Cinnamon and honey, we all know that they’re delicious but did you know they could help you make it through the cold and flu season? That’s because both honey and cinnamon are packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals making them Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Viral, and Anti-Fungal in nature.
With a long history used as a medicinal in both Eastern and Western cultures, cinnamon has been touted as beneficial for use in healing or assisting with a wide variety of illness, disease and injury. Those that have been confirmed, through scientific study on the positive effects of treatment with cinnamon, include:
- Use as a sedative
- Circulatory stimulant
- To decrease gas
- Digestive issues
- Treatment for Diabetes (A recent study of those with type 2 diabetes showed 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon taken daily for forty days reduced fasting blood glucose by 18 to 29 percent, triglycerides by 23 to 30 percent, LDL (bad) cholesterol by 7 to 27 percent, and total cholesterol by 12 to 26 percent.)
- As a diuretic
- In treating epilepsy (According to the Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, cinnamon combined with Chinese thoroughwax and Chinese Peony was shown in a study of 433 patients, to cure 115 of those patients of symptoms and improve greatly the symptoms of another 79 of those patients. Improvements were in clinical symptoms, and in brain wave patterns.)
- Antimicrobial (Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that the cinnamic aldehyde, used in Big Red chewing gum, prevented oral bacterial growth by more than 50%. It was found to be especially effective in fighting bacteria living at the back of the tongue, reducing anaerobic bacteria populations by about 43%.)
- Common Cold & Influenza
Use REAL Cinnamon (Ceylon) for Improved Health
Cinnamon, is the dried inner-bark of certain trees and is used in many cultures as a spiritual, celebratory or medicinal food. Cinnamon’s healing abilities are thought to come from three basic components contained in the oils found in this bark. These components are cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol. It gets its unique aroma and flavor from the compound cinnamaldehyde.
- Cassia: Comes mostly from China (though an Indonesian version also exists, referred to as “common cinnamon”) and is the most commonly found cinnamon in US. In it’s “double scroll” stick form, this cinnamon is dark-colored, thick and hard to grind.
- Ceylon: This is considered “real cinnamon,” and is popular in Latin American countries. This thin, light-colored and more brittle form of cinnamon is subtle in flavor, with light citrus tones and more delicately floral in smell. This is because it has a lower percentage of cinnamaldehyde. In the US, unless it says Ceylon Cinnamon, it’s most often Cassia.
Warning: There is one more significant difference between the two cinnamons, unlike Cassia, Ceylon cinnamon hardly contains any coumarin, which – when ingested in large quantities – can cause damage to the liver. If you choose to add cinnamon to your daily diet as part of your health regimen, be sure to use the Ceylon (REAL cinnamon) variety and as always check with your physician first, for contraindications, if you are currently pregnant, nursing, being treated for any health conditions or are taking medication.
Honey has been used in ceremonial and healing practices since ancient times by the Sumerian, Vedic, and Egyptian cultures. Used to pay homage to the gods as well as to embalm the dead, honey has been used in libation and for medical and cosmetic purposes.
Honey collection has been practiced since around 7000 BC and has often been considered a delicacy of the rich. Rich in riboflavin, vitamin B6, iron and manganese, honey’s health benefits are dependent upon the honey’s source, collection, processing and refinement. The more pristine and less processed the honey’s journey to your door, the greater the health benefits, as pasteurization and/or filtering can reduce the amount of phytochemicals present in honey.
Health Benefits of Raw Honey
These benefits are also available, sometimes to a larger extent in bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly:
- Antioxidants: Especially darker honey, such as buckwheat honey.
- Increased Energy
- Reduces or Eliminates Seasonal Allergies
- Expectorant and Anti-inflammatory: Great for upper respiratory illnesses
- Anti-Bacterial/Wound-Healing: Used topically as an antiseptic and for the treatment of ulcers, burns, and wounds for centuries.
- Immune Boosting
- Cancer Fighting Agents: Propolis contains phytochemicals that have innumerable cancer-preventing and anti-tumor properties.
Why Most Store-Bought Honey Doesn’t Make the Grade
According to a recent article in Food Safety News most honey purchased at major grocery chains and drug stores isn’t honey at all. Though their analysis found that your odds of getting real honey went up significantly, if you chose organic brands at these stores.
The Good News: Every one of the samples that Food Safety News bought at farmers markets, co-ops and “natural” stores like PCC and Trader Joe’s had the full, anticipated, amount of pollen that would categorize them as “real” honey.
Seasonal Cold and Cough Relief
The combination of honey and cinnamon can work to stop a cold or flu bug in its tracks when taken at the first sign of infection. But even once you’ve been hit with an upper respiratory illness, honey and cinnamon can help to thin secretions, work as an expectorant, boost immunity, and reduce the length of the infection.
In fact, a client of ours used this combo to help heal her child’s bout of whooping-cough (in conjunction with some other homeopathic remedies.)
CAUTION: Children under the age of one and pregnant women should not consume honey, in any form.
Honey and Cinnamon Cold and Cough Relief Recipe
The ratio here is simple and is best taken directly by spoon, though it can be taken in water. It’s also best not to heat the water to the point of boiling, as excess heat can kill the powerful phytochemicals and enzymes present in these superfoods. Give it a try this cold and flu season and let us know what you think.
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 1/4 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
Mix the honey and cinnamon and take every few hours at the first sign of cold or flu. It works great as a dip for apples or other fruit, adding a boost of vitamin C to the mix. It can also be taken with a tbsp of lemon juice mixed in to help ease congestion.
As with all home remedies please do not substitute this for proper medical advice from a qualified physician.