Could the sweet spicy inner bark of the cinnamon tree really stop Parkinson’s disease in its tracks?
According to many studies this spice helps prevent cellular damage to the area of the brain that causes Parkinson’s.
As if that wasn’t enough of a health benefit cinnamon has long been used for healing the body in many ways including: blood sugar regulation, inflammation, bacteria/fungal infections and digestive tract issues.
How can cinnamon help you?
- Parkinson’s Disease
Over 80,000 people in Australia suffer from this degenerative neurological disease.
Parkinson’s affects the functioning of the mid-brain Substantia nigra, which is responsible for regulating dopamine levels. When these levels are low it causes physical movement problems, muscle tremors and weakness, mood disorders, constipation, swallowing difficulties, and sleep issues.
Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago, published a recent study that showed cinnamon could help reverse part of the brain damage caused by Parkinson’s. It has been shown that those with Parkinson’s disease have low amounts of 2 essential brain proteins, Parkin and DJ-1. Researchers fed mice powdered cinnamon bark to study how their bodies break it down. The study found that it broke down into sodium benzoate (a common food preservative) and when it entered the brains of the mice it stopped brain cell death (including Parkin, DJ-1 proteins) and caused dopamine levels to normalize. This action reduces brain damage, strengthened muscles and restored ease of movement. Researchers hope to try the study on humans with Parkinson’s and expect to see the same results as with mice. This would be a huge win for both those afflicted with the disease and natural medicine.
Cinnamon improves insulin resistance and can lower blood sugar levels especially when combined with high glycemic index levels foods like white rice or bread. It also encourages insulin receptors and deactivates the enzymes that turn them off. Again this action helps the cells use glucose more effectively keeping blood sugar levels even.
- Heart disease
Cinnamon is both an anti-inflammatory and a blood thinner. These traits can help lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. It also contains calcium and fibre that are used to bind bile salts so they can easily be eliminated by the body thus reducing your risk of colon cancer. An efficient breakdown of bile also helps lower cholesterol as the body uses cholesterol to make more bile.
- Colon health
This spice is antibacterial, anti-fungal, high in calcium, high in manganese and has fibre making it a great choice for those with digestive tract disorders. Cinnamon reduces colon inflammation, improves muscle tone and fights over growth of both bacteria and fungus like Candida. The added fibre also helps keep you regular.
How do you add cinnamon to your daily health care routine?
Look for Organic Ground Cinnamon, Choose Ceylon Cinnamon (cinnamomum verum) over Chinese Cinnamon (cinnamomum cassia) due to its higher levels of coumarin, a blood thinner.
‘Ask a naturopath’ about more spices that can help you heal and if adding cinnamon to your diet is right for you.