In a culture where there is a prescription drug for everything, it has become second nature to go straight to the pharmacy to pick up a cure for what ails you. Before pharmaceutical companies, people made do with natural remedies. In some cases the natural remedies work so well people still use them often today. Honey and cinnamon are two common items almost anyone can find in their pantry. These items do more than just taste good. Both honey and cinnamon have curative and health benefits.
Honey is a natural source of carbohydrates which is what your body runs on. Compared with other types of sugar, honey is better at maintaining blood sugar levels and is effective at providing energy and reducing muscle fatigue. Honey also acts as an immune booster, full of antioxidants to help you fight illness and stay healthy.
Honey can act as an antiseptic, and has been used as a first-aid salve for wounds for thousands of years. It has antibacterial properties that lower the risk of infections and also acts as an anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce swelling. Perhaps the best known honey remedy is for a sore throat. It soothes the pain and is able to eliminate many bacteria that may cause infection.
Honey may even help to fight diseases such as cancer. The floral flavonoids in honey can increase antioxidant levels in the cells of the body. They rid the cells of free radicals and improve immune system health.
Cinnamon, the sweet and fragrant spice most associated with the holiday season, has a long history of medicinal uses. One of the oldest known spices, it was used in ancient Egypt and mentioned in one of the oldest known books of Chinese medicine. Chinese healers have prescribed cinnamon for nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, colds, and flu. It has also been used to improve circulation and boost energy and even to help ease painful menstruation in women. Often it is put in chai tea to help the body digest dairy products.
The oil found in the bark of the cinnamon tree contains active ingredients that have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Research has also been done on cinnamon’s effectiveness in reducing platelet clotting and increase blood flow.
Cinnamon may also help the body’s ability to respond to insulin in people who have type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that daily consumption of cinnamon can help reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides and cholesterol. Some studies are even suggesting that cinnamon can have an effect on these levels regardless of diet!
Just smelling the warm, wonderful spice can have a positive effect on brain activity. Research has shown that memory, attention, and eye-hand coordination is improved after smelling the cinnamon scent.
Honey and cinnamon are perhaps the easiest health foods to incorporate into your diet. They taste good and can enhance the flavor of almost any food. So sprinkle some cinnamon on your oatmeal or sweeten up your tea with a spoonful of honey. It may just do your body some good.