Author: Christy

Top Benefits & Uses for Colloidal Silver

Top Benefits & Uses for Colloidal Silver

Years ago I was introduced to colloidal silver and was a little hesitant about using it since I had heard that it could turn your skin blue. The crazy thing is that it can if  you use a low quality solution that contains salts and […]

Being busy is a good thing, right?

Being busy is a good thing, right?

Several years ago I was talking with a business coach and I was telling her how busy I always was and she said to me “Are you busy on the right things though?”. The statement stopped me in my tracks and in one instant I […]

Is it Cinnamon or is it Cassia?

Is it Cinnamon or is it Cassia?

 

Is it Cinnamon or is it Cassia…and what’s the difference?

Most people don’t know that the “cinnamon” they are purchasing from the store is usually “cassia” or that there is even a difference. While they are related in both species and genus (Cinnamomum), they are not from the same plant nor do they have the same health and nutritional benefits. They also have a slightly different flavor. True cinnamon generally has a sweeter taste and is considered to be a finer spice than cassia.

There is really only one true “cinnamon” which is from the Cinnamomum zeylanicum plant. This is also sometimes referred to as Ceylon cinnamon and Cinnamomum verum which means “true cinnamon”. Cassia, on the other hand, is from Cinnamomum cassia (alternatively called Cinnamomum aromaticaum) and Cinnamomum burmannii. True cinnamon is usually more expensive than cassia which is generally why when you buy what retailers call “cinnamon” it is usually “cassia”.

One of the primary differences between cinnamon and cassia is the coumarin content. Coumarin is a naturally occurring component of some plants that can be toxic when taken in large amounts. It can be damaging to the liver and nervous system. In Cinnamon, which is widely known to help reduce blood glucose, the coumarin content is only found in trace amounts (if at all). In Cassia however it is much higher, which poses the risk of causing damage to certain parts of the body when taken in large quantities. Using cassia in ordinary seasoning situations wouldn’t generally pose a large risk. If you like to consume large amounts of it though, you’ll want to make sure you have true organic cinnamon instead of cassia.

How do you know the difference?

The best way to know what cinnamon you have is to look for the source or name. If it’s in stick form it’s fairly easy to identify but in powder form it’s harder to detect. Check the labels or call the company to make sure that what you’re getting is the right kind. In the US, Cinnamon that you purchase from the grocery store is generally cassia. I even purchased Cinnamon Sticks the other day from an Organic company and when they arrived they were sticks of cassia. Cassia generally comes in one solid piece, as if it were rolled off of a tree. Cinnamon on the other hand usually comes in multiple layers.

cinnamon

 

cassia

What about Cinnamon Essential Oil?

Unfortunately, cinnamon essential oil is one of the most commonly adulterated oils because the smell of cinnamon and cassia are so similar. From Dr. Robert Pappas:

Cassia oil is very similar in chemical composition to cinnamon bark (both are high in cinnamic aldhehyde) but cassia is an inferior oil from an odor/flavor/therapeutic point of view and it can be as much as 1/10th the cost of cinnamon bark in certain markets. Because cassia is so much cheaper than true cinnamon bark its very tempting for companies to mix their cinnamon bark oil with cassia oil and charge their customers for pure cinnamon bark. This may seem like a crafty way to make some extra profits if you don’t know much about the chemistry of these oils.

As with anything else in life make sure that you’re getting your oils, herbs, and seasonings from a trusted source!

Sources:
www.drfuhrman.com/library/choosing_the_right_cinnamon.aspx
www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=newtip&dbid=31

Are You Ready For The Sick Season??

The kids are off at school, the weather is changing, everyone is outside less and getting less exercise…it’s the perfect combo for the sick season to set in. You don’t have to be a victim though!   Don’t let these guys ruin Fall!! For four years […]

Top 7 Benefits of Chlorella

Top 7 Benefits of Chlorella

Chlorella is a type of algae that grows in fresh water, mainly in Taiwan and Japan. When it was first discovered and harvested (after WWII), chlorella was studied as a potential food source because it is high in protein and other essential nutrients and can be […]

Top 6 Reasons to Use Stevia Instead of Sugar

Top 6 Reasons to Use Stevia Instead of Sugar

 

Stevia is a natural sweetener, not lab-created, which originates in South America. It is available in different forms; as a granular powder, dried leaves, or as an extract. Obesity is on the rise in the USA, so more and more people are turning away from sugar and looking for sugar substitutes. There are a number of reasons why stevia is better for the population than artificial sweeteners and refined, processed sugar.

  • Stevia has no calories. Refined sugar has many calories, and while man-made artificial sweeteners do not have the calories, they do have many negative side-effects. I’ll discuss these more later.
  • Stevia is not addictive. We all know that sugar is addictive, and artificial sweeteners promote cravings. Stevia may actually suppress cravings. I have been using stevia in my coffee for several years and my taste for sweets has definitely decreased. I no longer feel the need to have a sweet treat with my coffee. I also drink much less coffee than I used to, with much less stevia than I initially started with. 
  • Stevia lowers blood pressure. The studies seem to prove that it lowers blood pressure for those who struggle with heightened blood pressure issues, not in people who have regular or low blood pressure. (1, 2)
  • Stevia is great for diabetics. It has a glycemic index of zero! Refined sugar has a GI of 95. The higher the number, the worse it is for diabetics. A study comparing “fake” sweeteners with stevia also determined that using stevia reduces blood glucose and insulin after a meal. 
  • Stevia is beneficial for oral health.  Consuming sugar allows bacteria to form on teeth, which causes plaque and cavities. Stevia will not coat teeth or allow the bacterial action that sugar does.
  • Stevia does not have negative side effects in most people. There have been many reports through the years of headaches, dizziness, rashes, and stomach pains in people who use artificial sweeteners. These are just the most common issues reported, but there are more serious concerns (dementia, cancerheart disease, etc) to be aware of when consuming synthetic “sugars.”  Dementia and cancer run in my family. This is the biggest reason I choose to use raw stevia rather than other sweeteners. 

Always use raw, pure stevia. Some commercially available brands add inulin or maltodextrin to their products. Read the ingredient lists on your boxes and bottles. I really am thankful for the choices we have in safe alternatives for sugar. I bake with raw stevia and add it to coffee and tea. I use about half the amount that a recipe calls for because it is really sweet and a little goes a long way. Add this ingredient to your pantry if you haven’t already!

DIY Homemade Healthy Hand Spray

DIY Homemade Healthy Hand Spray

There are so many toxic hand gels and sprays out there claiming to kill all sorts of things, which they probably do but they rarely tell you about the negative side effects of using them. Such as stripping your hands of it’s natural oils, throwing […]

12 Health Benefits Of Garlic

12 Health Benefits Of Garlic

  History & Use Garlic is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the wold and has been grown for over 5000 years.1  Garlic is part of the allium family, which includes onions, leeks, and shallots. Garlic is grown all throughout the world and is a popular […]

DIY Lip Balm With Essential Oils

DIY Lip Balm With Essential Oils

 

I love lip balm! I do not however love the price of one tube or the ingredients that are used in so many of them.  I’m not a super crafty, DIY person but this recipe is SO simple I figured even I could do it and I’m so glad I did. I love this stuff!! It is the perfect consistency and it smells yummy. I also love that I got 13 tubes for roughly the price that it would have cost me to purchase the brand I used to get. They also make a great gift!

Ingredients:

melting-lip-balm-ingredients

Other Materials Needed:

Instructions:

Place the glass bowl over the boiling water or the glass jar in the boiling water. Add the wax pellets and let them melt down. Then add in the Vitamin E Oil, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, & Cocoa Butter. Stir until melted. Let cool off for a few minutes (maybe 2-3) before adding the essential oil. Carefully pour mixture into your lip balm containers. I used a small funnel & a Tablespoon to reduce the spills.  

 

Top 5 Essential Oils for Sleep

Top 5 Essential Oils for Sleep

There is nothing like a good night’s sleep…especially if you’re a parent. I know that if I don’t get enough or good quality sleep my whole family ends up paying the price. Either I’m impatient, lack energy, or can’t focus. There are a few oils […]