I always remember when I was learning herbal medicine that one of our teachers told us that cinnamon was his favourite herb. And with good reason as this plant is a potent medicine as well as being a delicious and warming spice. It is especially useful at this time of year when everyone seems to go down with infections of various kinds as the days become shorter.
Cinnamon sticks can be boiled in water or milk to make a drink to fend of a fever or it can be made more interesting by simmering it in some wine for a few minutes. It works just as well for digestive problems such as diarrhoea where the tannins it contains work to reduce fluid loss from the body. Its warming qualities are good for the circulation helping to keep winter chills at bay, and more recently research has suggested that its ability to swiftly metabolise sugar may make it useful for people suffering from type-2 diabetes to incorporate into their diets.
There are so many nice ways of introducing cinnamon into the diet, without it feeling like medicine. Apart from adding it to warming drinks it can be used in baking or sprinkled on pancakes. A delicious winter breakfast is buttered toast sprinkled with cinnamon and a little sugar.