Cin­na­mon

Win­ter Warmer, Soother and Pro­tec­tor

Provincial Living - - Meander & Muse -

Cin­na­mon is the per­fect win­ter warmer and re­ju­ve­nat­ing part­ner for the colder months says herbal­ist Natasha Flynn.

Ilove light­ing cin­na­mon can­dles and al­low­ing the de­light­fully warm­ing fra­grance to per­me­ate my home in win­ter. It is a sooth­ing, warm­ing and com­fort­ing aroma. I also drink chai tea, lis­ten to the crack­ling of the fire and some­what re­treat into a pe­riod of much-needed hi­ber­na­tion af­ter the ex­haust­ing end­less so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties and all-round busy­ness that goes with the warmer months. There is some­thing re­ju­ve­nat­ing about a great win­ter hi­ber­na­tion.

Once con­sid­ered more pre­cious than gold, cin­na­mon is one of the old­est known herbs and spices. Cin­na­mon es­sen­tial oil is a vi­tal in­clu­sion in your win­ter pre­pared­ness kit; its an­timi­cro­bial prop­er­ties may help to ward off the nasty bugs which cause the com­mon cold.

Win­ter de­fence room spray

To ex­pe­ri­ence the ben­e­fits of cin­na­mon around the home, make your own win­ter de­fence room spray. Cin­na­mon es­sen­tial oil and dis­tilled wa­ter are the only in­gre­di­ents re­quired for this pow­er­ful, nat­u­ral, an­tibac­te­rial spray to use around your home. Add 1ml of cin­na­mon es­sen­tial oil to 70ml of dis­tilled wa­ter in a glass spray bot­tle and shake gen­tly to com­bine.

The spray can be used as a sur­face cleaner and a non-toxic all-pur­pose cleaner as it is ger­mi­ci­dal, an­ti­fun­gal and an­timi­cro­bial. For an even more- pow­er­ful bug-killing room spray, add a few drops of clove oil.

Cin­na­mon in the diet

Cin­na­mon be­came the most sought-af­ter com­mod­ity in the 16th cen­tury be­cause of its value as both a spice and a herbal medicine. Re­searchers are cur­rently in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether cin­na­mon could po­ten­tially help to re­duce el­e­vated blood sugar lev­els in those with type 2 di­a­betes.

My first in­tro­duc­tion to cin­na­mon as a child was cin­na­mon sugar on toast. It was an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence. While it would be lovely if ob­tain­ing its health ben­e­fits were as sim­ple as in­clud­ing cin­na­mon French toast and cin­na­mon rolls more of­ten as part of our diet, the best way to use this spice is to add it to warm drinks and foods that are low in sug­ars.

Experiment with cin­na­mon in meat dishes and you will be pleas­antly sur­prised at how ver­sa­tile it is when used in savoury dishes. In me­dieval Europe, it was used in com­bi­na­tion with ginger for flavour­ing and cur­ing meat. Those with higher so­cial sta­tus would im­press guests by serv­ing foods sea­soned with an abun­dance of herbs and spices as a dis­play of their wealth.

Im­ages: An­to­nio Gra­vante, Joanna Vnuk

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