Should you eat cinnamon?

Cinnamon is often used by women (commonly those with PCOS and/or diabetes) for help in stabilizing the blood sugar, using about 1/2 teaspoon per day. Many nutritionists also claim that it helps to reduce inflammation and decrease appetite. Chinese medicine says that cinnamon helps improve pelvic blood flow, is warming, and can help increase a mans sperm count.

But could the type of cinnamon you consume be harming your body?

A few months ago I was chatting with a friend when she brought up the topic of cinnamon, and it was the first time I’d heard about “true” cinnamon.

After a bit of digging around on google, and looking through my own cupboards, I found that there is in fact a couple different kinds of cinnamon. Most notably:

Ceylon Cinnamon

  • grown in Sri Lanka
  • light brown in color
  • thinner and softer
  • more mild in flavor
  • the inside of a stick is filled like a cigar
  • contains a minimal amount of coumarin (which thins the blood)

(I buy my ceylon cinnamon from Mountain Rose Herbs – I love the quality and flavor)

Cassia Cinnamon

  • grown in China, Vietnam, Indonesia
  • darker brown in color
  • thicker and hard
  • inside of the stick is hollow
  • more intense flavor
  • much higher levels of coumarin
  • this is the type most often found in the US

In the picture below, you can see the difference in the sticks of these two kinds of cinnamon. The Ceylon (or sweet) on the left, the cassia on the right.

dangers of cassia cinnamon

Much of the problem with the less expensive (which is why it’s used more) cassia cinnamon, lies in the coumarin content. Coumarin is a phytochemical that flavors the food source. (it’s also found in strawberries, lavender, cherries, and sweet clover and other plant-based foods to some extent)

While coumarin looks like it may have some health benefits; blood thinning, anti-fungal, and helps to prevent against tumors, in excess it can also do damage to the body as it is moderately toxic to the liver and kidneys and could cause uterine contractions. A few different web-based sources even comment that some European health agencies have warned against high consumption of cassia due to the coumarin content.

There may also be a connection from cassia to allergies, due to the dust mites in the bark.

So the idea of cassia cinnamon consumption bothers me in a couple of ways.

1. The fact that it could bother or be toxic to the liver in any way is a cause for concern to me. Because the liver is so important to our body’s detoxification system, if it’s overloaded or incapacitated in any way, we can’t get rid of environmental toxins or excess and old hormones.

2. People often take medicinal amounts of cinnamon each day, some people who contact me take over a tablespoon per day. (I don’t recommend that by the way) If taken long-term at such high amounts, the toxicity to the liver may become a reality.

Now, I don’t think that in small amounts that cassia would be a big issue. But when you’re using it to try to reverse or control physical ailments, you’d be best to search out Ceylon, or sweet, cinnamon. Personally I buy sweet cinnamon from Mountain Rose Herbs for all of my home use, but I don’t worry about the small amount I might consume outside of the home.

Have you ever heard of the problems cassia might cause?

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Herbs for Fertility {podcast}

Herbs can bring relief to a body that is ill as well as help to balance the hormone system. In this podcast you can join me as I speak to Jessie Hawkins, master herbalist and founder of Vintage Remedies. We talk about the benefit of herbs and she discusses different herbal options based on diagnosis.

Listen now:

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Or right-click and “save link as” to download to your computer: Herbs and Fertility with Jessie Hawkins, MH

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

So that book I wrote? It’s now available!

natural fertility bookIt’s seems unreal to me that I finally have a real live book.

But if you order it today, it’s now shipping.

And if you pre-ordered it – it’ll be coming soon!

I’m so excited to get all this information out there in one nice and neat little package. because as much as I try to make sure posts are easy to find here on the blog, it doesn’t always work.

Now you can bookmark, and underline, and have an easy to read reference!

I’m humbled at the fact that people want to read what I write, and I truly thank you for this experience. Because without all of you this just wouldn’t be possible.

I hope and pray that this book is used to do good works. That the good Lord above can speak through these pages, as my attempts are feeble in comparison. Can you share in this prayer with me?

I tried to cover it all – from nutrition to exercise, from alternative therapies to detox and cleansing, from telling my story to guiding you through your options. Thirteen chapters to help cover it all:

  1. Natural Fertility
  2. Cleansing the Body with Whole Foods
  3. Natural Living
  4. Exercise for Fertility
  5. Natural Family Planning
  6. Real Foods
  7. Super Foods for Fertility
  8. What Not to Eat
  9. The “Perfect” Fertility Diet
  10. Alternative Therapies for Infertility
  11. Stress
  12. Your Fertility Plan
  13. Recipes and Instructions for Real Food and Natural Living

I’ve also got some amazing things lined up over the next couple of months:

  • I’ll be involved in the Vintage Remedies online conference this week, speaking both Thursday and Saturday,
  • The Real Food Summit in July is looking like an amazing experience with a lot of very qualified and inspirational speakers – I’m honored to be one of them, talking about real food and fertility. (big surprise, huh?)
  • Giveaways will grace the blog each weekend for at least the next 6 weeks, with products I love and know you will too.
  • Soon I’ll be posting a few free yoga videos as well as some podcasts with alternative health practitioners,
  • and I also have a couple freebies to post here for you.

Thank you again friends, your support and prayers during this entire process has meant the world to me. Now let’s show the world how awesome being “natural” can be! Join me in sharing this book with them.

 

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Fertility Tea Blend {recipe}

tea_061111_41

© Donielle

I truly believe that many times the cure for what ails us has already been given by God in the form of plants.

Herbs can be a wonderful addition to a healthy diet to help balance hormones and cleanse the body. Recently I’ve made myself about a quart of tea each day and enjoy drinking it over ice. It’s a fabulously refreshing on our hot and humid days, and I love knowing that it’s nourishing my body as well as hydrating it.

The herbs used can be specific to each woman, adding in others to help with unique health issues, and taking out what’s not needed. But I find that this simple mix offers me what I need for now and I’m not only happy with the changes I see happening, but also with the flavor. There may be other herbs that you enjoy using and the possibilities are endless!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Fertility Tea Blend {recipe}
Author: 
Recipe type: Beverages
 
Ingredients
  • red clover (harvested and dried myself) – for cleansing the blood, supporting the uterus, helps to alkalize the body and has a high mineral content.
  • dandelion root – purifies and builds the blood, helps increase production of bile, cleansing the liver and keeping digestion moving, is rich in potassium, overall benefits the female organs
  • nettle leaves – a blood purifier, increase the efficiency of the liver and kidneys, may help with the imbalance of the body’s mucous membranes. Also known as a uterine tonic and high in minerals.
  • red raspberry leaf – great for the female reproductive organs, strengthens the uterus, helps to decrease a heavy period, also aids in pregnancy support, and high in minerals.
  • rose hips – a good source of vitamin C, offers immune support, and good for stress.
  • Other herbal option would be something like vitex and/or dong quai – both help to normalize the menstrual cycle, but note that dong quai should not be taken alone and should not be taken during pregnancy.
Method of Preparation
  1. Boil 3½ cups of water and add one heaping teaspoon of each herb to either a french press, or jar to strain later. (if you dry your own red clover, add a handful of blossoms)
  2. Pour the boiling water over the herbs and let sit for 3-4 hours, straining into a jar when finished infusing.
  3. Stir in a small amount of honey if needed and a bit of juice from a lemon. Refrigerate and drink throughout the day.
Notes
Optional Tastiness: I also add in the following on occasion (about 1 teaspoon each) to change up the flavor and include other nutrients: red rooibos tea – contains high levels of antioxidants and minerals, boosts the immune system, helps with nervous tension, and soothes digestive problems. elderberry – immune booster and flu fighter, ease inflammation and pain, and soothe the intestines dried cranberries (sugar and sulphur free)- adds wonderful flavor, digestive aid, helps to prevent urinary tract infections, and contains anti-inflammatory properties.

tea1

 

What blends of herbs  do you use for fertility support?

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Fertility Herb {Red Clover}

redclover_061111_01

photo credit - donielle

 

While on a walk a few weeks ago with my littles I happened to notice a large patch of red clover, wildly growing up a hill across from our home. Much to my husbands chagrin, I headed back inside, grabbed a basket, and my children and I began picking the deep pink blossoms to bring home.

When I was a young girl, I’d pick the red clover to feed to my horse – an indulgent treat for a grass eater – so why pick this “weed” growing beside the road?

Red Clover is a herb that Susan Weed considers “the single most useful herb for establishing fertility” and it has health benefits for most people.

Benefits of Red Clover

  • Dr. Tamminga mentioned in a short talk he did at our local health food store, that red clover is an effective blood cleanser. Though Varro Tyler discredits this notion in his book. Seems to be one of the “one study says one thing…” types of things.
  • It has a high vitamin content that supports the uterus
  • High in protein to aid the entire body
  • Contains easily absorbed calcium and magnesium (supports the nervous system)
  • Also has a high mineral content (due to super deep roots)
  • Alkalizes the body
  • Four isoflavones are found in red clover; formononetin, biochanin A, daidzein, and genistein, which have mild estrogenic activity. These may alter hormone production, metabolism, intracellular enzymes, cell production, and growth factors. (this is also an area where one study finds benefits, one may find damages)
  • Helps to clear mucous in the body
  • It also has antibiotic properties and is effective against many strains of bacteria.
  • It’s a liver stimulant and activates the gallbladder, may have a slightly laxative effect.
  • Also used as a nerve tonic to calm a person.
  • Known as a female tonic to strengthen the ovaries

 

How to Harvest Red Clover

Harvesting red clover is as easy as picking the blossoms. If you gently grab the blossom between two fingers under the leaves at the base of the blossom, a quick pull upward will easily remove it from the plant. After a thorough washing (no bugs!) you can dry them in a dehydrator for a few hours until completely dry. If you don’t have a dehydrator, set out in the hot sun for the day, gently turning every few hours.

 

How to Consume Red Clover

You can add red clover blossoms to salads as well as make tea.

I often take a handful of dried blossoms and pour 1 quart of boiling water over them, allowing them to infuse for a few hours before I strain them out. A bit off raw honey stirred in makes the tea more palatable, I usually drink it cold for ease in consumption.

I also began adding a bit of peppermint to the blossoms while infusing as well – this makes it quite palatable without any added sugars. And while I was referring to my Susan Weed book for this post, she also mentions using peppermint as well – saying that the ‘mints’ are also sexually stimulating.

 

Have you ever used red clover blossoms to eat or drink?

 

 

Sources
The Little Herb Encyclopedia by Jack Ritchason ND
The Wise Woman herbal for the Childbearing Year by Susan Weed
Tyler’s Honest Herbal by Varro E Tyler PH.D.

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.