Cinnamon

What is Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka and southern India. The main part of the tree used commercially is the dried bark. Processed cinnamon bark products include Ceylon-type cinnamon bark oil, liquid extract, tincture, various aqueous or aqueous-alcoholic dried extracts, and supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) soft extracts. Cinnamon leaf oil is also used, but to a lesser extent.

Part of cinnamon’s commercial popularity lies in its ability to both enhance and suppress flavor. When added to foods containing sugar, cinnamon exerts a synergistic effect and its aroma enhances the sweetness. Alternatively, cinnamon can help mask undesirable flavors and odors in foods and drugs.

Benefits & Medical Uses of Cinnamon

medicinalCinnamon bark and its oil is used in the pharmaceutical industry as an ingredient in products used for:

 

  • Asthma
  • Colds
  • Coughs
  • Diabetes
  • Fever-reducing
  • Expectorant properties
  • Treating bad breath
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Gastric distress
  • Impotence
  • Typhoid fever
  • Nausea and vomiting

Cinnamon bark oil is:

  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Antimicrobial
  • An antioxidant
  • Antiviral
  • Larvicidal

Cinnamon has been employed for several millennia in traditional Eastern and Western medicine for:

  • Anorexia
  • Bloating
  • Dyspepsia with nausea
  • Flatulent colic
  • Spastic conditions of the gastrointestinal tract

Cinnamon is commonly used in Western Medicine to aid the blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.  It is used specifically in improving metabolic measures. It also has a glucose-lowering and blood sugar regulating effect.

Cinnamon displays numerous beneficial effects (and no toxicity), including promoting glycemic control, healthy fat parameters, reduction of insulin resistance, potentiation of the action of insulin, and amelioration of common complications associated with diabetes.

Some suggests that cinnamon has the ability to even out the caffeine absorption in the body. Instead of getting a high peak and a sudden drop from the caffeine, cinnamon is said to even it out to a longer and more balanced effect.

Cinnamon in Folk Remedy

This spice has been used in folk remedies for a wide range of conditions: “amenorrhea, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, cancer, cholera, coronary problems, cough, diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, fever, fistula, lumbago, lungs, menorrhagia, nephritis, phthisis [pulmonary tuberculosis or other disease that causes wasting of the body], prolapse, proctosis, psoriasis, spasms, tumors, vaginitis, warts, and wens.  Additional folk medicine uses include dyspnoea (shortness of breath or labored breathing caused by serious disease of the airways, heart, or lungs), eye inflammation, “frigidity,” impotence, neuralgia, rheumatism, toothache, and wounds. It also has been used to alleviate tongue paralysis, as well as externally to relieve poisonous insect stings and acne.

Uses of Cinnamon in Other Cultures

Ayurvedic medicine use cinnamon bark oil as a single drug to treat flatulence, impaired digestion and metabolism, intestinal tract inflammation, peptic ulcer, vomiting, hemorrhoids, failure of penile erection, worm infestation, dryness of mouth, thirst, rhinitis/sinusitis, acute pain of nervine origin, blood disorders, tubercular ulcers, scorpion bite, and toothache. Cinnamon leaf oil has been used externally for rheumatism and inflammation.

Also in the Ayurvedic system of medicine, the powdered inner bark (tvak) is indicated for treating throat and mouth diseases, dryness of mouth, thirst, urinary bladder diseases, hemorrhoids, worm infestation, rhinitis/sinusitis, and heart disease.

In Siddha medicine, the powdered inner stem bark is used for treating all types of poisons and toxins, dysentery, painful gastrointestinal disorders with indigestion, flatulence, and wheezing. In Unani medicine, the dried inner bark is used for complete suppression of urine formation and excretion, sexual debility, bad breath and asthma.

Foods With Cinnamon

Cinnamon is used in curry and tea blends, baked goods, beverages, canned fruit, confections, desserts, pickles, liqueurs, marinades, meats, sauces, soups, and chewing gum. In Spanish-speaking countries cinnamon (canela) is popular in chocolate. Cinnamon Is also used in making mulled wine which is often used as an apéritif to aid digestion. Furthermore, cinnamon bark essential oil is used in the food industry, and has replaced ground cinnamon in large part, as it can provide a uniform flavor to confectionery, meat, and other processed foods.

Cosmetics

Cinnamon bark essential oil is used in the perfume, and pharmaceutical industries. Due to its irritant and skin-sensitizing properties, cinnamon bark oil is used minimally in the perfume industry to add a musky, woody undertone. It is also a fragrance ingredient in soaps, toothpastes, and mouthwashes. Cinnamon  leaf oil is also employed as a fragrance and germicidal ingredient in soaps.

Cinnamon Recipes

Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa

medicinal 2Ingredients

  • 1 cup 1% low fat milk (organic)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup quinoa (organic, hs note: rinse quinoa)
  • 2 cups blackberries (fresh, organic preferred)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans (toasted*)
  • 4 tsps agave nectar (organic, such as Madhava brand)
  • 1 cup quinoa (dry, yields approximately 3 cups cooked)
  • 13/4 cups water (or stock)
  • sea salt

Combine milk, water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat; let stand covered 5 minutes. Stir in blackberries and cinnamon; transfer to four bowls and top with pecans. Drizzle 1 teaspoon agave nectar over each serving.

Serves 4.

*While the quinoa cooks, roast the pecans in a 175C degree toaster oven for 5 to 6 minutes or in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes.

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Upside-Down Apple-Cinnamon Pie

medicinal 2Serves 8. If you don’t plan on serving this pie immediately, cool it in the skillet, then warm it for 10 minutes in a 175˚C oven before unmolding. This will keep the crust from getting soggy.

  • ¾ cup sugar – alternatively 5 drops of stevia extract / 1 tbs agave syrup / 1 tbs honey
  • 8 medium sweet-tart apples, such as Braeburn, peeled and cut into 12 wedges each (1.8kg)
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Refrigerated pastry for 1-crust pie, or 1 Perfect Every Time Piecrust
  1. Preheat oven to 175˚C. Spread sugar in even layer over bottom of 10-inch cast-iron or ovenproof skillet (not nonstick), and heat over medium-low heat. Cook 12 to 15 minutes, or until sugar has caramelized to a pale amber color, stirring often with wooden spoon. Remove from heat.
  2. Toss apple wedges with lemon juice and cinnamon in bowl. Arrange apple wedges flat-side down in concentric circles in skillet over caramel.
  3. Roll crust into 10-inch disc. Place dough over apples, folding edges inward to make a rim but covering apples completely. Make 2 to 3 small slits in dough to let steam escape while baking. Bake 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours, or until crust is golden brown.
  4. Cool 15 minutes on wire rack. Run knife around edges, then place large cake plate over skillet, and invert pie onto cake plate. Transfer any apples remaining in skillet into pie and smooth with knife
Apple Pie

Apple Pie

Nutritional Values in Cinnamon

 

Nutrient Value pr 100g
Energy 247 kcal
Protein 4 g
Fat 1.2 g
Carbohydrate 80.6 g
Fiber 53.1
Sugar 2.17
Calcium 1002 mg
Iron 8.3 mg
Magnesium 60 mg
Phosphorus 64 mg
Potassium 431 mg
Sodium 10 mg
Zinc 1.8 mg
Vitamin C 3.8 mg
Thiamin 0.02 mg
Riboflavin 0.04 mg
Niacin 1.3 mg
Vitamin B6 0.16 mg
Folate 6 µg
Vitamin A, RAE 15 µg
Vitamin A, IU 295 IU
Vitamin E 2.3 mg
Vitamin K 31.2 µg
Saturated fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated 0.07 g

Resources

http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbalgram/issue95/hg95-herbpro-cinnamon.html?ts=1381209258&signature=94db3ba337d8ecd8354b0273d457f235

http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/235?qlookup=cinnamon&fg=Spices+and+Herbs&format=&man=&lfacet=&max=25&new=1

sticks and powder

sticks and powder

Garlic

What is Garlic?

Garlic is the edible bulb from a plant in the lily family. It has been used as both amedicine and a spice for thousands of years. Garlic’s most common folk or traditional uses as a dietary supplement are for high cholesterol, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Medicinal Use of Garlic

medicinalMedicinal garlic comes in many forms, but raw garlic is most potent medicinally, and deodorized forms may have reduced medicinal action. According to a researcher at the National Cancer Insti- tute, garlic should be chopped and allowed to sit for 10-15 minutes before cooking to stabilize benefi- cial compounds and maximize garlic’s anti-cancer properties.

Garlic’s uses in folk medicine include treatments for bronchitis and respiratory problems, gastrointesti- nal problems, flatulence, leprosy, menstrual cramps, high blood pressure, diabetes and externally for warts, corns, arthritis, muscle pain, neuralgia and sciatica. It’s no wonder that garlic acquired the name poor man’s treacle, or cure-all. Recently, science has begun to confirm some of garlic’s long-standing medicinal uses. Garlic has been shown to lower blood cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar in studies and clinical trials and has also demonstrated anti-cancer, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-oxidant effects.

Benefits of Garlic

  • Preliminary research suggests that taking garlic may slow the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), a condition that can lead to heart disease or stroke.
  • Evidence suggests that taking garlic may slightly lower blood pressure, particularly in people with high blood pressure.
  • Some studies suggest consuming garlic as a regular part of the diet may lower the risk of certain cancers.

Side Effects and Cautions of Eating Garlic

Garlic may have some side effects due to disease, sensitiveness, in combination with medications etc. and if eating excessive amounts of it. Some are harmless and some more significant;

  • Breath and body odor, heartburn, upset stomach, and allergic reactions (these side effects are more common with raw garlic).
  • Garlic can thin the blood (reduce the ability of blood to clot) in a manner similar to aspirin. This effect may be a problem during or after surgery. Use garlic with caution if you are planning to have surgery or dental work, or if you have a bleeding disorder.
  • Garlic can irritate the digestive tracts of very young children, and some sources don’t recommend garlic for breastfeeding mothers. In addition, some individuals are allergic to garlic.
  • Garlic has been found to interfere with the effectiveness of saquinavir, a drug used to treat HIV infection. Its effect on other drugs has not been well studied.

Recipies with Garlic

Penne Pasta Salad with Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano

medicinal 2A high-quality, aged Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is essential to this recipe’s success: the bold, salty flavor curbs the need for extra fat or seasoning. The salad also makes a quick weeknight meal when served hot. Serves 6

  • 6 oz. penne rigate pasta
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 9 cloves garlic, minced (3 Tbs.)
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • ½ red jalapeño chile, seeded and chopped (1 Tbs.)
  • 10 fresh red or yellow grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 oz. shaved or crumbled Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water 8 minutes. Add broccoli, and cook 1 minute more. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water.

2. Return pot to stove, and heat oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic in oil 1 minute. Add jalapeño, and cook 30 seconds. Stir in pasta mixture, tomatoes, and reserved cooking water. Transfer to large serving bowl, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cool to room temperature, and top with cheese.

garlic

Garlic & Kale Soup

CookingThis brothy soup provides heart-healthful nutrition on many levels: kaleand garlic are good for the cardiovascular system; wheat berries are high in fiber; and shiitake mushrooms contain eritadenine, an amino acid that speeds up processing of cholesterol in the liver.

  • ½ cup wheat berries
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3.5 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup brown rice vinegar
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch kale (10 oz.), stemmed and coarsely chopped

1. Soak wheat berries in large bowl of cold water overnight.

2. Heat oil in 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, and season with salt, if desired. Sauté mushrooms 10 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Add garlic, and sauté 2 minutes more. Stir in vinegar; simmer until vinegar is almost evaporated, stirring to scrape up browned bits from pan.

3. Drain wheat berries, and add to mushroom mixture with vegetable broth and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes. Add kale, and cook 10 to 20 minutes more, or until kale is tender. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

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Nutritional Content in Garlic

Nutrient Value pr 100g
Energy 149 kcal
Protein 6.36 g
Fat 0.5 g
Carbohydrate 33 g
Sugar 1 g
Fiber 2.1 g
Calcium 181 mg
Iron 1.7 mg
Magnesium 25 mg
Phosphorus 153 mg
Potassium 401 mg
Sodium 17 mg
Zinc 1.16 mg
Vitamin C 31.2 mg
Thiamin 0.2 mg
Riboflavin 0.1 mg
Niacin 0.7 mg
Vitamin B6 1.2 mg
Folate 3 µg
Vitamin A  9 IU
Vitamin E 0.08 mg
Vitamin K 1.7 µg
Saturated fat 0.09 g
Monounsaturated 0.01 g
Polyunsaturated 0.25 g

Resources

http://nccam.nih.gov/sites/nccam.nih.gov/files/Herbs_At_A_Glance_Garlic_06-15-2012_0_0.pdf?nav=gsa

http://www.herbsociety.org/factsheets/Garlic%20Guide.pdf

http://www.herbsociety.org/factsheets/garlic.pdf

http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list?format=&count=&max=25&sort=&fg=Vegetables+and+Vegetable+Products&man=&lfacet=&qlookup=&offset=300

garlic3