Cinnamon – Spice and Medicinal Uses

Common and Botanical Names

The botanical name of the herb cinnamon is Cinnamomum verum or Cinnamomum zeylanicum and belongs to the Lauraceae family. It is brown in colour, has a peculiar smell and is bitter in taste. The Tamil name is Lavangapattai or ilavangappattai. The common names include Dalcheni, Karuvapatta, Darusita, Tvak, Sweet Wood etc.

About Lavangapattai

Cinnamomum verum grows as a tree. The dried bark of the tree is called as Lavangapattai and has numerous medicinal uses. In India, it is an indispensable spice which is used widely for cooking purposes. It is mainly used as a flavoring agent in preparing various dishes. It is an ancient spice and is prepared by drying the bark of the tree and rolling them into sticks. The tree grows widely in India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Vietnem, Indonesia.

Primary Medicinal Uses

Diabetes

Cinnamon improves blood glucose. It is very effective to consume for people who have type-2 diabetes. Diabetic people can take ¼ spoon of powdered cinnamon on a daily basis. It also reduces the cholesterol level in the body. It reduces the bad cholesterol and maintains appropriate level of good cholesterol to be maintained in the body.

Stomach related problems

The herb has a soothing effect on the stomach and cures ulcers. It also cures urinary tract infections. It cures nausea and flatulence present in many people. It increases appetite and cures indigestion. Cinnamon also cures diarrhea gastritis problems.

Mouth Freshener

Cinnamon is gargled and used as a mouth freshener. It is also consumed when you have a nausea feeling and vomiting sensation.

Cold

The herb is very effective in treating common colds.

Toothache

Cinnamon is very effective in treating toothache in fighting bad breath.

Respiratory disorders

Cinnamon is used to treat respiratory disorders like asthma, sinus, flue, etc

Headache

When having headache, cinnamon can be powdered and made into a paste. This can be applied on the forehead.

Pimples

A paste of cinnamon is made with lime juice and applied over the skin where pimples are present.

Other Uses

Essential Oil

The tree bark has a nice fragrance and is used in manufacture of essential oils.

Flavoring Agent

Cinnamon is also used as a flavoring agent while cooking while preparing spicy items like chicken, meat, soups, etc and also for desserts. It can be used in stick form or in powdered form.

Chocolate

In some countries like Mexico, cinnamon is used for preparing chocolates.

Precautions

  • The herb has a property of interacting with other drugs. Hence it is essential to consult a doctor before consuming the same especially if used along with other English medicines.
  • The herb should not consume in large quantities and for long periods. This would result in side effects in some people. This would affect the liver especially the people who are taking medicines for liver related problems.
  • Pregnant women need to avoid the herb.
  • Diabetic patients who are taking other medicines need to take this herb with caution. Excess intake might result in lowered sugar in the body leading to giddiness.

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