Can Cinnamon Help Protect You From Cancer?

University of Arizona College of Pharmacy Researchers and the UA Cancer Center say a compound found in cinnamon is a potent colorectal cancer preventor.

New research suggests eating cinnamon may help prevent colorectal cancer, at least in mice.

Previous research has linked this spice to blood pressure reduction and blood sugar control.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has used both the cinnamon tree bark and cinnamon tree branches for over a thousand years.

The bark of the tree is known as Gui Zhi and used in Chinese herbal formulations as a warming and dispersing herb. It helps protect against catching a cold and it can facilitate at warming the Qi, or energy of the body.

Researchers at Arizona College of Pharmacy found the compound that gives cinnamon its distinctive smell and flavor, cinnamaldehyde, also seems to protect rodents against colorectal cancer.

“This is a significant finding,” UA Cancer Center researcher Dr. Donna Zhang, said in a press release. “The next steps are to see if the spice alone can protect against cancer, and see if results can be replicated in people.”

“Can cinnamon do it, now that we know pure cinnamaldehyde can?” he said. “And can we use cinnamaldehyde or cinnamon as a weapon to go after other major diseases, such as inflammatory dysregulation and diabetes? “

Chinese herbs like cinnamon have always been used in TCM with other herbs in synergistic combinations. Using this Chinese herb or any others as a single herb should only be done under the care of a professional trained in Chinese medicine or herbal medicine.  In TCM, Chinese herbs are most often combined to enhance or create an entourage effect for the desired action and to minimize any potential side effects.  Should you have any questions about cinnamon or other Chinese herbs,   get in touch with Cathy at Pacific Herbs for a free consultation at 877-818-9990.

Cinnamon Reduces Blood Sugar for the Overweight and Diabetic

More proof on the healing power of Chinese herbs. This herb is in nearly every American household spice rack and yet most Americans have no idea of its many medical uses.  I’m talking about cinnamon. You sprinkle it on your latte and your apple pie. Now you may want to consider drinking a cup of cinnamon tea. 

This study conducted at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland concluded that cinnamon can help those who are overweight and obese improve their fasting glucose.  This is great news for the millions of Americans who are tipping the scales and have either pre-diabetes or are currently diabetic. 

The herb/spice/botanical comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree and has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for generations. It is considered GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) by most Western doctors. The study used a cinnamon extract tea (cinnamon boiled in water) for12 weeks and found substantial benefits to the participants in the study who reduced  their risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. (The also found benefits after just 6 weeks.)

But don’t start drinking loads of plain old cinnamon tea if you are looking for the same benefit. There are many different grades of cinnamon and preparation of the bark is central to preserving its natural antioxidant qualities.  Herbalists and Acupuncturists usually use either capsules or granule form.  This is a highly concentrated extract, cooked under a precise temperature for a precise amount of time. Often special equipment is used to capture the volatile oils of the cinnamon bark and reintroduce those oils back into the finished extract. This is essential because cinnamon is extremely aromatic and cooking the bark for too long without proper equipment will leave you with an ineffective tea.

Cinnamon has been recorded as part of Chinese herb formula combinations as far back as 200 AD.  It is in over 45 common formulations and its main purpose is usually to warm the body.  Cinnamon bark and twig may both be used, usually in very small amounts, between 3-9 grams daily. It is not uncommon to use cinnamon for the common cold, to help unblock cold mucus. Cinnamon is not recommended for those with a hot constitution in Traditional Chinese Medicine because of the herbs warming properties. 

Personally, I'm happy to see any Chinese herb get into the Western spotlight because every time a Western medical establishment focuses on a Chinese herb the knowledge gained proves what Asian cultures have been practicing for over two thousand years.  Botanicals are huge sources of natural healing compounds. 

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