Cinnamon touted for medicinal properties

Cinnamon has long been prized for its medicinal properties but now the biblical origins of this healing quality are being probed. An Israeli business news site reports on research of medicinal properties of cinnamon stemming from a biblical passage:
Today the spiritual scientist from TAU's Department of Zoology is commercializing a unique cinnamon extract that is touted to quell viral infections from HIV to the Avian flu.

A research and license deal on his patent-pending cinnamon extract was signed last week between TAU's technology transfer company Ramot and Frutarom, a multinational nutraceutical company based in Israel. Frutarom is expected to use the extract in a whole host of applications from disinfecting the air as a spray against Avian flu in airports; to a daily supplement that protects people against the common flu....

That breakthrough would come to him one morning in the synagogue while listening to a reading from the Old Testament.

"There is a passage that explains how the High Priests - the Kohens - would prepare a holy oil used on their bodies before they made a ritual animal sacrifice," recalls Ovadia. "I had a hunch that this oil, which was prepared with cinnamon and other spices, played a role in preventing the spread of infectious agents to people."

Taking his hunch to the laboratory bench, Ovadia's initial experiments proved to be true - his savory cinnamon extract was able to quickly and effectively immunize chicken embryos from the Newcastle disease virus - one which costs the poultry industry in the US millions of dollars a year.

Further studies on Avian Flu H9, Sendai virus, the HIV virus, and Herpes Simplex 1 also achieved positive results. Not only was the extract able to neutralize the viruses, it also showed for selected viruses that it has the potential to immunize against them as well.
I'm very into cinnamon and not just because it's a spice I might have used in another incarnation in the Temple. If you're a fan of the Dune series, which I have been re-reading, you know how prominently the distinctive cinnamon scent figures in the geriatric spice left by the giant worms on Arrakis. Swirl into tea or hot cocoa and you're guaranteed a lift.

The article cautions that high-dose cinnamon is not a good idea; the extracts are produced for special research and clinical purposes. Naturally, the Israeli company is looking to launch an appropriate nutraceutical. We shall see what kind of claims are made on the dietary supplement label when sold in the U.S. versus the Middle East.
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