Heart diseases affect the normal functioning of the heart.
There are various types of heart diseases and these are also the causes of major disabilities.
Blockage or narrowing of coronary arteries is the main cause of heart disease.
This affects the blood supply to the heart and is called coronary artery disease.
It takes place very slowly and over a number of years and is the chief cause of heart attacks.
Other causes of heart disease could be a congenital defect at birth or damage to the heart valves which prevent them from functioning well and cause heart failure.
High blood pressure, cardiomyopathy or hypertension also causes heart diseases.
Most heart diseases share similar symptoms like chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, dizziness, weakness or faster heartbeat.
Always consult your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms to get correct diagnosis and immediate treatment.
Cinnamon for Heart Diseases
The number of patients with various forms of heart diseases is growing rapidly all over the world.
While most patients go in for conventional treatments, a growing number choose to use alternative medicine.
Cinnamon as a potential treatment for heart diseases is both safe and inexpensive. Various studies have found its potential benefits for heart diseases.
Cinnamon offers antioxidant potential and helps prevent oxidative stress of blood cells.
During oxidation, free radicals affect blood cells and cause damage to blood vessels by robbing electrons from lipids found in cell membranes.
Plants such as cinnamon have been researched over the years for their antioxidant potential.
Rats fed a diet of cinnamon were found to have higher levels of antioxidant enzymes and their glutathione content was also restored.
Hence, cinnamon offers the potential to protect cell membranes from oxidative damage.
Excess buildup of LDL (bad) cholesterol can start plaque deposits in coronary arteries. This blockage causes atherosclerosis and leads to heart attacks.
Scientists have been studying the efficacy of water-based extracts of cinnamon and other spices and herbs like ginger, rosemary, cloves and ground pepper to lower LDL cholesterol levels.
In a study conducted on zebrafish, it was found that cloves and cinnamon offered the best protection against oxidation and lowered LDL cholesterol levels.
Hence, these spices could offer therapeutic benefits to treat chronic metabolic diseases and heart diseases.
The effects of the main component in cinnamon – cinnamaldehyde – were studied for its ability to reduce platelet aggregation and prevent formation of blood clots.
Platelet aggregation could cause blood clots to form on arteries and cause strokes or heart attacks.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is another cause of heart disease.
A person suffering from hypertension could have a weak heart since it has to work extra time to pump sufficient oxygen and blood to meet the requirements of our bodies.
Hypertension could cause an enlarged heart and prevent proper blood flow. It also contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries and leads to atherosclerosis.
In one study, diabetic patients were given 2 g cinnamons a day for 12 weeks.
At the end of this, the patients on cinnamon had reduced blood pressure levels (both systolic and diastolic) compared to the placebo group.
Cinnamon spice is rich in calcium, manganese and fiber. The combination of fiber and calcium is critical to preventing various diseases.
Calcium and fiber bind together bile salts and help with their excretion from the body.
This excretion prevents buildup of bile salts in the body. When bile is properly removed, the body needs to make fresh bile by breaking down cholesterol.
This process reduces cholesterol levels and therefore prevents heart disease and atherosclerosis.
Some animal studies show that cinnamophilin – an extract from cinnamon – may help treat arrhythmia and regulate heartbeat.
Another animal study found that a mixture of licorice and cinnamon bark could control heart palpitations.
Human studies are required to prove the efficacy of these conclusions.
Cinnamon is also said to help with weight loss due to the fiber content in it.
Since obesity is one cause of heart disease, using cinnamon could help lose weight and reduce the risk of contracting heart problems too.
A combination of cinnamon and honey is said to cure many diseases.
Replace jam or jelly which you may eat every morning with toast with a mixture of cinnamon powder and honey.
Regular use of both honey and cinnamon can lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart attacks.
As we age, our veins and arteries start to harden and lose their flexibility. Plaque buildup causes clogged arteries and increases the risk of heart diseases.
Honey and cinnamon have the ability to strengthen heartbeat and revitalize veins and arteries.
An excess of cinnamon could cause allergic reactions.
Common allergic reactions include nasal congestion, hives, difficulty in breathing etc. Severe allergic reactions could cause heart palpitations, drop in blood pressure or loss of consciousness. Seek medical help immediately in such cases.
Coumarin a component with anti-clotting properties is present in Cassia cinnamon.
This could cause clotting problems and must be taken with caution especially by those requiring surgery.
Cinnamon should be an adjunct treatment and not replace conventional medication for heart diseases.
Always consult your doctor before using cinnamon for therapeutic purposes.