By Roger French
[From New Vegetarian and Natural Health, Autumn 2010 issue]
Manuka honey is covered in detail in the preceding article. Now we look at cinnamon and the extraordinary ways in which the two can be made to work in combination.
Cinnamon bark is one of the oldest spices known, being particularly popular in North Africa and the Middle East for flavouring savoury dishes.
As a folk remedy, it has been used to treat colds and digestive ailments. The essential oil of cinnamon is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. As a bonus, cinnamon is high in antioxidants.
In some of the studies of its health benefits, such as for the treatment of type-2 diabetes, the substance investigated was not cinnamon but cassia, a close relative with a stronger flavour and sticks that are thicker. Most of the powdered cinnamon sold in supermarkets is actually Cassia.
A POWERFUL COMBINATION
A mixture of honey and cinnamon has been used to enhance the flavour of cooked foods since early times. Their combination has also been used as a remedy for thousands of years, including in Oriental and Ayurvedic medicine. There have been claims over many years that the mixture is an effective remedy for many ailments.
In the mixture, cinnamon is in the form of powder or oil.
Both honey and cinnamon each have their own range of remarkable therapeutic benefits, but the combination is believed to be synergistic, being many times more powerful at healing than the sum of the two taken individually.
The honey-cinnamon combination is a natural food remedy that has been used to treat common ailments such as arthritis, bad breath, bladder infection, cold, cough, fatigue, hair loss, heart disease, impaired immunity, indigestion, infertility, influenza, insect stings and bites, longevity, pimples, acne, sinus headache, skin conditions, stomach distress, toothache, wind and weight loss.
But there is an important caution: never give honey to infants under about 12 months of age because its antiseptic properties can kill off the developing delicate gut bacteria.
REMARKABLE REMEDIES TO HELP HEALING
The honey-cinnamon combination can be used to ease the symptoms of and/or promote healing for many different ailments. The following range of mixes for different ailments is put forward by Sue Bailey of South Yorkshire, UK, in the web address http://hubpages.com/profile/Sue+Bailey
For the abbreviations below: ‘tsp’ = teaspoon; ‘dsp’ = dessertspoon; ‘tbsp’ = tablespoon.
Anti-ageing. Boil 3 cups of water to which has been added 4 tsp manuka honey and 1 tsp cinnamon powder. Drink one-quarter cup, 3 or 4 times a day. Take this tea regularly and it helps control the free radicals that contribute to the aging process. It may slow ageing and help keep the skin soft and wrinkle free.
Arthritis. To 1 cup hot water, add two tsp manuka honey and one small tsp cinnamon powder. Take twice daily. This may bring improvement with even long-term arthritis.
Bad breath. Mix 1 tsp each of manuka honey and cinnamon powder in hot water, and gargle. Hopefully, your breath will then stay fresh all day.
Bladder infections. 1 tsp manuka honey and 2 tbsp cinnamon powder stirred into a glass of warm water. Drink. This can be antiseptic to bacteria in the bladder.
Colds and coughs. Mix 1 tbsp lukewarm manuka honey with ¼ tsp cinnamon powder. Take once daily for 3 days. This can ease chronic coughs and colds and reduce blockage in sinuses.
Chronic fatigue. Stir 1 dsp manuka honey into a glass of water and add a sprinkling of cinnamon powder. Consume daily around mid-afternoon when energy begins to fade. This can increase energy within a week.
Flatulence (wind). Mix 1 tbsp manuka honey with ¼ tsp cinnamon powder and consume when experiencing wind.
Heart diseases. Mix a 500 gm jar manuka honey, 2 tbsp cinnamon powder and ½ tsp clover powder. Use as a spread on bread or toast or swallow a teaspoonful or two daily. It helps control the free radicals that contribute to atherosclerosis and is believed to revitalise arteries and veins.
Hair loss and baldness. Mix 1 tbsp manuka honey and 1 tsp cinnamon in warm olive oil to make a paste. Rub paste onto scalp and leave on for 15 – 20 minutes, then wash off. Do this daily or at least a few times a week.
Hearing Loss. Every morning consume a small quantity of equal parts of manuka honey and cinnamon powder.
Indigestion. Mix 2 tbsp manuka honey with ¼ tsp cinnamon powder and consume just before a meal that might cause indigestion.
Infertility. For men – taking 2 tbsp manuka honey before retiring each night may help increase sperm count. [This is an awful lot of honey to swallow every day! However, if it works, it would be worth it.] For women – mix 3 tsp honey with ¼ tsp cinnamon powder, and take 3 times daily. Place 1 tsp of this mix under the tongue and leave for about a minute, then swallow the rest. Under the tongue there is a very high absorption rate. This mix may help increase fertility.
Influenza. Taking two parts manuka honey mixed with one part cinnamon can ease flu symptoms.
Immune System. Taking manuka honey and cinnamon powder daily can help strengthen the immune system. Mix 2 tbsp manuka honey and ½ tsp cinnamon powder in 4 cups moderately hot water and drink 1 cup 4 times daily.
Insect Bites. Make a paste of 1 tsp manuka honey, ½ tsp cinnamon powder and 2 tsp lukewarm water. Rub gently over the bite and the pain may ease surprisingly rapidly.
Pimples. Mix to a paste 3 tbsp manuka honey and 1 tsp cinnamon powder. Apply to the pimples in the form of a facial mask and leave on for 1 hour. Wash off with warm water. The drawing power of the honey could cause the pimples to disappear quite rapidly.
Skin Infections. Mix equal parts of manuka honey and cinnamon powder, and apply to affected areas. Good for eczema, ringworm and skin infections in general.
Stomach upset. Mix 1 tbsp manuka honey with ¼ tsp cinnamon powder and consume after over-eating or for a stomach ache.
Toothache. Make a paste of 5 tsp manuka honey, 1 tsp cinnamon powder and ½ tsp cloves powder. Apply 3 times daily to aching tooth until it eases.
Weight Loss. Mix 2 tsp manuka honey and ¼ tsp cinnamon powder in 1 cup moderately hot water. Drink 1 cup in the morning on an empty stomach 20 min. before breakfast and again in the evening before retiring to bed. This seems to inhibit fat absorption and so aid weight loss.