Taste (Rasa): Sweet, Pungent, Bitter
Energetics (Virya): Heating
Doshic Effects: Pacifying for Vata and Kapha
Benefits & Use: Cinnamon is a powerful spice that has been used medicinally around the world for thousands of years. It is still widely used today both because of its benefits and its distinctly sweet, warming taste and ease of use in recipes. Packed with a variety of protective antioxidants that reduce free radical damage, cinnamon has an anti-inflammatory effects which helps lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, brain function decline, and more. Cinnamon also improves digestion and absorption, and promotes elimination. It removes toxins from the body, and improves circulation by strengthening the heart and warming the kidneys. Additionally, as both an expectorant and a decongestant, cinnamon may be used in the treatment of respiratory and sinus congestion, bronchitis, colds, and the flu. Another health benefit of cinnamon is that it reduces several of the most common risk factors for heart disease, including high cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels, and high blood pressure. It helps lower blood sugar levels and also can improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which is the vital hormone needed for keeping blood sugar levels balanced.
Additional Uses: Stimulates central nervous system; tooth decay; bone health; weight loss
In the Kitchen: Because of its naturally sweet taste, adding cinnamon to foods and recipes can help you cut down on the amount of sugar you normally use. A little bit o goes a long way; as little as 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon daily can have positive effects on blood sugar levels, digestion, and immunity. Note: Not all cinnamons were created equal. Only cinnamomum verum provides the health benefits described here. Others, like cinnamomum cassia, or Chinese cinnamon don’t have enough active ingredient to reap the benefits of use.