Scientific name: Two major cinnamon types have been extensively studied: Cinnamomum cassia and C. verum (syn. C. zeylanicum).
Common names: Cinnamon.
Proven health benefits
By consuming cinnamon at the recommended dosages, it will help to reduce your bad cholesterol and triglycerides and increase your good cholesterol.
Consuming 3 g/day of cinnamon powder along with diet and physical activity for four weeks allowed patients with metabolic syndrome to lose weight and improve their blood pressure.
Preparation and dosage
The daily dose of cinnamon powder is between 1 g (equal to ¼ teaspoon) and 6 g (equal to 1.5 teaspoons) per day, spread out after each meal (3 times daily). You can also take this amount in the form of capsules. However, by increasing the dose, the anti-diabetic effect will not increase.
Cinnamon can be used in two forms: as powder for immediate use or after having been soaked and cooked.
Soak the cinnamon sticks in water for 24 hours, then cook this solution for 30 minutes and filter it before consumption.
Other ways of preparation (baked, cooked for longer than 30 minutes at 100°C), are not recommended as there is no evidence that the hypoglycaemic effect remains.
Dried inner bark
Bitter melon is a native vine of tropical Asia. It is widely grown in South and South-East Asia, Africa, and South America. The unripe fruit is commonly consumed. Seeds are bitter and should be removed. Extracts of various parts of bitter melon are also used in traditional medicine
Where to buy
Seeds are found on the market, in speciality grocery stores and Herbal shops. You can also find Nigella oil, seed powder, and capsules.
Make your own
How to collect or grow it: Cinnamon plants grow in a hot and humid climate. It is possible to grow new cinnamon plants from stem cuttings. A vigorous three-year-old cinnamon plant is ready to harvest. The outermost layer is removed; the yellowish-orange layer beneath is peeled off, dried for about a week in the shade (in dry weather, otherwise and faster in the oven); it curls into the typical shape you see in stores.
How to prepare the powder: Grind the cinnamon into a powder.
To preserve cinnamon powder for as long as possible, keep it in an airtight container and store it in a cool, dry place.
Precautions, interactions and adverse effects
Nigella sativa can be consumed safely at the usual doses.
In functional dyspeptic patients, mild adverse effects such as nausea, bloating, and burning sensation have been reported after administration of Nigella oil. However, in general, nigella improves liver and kidney functions.
Nigella should not be taken by patients under phenobarbitone sodium.
Nigella increases intestinal absorption of amoxicillin, thus enhancing its availability and pharmacological effect.
Pregnancy / Nursing
Despite no systematically controlled studies in pregnant women or during breastfeeding, nigella can be consumed safely at the usual doses as a common food product.
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