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A spoonful of cinnamon may keep the doctor away

A tablespoon of cinnamon a day could help protect people from colds, flu and other viral infections, according to a new study.

By Stephen Feller
A spoonful of cinnamon may keep the doctor away
A spoonful or two of cinnamon per day may help protect from viral infection. Photo by Stas Walenga/Shutterstock

NEW ORLEANS, June 1 (UPI) -- A tablespoon of cinnamon can deactivate viruses before they infect humans, according to a new study of botanic extracts and their effects on pathogens.

Researchers tested the Phi X virus, similar to viruses that infect animals and humans, to see if it was susceptible to the Saigon and Ceylon cinnamons, as well as extracts from onion, garlic, cloves, peppermint, cocoa, and Spanish saffron. The cinnamon deactivated 99.9 percent of the virus in lab tests while the other extracts had no effect.

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"The results validate our belief that a diet that includes a tablespoon of cinnamon once or twice a day can be effective in eliminating or preventing viruses from infecting humans and causing sickness, such as colds, flu, and even herpes," Dr. Milton Schiffenbauer of the New York School of Career and Applied Studies, a division of Touro College & University System, said in a press release.

Although inactivation of viruses was conducted using a model system, researchers wrote in the study that similarities between the bacteriophage used for testing and viruses that infect animals justify their conclusions from the study.

The study was presented at the American Society for Microbiology annual meeting.

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