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Spicing up of Health : Cinnamon

Authors:
  • Indian Cardamom Research Institute
  • Spices Board (Ministry of Commerce & Industry Govt. of India)
Article

Spicing up of Health : Cinnamon

Abstract

Article discusses the role of cinnamon as potential immuno-booster or immunity enhancer and other medicinal properties.
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22
Spicing up of Health : Ginnamon
S.S. Bora, T.N. Deka, B. A. Gudade,
A. Gautam, R. Chhetri and A.B. Rema Shree
tlrought Mitigation- Production Technologies
with Special Emphasis on Gatdamom and
Black Peppet
S.J. Ankegowda, K.S. Krishnamurthy and
Alagupalamuthirsolai M
17
Project for Assistance in Gapacity Building
and Knowledge Sharing to Address SP$ lssues
in Spices-lnception Workshop Gonducted
Ghilli Task Force Gommittee Meeting
Gonvened
23
0n Farm Ttaining Progtamme fot Gumin
Farmers
24
Uisit ol Horticulture and Agriculture Diploma
Students to Spices Patk JodhPur
25
Hindi Fortnight Celebrations 2020
25
0nline Spice Glinics
26
9th Meeting of IPG Gommittee on R&D
28
Establishing lntegrated Ualue Ghain lor
Export ol Seed Spices from Jodhpur -
lnteilace with l(ey Stakeholders
30
19
Buyer Seller Meets to $upport Market
Linkages Galendat ol 0perations Decembet 2020
S.S. Bora, T.N. Deka, B. A. Gudade, A. Gautam, R. Chhetri and A.B. Rema Shreel
lndian Cardamom Research lnstitute, R.R.S, Spices Board, Tadong, Gangtok-737 102, Sikkim, lndia
llndian Cardamom Research lnstitute, Kailasanadu P.O., Myladumpara, Kerala- 685553
*Corresponding author: Dr S.S.Bora
Finnamon is one of the oldest spices known to
\-rmankind. lt belongs to the genus Cinnamomum
that comprises over 250 aromatic evergreen trees
and shrubs, primarily located in Asia and Australia.
There are two kinds of cinnamon, the Ceylon one 1.e.,
true cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum/zeylanicum)
which has a lighter, sweeter and more delicate
flavour and the Chinese cinnamon 1.e., Cassia
(Cinnamomum cassia) which is less expensive than
the true cinnamon and conceivably spicier and more
pungent. Both are under the family Lauraceae and
dried inner bark of the tree is used as spice. The
Portuguese found cinnamon trees growing in Sri
Lanka (Ceylon) during the early 1-6th century; they
subsequently imported it to Europe during 16th and
l-7th centuries. The Dutch occupied Sri Lanka in the
mid 17th century until the British conquered them
in 1796 and the English East lndia Company then
became the main exporter of cinnamon to Europe.
ln lndia, cinnamon is cultivated in the lower
elevations of Western Ghats in Kerala and Tamil
Nadu. Cultivation started in L767 as Lord Brown
lndia is expected to be known as the diabetes capital
of the world in future and this is a cause of major
concern for the people. Cinnamon helps in maintaining
blood sugar level in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Several
agents in cinnamon such as cinnamaldehyde and
polyphenolic polymers have been proposed as
putative active factors responsible for its effect as
an anti-diabetic agent. A study undertaken with 60
patients with type 2 diabetes when administered
with one, three and six grams of cinnamon powder
regularly for 40 days exhibited decrease in fasting
blood sugar levelwhile improving blood lipid profile. A
study mentioned that cinnamon polyphenol (CP) acts
as insulin in cells of people and animals with type 2
diabetes mellitus. ln a recent study, suitable doses
of cinnamon (5, 10 and 20mg/kg body weight) of the
linalool chemotype were found to help with glycemic
control in diabetes due to enhanced insulin secretion.
Result of these studies certainly put fonruard a ray of
hope for people suffering from diabetes specially
type 2 diabetes.
2. Anti-cancerous
Cinnamon is used against treating tumours in
herbal medicine. Antitumour and anti-cancer
properties of a substance is closely related to its
antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties.
1. Anti-diabetic
5
of the English East lndia Company established
Anjarakkandy Cinnamon Estate in Kannur district
of Kerala which is Asia's largest cinnamon estate
covering nearly 200 acres of land. Cinnamon is known
by different vernacular names in lndia. However,
mostly known as Dalchini in Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati,
Marathi, Odia, Urdu, Punjabi and Assamese; in
Kannada it is called as Lavangapattai, in Malayalam
it is called as Karuvapatta, in Sanskrit it is called as
Darushila and in Tamil it is called as Karvuvapattai
and Sannalavangapattai.
Cinnamon was mentioned in ancient Chinese
writings which are nearly 2,700 years old and
also finds mention in the Bible several times . The
Egyptians imported cinnamon from China and used
as medicine, for flavouring beverages and also as
an embalming agent for mummification. This dates
back to 2000 BCE and cinnamon was so highly
treasured and considered more precious than gold'
For Romans, cinnamon was a sacred and important
product burned at funerals and it was mentioned
that the Emperor Nero burned a whole year's supply
at funeral of his beloved wife Poppaea. Cinnamon
is used in many culinary recipes, sweets, candies,
chocolates, desserts as well as in fortification
beverages like tea, coffee, and liquors. Other than
culinary purposes, oil obtained from cinnamon
bark is also used in perfumes and dental products.
Cinnamon leaf oil has been found to be effective in
killing mosquito larvae.
Mostly true cinnamon is used for cooking and spicing
the food items compared to the Chinese cinnamon
which is predominantly used for medicinal purposes.
It is used traditionally as general health tonic and
aids in digestion, against common cold, nausea
and to treat toothache and foul breath. ln lndia,
Ayurvedic medicine makes use of cinnamon bark
as an antiemetic, antidiarrheal, antiflatulent and
general stimulant since historic times. A number of
scientific clinical studies across the globe on use
of cinnamon against various ailments are going on'
Pharmacological studies revealed various healing
properties of this spice and a few are mentioned
herewith so that this information can make the
common people aware to boost up their health by
use of this spice in judicious manner.
In India, cinnamon is
cultivated in the lower
elevations of Western
Ghats in Kerala and Tami!
Nadu. Cultivation started in
L767 as Lord Brown of the
English East India Company
establ ished Anja rakkandY
Cinnamon Estate in Kannur
district of Kerala which is
Asia's largest cinnamon estate
covering nearly 200 acres of
land. Cinnamon is known by
different vernacular names in
India.
November 2020
E
Studies on the antioxidant and immunomodulatory
properties oI C. zeylanicum and C. cassla may
imply antitumour properties. ln a study it was
revealed that 2-Hydroxycinnamaldehyde (HCA) and
2-benzoyloxycinnamaldehyde (BCA) isolated from C'
cassra strongly inhibited in vitro growth of 29 kinds
of human cancer cells. Pharmacological experiments
also suggest that the cinnamon derived dietary factor
cinnamic aldehyde (cinnamaldehyde) activates the
Nrf2-dependent antioxidant response in human
epithelial colon cells and may therefore represent
an experimental chemopreventive dietary factor
targeting colorectal carcinogenesis. Clinical study
revealed that cinnamaldehyde, the major component
extracted from cinnamon which control proliferation
of many human cancer cell, is more cytotoxic due
to the presence of polyphenolic compounds than
synthesized cinnamaldehyde. This implies the
importance of this sPice.
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Several studies indicate the anti-inflammatory
properties of cinnamon and its essential oils' Evidences
suggest that cinnamon and cinnamaldehyde have
immunomodulatory properties and can suppress
inflammation processes. A recent study reported that
2'-hydroxycinnamaldehyde isolated from C' cassia
bark exhibited an inhibitory effect on production of
nitric oxide responsible for inflammation indicating
that this substance can potentially be used as an
anti-inflammatory agent. ln another study' it was
revealed that Cinnamon extract inhibits degranulation
and de novo synthesis of inflammatory mediators in
mast cells which are main effector cells of allergic
and other inflammatory reactions thus act as anti -
inflammatory.
;. 4,". t;'-)5.J ., :
Antioxidants have been considered the most
important drivers in the progress and existence of
humans, as they respond to free radicals and damage
in metabolic diseases and age-related syndromes
of humans and other animals. Even in the food
processing industry, antioxidants have been used to
delay or prevent food spoilage. Studies revealed that
various extracts of cinnamon,such as ether, aqueous,
and methanolic extracts showed considerable
6
I
Studies on the antioxidant and immunomodulatory
properties of C. zeylanicum and C' cassr,a may
imply anti-tumour properties. ln a study it was
revealed that 2-Hydroxycinnamaldehyde (HCA) and
2-benzoyloxycinnamaldehyde (BCA) isolated from C.
cassla strongly inhibited in vitro growth of 29 kinds
of human cancer cells. Pharmacological experiments
also suggest that the cinnamon derived dietary factor
cinnamic aldehyde (cinnamaldehyde) activates the
Nrf2-dependent antioxidant response in human
epithelial colon cells and may therefore represent
an experimental chemopreventive dietary factor
targeting colorectal carcinogenesis. Clinical study
revealed that cinnamaldehyde, the major component
extracted from cinnamon which control proliferation
of many human cancer cell, is more cytotoxic due
to the presence of polyphenolic compounds than
synthesized cinnamaldehyde. This implies the
importance of this sPice.
3. Anti-inflarnmatory
Several studies indicate the anti-inflammatory
properties of cinnamon and its essential oils' Evidences
suggest that cinnamon and cinnamaldehyde have
immunomodulatory properties and can suppress
inflammation processes. A recent study reported that
2'-hydroxycinnamaldehyde isolated from C. cassia
bark exhibited an inhibitory effect on production of
nitric oxide responsible for inflammation indicating
that this substance can potentially be used as an
anti-inflammatory agent. ln another study, it was
revealed that Cinnamon extract inhibits degranulation
and de novo synthesis of inflammatory mediators in
mast cells which are main effector cells of allergic
and other inflammatory reactions thus act as anti -
inflammatory.
4. Antioxidant
Antioxidants have been considered the most
important drivers in the progress and existence of
humans, as they respond to free radicals and damage
in metabolic diseases and age-related syndromes
of humans and other animals. Even in the food
processing industry, antioxidants have been used to
delay or prevent food spoilage. Studies revealed that
various extracts of cinnamon,such as ether, aqueous'
and methanolic extracts showed considerable
6
2020
I
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antioxidant activities. Due to the anuorudant property.
cinnamon and its essential oil have been used as
preservatives in food and Egyptian people used
cinnamon for mummification of the dead bodtes.
A study on rats reported that the admintstrauon rf
the bark powder of C. verum (10 per cenQ for 9C
days produced antioxidant activities as indicated
by cardiac and hepatic antioxidant enzymes. lipid
conjugate dienes, and glutathione (G SH). Cl inical trial
exhibited that aqueous and alcoholic extract (1 : 1)
of cinnamon significantly inhibits fatty acid oxidation
and lipid peroxidation in vitro.ln another clinical trial
on antioxidant activity of two different extracts' the
ethanolic and hot water extracts of the dry bark of
C. cassra revealed that ethanolic extract exhibited
significant inhibition (96.3 per cen0 compared
to the natural antioxidant tocopherol (93.74 per
cent). Overall, different flavonoids isolated from
cinnamon have free-radical-scavenging activities
and antioxidant properties. ln a comparative study
among 26 spices, cinnamon showed the highest
antioxidant activity, indicating that it can be used as
an antioxidant in foods to keep human being healthy'
Cinnamon oil and its extracts show many
antibacterial activities. Cinnamaldehyde and
essential oil are components of cinnamon and both
are effective in preventing growth of bacteria v2.,
Staphytococcus aureus (causes boils), Escherichia
coli (causes mostly cholecystitis, cholangitis and
urinary tract infection), Pseudomonas aeruginosa
(cause urinary tract infections, respiratory system
infections, dermatitis, bone and joints infection
particularly in patients with severe burns, and cancer
- who are immunosuppressed), Vibrio cholerae
(cholera infection) and Salmonella typhimurium
(causes gastroenteritis (inflammation of the gut)
leading to diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal
cramps). ln a clinical trial of essential oils from leaves
of cinnamon against S. aureus, E. coli, P. aeruginosa,
Salmonella sp., Vibrio sp. and other four bacteria,
excellent inhibitory effect was exhibited which depicts
cinnamon's importance as anti-bacterial.
6. Anti-fungal
The essential oils of cinnamon shows anticandidal
(Candida albicans, C. glabrata - causes skin
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infection) and antidermatophytic (Microsporum
canis, Trichophyton mentagrophytes and T. rubrum -
infection called dermatophytosis, commonly referred
to as ringworm) activity in vitro. The fungitoxic
properties of the vapours of the oil / active constituent
were established against fungi involved in respiratory
tract infections (mycoses), i.e., Aspergillus niger, A.
fumigatus, A. nidulans and A. flavus, Candidaalbicans,
C. tropicalis, C. pseudotropicalis, and Histoplasma
capsulatum and inhalable vapours of cinnamon
oil appear to approach the ideal chemotherapy for
respiratory tract mycoses. ln another study cinnamon
shows in vitro activity against fluconazole-resistant
and susceptible Candida isolates. lt was found that
oral candidiasis, which occurs frequently in patients
with HIV infection and fluconazole-resistanl Candida
species, is an emerging problem. Use of cinnamon
can be a substitute in suppressing this problem in
HIV infected person.
in treatment of neurological disorders were studied
and positive results have been noticed so far,
However, thorough study in this line is required
to arrive at a conclusion. Study reported that the
aqueous extract of c. zeylanicum can reduce tau
aggregation and filament formation, two of the
main features of Alzheimer's disease, indicating the
potential of cinnamon in the treatment of Alzheimer's
disease. Parkinson's Disease (PD) is the second
major widespread neurodegenerative disorder after
Alzheimer's disease, with a prevalence of two per
cent in people of 65 years and above. Clinical trial
reported that cinnamon metabolite upregulates DJ-1
by modulating mevalonate metabolites and thus
reduces early-onset of parkinsonism caused by
alterations in the DJ--I gene.
Pharmacolog ical stud ies revealed lhal C i n n am o m u m
cassra bark extract has potentiality in inhibition of
virus induced cytopathogenicity of HIV - 1 & HIV - 2
infections. Cinnamaldehyde derived from cinnamon
bark has inhibitory effect on the growth of influenza
A/PR/B virus. The available in vitro data demonstrate
that C. cassia bark oil as well as aqueous and
ethanolic extracts have potent antiviral properties
against HIV and influenza virus, respectively.
Cinnamon is found to be effective on parasitic
worms of the intestine. Study revealed that extracts
of cinnamon bark have potent in vitro anthelmintic
properties against the swine nematode Ascarls suum.
Cinnamon bark extract contains high concentration of
paranthocyanidins and trans-cinnamaldehyde which
are very effective in reduction of not only A. suum but
also Trichuris suis and Oesophagostomum dentatum
while administered to swine. A study has proved that
cinnamon bark is effective in anthelmintic activity.
10. Cardiovascular Diseases
11. Cholesteroland Lipid Lowering
Globally, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the
major risk factors for mortality in recent times.
CVD is one of the most undeniable reasons of
metabolic syndrome. Traditional medicine-based
evidence and recent scientific based evidence
proved that cinnamon and its active ingredients
such as cinnamaldehyde, cinnamate, cinnamic acid
and eugenol in the forms of aqueous and alcoholic
extracts have a variety of therapeutic effects.
Cinnamon extracts ameliorate the different aspects
of metabolic syndrome including high blood pressure,
dyslipidemia and obesity. Therefore, the investigation
showed that cinnamon is a cardiovascular protective
agent. one of the active components isolated from
C. cassra named 2-methoxycinnamaldehyde (2-
MCA) improves the ischemia/reperfusion (l/R) injury
and thus improves the cardio health. Another study
reported the potential effects of two compounds,
cinnamic aldehyde and cinnamic acid, isolated from
C. cassra against myocardial ischemia indicating that
cinnamon has the potential to treat cardiovascular
diseases. ln a study, it has been found that C. cassra
bark increases the level of Atrial Natriuretic Factor
(ANF) in the plasma of mice which acts to reduce the
water, sodium, and adipose loads on the circulatory
system, thereby reducing blood pressure, and
improves the cardiovascular health.
7. Antiviral
8. Anti- anthelmintic
9. Neurological Disorders
ln fast changing world, neurological disorders like
Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease seems to be
on the increasing trend. Positive effect of cinnamon Severaf studies strongly suggest that C. zeylanicum
and C. cassla have cholesterol-lowering properties.
B
November 2020
ln a study to determine whether cinnamon improves
blood glucose, triglyceride, total cholesterol, HDL
cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol levels in people with
type 2 diabetes, it was revealed that one, three or six
gram of cinnamon administered regularly for 40 days
reduced mean fasting serum glucose (Lg-2go/o),
triglyceride (23-30o/o), LDL cholesterol (7-27o/o),
and total cholesterol (LZ-Z6o/o) levels. Another study
demonstrated the effect of C. cassra extract on blood
lipids that HDL-cholesterol concentrations were
significantly higher in mice fed with cinnamon extract,
and the concentrations of triglyceride and intestinal
alpha-glycosidase activity were significantly lower
after six weeks. Additionally, cinnamon oils reduced
the cholesterol levels in broiler chickens. These results
suggest that cinnamon extract has a regulatory role
in blood lipids and it may also exert a blood glucose-
suppressing effect by improving insulin sensitivity
or slowing absorption of carbohydrates in the small
intestine. However, more clinical trials especially
with healthy volunteers and people suffering from
hyperlipidemia are going on for more accurate result.
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liquid medium and its resistance to low pH levels
may enhance its effect in an environment such as
human stomach. Hence, it is assumed that cinnamon
may have gastroprotective propefiies via inhibition of
gastric ulcers.
Cinnamon is used as a spice mainly in lndian cuisine.
Numerous properties of cinnamon, in the forms of bark,
essential oils, bark powder, phenolic compounds,
flavonoids, and isolated components, were reported
by many researchers. These properties indeed play
a pivotal role in the advancement of human health.
The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties may
occur through direct action on microbes or free
radicals, while anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic and
anticancerous activities occur indirectly. However,
we must consider the side effect caused due to the
presence of one component ,Coumarin' in cinnamon
which has detrimental effect on liver and kidney, if
consumed regularly in higher amount. German FDA
has established a "TDt" (Tolerable Daily tntake) of 0. j_
mg coumarin/ kg body weight; it also advised if this
level is exceeded for a short time there is no threat
to health. Ceylon Cinnamon has between 0.001_
0.005 milligram of Coumarin/ tea spoon, whereas
Chinese cinnamon or Cassia has at least 1000x
more Coumarin than Ceylon Cinnamon. Therefore,
we have to be cautious while consuming Cassia or
Chinese Cinnamon. Because of the benefits of this
spice for human health, it can be concluded that if
judiciously used, cinnamon is very beneficial for our
health and helps to reduce and cure many diseases
and disorders.
ETI
L2. ln Treating Menstruation
Primary dysmenorrhea is one of the most common
gynaecologic disorder in young women. lt is the
cyclic and painful cramps which affect daily activities.
A study conducted on 76 lranian female college
students from llam University of Medical Sciences
(west lran) during 2013-201,4 found that cinnamon
is effective in reducing pain, menstrual bleeding,
nausea, and bleeding with primary dysmenorrhea,
without side effects and it can be regarded as a safe
and effective treatment for dysmenorrhea in young
women.
Helicobacter pylori has been associated with the
pathogenesis of antral gastntis, duodenal ulcer,
and gastric lymphoma. Eradication of this organism
has shown to reverse or prevent relapse of these
diseases. Antimicrobials employed in the eradication
of H. pyloriare not without adverse effects. Cinnamon
extract (from methylene chloride) inhibited H. pylori
growth at a concentration range typical of common
antibiotics. The efficiency of cinnamon extracts in
1,. Kumari S., Sharma L., Ajmera p. and Raghav
A (2018). A Diverse Therapeutically useful Herb;
Cinnamon. .lnternational Journal of Research in
Social Sciences Vot. 8 (5): 296-307
2. Rao P. V. and Gan S. H. (20L4).Cinnamon:
A Multifaceted Medicinal plant Evidence_Based
Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://
dx. d oi. org/1 O.L!551 2OL4 I 642942
3. Maheshwari R. K., Chauhan A.K. , GuptaA. and
Sharma S. (20L3) Cinnamon: an imperative spice for
human comfort. TJPRBS 2(5):LZL-I4U j
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