Revisiting an ancient spice with medicinal purposes: Cinnamon

Published on Apr 1, 2017in Trends in Food Science and Technology11.077
· DOI :10.1016/J.TIFS.2017.02.011
Regiane Ribeiro-Santos12
Estimated H-index: 12
(Federal Fluminense University),
Mariana Andrade16
Estimated H-index: 16
(University of Lisbon)
+ 4 AuthorsAna Sanches-Silva18
Estimated H-index: 18
Abstract Background Cinnamon is used as a spice and an aromatic plant. Their leaves and bark are used as source of cinnamon oil. Cinnamon belongs to the Lauraceae family. Scope and approach For this review, an extensive bibliographic research on cinnamon was carried out, including its main uses, components (both nutrients and bioactive), biological activities, interactions with drugs and potential applications. Key findings and conclusions Cinnamon is a spice that can be used as a traditional medicine to control blood pressure, tumor growth, diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. The nutrient composition of cinnamon reveals a great amount of vitamins and minerals and the main bioactive compounds are polyphenols and cinnamaldehyde. The amount of bioactive compounds depends on several factors, such as the variety, part of the plant, edaphoclimatic conditions, drying conditions, extraction and analysis methods. Due to its numerous biological properties, cinnamon can be used by direct application to food, to be incorporated in active food packaging, as an active principle by the pharmaceutical industry and as a fragrance by the cosmetic industry. As a result of its various and easy forms of use, this spice presents a vast potential of new applications with health benefits for the consumers.
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