Cinnamon has long been used for culinary and medicinal purposes.Ancient Chinese used it to treat health conditions as early as 2700 BCE, but it was also part of the holy anointing oil used on priests and vessels in the tabernacle of Moses. It was originally imported from India and Sri Lanka during Biblical days and has now become one of America’s favorite spices. In fact, it’s widely used in most countries around the world for its sweet aroma and taste.
We already know that cinnamon is a powerful germicide and can kill bacteria in the mouth, gut and on the skin. It’s good for what ails you because it contains properties that are antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antiseptic, and carminative, but one of the most exciting recent discoveries has revealed that cinnamon is also anti-carcinogenic. It contains benzaldehyde, an antitumor agent.
Honey was also used as a gift to the gods and played a significant part in rituals. It’s also antibacterial and antifungal like cinnamon. It’s a natural antibiotic and a demulcent, which means it soothes the delicate lining of the mouth and other mucous membranes by coating them. Since it digests and metabolizes differently than sugar, it won’t give you spikes that could throw off insulin receptors.It’s a smart alternative for anyone concerned with blood sugar levels,including diabetics, athletes, and all health minded individuals.
Whether you’re coming down with a cold or flu, or you just want to boost your immune system, combining cinnamon and honey gives bad bacteria a double whammy!
Recipe: Cinnamon Expectorant Cough Syrup
You can make your own cough syrup using cinnamon and honey in a mixture that’s proven to be as effective as dextromethorphan, an ingredient commonly found in over-the-counter cough preparations. And it’s safe for children and diabetics, too!
Cinnamon contains water soluble fiber that creates a thick gelatinous substance when it meets water. This mucilage will coat the throat, and its antibacterial properties can help kill the bacteria that causes sore throats. Because cinnamon is considered a “warming” food, it will increase the flow of blood and oxygen so your body can fight infection, and it will also cut the phlegm often associated with colds.
- 1/2 cup purified water
- 1/2 cup raw unheated organic honey
- 1-2 teaspoons powdered or chopped cinnamon bark
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
Combine all of the ingredients in a small pot and bring to just below the boiling point. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered until the mixture has reduced by about half. Remove from the heat and strain. Cool to room temperature and take 1/2-1 teaspoonful as often as every two hours. Store in the refrigerator.
This preparation is safe for children over the age of 3. Just leave out the cayenne pepper if they can’t tolerate it.
Never give “out-of-the-jar” honey or honey preparations to infants because you risk giving them botulism, a potentially life-threatening condition. Cooking honey will alleviate this risk, but it will also kill the enzymes and other properties that make honey beneficial as an antimicrobial.
Cinnamon, raw honey, and hot water can be made into a simple tea that will help alleviate the following conditions
- Upset stomach or indigestion
- Mild bladder or urinary tract infections
- Toothache, gingivitis and bad breath
- Allergies (use local honey for this application – harvested within 10 miles of your home)
- Low energy or fatigue, whether chronic or temporary, such as after a workout
- Poor immune system function
- Poor memory and cognitive decline
- Chronic inflammation
- High cholesterol
What else can you do with cinnamon and honey?
- Add it to your black or green tea, coffee, yogurt or cereal to enhance weight loss. By replacing sugar with honey, you’ll add less weight, and the combination will stimulate hormones that control excessive hunger and cravings.
- Make a cinnamon and honey mask to fight acne. Simply combine 1 teaspoon raw honey and 1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon and apply to clean skin. It also works for mild eczema and ringworm.
- You can use the same formula for insect bites to take out the sting and prevent infection.
- Make cinnamon-honey butter: Soften a stick of butter at room temperature and add 2 tablespoons cinnamon and 2 tablespoons raw honey. Mix well and fold onto a piece of waxed paper. Using the paper, reshape into a log or ball. Place back in the refrigerator to harden. Use your cinnamon-honey butter on toast, in hot cereal or melt onto bake apples!
Recipe: Cinnamon Honey Chews
This treat is better than candy and is a fun way to get cinnamon and honey into your diet! You will need a candy thermometer to make this unless you’re an experienced candy maker and know the various stages. A candy thermometer will have indications that will tell you what the stages are.
- 1 cup honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely ground cinnamon
- In a small saucepan, cook the honey and cinnamon together over low heat until the mixture reaches the firm-ball stage(indicated by the thermometer).
- Pour the mixture into a very lightly greased soup bowl and allow it to cool enough to handle.
- Tear off bits and shape them into balls between the palms of your hands, then place them on a dry plate to set.
- When well set, wrap each piece in waxed paper.
Don’t take more than 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon a day. Cinnamon contains coumarin, a blood thinner that can cause liver damage when taken in excess or for long periods of time. This is particularly important if you already have a compromised liver.