Nov 10

Cinnamon is Well Known for the Holidays but also Reduces Blood Pressure

Most people can’t tell when their blood pressure is high, which is why hypertension is called the “silent killer.” In this case, what you don’t know can hurt you. Elevated blood pressure can lead to a greatly increased risk of heart attack and stroke along with other serious illnesses.

Blood pressure can elevate to as high as  220/170 (systolic pressure/diastolic pressure) and is quite common during activities, such as weight lifting without doing any harm. Only when excessive pressure is sustained day and night do blood vessel linings begin to be injured and undergo those unhealthy changes known as atherosclerosis.

The best way to determine your blood pressure is to take several readings at different times during the day and on different days of the week. Blood pressure readings will vary quite a bit from moment to moment; what matters most is the average blood pressure. Thus, if many low readings balance out a few high readings, the net result may be satisfactory. However, it is essential not to ignore a high value by saying, “I was just stressed then.” Stress is part of life, and if it raises your blood pressure once, it will do so again. To come up with an accurate number, you must include every measurement in your calculations.

Lifestyle changes, such as quitting cigarettes, losing weight, and increasing exercise, can dramatically reduce blood pressure. Regarding exercise, one study found that engaging in aerobic exercise 60 to 90 minutes weekly may be sufficient for producing maximum benefits.  Another study found that taking four 10-minute “exercise snacks” of brisk walking per day significantly improves blood pressure.

Let’s find out about cinnamon. Most people are familiar with the sweet but pungent taste of the oil, powder, or sticks of bark from the cinnamon tree. Cinnamon trees grow in a number of tropical areas, including parts of India, China, Madagascar, Brazil, and the Caribbean.cinnamon-oil

The latest news going around is that there is a great difference between different types of cinnamon. The 2 most popular in the news would be Ceylon cinnamon and cassia cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is considered the “true” cinnamon and is from Sri Lanka. Cassia cinnamon tends to be used more in the U.S. and can be from various countries. Coumarin can be very toxic to the liver and kidneys. There are very minimal amounts of coumarin in Ceylon cinnamon, whereas, cassia cinnamon contains a very significant amount. If you use cinnamon a lot, please consider Ceylon cinnamon.

Cinnamon is an ancient herbal medicine mentioned in Chinese texts as long ago as 4,000 years. It has a broad range of historical uses in different cultures, including the treatment of diarrhea, rheumatism, certain menstrual disorders, circulation, nausea and digestion. In modern medicine, cinnamon is useful in reducing blood glucose levels in diabetes, fights bacterial and fungal infections, inhibits development of Alzheimer’s disease, effective against HIV, stops progression of multiple sclerosis, lowers bad cholesterol, eliminates headache and heartburn.

As we can see, cinnamon essential oil is a “super” oil that not only smells great but has many benefits.

A report published in the journal, Nutrition, stated that cinnamon essential oil alone without any diet or lifestyle changes reduced blood pressure levels (systolic and diastolic). The scientists went on to explain their procedures.

Dr. Akilen and his co-workers limited their meta-analysis to only three randomized clinical trials out of a possible 93 studies. The doses of cinnamon used in the studies ranged from 500 mg to 2.4 grams per day and the duration of all of the studies was 12 weeks.

After surmising all of the information, the results were that cinnamon essential oil intake was associated with significant decreases in blood pressure.

Dr Akilen and his co-workers noted that a recent review had “confirmed that cinnamon and components of cinnamon have been shown to have beneficial effects on virtually all of the factors associated with metabolic syndrome, including insulin sensitivity, glucose, lipids, antioxidants, inflammation, blood pressure, and body weight.”

“In summary, this meta-analysis of three RCTs indicates that the consumption of cinnamon essential oil (short term) is associated with notable reduction of systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with prediabetes and type-2 diabetes,” they wrote.

Study Link

Hypertension Link

We, at Good Living Essential Oils, always look forward to hearing about great results from studies using essential oils.