Use cinnamon to control inflammation

Edited by Christine dela Cruz, Lynn, Maria Sharon Ubando, Alma and 1 other



Christinedelacruz Cinnamon Stick.jpg

is most commonly used as an interesting additional flavor for many pastries and even lattes. However, it is actually more than that. There are many other benefits that can be realized from the intake of cinnamon, which date back to ancient years in China, where people used it for medicinal purposes.

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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 misconstrued as equivalent to infection. However, it's not quite right to refer to these two symptoms as one. Infection does cause inflammation, and infection is caused by viruses, fungi, and even bacteria.

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Ironic as it may sound, inflammation, in most cases, is actually good because it leads a person to know that something is 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 physical checkup. Without this, diagnosis would be much more complicated. Inflammation is most commonly characterized by swelling of the affected area.

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Once an 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 is usually involving attempts to reduce swelling. Once this happens, the healing process begins.

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Stages of inflammation

  1. 1
    Redness, and sometimes itching or a burning feeling, is common to see at this stage.
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  2. 2
    This is the first step of the immediate process of healing that the body engages with.
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  3. 3
    This is characterized by the discharge of pus from the area.
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  4. 4
    This is when small masses of tissue form to begin healing.
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Components of cinnamon that work against inflammation

One of these many benefits is the fact that cinnamon is effective in controlling inflammation. It is because of the powerful antioxidants that are contained in every serving. Antioxidants are known to help in repairing tissue damage, which leads to effective control of inflammation.

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Also, the cinnamon bark is known to contain essential oils which in turn have three important components that work toward the reduction of inflammation. These components are called cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl alcohol, and cinnamyl acetate, which are all very volatile. The main component here that has an effect on inflammation is cinnamaldehyde. It has a direct effect on platelets, which are constituents of the blood that are responsible for clotting during injury to stop bleeding. The cinnamaldehyde sourced from cinnamon would prevent unnecessary clotting of blood through inhibition of the release of inflammatory fatty acids.

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The power of antioxidants

Antioxidants have become more commonly known recently and are said to 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. It may also come from the environment, such as when tobacco smoke is inhaled or when a person is exposed to radiation. These damage cells and 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. Therefore, 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 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 known to be able 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.

How to absorb as much cinnamon as possible

  1. 1
    Cinnamon is best used as natural or organic as possible.
    The more chemical reaction and processes it undergoes, the more the three components mentioned above that have direct effect on inflammation would be degraded. It's best to utilize raw cinnamon sticks compared to processed ones in the supermarket.
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  2. 2
    When selecting cinnamon sticks, make sure it smells sweet.
    If this 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 a 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 coming out of the activity right away.
    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 would be 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 would 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 are suspecting to 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 consequently result in excessive bleeding.
  • 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 adverse effect in terms of blood clotting during surgery.

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 then 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 your inflammation 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. This will help to aid the healing of your body after gaining inflammation in the body.

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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 which 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 is not definite for 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 that I can give you is to consult your medical doctor so that you can have the best possible answer in regards to 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.

Referencing this Article

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Categories : Cinnamon Usage & Benefits

Recent edits by: Alma, Maria Sharon Ubando, Lynn

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