Date: 09-08-2013

The Spicy Sweet Smell of Ceylon Cinnamon is back!

Once upon a time, cinnamon was more valuable than gold that wars were fought over it, poems written about it and a great fuss made over its origins. The potential health benefits of Ceylon cinnamon is nothing short of magical. Now after a recent study  by the University of Mississippi in the US that showed Ceylon Cinnamon or true cinnamon to be far superior to widely used substitutes like cassia the story of cinnamon looks to enter a new chapter.

But what can you do with this sweet smelling, healthy, power packed spice? Chinese and Ayurveda medicine have long called cinnamon a superpower and used it to treat things such as colds, indigestion and cramps and to improve energy, vitality and circulation.

Here are the Health Benefits you might already know about or not.

  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower your bad cholesterol (or LDL).
  • Cinnamon may help treat Type 2 Diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and increasing the amount of insulin production in the body.
  • Cinnamon has antifungal properties, and it's been said that candida cannot live in a cinnamon environment. 
  • Cinnamon can reduce the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
  • Cinnamon has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.
  • Honey and Cinnamon combined have been found to relieve arthritis pain.
  • When added to food, cinnamon inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.
  • Just smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.
  • Cinnamon fights the E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.
  • Cinnamon has been found to be an effective natural remedy for eliminating headaches and migraine relief.
  • Cinnamon can also help stablize blood sugar (which is great for weight loss). A couple of dashes in your morning tea or cereal is all it takes!

But is adding cinnamon to your curry, your drinks or your sweets the only thing you can do with Cinnamon? Even if you don't like to eat it there are some creative ways to enjoy the sweet aroma of cinnamon in your home.

  • Stovetoppotpourri. Place a pot of water or cider on the stove and add 1 to 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon. Simmer, replacing liquid a necessary. This lovely stovetop potpourri gets rid of odors and replaces them with a deliciously homey fragrance.
  • Dry potpourri booster. Sprinkle a few drops of essential oil of cinnamon on any dry potpourri and place in a shallow bowl on a radiator, on top of the fridge, or where there is apt to be some walk-through traffic.
  • Easiest room freshener. A dish of ground cinnamon will fill the surrounding area with a sweet scent.
  • Lightbulb diffuser. Place a drop of essential oil of cinnamon on a cool lightbulb. When you turn on the lamp, the scent will be gently diffused throughout the room.
  • Room spray. Combine a few drops of essential oil of cinnamon with water or vodka and spritz the mixture in any room to dispel germs and odors.
  • Kitchen incense. Sprinkle a few grains of ground cinnamon on your stovetop burner. When you turn the burner on, the lovely scent of burning cinnamon will waft through the kitchen.
  • Candles. Apply a few drops of essential oil of cinnamon to any kind of candle before you burn it.
  • Sweet decoration. Anchor several cinnamon sticks in a jar or vase full of whole cloves or dried seeds: this makes a pretty and sweet-smelling decorative element.
  • Holiday garland. You can string cinnamon sticks with dried flowers and leaves to make a fragrant and attractive garland that will last for decades.
  • Pure and easy incense. Place a mound of ground cinnamon in an ashtray or other heatproof container. Light with a match.
  • Moth Repellent Sachets. Break 4 cinnamon sticks and combine with 1/2 cup of whole cloves and 1/2 cup whole black peppercorns. Fill small squares of fabric with a tablespoon of this mixture, tie shut, and hang in your closets.
  • Cinnamon Aftershave. Add 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 tsp cloves into a mild regular aftershave. Not only does this have a delightful spicy scent, it also has antibacterial properties, and the cinnamon helps stop bleeding from little nicks and cuts.

And we haven't forgotten to give you a great new recipe !! Ever heard of Rice Milk?

Heirloom Rice Milk (Iced Coffee)

1 cup uncooked Suwandel Heirloom Rice (available at Saaraketha)
2 cups water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (available at Saaraketha)
1 teaspoon ground organic cinnamon (available at Saaraketha)
sugar or honey to taste
1 tablespoon instant coffee
2½ cups fresh milk
 

 

Soak the washed rice in the water for a minimum of 3 hours. (Overnight works, as well.)

Mix rice, soaking water, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar and coffee in a blender for 2 minutes. Strain (using cheesecloth or a strainer) into a pitcher, and add milk.

Chill completely (overnight is fine). When ready to serve, pour the mixture into a serving pitcher, leaving the sediment behind.

Optional: Serve over ice, and sprinkle with cinnamon. 

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