. This gooey property is called demulcent among herbalists and helps you expecorate any thick, kapha like mucus adhered to the bronchial tubes. Cinnamon's demulcency also coats the throat, soothing it. For best results, gargle with cinnamon, or squeeze a wedge of lemon into an herbal tea with 1/4tsp cinnamon.
Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Cinnamon is a popular garnish atop many desserts. While many of us choose cinnamon in desserts for its unique taste, this choice also reflects the body's innate wisdom. Cinnamon regulates blood sugar and its stimulating pungency makes it perfect for heavy, sweet foods. Cinnamon also regulates metabolism of fats and sugars, helping with type II diabetes and insulin resistance.
Freshen Your Breath
Cinnamon's taste freshens the breath and is used in many commercial products. Natural anti-microbial properties in cinnamon cleanse the mouth, addressing the root cause of bad breath. Its stimulating fresh taste can also be used to quell nausea and stop vomiting. As an analgesic cinnamon is useful for toothache. Just take a pinch of the powder and apply directly onto the tooth.
The warming, stimulating and sweet qualities of cinnamon make it a powerful aphrodisiac. Just sprinkle cinnamon on your favorite dark chocolate to kindle amorous feelings. Cinnamon also stimulates oxytocin, the tend and befriend hormone. Oxytocin increases breast milk production and stimulates uterine contractions, useful during labor. The warming and stimulating qualities of cinnamon flush uterine congestion, relieving painful menstrual cramps and restoring normal, natural flow of the menses. Paradoxically, cinnamon's heat stimulates blood flow, while its dryness & astringency acts as a hemostatic (stops blood flow). That makes cinnamon useful for both light and heavy periods. Oxytocic herbs can stimulate miscarriages and should not be used during pregnancy.
Like most pungent spices, cinnamon rekindles digestion. It is a favorite additive to counteract the mucus provoking qualities of dairy. Cinnamon's anti-microbial qualities also reduce gas and fermentation in the GI. Cinnamon's mild astringency is also useful in infant diarrhea and diarrhea from cold digestion. To increase astringency combine cinnamon with chalk or activated charcoal.
A Personal Experience of Cinnamon from Joseph's Journal January 16, 2010
The best way to experience an herb is on an empty stomach, early in the morning. Then sit on a comfortable pillow with eyes closed and examine its effects on the body. Each person will have a unique and different experience to share when sampling an herb. Here is an entry from John Immel's Journal after drinking a strong tea of cinnamon:
I experienced a rough palate and tension in the throat (evidence of astringency), pain in the back of head (high Vata due to astringency), throbbing of blood vessels in the temporal lobe (evidence of circulatory stimulant), opening of air passages, pressure in the lungs, increased heart rate, decreased sensitivity of the skin (analgesic effect), cooling of the eyes (alterative effect), expectoration which cleared my sinuses, and within a half hour, hunger. Initially I experienced the stimulating and upward moving qualities of cinnamon. Then as the heat warmed my Vata I became tired and fell asleep for several hours. Visually, cinnamon reminds me of the dry, cracked red mud of the desert
Other Properties of Cinnamon
Cinnamon warms and stimulates the heart, liver, kidney and spleen. It disperses deep cold, alleviates pain from stagnation of blood and prana, and encourages generation of prana and blood. Cinnamon is used to treat upper heat and lower cold. It appears in topical formulas for premature ejaculation perhaps due to its analgesic and warming qualities. Don't try this at home - cinnamon burns!
The term laurel itself means an emblem of distinction of victory as in "To rest on one's laurels." Cinnamon is thus a plant of distinction and royalty. In the ancient world cinnamon was more precious than gold, a gift for monarchs and gods. The emperor Nero burned a year's supply of Rome's cinnamon to grieve the loss of his wife (whom he murdered).
Even the Bible is rich with references to cinnamon, further attesting to its importance in ancient times. Moses used sweet cinnamon and cassia to make oils for anointing. In proverbs a lover's bed is perfumed with myrrh, aloe, and cinnamon. In the Song of Solomon, the beauty of the beloved is described, "Cinnamon scents her garments like the smell of Lebanon." In ancient Egypt, cinnamon was included among several spices to embalm and preserve mummies.
BUYING & PREPARATION
Intrigue, Myths, and Trade of True Cinnamon
There are a number of fantastic myths created by Middle Eastern traders to conceal the origins of the spice and protect their monopoly of cinnamon trade. One such story included fishing cinnamon with nets at the source of the Nile, while in another, giant cinnamon birds collected cinnamon sticks from unknown lands to build their nests. In reality, the botanical name (Cinnamomum verum, synonym C. zeylanicum) reveals cinnamon's intriguing origins and history. The genus cinnamomum derives from the Hebrew and Arabic term amomon, meaning fragrant spice plant.
The species name, verum, reveals more modern intrigue in the cinnamon trade. Verum means true as in true cinnamon. True cinnamon is often substituted with inferior relatives such as Cinnamomom cassia. True cinnamon is delicate while cassia is rough and hard. True cinnamon forms a powder easily with a mortar and pestle whereas cassia is difficult to powder. Although used for similar purposes medicinally, cassia has a harsher flavor, more potent and sharp. True cinnamon is also called sweet cinnamon because it is sweet and gentle. A synonym for the species name verum is zeylanica, derived from Sri Lanka's former name, Ceylon, where the plant is native. Cinnamon sticks are difficult to grind but retain their freshness longer than powder. Buy a powder when using as a garnish, or use cinnamon sticks when adding to a soup.
COOKING CINNAMONBrowse Recipes
In the Middle East, cinnamon flavors decadant meat dishes. In desserts it is often mixed with rosewater. In ancient Egypt cinnamon was used as a flavoring for beverages. Cinnamon is paired with chocolate in Mexico and used as a garnish on rice pudding in India. In savory dishes cinnamon is delicious with squash, on sweet potatoes with dates and almonds. It is foundational in savory Indian and African curries. The famous spice mixes Garam Masala and Panch Puran include cinnamon. Cinnamon can also be used for pickling. In Morocco cinnamon is combined with preserved lemons. It also combines well with many other spices including saffron, black pepper, and paprika.
Cinnamon's versatility lends itself to experimentation. It is also appealing to children, who often enjoy its sweet taste. So when the chill has you feeling in need of some gentle care, you may want to reach for this sweet spice and see what it can bring to your plate and to your body!
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WHY EAT AN AYURVEDIC DIET?Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. An Ayurvedic diet is tailored to your individual body type and the specific imbalances you are working with at any given time. Ayurveda shows you your specific body type’s needs and what should be favored in your Ayurvedic menu. Watch as you eat less but feel more satisfied because what you are eating truly nourishes you. Since Ayurveda believes all disease begins in the digestive tract, food is your first medicine. By eating a healthy diet that’s ideal for your body, you experience optimal health.
Is Cinnamon Good for My Ayurvedic Diet?
AYURVEDIC MEDICINAL BIOCHARACTERISTICSWhat is the biocharacteristic theory of medicine?
Experiences are PersonalExperiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary. The list of herbal-actions below has not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Here are the herbal actions of Cinnamon:
ANTIEMETICHerbs that reduce nausea or stop vomiting.
APPETIZERHerbs that cleanse the palate & stimulate hunger or desire to eat.
CARMINATIVEStimulates the release of gas. Helpful for bloating or cramping abdominal pain. Propels food downward.
DIGESTIVEHerbs that encourage healthy digestion.
SPLEEN-TONICAn herb that strengthens spleen function by improving strength of the blood. Spleen tonics Builds agni, brighten the person's appearances & firms up tissues.
Cleanse and Detox:
Energy Vitality Strength:
STIMULATES-ENERGYThis category groups thyroid and adrenal stimulating herbs
Heart & Circulation:
CARDIAC-STIMULANTHerbs that increase the heart rate. Useful in cardiovascular health, blood stagnation, and subjective feeling of heaviness in the chest area.
HEMOSTATICAn herb that stops bleeding.
STYPTICA herb that contracts tissue or blood vessels. Generally styptics are astringent. They are often used to stop bleeding.
ANTIBACTERIALHerbs that kill bacteria or slow their growth.
ANTIFUNGALHerbs that destroy fungus.
ANTIMICROBIALAn agent that kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth. Antimicrobial is an umbrella term that can be broken down into specific categories of target microorganism, such as anti-bacterials, fungals, and virals.
Lung and Sinus:
WARMS-CHESTWarms the chest and lungs, clearing mucus and allowing for clear breathing.
SOOTHES-THROATSoothes throat discomfort, including from a sore or ticklish throat.
DECONGESTANTAn herb that reduces mucus congestion in the sinus or lungs by restricting blood flow to mucus membranes.
DEMULCENTHerbs that coat or form a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane.
EXPECTORANTHerbs that help you cough up and eliminate mucus. These herbs often work by increasing the quantity of mucus, or thinning the mucus.
Mind, Stress & Sleep:
ANALGESICRelieves or reduces feelings of pain without eliminating sensation.
APHRODISIACHerbs that increase sexual arousal through various actions including increased circulation, relaxation, stimulation, or tonics that strengthen glandular health.
EMMENOGOGUEHerbs which stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus. They are used to increase scanty menstruation, relieve menstrual pain, and other functions.
GALACTAGOGUEIncreases production of breast milk.
Skin Care & Beauty:
RUBEFACIENTAn herb used topically that causes dilation of the capillaries and an increase in blood circulation. The skin will appear red or flushed.
Lowers Blood Sugar
LOWERS-BLOOD-SUGARAn herb that lowers blood sugar.
Joyful Belly is a recognized school of biocharacteristics medicine.
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HOW DOES EATING AYURVEDICALLY MAKE YOU FEEL?Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. Food digests with ease when right for your body type (dosha). Healthy digestion is seen as the cornerstone of well-being in Ayurveda. Healthy digestion generally prevents illness. If you do get sick, a strong digestive fire reduces the severity of illness and increases your resilience. It also improves your mood. Once you begin eating Ayurvedically, you will feel refreshed, vital and strong.
View Other Ingredients for Autumn-WinterCinnamon is recommended for Autumn-Winter. Check out these other Autumn-Winter foods here.
Comments & Impressions of 'Cinnamon'Do you like 'cinnamon'? Why or why not? What makes it unique? Is there something you'd like to know about 'cinnamon'?
a traditional home remedy forThis information has not been validated by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Poop3+ bowel movements a day, Diarrhea
BonesAches & Pains - General, Cold aggravates pain, Hip pain
Respiratory HealthAnimal/dander allergy, Cough with mucus / wet cough, Difficulty expectorating, Frequent motion sickness, Large amounts of mucus, Laryngitis, Mucus Congestion, Mucus/congestion in mornings, Post nasal drip, Runny nose, Sinus Infection, Sinus pain around eyes, Sinus pain in cheeks, Sinus pain in forehead, Sore throat, Stuffed nose (can't breathe), Thick mucus, White mucus
DigestionBad breath, Foul taste on tongue, Frequent Burping, Frequent Nausea, H pylori infection, Hoarse Voice, Malabsorption, Pain lower back, Slow, heavy digestion, Sweet taste on tongue, Tired after eating, Vomiting Mucus
Blood and CirculationBlood dark in color, Candida / Yeast Infection / Thrush, Chronic Fungus infection, Chronic Infection, Cold extremities, Cold to touch, Diabetes (Adult Onset), High Blood Sugar, Insulin Resistance, Thalassemia Minor, White tongue coating
Reproductive HealthClots in menstrual blood, Dry / light period, Erectile Dysfunction, Heavy Period, Painful menstruation & menstrual cramps, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), White vaginal discharge
SkinCold aggravates my skin
Weight LossFat back of arms, Fat on back, Fat on buttocks, Fat on thighs, Feel overweight, Low metabolism
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.