During the winter months certain spices come to mind that have a warming affect such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, and peppermint. We add these spices to hot drinks, holiday foods, and seasonal desserts for that extra kick, and revel in their unique and unforgettable tastes.
In previous centuries, people have used spices primarily for medicinal purposes, but nowadays they have been forgotten. However, imagine taking one of these spices as a natural remedy for a condition that many people are battling in today’s day and age, such as diabetes.
According to the CDC, a reportedly 9.3% of the US population suffers from diabetes, which is around 29 million people. In addition, 1 out of 4 Americans are pre-diabetic without even knowing it. These statistics continue rising every year.
Diabetes is considered a serious disease which can be managed via exercise, food modification plans, and the use of insulin or other medications to help lower blood sugar levels. However, there is a natural alternative that can be introduced to the management of Type 2 diabetes and that is the ancient spice Ceylon cinnamon.
Cinnamon with its inner bark, leaves, buds and essential oil has been used for thousands of years as a traditional medicinal remedy to help various ailments ranging from female reproductive disorders, cough, congestion, kidney problems, tooth and gum complaints to its external application for rheumatism and joint problems.
There are two varieties of cinnamon: Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum Verum) and Cassia cinnamon (sometimes labeled as Chinese cinnamon). Cassia is the variety of cinnamon most often found at the food market and the one used in scientific clinical trials. Ceylon cinnamon is considered the “true” cinnamon with its milder flavor, higher potency, and heftier price tag. Cassia is the widespread variety used throughout North America and Europe, which carries a lower price tag and contains high levels of ‘coumarin’ (4-8%), which if ingested in high doses, may cause issues with the liver. So when consuming cinnamon daily over a period of six weeks for its healing benefits, it is advisable to take Ceylon cinnamon, which you most likely will have to purchase online or at a specialty spice store.
As of now there have been several studies conducted on patients with Type 2 diabetes, where cinnamon’s effect on the amount of glucose in the bloodstream (glycated hemoglobin- Hba1c), low -density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides were being monitored. The results varied with efficacy, but 5 studies acknowledged reductions in blood glucose providing data for cinnamon’s healing benefit.     
Hopefully cinnamon’s resurgence into the mainstream community as a beneficial natural remedy will be accepted with as much respect as it was once given in ancient Egypt and China, as well as in Ayurvedic medicine.
Interesting Fact: Mexico leads in the highest consumption rate of Ceylon Cinnamon in the World according to UN COMTRADE figures.
 Suppapitiporn S, Kanpaksi N, Suppapitiporbn S. The effect of cinnamon cassia powder in type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Med Assoc Thai. 2006;89(3):S200–205.
 Crawford P. Effectiveness of cinnamon for lowering hemoglobin A1C in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, controlled trial. J Am Board Fam Med. 2009;22(5):507–12.
 Khan A, Sadafar M, Ali Khan MM, Khattak KN, Anderson RA. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2003;26(12):3215–8.
 Mang B, Wolters M, Schmitt M, Kelb K, Lichtinghagen R, Stichtenoth DO. Effects of a cinnamon extract on plasma glucose, HbA, and serum lipids in diabetes mellitus type 2. Eur J Clin Invest. 2006;36(5):340–4.
 Akilen R, Tsiami A, Devendra D, Robinson N. Glycated haemoglobin and blood pressure-lowering effect of cinnamon in multi-ethnic Type 2 diabetic patients in the UK: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial. Diabet Med. 2010;27(10):1159–67.
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