Ayurvedic Spice Cabinet: How Cinnamon Combats Inflammation, Promotes Anti-Aging & More
Many of us know cinnamon as a warming, pungent spice that adds a powerfully sweet and spicy flavor to many dishes, drinks and desserts. However, what is less well-known is that cinnamon is also a health and wellness superstar with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits—that’s why it’s been revered in Ayurveda for hundreds of years as a therapeutic remedy for many ailments.
There are 2 types of cinnamon: Ceylon cinnamon, or “true” cinnamon, and Cassia cinnamon, a more common variety that most of us use in our day-to-day lives; Cassia cinnamon is the kind most commonly carried in grocery stores. It’s important to note that Cassia cinnamon has high levels of a compound called coumarin, which can be dangerous when consumed in high doses, whereas Ceylon contains much lower levels of coumarin. However, the potent health benefits of cinnamon can still be attained from the Cassia variety, as long as it’s consumed in moderation.
From fighting off infection to regulating blood sugar levels, cinnamon’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties endow it with powerful healing and therapeutic effects. Read on to learn more about the benefits of this versatile Ayurvedic spice.
Benefits of Cinnamon
It Stimulates Agni
As cinnamon is spicy, warning and pungent, it serves as an excellent tool for stimulating agni, or our digestive fire. In Ayurveda, it is believed that one’s agni is central to one’s overall health, as agni regulates what enters our body and how we process external stimuli. For hundreds of years, Ayurvedic tradition has incorporated cinnamon as a remedy for ailments like indigestion and bloating. Since it’s a warming substance, it helps to pacify Kapha and Vata; its benefits can also be reaped by those who are Pitta-dominant, as long as they consume it in moderation.
It Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Cinnamon is also beneficial for its ability to regulate blood sugar, making it a powerful tool for those with diabetes and high blood sugar levels. This occurs for many reasons. Firstly, research has demonstrated that cinnamon helps to reduce insulin resistance, which is characteristic of conditions like type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, it hinders glucose from entering the bloodstream and also improves glucose utilization by mimicking insulin. As a result, cinnamon is effective in lowering blood sugar levels naturally.
It Combats Infection
Cinnamon also contains powerful antimicrobial properties, which enables it to combat various types of infection. For example, research suggests that cinnamon may boost oral hygiene and help to rid the mouth of toxins. It’s also known to help alleviate respiratory tract infections.
It Reduces Free Radical Damage
Several studies have demonstrated the powerful antioxidant properties of cinnamon. Thanks to these antioxidants, cinnamon can help to fight off free radical damage, which is the cause of both internal and external ailments. These ailments include inflammation, disease, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Cinnamon thus both protects our bodies from disease and infection and enacts a number of anti-aging effects on the skin, promoting a more even and radiant complexion. That’s why we incorporate it into anti-aging, detoxifying products like our UMA Absolute Anti Aging Aloe Rose Toner and our UMA Ultimate Brightening Face Mask.
It Alleviates Joint Pain
Finally, given that cinnamon stokes agni, the boost it provides to our digestive system makes it easier for us to prevent ama, or toxins, from accumulating in the body. This can help alleviate conditions like joint pain, which are caused by the buildup of ama around the joints.
Now that you know more about the potent healing benefits of cinnamon, you may be wondering how you might incorporate it into your routine. You can also brew a simple cinnamon tea by placing a cinnamon stick in water and boiling for at least 10 minutes, adding honey and/or lemon at the end for taste. To reap more of cinnamon’s anti-aging, clarifying effects on the skin, you can also try outo our Deeply Clarifying Neem Charcoal Cleanser and Aloe Alum Toner, which are formulated to combat acne and inflammation, promote tightness and evenness, imbue the skin with radiance and more.
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