Use cinnamon to control inflammation

Edited by Christine dela Cruz, Lynn, Maria Sharon Ubando, Alma and 2 others

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Cinnamon is most commonly used to add an interesting flavor to many pastries, baking, cookies and even lattes. Cinnamon, however, is so much more than that. There are many other benefits that can be realized from the intake of cinnamon. It's use as a medicinal can be found in almost all cultures dating back to ancient civilizations.

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What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is one of the body's first reactions to protect itself from external factors that negatively affect the body. When it occurs, it only tells us that the body is putting up a defense and self-protection, which means that the body is trying to recover on its own from those harmful factors.

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Inflammation is often mistakenly equated with infection, however, these two are not the same. Infection, caused by viruses, fungi, and even bacteria, does cause inflammation, but inflammation can exist within the body without any signs of infection.

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As ironic as it may sound, inflammation, in most cases, is actually good because it lets a person know there is something wrong inside the body that needs attention. For example, if there is an infection in the throat, there would be an inflammation that's visible during a physical check-up. Without this, diagnosis would be much more complicated. Inflammation is most commonly characterized by swelling of the affected area. But, in the case of something like rheumatism, inflammation is present without there being any infection. In the same way inflammation signals trouble inside, a fever often signifies an infection.

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Once inflammation has been identified, it must be addressed as soon as possible. When left untreated, it may lead to further inflammation of that same area or even spread to another. One of its qualities is that it is self-perpetuating.

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Treatment usually involves methods to reduce swelling. Once this happens, the healing process begins.

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Stages of Inflammation

  1. 1
    Irritation
    .
    Redness - sometimes an itching or a burning feeling, is common at this stage.
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  2. 2
    Inflammation
    .
    This is the first step of the immediate process of healing that the body engages.
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  3. 3
    Suppuration
    .
    This is characterized by the discharge of pus from the area.
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  4. 4
    Granulation
    .
    This is when small masses of tissue form to begin healing.
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Components Of Cinnamon That Work Against Inflammation

One of the many benefits of cinnamon is how effective it is controlling inflammation. This is due to the powerful antioxidants contained in cinnamon. Antioxidants are known to help in repairing tissue damage, which leads to effective control of inflammation.

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The cinnamon bark is known to contain essential oils that contain three important and volatile constituents that work toward the reduction of inflammation. These constituents are:

  1. 1
    Cinnamaldehyde
    .
    This helps reduce inflammation and has a direct effect on platelets, which are constituents of the blood that are responsible for clotting during injury to stop bleeding. This makes it an effective defence against strokes and heart disease.
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  2. 2
    Eugenol
    .
    This has antiseptic properties and works like a natural local anesthetic. This is similar to cloves, which have been used in the field of dentistry for eons.
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  3. 3
    Linalool
    .
    Contained in many aromatic plants, it has been used since ancient times to help lower stress levels, fight inflammation, and combat depression. It is believed, that just breathing Linalool in, can achieve some of these benefits.
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  4. 4
    Other Important essential oils in cinnamon include ethyl beta-caryophyllene, cinnamate, and methyl chavicol.
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The Power of Antioxidants

In the past few years, antioxidants have become more commonly known. They play a very important function in maintaining healthy cells, by protecting them from the adverse effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecular by-products of food when broken down. They may also come from the environment, such as when tobacco smoke is inhaled or when a person is exposed to radiation. These damaged cells play a significant role in many diseases, particularly cancer.

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Antioxidants Often Contain

  • Vitamin A. This leads to better vision and stronger immune system. It also motivates growth of new and healthier cells.
  • Vitamin C. This provides overall protection to the body by compensating for some deficiencies of the immune system. It is not only a defense against coughs and colds, but it's for overall physical well-being.
  • Vitamin E. This prevents heart diseases as well as thickening of the blood vessels. It is also known to prevent several types of cancers, such as lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and gastric cancer. Vitamin E is also well-known as a supplement for promoting better functions of the brain.
  • Beta-carotene. This benefits the body by acting as a scavenger for free radicals, therefore preventing spread and further damage to other cells.
  • Lutein. This is the eyes' best friend. It protects the eyes from various conditions, especially those which are age-related. At the same time, it nourishes the skin through better hydration and protection from the dangerous rays of the sun.
  • Lycopene. This protects the cells from further damage. It is also thought to prevent cancer by strengthening the cells and wiping the free radicals off.
  • Selenium. This inhibits the activities and effects of free radicals in the body. It also releases glutathione peroxidase, which is an enzyme that flushes out the chemicals that degrade the body's essential fats.
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Things to Know When Purchasing/Consuming Cinnamon

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  1. 1
    Cinnamon is best used as natural or organic as possible
    .
    Don't take anything for your health, that's been sprayed with pesticides/herbicides and gone through any chemical processes. It's best to utilize raw cinnamon sticks compared to processed cinnamon purchased at the supermarket.
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  2. 2
    When selecting cinnamon sticks, make sure the smell sweet
    .
    If the fragrance is missing, it means it is not fresh anymore and should be thrown away.
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  3. 3
    Storage of cinnamon should be in a tightly-sealed container and it should be stored in an area that does not have direct sunlight and an area that's too moist
    .
    The shelf-life of cinnamon sticks is typically about a year, or even longer when stored in the refrigerator.
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  4. 4
    Cinnamon sticks are less convenient to use, compared to readily available cinnamon powder
    .
    However, there are some practical uses such as a stirrer for tea, coffee, and cocoa drinks. This lets the drink absorb and mix some of the cinnamon at the same time.
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  5. 5
    When engaging in heavy physical activity, such as exercise or sports, it's best to increase the amount of cinnamon intake, as it will prevent or control inflammation resulting from the activity you are participating in
    .
    You may add a teaspoon or two of cinnamon to your protein shake taken after a workout.
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  6. 6
    There is really no such thing as overdose when it comes to cinnamon intake
    .
    However, 1 to 6 grams in a day is sufficient to realize the benefits. During cases of inflammation, a slight increase in this recommended daily intake would be good, and then just taper it down as soon as the symptoms subside.
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  7. 7
    While there is no difference in terms of effectiveness between mixing cinnamon in hot or cold drinks, it is better to mix it with hot drinks mainly because it makes the absorption and combination to the food or drink faster than when you do so with something cold
    .
    At the same time, hot drinks also have a soothing effect which could lead to calming any inflammation.
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Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • If you have a known blood disorder or you suspect you might have one, avoid consuming more than the recommended daily dose of 1 to 6 grams. Too much of it can lead to low platelet levels, and result in excessive bleeding.
  • Talk to your doctor if you are taking medication to thin the blood, before starting on cinnamon.
  • It is not recommended to consume cinnamon before surgery. Although it helps in preventing or controlling inflammation that may be one of the after-effects of surgery, it may have an adversely affect your blood clotting abilities during surgery.
  • Always consult your doctor before changing your diet.
  • This article is not intended to replace a doctor's consultation, or conventional medicine.

Questions and Answers

Can cinnamon prevent inflammation?

Yes, cinnamon has been found to contain anti-inflammation properties. Due to this, some effective homemade anti-acne inflammation remedies include cinnamon. There are some health issues, though, that are aggravated by cinnamon intake. It is recommended to consult your doctor first. Due to the anti-inflammatory benefits of cinnamon, it is also sometimes used to treat obese people who have pre-diabetes symptoms. A cinnamon extract known as cinnulin, may be given to them, and should be taken twice daily for a couple of months.

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Yes it can, according to some scientific evidence; there are natural antioxidant compounds available in cinnamon, which can help prevent the inflammation in the body.

What are the effects of cinnamon on inflammation due to exercise?

Cinnamon will help inflammation cause by activities or repetitive motion, as well as provide other help benefits such as aiding diarrhea, headaches and colds. The ingredients in cinnamon that help against inflammation are its natural anti-oxidants.

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Does a sudden itching swelling of wrist mean I am allergic to cinnamon?

You may be showing signs of allergic reaction when you experience itching or swelling on your wrist, or any other part of the body that has come into contact with cinnamon. This is called contact dermatitis. If the itching and swelling are accompanied by cough, watery eyes and runny nose, then you are likely suffering from mild cinnamon allergic reaction. When you experience difficulty in breathing, then you should not delay in seeing a doctor, for it could be fatal.

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This can mean that you allergic but it isn't definite as your wrist can itch for other reasons such as for wearing a watch or wrist band that can cause an itching sensation from the sweat build up underneath your accessory.

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The best advice I can give you is to consult your medical doctor so that you can have the a professional diagnosis - the best possible answer regarding your allergies.

By consulting a doctor you can get an expert opinion on your situation to help you be more careful to stay away from foods that are harmful to your body.

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Use cinnamon to control inflammation. (2017). In VisiHow. Retrieved Jun 26, 2017, from http://visihow.com/Use_cinnamon_to_control_inflammation

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Article Info

Categories : Cinnamon Usage & Benefits

Recent edits by: Rob, Alma, Maria Sharon Ubando

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