by Kimberly Allen, RN
I received an email the other day from a friend asking me about whether or not some information she had received was true or not. An article that was in the Weekly World News (a known as a tabloid magazine) back in January of 1995 is making the rounds again raising questions about it’s validity.
In the article, the author makes claims that a combination of honey and cinnamon can cure anything from cancer to lowering your cholesterol level. It’s even supposed to help you manage diabetes and promote weight loss. Because the article was printed in a tabloid magazine instead of a medical journal there are many skeptics that have difficulty believing the use of cinnamon and honey have been used for their health benefits for thousands of years in both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). According to the Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, cinnamon has been used in both Eastern and Western cultures to treat a variety of diseases ranging from arthritis and asthma to heart disease and cancer. It goes on to report that there have been scientific studies that have confirmed that cinnamon is effective when used to treat numerous conditions including heart disease, digestive issues. It’s also been shown to be effective as an anticonvulsant, diaphoretic and a diuretic. It’s antibacterial properties help boost the immune system and fight infections. There has also been a study done involving people with type II diabetes. In the study the people that took 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon everyday for 40 days lowered their fasting blood sugar by 18% to 29%. In addition to lowering their blood sugar they also lowered their LDL or bad cholesterol by 7% to 27%, triglycerides were lowered by 23% to 30% and total cholesterol by 12% to 26%. On the other hand those that did not take the cinnamon showed no changes. There have also been studies that indicate that cinnamon used in combination with other herbs is effective in successfully treating epilepsy even in people that were unresponsive to conventional anticonvulsant medications.
According to the same encyclopedia honey has also been used for both it’s nutritional as well as health benefits since 7000B.C.E. Honey antioxidants and phytochemicals as well as vitamin B6, and riboflavin along with iron and manganese. It is a natural sugar that is broken down more easily by the human body. There are variety of different types of honey and the health benefit depends on not only what type of honey it is but also on the processing as well as the quality of the flowers used by the bees when the collect their pollen. The most health promoting phytochemicals are in what is know as “raw honey”. Raw honey hasn’t been pasteurized, filtered or clarified. Processing significantly reduces the amount of beneficial phytochemicals in the honey. Propolis, a component in raw honey that contains numerous beneficial phytochemicals in the honey. The phytochemicals in propolis have been well studied and are known to have anticancer and anti tumor properties. When purchasing honey the darker the honey the better. Always remember raw honey is whats beneficial. Dark honey, like Buckwheat honey, has significant antioxidant effects and one of the most promising health benefits related to honey is its ability to promote wound healing. It has been used for centuries as a topical treatment for burns, ulcers and wounds. Don’t forget the anticancer and anti tumor properties that are in raw honey. Honey is also an excellent source of energy.
Something the article didn’t mention as far as the use of cinnamon and honey for medicinal purposes is that in order for it or any other natural treatment to be effective it must be part of a healthy lifestyle. So if you’re a “couch potato” eating bacon cheese burgers and fries then having honey and cinnamon for desert, don’t expect to see much benefit. Disease occurs when there’s an imbalance in your body. To become healthy again you need to find balance especially in diet and exercise.
Kimberly Allen is a registered nurse with an AND in nursing. She has worked in ACF, LCF and psychiatric facilities, although she spent most of her career as a home health expert. She is now a regular contributor to HealthAndFitnessTalk.com, dispensing advice and knowledge about medical issues and questions. You can reach her with any comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.