Cinnamon has been around as a flavouring for a long, long time, and one of its major uses is in herbal and Asian teas. It’s easy to buy cinnamon tea, but you can also make your own by steeping a cinnamon stick, or a teaspoonful of ground cinnamon, in boiling water for around ten minutes. If you like, you can also add honey and lemon. Whether your tea is shop bought or homemade, it will have an amazing range of health benefits.
Cinnamon tea has historically been used as a remedy for cold and ‘flu symptoms. It will soothe and warm sore throats, particularly if it’s made with honey and lemon. Cinnamon tea is also good for headaches and migraines. The anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon mean that it can reduce the pain and discomfort of a blocked nose or earache. The next time you feel under the weather, or there is a cold going around your school or workplace, try cinnamon tea as well as your usual cold remedy.
Arthritis patients often claim that a daily dose of cinnamon tea eases their aches and pains. The theory is that the anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon mean that it can help to tackle this painful and discomforting disease.
Scientifically, the jury is still out as to whether or not cinnamon tea can really help arthritis, with different studies having different results. However, it is extremely unlikely that cinnamon tea will make you feel any worse, so it may be worth trying for a period to see if it does have any effect.
Cinnamon tea is also reputed to be good at fighting yeast infections – even those than can survive regular treatment. Some women say that a daily cup of cinnamon tea helps to ward off vaginal thrush. It may be worth trying this in conjunction with treating the infection with live yogurt. The effect that cinnamon has in regulating the body’s blood sugar levels may have a role in treating diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, as it lowers the levels of insulin in the blood.
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Scientific research in the area is still relatively unadvanced and, so far, has concentrated on ground cinnamon rather than cinnamon in the form of a tea. However, it still may be worth discussing the effects of cinnamon on blood sugar levels with your physician.
Cinnamon tea can have a very soothing effect on the body’s digestive system. It discourages indigestion and heart burn, and also helps to prevent diarrhoea. If you suffer from any of these complaints, then it may be worth trying a cup of cinnamon tea before or after meals, to see if it helps you to digest your food more comfortably.
Similarly, cinnamon can help to reduce the severity of halitosis, which is often caused by problems in the complainant’s digestive system or with their teeth. Cinnamon tea is also very aromatic, which helps to mask the problem as well as possibly dealing with the underlying causes of bad bread.
There are a couple of groups who should approach cinnamon tea with caution. Cinnamon acts as an anticoagulant – if you are on aspirin or any other form of blood-thinning medication, for example for high blood pressure, then you should seek medical advice before consuming cinnamon tea. The same advice is also useful for pregnant women, as cinnamon is linked to contractions in the uterus and may be harmful during some stages of pregnancy.
Cinnamon tea can be bought in health stores. Cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon are readily available in supermarkets, Asian stores and even in some corner shops. You might also be interested to know that cinnamon is a major component of chai, or Indian tea – this is available in Indian grocers and specialist tea suppliers, but is also increasingly available in mainstream supermarkets.