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Cinnamon, which has the scientific name cinnamomum zeylanicum, originated from tropical Asia, especially Sri Lanka and India. Now the shrub is grown in almost every tropical region of the world. The herb, owing to its vast medicinal uses, had found a prominent position in traditional medicines, especially Ayurveda (the traditional Indian medicinal system). It has been used in many cultures for treating a variety of health disorders including diarrhoea, arthritis, menstrual cramps, heavy menstruation, yeast infections, colds, flu, and digestive problems.

Now it is being used all over the world for treating a variety of health disorders including respiratory problems, skin infections, blood impurity, menstruation problems, heart disorders, etc. The most widely used part of cinnamon is its bark.

The health benefits of cinnamon can be attributed to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, astringent and anti-clotting properties. Cinnamon is rich in essential minerals such as manganese, iron and calcium. It is also rich in fibre.

The health benefits of cinnamon include the following:

Brain Tonic: Cinnamon boosts the activity of the brain and hence acts as a good brain tonic. It helps in removing nervous tension and memory loss.

Blood Purification: Cinnamon helps in removing blood impurities and so is often recommended for pimples.

Blood Circulation: Cinnamon aids in the circulation of blood due to the presence of a blood thinning compound. Good blood circulation helps significantly in removing pain and ensuring oxygen supply to body cells, leading to higher metabolic activity. You significantly reduce the chance of getting a heart attack by regularly consuming cinnamon.

Infections: Due to its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antiseptic properties, it is effective on external and internal infections. It helps in destroying germs in the gall bladder and bacteria in staphylococcal infections.

Healing: Cinnamon helps to stop bleeding and so facilitates the healing process.

Pain: Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory. It relieves pain and stiffness in muscle and joints. Cinnamon is recommended for arthritis. It helps in removing headache that is caused by cold.

Diabetes: Cinnamon has the ability to control blood sugar. Diabetics find it very useful as cinnamon assists them in using less insulin. Research has shown that it is particularly helpful for patients suffering from type2 diabetes. Type2 diabetes patients are not able to use their insulin levels properly.

Heart Diseases: It is believed that the calcium and fibre in cinnamon provides protection against heart disease. Including a little cinnamon in the food helps those suffering from coronary artery disease and high blood pressure.

Colon Cancer: It improves the health of the colon and reduces the risk of colon cancer.

Mouth freshener: Cinnamon is used in chewing gums as it is a good mouth freshener and removes bad breath.

Perfumes: It has a refreshing aroma and is extensively used in making perfumes.

Indigestion: Cinnamon is used in cooking and aids digestion. It is very effective for indigestion, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhoea and flatulence. Due to its carminative properties, it is very helpful in removing gas from the stomach and intestines. It also removes acidity and morning sickness. It is often referred to as a digestive tonic.

Respiratory problems: Cinnamon helps in cold, flu, influenza, sore throat and congestion.

Menstruation: Cinnamon is effective in providing relief from menstrual discomfort and cramping.

Birth Control: Cinnamon helps in natural birth control. Regular consumption of cinnamon after childbirth delays menstruation and thus helps in avoiding conception.

Breastfeeding: It is believed that cinnamon aids in the secretion of breast milk.

Cinnamon is diuretic in nature and helps in the secretion and discharge of urine. It is also aphrodisiac.

Cinnamon oil is obtained from the bark and leaves of cinnamon tree. The benefits of cinnamon oil include the following:

* Cooking
* Room Freshener
* Eliminating Mosquitoes: Cinnamon oil is a good mosquito repellent.
Cinnamon oil is strong and so internal consumption should be avoided. It can have adverse effects on the skin if used topically in concentrated form and so should be used only in diluted form. Before use it should be tested to see if it suits your skin. Apply a small quantity initially and check to see if you get any allergic reaction. Do not apply cinnamon oil on the face or on sensitive areas.

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