Numerous claims are made for the health benefits of cinnamon and honey. They are recommended by natural health practitioners to slow aging, fight infection, treat digestive disorders and prevent disease. They are even considered beneficial for weight loss. However, although scientific studies on their therapeutic value have been conducted, results are mainly inconclusive. Consult your doctor before using alternative remedies to treat medical conditions. Cinnamon, in particular, may have side effects.
Antioxidants and Aging
Cinnamon is high in antioxidants, as are certain types of honey. Antioxidants boost the immune system by mopping up free radicals, which are produced during bodily processes and by exposure to toxins. Free radicals contribute to aging and disease. Foods high in antioxidants may help prevent serious illnesses such as arthritis, cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's disease and promote longevity. Antioxidants can also help slow the physical signs of aging such as wrinkles. They may even protect against sun damage.
Cinnamon, Honey and Diabetes
Cinnamon is high in polyphenols and may be beneficial in lowering blood sugar levels. Studies on both rats and human Type 2 diabetes patients suggest a link between cinnamon consumption and the prevention of insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels. A study carried out by the Dubai Specialized Medical Center and Medical Research Laboratories found that honey caused insulin levels to be higher and blood plasma glucose levels lower than did sucrose and dextrose. However, the Mayo Clinic disputes that honey is better for diabetics than other types of sugar.
Cinnamon and Honey as Healing Agents
It is claimed cinnamon may encourage healing due to the antimicrobial properties of essential oils found in its bark. It is antiseptic and may be used to treat internal and external infections. Honey is also believed to have healing properties. Researchers at the University of Sydney have recently found that the application of a manuka honey gel to horses' leg wounds led to 27 percent faster healing times.
Treating Digestive Disorders
Unlike most foods, honey is alkalizing. Diets in general tend to be predominantly acidic, leading to digestive problems such as ulcers and heartburn. Raw honey can help balance the pH levels in your body, helping to prevent such conditions. High acid levels in the body can also lead to conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and weight gain. Cinnamon is often used as a tonic in the treatment of indigestion, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea and flatulence.
Side Effects of Cinnamon and Honey
Reported side effects of cinnamon are rare. However it has been known to cause a hypersensitive reaction involving surface ulceration of the mouth and swollen lips. Oral lesions have been noted as a result of chewing cinnamon gum. A user of a popular toothpaste containing cinnamon oil reported acute stomatitis, an inflammation of the mucous lining of the mouth, and dermatitis. Side effects of honey appear to be negligible. However, its health properties are extremely variable. Diabetics should treat honey as sugar.