Q: About six years ago, a friend sent me an email about cinnamon and honey lowering cholesterol. I was taking a statin and looking for nonmedicinal ways of lowering my LDL, so I thought I would try it.
After a few weeks, I noticed I didn’t have any heartburn, so I started taking my PPI every other day instead of daily. Still no symptoms, so I went to three times a week. Nothing.
I decided to stop taking the PPI altogether. Still nothing.
I was symptom-free until I went on a four-night trip without taking any cinnamon and honey. My reflux came back. As soon as I got home I resumed it, and the symptoms went away again.
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I have not been without cinnamon and honey for more than 48 hours in all these years, and have had no further symptoms. I eat it on toast or mix it in granola or yogurt. I have it for breakfast every day.
It may not work for everyone, but it sure works for me. And as for my LDL number, it is now 46.
A: An analysis of the medicinal properties of Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) has found that this spice can help control blood sugar, lower cholesterol and normalize blood pressure (BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine online, Oct. 22, 2013). A New Zealand study found that honey treated with cinnamon, chromium and magnesium lowered LDL cholesterol, raised HDL cholesterol and lowered blood pressure (European Journal of Nutrition, April 2016).
We could find no research on cinnamon and honey for heartburn. We hope others will report whether it helps them as it helped you.
Q: My wife and I have been taking extra vitamin C after each meal for more than a dozen years. Despite being around people with colds, we have had none. We’ve had no side effects from the vitamin C.
A: Health professionals generally dismiss vitamin C for preventing colds. A review of 29 trials of vitamin C for colds concluded that vitamin C doesn’t seem to prevent colds for most people, but it consistently reduces their duration and severity (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Jan. 31, 2013).
More than 200 different viruses can cause cold symptoms, so we’re not surprised that vitamin C might not work against all of them. You'll find a variety of natural cold fighters in our Guide to Colds, Coughs and the Flu. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped (68 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. Q-20, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It also can be downloaded for $2 from our website: www.peoplespharmacy.com.
Q: I have a neurological disorder that causes widespread muscle cramps and fatigue. I heard about the Hotshot product for cramps and looked it up online. Since the ingredients were listed, I made my own version.
I put equal amounts of Ceylon cinnamon, ginger and paprika in a shot glass. Then I added a teaspoon of fresh lime juice and honey to sweeten. It’s delicious.
I began turning my head back and forth because my neck is always stiff and painful. I could feel the pain lessening within seconds, and now, 10 minutes later, the pain is gone. I am thrilled beyond words. WOW!
A: Hotshot is a product developed by neuroscientists who found that muscle cramps are caused by misfiring nerves. They developed this spicy drink with cinnamon, ginger and capsaicin to calm the hyperexcited motor neurons. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Email them via PeoplesPharmacy.com. Their newest book is “Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them.”