Benefits of Cinnamon & Honey
Cinnamon and honey are delicious additions for providing flavor to food, but they are also credited as having health-related benefits such as regulating blood sugar and controlling infection. Some of the health claims for using cinnamon or honey are unsubstantiated, while others remain under investigation for clinical significance. Both cinnamon and honey have been touted as alternative options for natural healing but are not suggested without physician consultation to determine safety.
Cinnamon is a spice derived from the bark of evergreen trees in the Cinnamomum genus. Commonly used honey is produced by honey bees, although other types of honey exist that are produced by different bees or insects. The active constituents in cinnamon include cinnamaldehyde, which gives flavor and aroma, and antibacterial and antifungal compounds. Honey consists of fructose and glucose concentrations that are high enough to kill microorganisms, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The healing ingredients contained in cinnamon and honey were used for thousands of years in ancient Greece, Rome and Asia as a means to fight infections from skin wounds. According to World Wide Wounds online, the medical community has taken note of the benefits of using cinnamon and honey for the treatment of broader medical conditions, and ongoing clinical research shows promise.
Blood Sugar and Diabetes
Skin Wounds and Infections
Honey acts as a topical antibacterial agent for skin infections and wounds. According to the website World Wide Wounds, honey is an antimicrobial agent similar to hydrogen peroxide, and use for minor skin wounds reduces inflammation and infection significantly. Not all honey is created equal, however; in treating skin infections, read labels and talk to your physician before pouring honey into your wound. Cinnamon as an external poultice is also credited as beneficial to treating bacterial infections of the skin. Create a tincture with cinnamon and soak a sterile gauze pad with the concoction. Place the poultice over the site of infection. Before using cinnamon as a wound-healing agent, consult your physician for safety.
Hypertension and Cholesterol
Cinnamon and honey may improve cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of developing hypertension. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center notes that preliminary studies implicate the use of cinnamon and honey in reducing low-density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol, and triglyceride levels when used daily. However, research on using honey is inconclusive and ongoing. The “Journal of the American College of Nutrition” reported in a 2006 study that use of cinnamon in treating hypertension shows promise, when taking up to 6 g daily. Consult your physician before using cinnamon or honey in the treatment of hypertension and cholesterol problems.
- University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: Honey
- World Wide Wounds: Honey as a Topical Antibacterial Agent for Treatment of Infected Wounds
- “Journal of the American College of Nutrition”; Whole Cinnamon and Aqueous Extracts Ameliorate Sucrose-Induced Blood Pressure Elevations in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats; Harry G. Preuss, MD et al; February 2006
- University of Texas at El Paso: Cinnamon