What if warding off colds and flu was as easy as topping your morning yogurt with cinnamon?
Researchers rounded up an array of natural plant extracts (cinnamon, onion, garlic, cloves, peppermint, cocoa, and saffron) and gauged their ability to fight a virus called Phi X 174 in a test tube study. Cinnamon was the only extract that proved strong enough to inactivate the virus—and it passed with flying colors, shutting down 99.9–100% of the virus in just 10 minutes.
And even though Phi X doesn't infect humans (it actually attacks bacteria), it's extremely similar in structure to viruses that we do need to fight, like the ones that cause colds, the flu, and even herpes.
There's still not much evidence of cinnamon's antiviral effects in humans, but we can reap the virus-fighting benefits by consuming 1 to 2 tablespoons daily. Anyone for a cinnamon swirl smoothie? We'll take one, too.
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