Cinnamon is an herb that is widely used in cooking and that comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree.
When the bark is removed, this is called a cinnamon stick.
Cinnamon has also been used as a medicine in traditional medicine for centuries.
You can grind fresh cinnamon sticks to make tea, to cook in your food or to sprinkle toast, cereals or desserts.
Because it can come into contact with certain medications, it is important to consult your doctor before using cinnamon.
Lowers blood sugar levels
The effects of cinnamon on blood sugar levels in humans have been studied and promising results have been found.
In a study published in 2009 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, people with overweight and obesity with disturbed fasting glucose or cinnamon extract or twice a day were given a placebo.
The scientists monitored the blood sugar levels of the participants and discovered after 12 weeks that the cinnamon extract group had significantly lower glucose levels than the placebo group. They concluded that the glucose-lowering antioxidant properties of cinnamon can reduce the risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. Another study, published in "Diabetes Care" in 2003.
In a study published in "Diabetes care", 60 diabetic patients were given daily 1, 3 or 6 gram of cinnamon powder, or a placebo. After 40 days, all patients taking cinnamon had not only reduced glucose levels, but also the level of unhealthy cholesterol. Specifically, triglyceride levels were reduced by 23 to 30 percent and LDL - "bad" - cholesterol was reduced by 7 to 27 percent. However, there were no changes in the patients taking placebo. This points to the important benefits that cinnamon sticks have for cardiovascular health.
Muscle pain reduction
By reducing inflammation cinnamon sticks can even reduce the pain after heavy training. In a study published in the "International Journal of Preventive Medicine" in 2013, 60 young women received either cinnamon, ginger or a placebo per day while taking part in an athletic training program. Those who received 3 gram cinnamon powder got less muscle pain after six weeks than the placebo group.
In a study published in "BMC Cancer" in 2010, scientists looked at the effects of cinnamon extract on tumor cells in test tubes and in mice. The tumor cells were of cancer of the lymph, skin, cervix and large intestine. The scientists discovered that cinnamon extract significantly inhibited the growth of tumor cells and even killed some of the tumor cells, both in test tubes and in mice. In a study published in "Cancer Letters" in 2009, scientists found similar results and even stated that cinnamon has potential as an alternative drug for the treatment of tumors.
However, these studies used cinnamon extract instead of cinnamon sticks in their entire form. The effects of fresh cinnamon sticks on cancer cells in humans have not been studied.