Cinnamon & Garlic Benefits

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Small bowl of cinnamon and garlic.
Small bowl of cinnamon and garlic. (Image: rakratchada/iStock/Getty Images)

More than just spices or seasonings, garlic and cinnamon offer multiple health benefits to go along with their flavor. Cinnamon usage dates back to 2000 B.C., when it was imported from China to Egypt. Garlic is an herb that has been used for the treatment of many ailments, especially those pertaining to the heart such as high blood pressure, heart attacks and atherosclerosis.

Type 2 Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, 29.1 million Americans have diabetes, and 1.7 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in 2012. Cinnamon and garlic have been shown to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with Type 2 diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels, triglycerides and total cholesterol. A study published in 2003 in "Diabetes Care" showed that cinnamon helped lower blood sugar levels by 18 to 29 percent, triglycerides by 23 to 30 percent and total cholesterol levels by 12 to 26 percent in Type 2 diabetics. Garlic has been shown to decrease blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels when taken with a typical anti-diabetic remedy, as reported in a study published in 2011 in the "Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences."

Common Cold

Garlic is known to boost immunity, which could help to prevent or reduce the length of the common cold. A study published in 2001 in "Advances in Therapy" noted that individuals given a garlic supplement reported fewer colds and shorter duration of cold symptoms than those who did not receive a garlic supplement. The compound found in garlic known as allicin is thought to contribute to these improvements in reducing the effects of the common cold.

Lower Blood Pressure

Cinnamon and garlic have both been used to help lower blood pressure and improve health. Exhibited in a study published in 2005 in the "Journal of Molecular Cell Biochemistry," garlic supplementation reduced blood pressure and counteracted oxidative stress for individuals with high blood pressure. Cinnamon lowered blood pressure in Type 2 diabetics in a study published in 2010 in "Diabetic Medicine." Subjects were given a dose of 2 grams of cinnamon per day, which is equivalent to about 1/2 teaspoon.

Precautions

Garlic and cinnamon do not typically display any potentially harmful effects when you use them to add flavor to foods. As supplements, though, they require more precautions and considerations. Consult with a physician before supplementing with garlic, especially if you have a blood-clotting disorder or diabetes, are pregnant or are taking medications that disrupt normal blood clotting. High doses of cinnamon can result in skin irritations and allergic reactions.

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