Using Cinnamon Beyond the Kitchen: Good for your Garden, Good for your Body
I was browsing through my Facebook feed and one of my gardening friends was talking about using cinnamon to help with pest control. I heard about some of the benefits of cinnamon beyond its culinary flavor, but had never really explored it. And to be honest with you, a year ago I probably wouldn't have explored anything beyond what you would traditionally use it for. But I had a turning point. For some of you, your turning point was the pandemic. For me, it was my mom's cancer and my diagnosis with rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren's Syndrome. Among all the prescriptions and pesticides, I'm just trying to find natural ways to help things do what they're naturally supposed to do.
People have been using cinnamon for 1,000 of years for a variety of reasons. Not only is it good for cooking, but it has anti-inflammatory properties. Why is that important? Because when your body is chronically inflamed, it means your immune system is working on overdrive, and too much of a good thing can become bad really quick (like carbs). When healthy cells and tissues get attacked like that, they eventually get damaged, which can lead to disease. Cinnamon is also anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, known for helping with healing things like cuts, bumps and scrapes-even fungal problems in your garden!
Now I'm no homeopathic guru. And I don't claim that using cinnamon alone will be the cure-all to whatever problem you're having. But when added to a regimen, it has the potential to be really effective. From a little bit of internet research, this is how I plan to try it out:
I plan to use cinnamon in my garden. I have looked up cinnamon uses in the garden and I found two main ways that cinnamon is used. First, cinnamon is supposed to act as a fungicide, helping to eliminate fungal plant diseases. Second, cinnamon is supposed to stop some common gardening pests, like ants. Apparently they don't like the smell or taste. But because some ants are good for spreading nutrients through the soil and aeration, I don't want to kick them out (unless they're fire ants, then you can kick them out). Since I have a problem with fungal gnats and pests that like to eat my plant leaves, I'm going to try a cinnamon/water mixture that I can spray directly onto the leaves. How will I do it? I'm going to mix 1-2 tablespoons of cinnamon into a gallon of warm water, let it seep overnight, then pour it into a spray bottle. And always test a small area before using any product across your whole garden.
I plan to use cinnamon in my skin care regimen. Because cinnamon has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, it helps the body heal. So all the cuts, scraps and bug bites that summer can bring can be fought with something that most of us already have in our pantry. If you're prone to mosquito bites like me, try mixing a small amount with water and applying it directly to the affected area. If you have honey, which is also known for its cleansing properties, try mixing equal parts of the two.
I plan to use cinnamon to help fight inflammation. A lot of our illnesses can trace their cause or effect to inflammation. With rheumatoid arthritis, my immune system is fighting against my joints. With Sjogren's Syndrome, my immune system is fighting against my glands and tear ducts. Both things cause inflammation and the medicine I take has side effects, like heart disease, heart attack and/or death. The doctor wants to add another medicine, so before we go that route, I'm going to try adding cinnamon in healthy ways to my diet. One way I can add cinnamon would be to sprinkle it on things like my coffee, or even my oatmeal. Another way would be to drink cinnamon tea, which is as simple as adding a cinnamon stick to your herbal tea. This way, my body can use something natural to help fight the inflammation that it's prone to.
If you have some experience using cinnamon, feel free to let us know your thoughts on it. If you're trying this along with me, let me know how it goes for you!