Cinnamomum burmannii

Cinnamon, which in english is used to refer to any number of plants from the cinnamonum genus, is a popular and well known cooking and baking spice the world over. You may have enjoyed it seasonally or likely it is in one of your favorite delicacies – known in the west as a spice for baked goods and sweets, and in the east as a common savory soup and curry spice. Across the Cinnamonum genus, each species (‘Chinese’ Cinnamon – Cinnamomum cassia, ‘Ceylon’ cinnamon – C. verum, ‘Saigon’/’Vietnamese’ cinnamon – C. loureiroi, ‘Indonesian’/’korintje’ cinnamon – C. burmannii, and ‘Malabar’ cinnamon – C. citriodorum) has it’s own quality of taste and aromas, as well as some differences in chemical makeup such as coumarin and eugenol content [1]. While all are recognized as cinnamon, distinction is important for true culinary nuance.

Mandala Naturals uses Cinnamonum brumanii in our chocolates because of the variety’s more subtler flavor compared to the more common Cinnamomum cassia used broadly in the US, sometimes without attention to the it’s difference in flavor.  The ‘Indonesian’ burmannii cinnamon adds to sweetness and subtle spice to the nuanced flavors of our low-carb superfood Wild Chai and Cacao Alchemy, as well as the coconut palm sweetened Cloud Forest superfood chocolate bar.

But it’s not just for taste! Cinnamon is a superfood and ancient traditional medicinal featured in our superfood chocolate bars.

A Spice for the Heart and Soul

1. Stabilizes Blood Sugar & Counteracts Diabetes Related Issues

Cinnamon helps lower blood sugar levels and improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin [2,3]. Insulin resistance is understood as the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes.

In addition to the ‘insulin potentiating factor’ of cinnamon, because cinnamon blocks the activity of several digestive enzymes it slows the absorption of sugar in meals, effectively lowering the glycemic index of the meal [4], so there’s convincing evidence that type 2 diabetics’ blood sugar numbers can be supported by supplementing with cinnamon [5,6].

Furthermore, the cardiovascular benefits of cinnamon also counteract diabetic issues like hypertension [2].

2. Supports the Cardiovascular System

Cinnamon has important components that are reported to have protective and supportive effects on the cardiovascular system, specifically through receptor blocking and acute hypotensive effects by lowering blood pressure through vasodiolation [2].

There are a handful of studies which indicate that cinnamon consumption can reduce high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood [2].

Additionally, atherosclerosis and other ailments associated with the degeneration of old age may be supported by Cinnamon’s supposed inhibition of Advanced Glycation End Products (AEGs) [2].

3. Anti fungal and anti-bacterial

Cinnamaldehyde from cinnamon is an effective anti-fungal and antibacterial [7,8]. It has potential for both topical use [9] and internally against fungal infections like candida [10]. With Candida it has the added benefit of supporting lower blood sugar levels, which may help manage a candida overgrowth.

4. Rich in Antioxidants

Cinnamon is full of antioxidants – at least 41 different antixoidant compounds have been found, putting it in the top 10 highest of all antioxidant containing foods [2,11,12]

Cinnamon’s specific types of antioxidants (polyphenols, phenolic acid and flavonoids) are also significant – they help reduce oxidative stress, cleaning up free radicals and preventing fat peroxidation – all of which help prevent chronic disease.  [13,14]

5. Inflammation Relief

The antioxidants in cinnamon can help relieve inflammation, which may help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline and more. Cinnamon has been researched for its ability to reduce both chronic and acute inflammation and found promising [2,15,16].

6. Counteracts Neurological Degeneration and Disorders

Cinnamon has a number of isolates and metabolites which have been studied for potential neurological benefits including: cinnamonophilin, sodium benzoate, CEppt, and a simple aqueous cinnamon extract. Some of the most compelling potential is the ability of some of these elements to prevent degeneration related to Parkinsons disease and Alzheimers [2]. In the case of Parkinsons, this seems to be through protection from oxidative stress, reduction inflammation [17].

7. May Help Lower Cancer Risk

Still more components of cinnamon show significant promise – this time around fighting cancer. Aqueous extract and procyanidins, cinnamaldehydes have been shown to inhibit tumor growth and other anti-cancer effects in studies through a variety of channels [2].

8. Natural Food Preservative

In addition to being sweet and tasty, cinnamon also helps food keep better! Cinnamic aldehyde has been shown to prevent and stunt mold growth [18].

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