I was very fortunate to grow up with two wonderful and caring grandmothers. My maternal grandmother, Jesusita, passed away when she was 98 years old, and my paternal grandmother, Anita, recently passed away at the age of 92. Just the other day, I was thinking about the incredible lives they lived, and all they experienced. Although they only met each other a couple of times, they had a lot in common, and I have a feeling they would have enjoyed each other's company. Both of their husbands passed away young, and they were left to raise their children alone. They were both strong women, fabulous cooks and very healthy. I was starting to wonder if there was a secret ingredient in common, and then it hit me: cinnamon! Both my grandmothers drank té de canela (cinnamon tea), as well as used the aromatic spice in savory and sweet dishes. After researching, I realized there are surprising health benefits and unique healing abilities associated with this beloved spice. Cinnamon can help lower cholesterol, reduce sugar levels, treat bad breath, protect against heart disease, boost brain activity and help with memory loss, fight yeast infections, treat stomach ulcers, alleviate gas, nausea and indigestion, increase blood circulation, act as a natural diuretic, and more. I especially love drinking té de canela with honey in the colder months, but have also incorporated this spice into my daily cooking and baking. If you’re ready to start taking cinnamon as a natural remedy, I’d highly recommend you add a pinch to your tea or coffee, or sprinkle some on your wheat toast.
6 cups water
2 Mexican cinnamon stick, whole
Honey to taste
Place water and cinnamon in a medium-sized sauce pan and bring to a boil. Let boil for approximately 3 to 5 minutes and remove from heat. Let steep for an additional 30 minutes, or to taste based on strength desired. Add honey to taste.
Photo by Jeanine Thurston.