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Cinnamon June 22, 2009

Posted by mygiftofcancer in cancer.
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Cinnamon is a great way to improve the flavor of countless dishes and happens to be one of my favorite spices. I came across this great article,  “Cinnamon is a Wonder Spice for Health and Well-Being” and posted it as a page (click on the title to read it.) It explains about the virtues of cinnamon, a spice which my husband and I add fairly generously to our weekly oatmeal. As much as we would love to have it more often, we only eat oatmeal weekly because it’s so expensive here in Vietnam. Cinnamon, on the other hand, is quite cheap. It is locally grown and is especially known in Asia for its warming qualities and is often used to provide relief when faced with the onset of a cold or flu, especially when mixed in a tea with some fresh ginger.

When I first went to see a Vietnamese herbal doctor because of my breast cancer, he told me I should avoid hot (meaning spicy) foods. I assumed he meant dishes prepared with a lot of chili, but as we talked, it became clearer that cinnamon was in the same category. A second conversation took place after I’d been drinking herbal tea for several months and my digestive system had recovered from the abuse in my younger years and was functioning well again. His advice for me then was his version of “moderation”. He said that in my case, I could eat it, but “not too much and not too often”. You may be wondering if I’m following that counsel. Well, as I said, we add cinnamon to our oatmeal “fairly generously” just once a week. However, I add it to my sweet potatoes about once a week as well, so I’d say I’m not being as careful as I should. Since he reminded me on my last visit a few days ago regarding the sweet fruit I love to eat (mango, lychee, durian—YUM!) which are also considered “hot”, I intend to obey by reducing the  quantity I enjoy (already rather limited) and also reducing the cinnamon a bit. But that’s a hard one! It adds so much to the enjoyment of food.! I just have to remind myself that I’m living with cancer and that helps me keep things in perspective.

Here’s a little more about cinnamon from The World’s Healthiest Foods about the history of cinnamon:


Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known. It was mentioned in the Bible and was used in ancient Egypt not only as a beverage flavoring and medicine, but also as an embalming agent. It was so highly treasured that it was considered more precious than gold. Around this time, cinnamon also received much attention in China, which is reflected in its mention in one of the earliest books on Chinese botanical medicine, dated around 2,700 B.C.

Cinnamon’s popularity continued throughout history. It became one of the most relied upon spices in Medieval Europe. Due to its demand, cinnamon became one of the first commodities traded regularly between the Near East and Europe. Ceylon cinnamon is produced in Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar, Brazil and the Caribbean, while cassia is mainly produced in China, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Be sure to check out the full article I mentioned above for more information.

I often buy locally made slippers that have an inner sole made of woven grass, which is very comfortable for my very dry skin, but the added cinnamon layer is the main selling factor promoted on the package. Cinnamon against the soles of your feet warms them and promotes general good health. As for me, I just like the smell! Ha!

I may have said this before, but I haven’t been back to see the doctor who first diagnosed me and then did the mastectomy. I plan to go for my first full check-up one year after my original diagnosis in September, so 3 more months. Until then, I’m using purely natural methods to fight cancer. No chemotherapy. No radiation therapy. No hormone therapy. So far, so good. My main defense is prayer, followed by herbal medicine, a mostly vegetarian diet (minus sugar, “bad” oils, refined flour, preservatives, artificial coloring, additives and any other factory foods) and regular vigorous exercise. Why wouldn’t this work?

Our bodies are amazing creations designed to fight intruders. I believe it is our modern lifestyle of fast foods and faster independent living which has caused us to stray–dare I say, flee– from living our lives in balance with nature and has allowed so many terrible diseases to proliferate rampantly.



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