Cinnamon as an Antiviral: Dessert or No Dessert?

(c) 2011, Written by Will Blesch

I thought I would start this edition of my blog by writing a bit about a great antiviral, natural substance. Cinnamon!

I can remember my grandmother making lots of different desserts as I was growing up. Many of them included cinnamon. Some of those desserts were chocolate desserts, and since cinnamon is used in making chocolate inMexicoon a regular basis…this wasn’t all too strange.

It has also been an accepted natural remedy for centuries. A number of scientific studies have shown that cinnamon possesses anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and cholesterol depressing properties.

It comes from the bark of a tree that grows in a lot of eastern countries such asEgypt,Vietnam,Sri Lanka, andIndia. It also grows inNorth America’s back yard so to speak…way down yonder where some of the most beautiful women in the world also happen to reside. (A little place known asBrazil.)

Anyway, cinnamon is one of the oldest and most well-known of spices. It’s prepared by taking the bark of the tree, drying it and then rolling it into cinnamon sticks which are called quills. It may also be ground into a powder. (The powder is what I remember my grandmother shaking onto the top of cream pies etc.)

Health Benefits of Cinnamon:

Well, as I mentioned above…there are actual antiviral properties connected with cinnamon, and I’ll back up that claim with references to studies conducted below.

In Chinese, traditional medicine,  cinnamon is used for all kinds of ailments and is believed to improve one’s energy, pizzazz, life force, verve, vigor and vim! It’s supposed to improve one’s circulation and be useful for people who tend to feel hot in their upper body but have cold feet.

What is the Scientific Evidence for Cinnamon’s Health Benefits in regards to its antiviral properties???

trans-cinnamaldehyde (CA), one of the principal constituents of essential oil derived from Cinnamomi cortex… inhibited the virus growth in a dose-dependent manner (20-200 microM), and, at 200 microM, the virus yield was reduced to an undetectable level.” (Antiviral research)

“The most effective extracts against HIV-1 and HIV-2 are respectively Cinnamomum cassia (bark) and Cardiospermum helicacabum (shoot + fruit).” (The Indian Journal of Medical Research)

basically, what this is saying is that cinnamon has shown antiviral effects against viruses like HIV, Influenza, and the common cold among others.

I think I’ll be heaping the stuff on my desserts. Or maybe I’ll experiment and see about just eating some raw in the powder form. I’ve never done that. I’ll let you all know the results in my next blog!

References:

Hayashi K, Imanishi N, Kashiwayama Y, Kawano A, Terasawa K, Shimada Y, Ochiai H. Inhibitory effect of cinnamaldehyde, derived from Cinnamomi cortex, on the growth of influenza A/PR/8 virus in vitro and in vivo. Antiviral Res. 2007 Apr;74(1):1-8. Epub 2007 Jan 26.

Premanathan M, Rajendran S, Ramanathan T, Kathiresan K, Nakashima H, Yamamoto N. A survey of some Indian medicinal plants for anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) activity. Indian J Med Res. 2000 Sep;112:73-7.

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2 Comments on “Cinnamon as an Antiviral: Dessert or No Dessert?”

  1. momfog says:

    Very interesting. I love cinnamon and don’t need motivation to eat it, but I am glad to know it is at least beneficial. I love it sprinkled in a mocha latte.

  2. Colin Hall says:

    I only started taking cinnamon supplements 3 days ago and I was staggered to find that my blood pressure, which has been 150+ over 90 for many months, has suddenly dropped to 127/76 ! I could not believe that something so natural can have such a marked improvement on my health.


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