Thursday, February 23, 2012

Healing Herbs: Cinnamon

Yes, I am aware that cinnamon is technically a spice.

Here is the USA, we tend to think of cinnamon and sugar together in baked goods such as apple pie -- and while you will never catch me casting aspersions on pie, cinnamon is so much more than that.  Other cultures use it extensively in savory dishes (cinnamon is an ingredient in garam masala and chinese five spice blends), and for good reason.  Cinnamon is antiseptic, antiviral, and antibacterial, so it helps to kill foodborne pathogens.  It's also a digestive, helping the body to assimilate food and relieving nausea. 

Cinnamon does good things for your blood, too.  It lowers harmful cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, and aids circulation.  It's warming to the body. 

Some suggested uses:
  • Add to oatmeal to enhance oatmeal's cholesterol-lowering benefits
  • Sprinkle into hot chocolate when you come in from the cold -- it's a delicious combination and more warming than chocolate alone
  • Make cinnamon-ginger honey to add to cereal and beverages
  • Experiment with adding cinnamon to savory dishes
  • Sprinkle onto cooked rice -- it helps with nausea when you're sick or getting over a bug
McBride, Kami: The Herbal Kitchen, Conari Press, 2010
Balch, Phyllis A.: Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2010
McIntyre, Anne: The Complete Herbal Tutor, Octopus Publishing Group, 2010


  1. I like cinnamon and sugar on stove-popped popcorn! I also add a few dashes on cinnamon on my homemade waffles! Thanks for sharing, I might just add it to something tonight!

  2. Cinnamon and sugar on stove-popped popcorn is GENIUS! I know what I'm going to be snacking on while I watch my Friday night movie! Thanks. :)

  3. I love cinnamon, the smell is always very soothing to me. I have never thought of sprinkling it on my oatmeal so I will definitely be trying that in the mornings. I have been experimenting with using it in spicy tomatoes sauces and it works well in puttanesca, it takes the edge off the acidity of the tomatoes.