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Nature’s Healthiest Sweet Spice Organic Cinnamon
There is no scent as evocative of comfort and childhood memories than cinnamon infused apples baking in the oven. This fragrant inner bark of the cinnamon tree, which belongs to the laurel family, has been used as an essential culinary ingredient, a medicine, a perfume and as a ceremonial oil since Ancient Egypt. Revered in India, China and the Middle East for centuries, it has been used in Ayurvedic Medicine as well as Traditional Asian Medicine in a broad range of applications. The characteristically sweet taste of cinnamon is due to the presence of a compound known as cinnamaldehyde. Its highly palatable taste and pleasant aroma has made it one of the most popular modern day spices.
According to the energetic principles of Traditional Ayurveda, cinnamon is pungent, sweet and astringent in its taste energy and heating in action. Used in Traditional Ayurveda to help with the flow of circulation known as vyana vayu, it will help increase blood flow. Vayu increases the circulatory channels from the core to the extremities in the body. In Traditional Asian Medicine it is also greatly valued as a strong yang tonic.
There is a vast body of research validating cinnamon’s many benefits. Extracts of cinnamon have been shown to improve blood glucose, triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels. Extracts of cinnamon also have the ability to reduce fasting plasma glucose concentrations. Cinnamon possesses anti-microbial activity. Inhibitory effect on pathogenic bacteria and fungi, including Candida albicans from two compounds found in cinnamon, eugenol and geraniol has been demonstrated. Cinnamon has also been shown to have blood pressure lowering effects even after short term use. Polyphenols present in cinnamon have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory activity. Cinnamon is known for its sweet and spicy flavour.
There are two ways that I like to incorporate cinnamon into my daily routine. The first is to add cinnamon to all of my cacao beverages and smoothies. I also add cinnamon to berry bowls, cereal and yogurt. Cinnamon also works wonderfully in a wide variety of savoury dishes. It is a key flavouring in the Indian spice mix garam masala. Cinnamon is also lovely alone as a tea or in combination with other herbs. Cinnamon is used in Traditional Ayurveda as a digestive aid, particularly when combined with ginger and cardamom.
The second way I like to use cinnamon is to add a concentrated dual extracted supercritical, hydro-ethanolic powder to my water bottle, coconut water, beverages, smoothies and recipes. This is the ideal way to reap the full therapeutic benefits as both the water soluble and fat soluble components of the botanical are represented in higher concentrations. While most supercritical extracts are only available in a capsule form, the Organic Traditions superfood company recently launched a full spectrum, dual-extraction cinnamon in an easy to use, semi-soluble, free flowing powder. This is truly the most ideal way of consuming cinnamon. In traditional Ayurveda, the interaction with the herb in terms of taste is of critical importance.
The herb’s taste profile and energetics are immediately recognized by the tongue and the true essence of the herb is experienced. Science has shown that there is in fact an important taste receptor, neural connection that undoubtedly plays a role that is far more complex than what we currently have understanding of. While our first association with cinnamon might be sweet treats and desserts, the health benefits of this important botanical are extensive. Making a habit of using cinnamon at every meal in inventive ways will not only help with post-prandial blood sugar levels, but will also provide numerous side benefits.
Cashew Macaccino Macchiato
By Renita Rietz
Macchiato (Italian for “marked”) is a term that is used to describe an espresso coffee that is “marked” or “stained” with a drop of milk. In this case, the drop of milk will be from cashews and the coffee will be a delicious coffee substitute made from a combination of the adaptogenic tuber Maca, the food of the gods – Cacao, fragrant Vanilla and Coconut Palm Sugar. Coconut oil adds healthy medium chain triglycerides and a perfect smooth, richness to the beverage. Replace your morning coffee with these energizing and supportive superfoods and feel strong, clear and grounded.
8 oz. of water
2 tbsp. of Organic Traditions Macaccino Drink Mix
2-3 tbsp. of Organic Traditions Cashews
1 tsp. of Organic Traditions Raw Coconut Oil
1-2 tsp. of Organic Traditions Yacon Syrup
1⁄8 – 1⁄4 tsp. of Organic Traditions Full Spectrum Cinnamon Powder
Optional: A dash of cayenne pepper
Place all ingredients in a blender. Add ice if you would like to make a cold version. Otherwise, blend and warm contents in a sauce pan to the desired temperature.
Renita Rietz is a health and nutrition writer and speaker who educates on the phytotherapeutic potential of indigenous foods and plants for prevention and regeneration.
For more information about Organic Traditions visit www.advantagehealthmatters.com