Honey and Cinnamon – Simply Healthy, or Purely Magical?
Both honey and cinnamon are amazing products, whose benefit to human health has been known for thousands of years. Consumed together, they create a synergetic positive effect that makes this combination one of the “must-haves” for the health-conscious public.
The fact that honey and cinnamon are good for the health is hardly debatable, yet the extent of their beneficial effects are still to be determined. Let us examine the proven advantages that each of these products bring.
Honey (let’s be clear that only raw, unprocessed honey possesses the health-improving qualities discussed here)
- is a well-known cough suppressant,
- is useful in supplementing anemia treatment, due to being high in iron,
- is rich in antioxidants, thus helps fight aging and may reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes,
- lowers LDL (low density lipoprotein) and cholesterol in the blood,
according to Ayurveda texts, soothes pain and acts as an antiseptic.
Cinnamon, an aromatic spice used not only in preparing dishes, but also in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, is also said to have many health benefits on its own, i.e.:
- promotes digestion and elimination,
- thins the blood,
- works as an expectorant and decongestant in treating the common cold and the flu
- lowers LDL cholesterol and blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes, as proven in studies published in the Diabetes Care journal in 2003,
- has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
What about the combination of honey and cinnamon?
Are the long lists of health benefits obtained from the consumption of their mixture to be trusted? Most certainly, when you combine two products with confirmed health benefits, the effect is likely to be positive. Both substances have antibacterial properties, both are useful in getting rid of a bad cold, and both have a generally positive effect on health. It’s possible to turn to honey and cinnamon for the mere comforting aroma, if not for the synergetic health benefits that may potentially include:
- relieving toothache,
- fighting acne,
- boosting immune system,
- getting rid of bad breath,
- clearing body of toxins.
However, some of the claims made in regard to their magical qualities are downright difficult to believe, and are indeed unsupported by science. At least to this day there are no studies that conclusively demonstrate that using a mixture of honey and cinnamon will indeed:
- relieve arthritis pain (although preliminary studies at the Copenhagen University lean towards confirming its efficiency)
- promote weight loss. Honey may be a healthier sweetening option than sugar, but it is still high in calories and diabetics should be particularly careful in including it in their diet.
- coat stomach lining, providing relief from gastric pain, or fight pathogenic bacteria in the intestines
- prevent cancer. This claim was made in connection with the presence of certain acids in honey, which affect the activity of two specific enzymes, both of which are linked to the generation of cancerous tissue within the human body. Cinnamon is also sometimes relied on in naturopathic medicine for lowering the likelihood of metastasis. However, in case of a disease as serious as cancer, one should be extra cautious about depending on scientifically unproven methods.
Moreover, both honey and cinnamon are potent allergens, and require care on the part of the consumer. Patients with pre-existing digestive disorders and chronic liver disorders, as well as those on glucose-regulatory medications should be exceptionally careful with cinnamon, and are warned against consuming it in large quantities. Honey is mostly acknowledged as an allergen; other side effects are rare and require consuming unlikely quantities of the product.
In any case, overwhelming evidence leads to believe that for most people a cup of tea with honey and cinnamon may be long overdue.