Old man’s cinnamon , white flower quaresmeira or toucan stick are all popular names for the tree known in the scientific community as Miconia albicans. There are more than a thousand species of plants in the myconia genus, which belongs to the Melastomataceae family , and about 160 of these can be found in Brazil.
This species is considered a secondary vegetation and can be found in the cerrado and the Atlantic Forest . Therefore, it is more often found in rocky outcrops or coastal formations.
Some of the main characteristics of old cinnamon are the white flowers and pink fruits, which turn green when ripe and serve as food for several native species of birds.
Trees tend to grow best in the sun and can grow from 70 centimeters to three meters in height. In addition, old man’s cinnamon has oval leaves, which remain throughout the year.(1)
It is widely used as a potent natural anti-inflammatory medicine , mainly in the northeast region of the country. See below for more information about the uses and benefits of this natural remedy.
Does old man’s cinnamon tea get thin?
According to a pharmacist and specialist in medicinal plants, Adriana Junqueira, no. Cinnamon of old is not a plant that is used for the purpose of losing weight .
She informs that the effects observed in consuming the tea may be a result of the digestive and circulation-enhancing actions that the plant brings. With the blood circulating better, organs working better because the blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the organs, thus improving the general functioning of the organism, Junqueira highlights.
Therefore, the result can be a decrease in bloating caused by poor digestion or problems with circulation. Therefore, it is always important, and necessary, to maintain a good diet combined with frequent physical exercise.
Benefits found in the herb
According to Adriana Junqueira, old man’s cinnamon is a natural medicine with several health benefits. The main one is due to its anti-inflammatory action, which makes the tea to be used frequently in the treatment of diseases such as arthritis, arthrosis and even rheumatism .
In addition, old cinnamon is composed of flavonoids and triterpenes, which are responsible for a good part of the plant’s medicinal properties. Check out all the benefits that are found in old cinnamon.
- It’s anti-inflammatory
- Antimutagenic and antitumor
According to Junqueira, this is the best known and most applied benefit of old man’s cinnamon. This is mainly due to the fact that it is composed of flavonoids and triterpenes. Mainly oleanolic and ursolic acids.(2)
This makes it indicated for the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as arthrosis and rheumatism.
In addition, in some studies the herb extract helped to reduce swelling caused by wounds made in rats when applied externally in the form of compresses and improved wound healing time.(3)
Junqueira also highlights the great antioxidant value of old cinnamon leaves. Thus, the compounds present in the plant are mainly responsible for fighting free radicals that, in excess, can cause premature aging , a drop in the immune system and various opportunistic diseases .
Some studies on the medicinal potential of the tree have identified that this action is derived from the high levels of substances called total phenols that are present in the leaves.(2)
Triterpenes are also responsible for the analgesic effect of the plant, informs Junqueira. Because of this she recommends the use of tea to provide an improvement in back pain, tendonitis, bursitis , which is an inflammation in the fluid that protects the joints and can cause intense pain, and also for cases of fibromyalgia .
The herb leaves are also used to treat everything from muscle pain to more serious conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism.(4)
See also: How to make old man’s cinnamon tea?
Cinnamon old-timer tea is also antibacterial. A study showed that the extract from the leaves of the plant inhibited the proliferation of various types of harmful bacteria to health. Including salmonella , which causes intestinal infections.(5)
Antimutagenic and antitumor
Another benefit indicated by the specialist in medicinal plants is that in the leaves of old cinnamon there are substances that act as antimutagenic and antitumor.
That is, phytochemicals have the ability to prevent the mutation of normal cells, preventing them from progressing into cancer cells . In addition, it acts on tumor cells preventing their proliferation and spread to the rest of the body.
However, it should be noted that studies on these properties are still few. Therefore, it is not recommended to abandon conventional treatments for cancer and other illnesses without prior consultation with a specialized physician.
Finally, Junqueira highlights the ability of old cinnamon to protect the liver . As such, it helps protect the liver from damage caused by ingesting toxic substances or excess fat.
How to prepare and consume tea
The most common form of consumption of old cinnamon is tea, which is made from the dried leaves . That’s why Juliana Junqueira, a pharmacist, highlights the best way to prepare cinnamon tea for the elderly, so that all beneficial substances are extracted and absorbed by the body.
First, it is necessary to have the dry leaves on hand, as it is easier to extract the beneficial compounds from the herb. For the preparation you will need 1 tablespoon of leaves, which would be equivalent to 15 units and 1 liter of water.
Method of preparation
To prepare, just bring the water to the fire until it boils. Then add the old cinnamon leaves and boil for about 30 seconds. Then turn off the heat and let the infusion rest, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes.
how to consume
Before consuming it is necessary to strain all the tea, which should be drunk up to three times a day. Always warm or cold, preferably after meals because of its digestive effect.
To treat external injuries, Junqueira indicates applying the tea still warm, with a compression on the affected area for a few minutes.
An important guideline is that the tea should not be left for more than 24 hours in the refrigerator , as there is a risk of contamination with other products. That way, it must be prepared every day.
Another form of consumption is through the extract, which is manipulated and has the most concentrated active ingredients. Therefore, Junqueira claims that they are extremely effective and a great alternative for those who cannot find the plant or do not consume teas.
According to a specialist in medicinal plants, there is no contraindication for the consumption of cinnamon for an old man. However, she emphasizes that it is not because a medicine is natural that it can be consumed in large quantities without harming the body.
Therefore, the use of any plant should be cautious and should not exceed 30 consecutive days of use , with a period of 30 days to rest and then restart use for another 30 days, she highlights. This process must be done 3 consecutive times and then rest for at least 3 months.
The exception is if a doctor is monitoring its use. Especially if the patient is using another drug, as drug interactions can occur, which is when one drug interferes with the action of the other. In addition, medicinal plants should be treated like any other medication and consumed with the necessary care, warns Junqueira.
Where to find old man’s cinnamon?
Old man’s cinnamon can be found at herb fairs and natural and herbal products stores across the country. In addition, it is a native and abundant plant in the cerrado region, and it can be easily found in these places.
In addition, it is possible to find the herb’s phytochemical compounds manipulated in the form of extract or capsules to be consumed daily, in an amount of about 500 mg per day.(1)
They are propagated only through seeds and the tree is not a demanding plant for cultivation. However, it must be in direct sunlight and needs space to develop properly.