Cinnamon conjures memories of hot teas, gingerbread cookies and spiced foods that are so closely tied to the long and cold winter months. But even in the heat of summer, “warming” cinnamon can be used for a multitude of health benefits.
Historically, cinnamon has been used in perfume, as a holy anointing oil and as incense. Legend has it that the notorious Emperor Nero burned an entire year’s worth of Rome’s cinnamon supply at his wife’s funeral pyre (Ravindran, 2004).
Today, cinnamon is used less frequently in funeral pyres, but its usefulness in the modern world is undeniable. You will typically find commercial cinnamon in the form of Ceylon cinnamon and cassia cinnamon. Studies and home remedies have proven the many benefits of cinnamon for our health.
Cinnamon contains a surprising amount of fiber and calcium which are good for the heart. Specifically, ground cinnamon contains about 4 grams of fiber and 78 milligrams of calcium per tablespoon. Fiber and calcium help transfer bile salts out of the body. Bile salts can cause damage to colon cells, which in turn can lead to colon cancer. In this way, the fiber from cinnamon is a good cancer preventative. Also, when the bile salts are removed, the body breaks down more cholesterol to create new bile. This process may lower cholesterol levels, and lowering your total cholesterol may also lessen the chance of developing heart disease.