#9 Cinnamon (54! non-drug ways to lower blood pressure)

A lot of alternative health books and web sites promote the idea that various spices are wonder foods, able to cure anything and everything.  Strangely enough, there seems to be some truth to it.

Various double blind studies on cinnamon have confirmed its health benefits.  It appears to work by stabilizing blood sugars , lowering insulin resistance, lowers salt retention, and lowering blood pressure.  It also appears to have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties which may underlie in ways not known in some human diseases.   The theory is that cinnamon some how mimics and works with insulin.  One key point is that we know that diabetes and blood pressure problems are highly correlated in that if you have one condition, often the other condition is more likely to follow.  Similarly, it seems that if you have something that naturally treats the one condition, it often helps with the other one.

Ok, I love honey, and I love cinnamon — a sweet tooth for sure.  So, if I’m having toast with honey, I load on the cinnamon, a couple of teaspoons for sure.  I never had any adverse effect, and it does seem to have a small positive effect on blood pressure.   Also, I know that if I’m down with a cold, or if I’m suffering an infection, that good dose of cinnamon seems to help.  Indeed the antibacterial properties of cinnamon were known in bible times (see Exodus 30.21-25).   Apparently, some stores sell cassia a similar spice under the name cinnamon.  While cassia works similarly, there is a concern that it contains a toxic compound, so something to watch for when purchasing cinnamon or consuming high amounts of it.

So, while cinnamon isn’t a wonder cure all, it is seems somewhat effective.  I had an elderly friend that had serious diabetic problems. He heard about this cinnamon thing, and began to consume significant amounts.  It worked, his blood sugar which had been wildly fluctuating, stabilized and he even lost some weight using it (which he needed to do).    Obviously, this testimony is not a scientific study, and could be just a placebo effect, but the double blind studies done on cinnamon do suggest real health effects.

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