A little aside, what about Royal Jelly?
It seems to have some remarkable properties, at least for bees. I heard several stories RJ having an effect on aging and other positive physical impact, such as reversing menopause in women.
Is that just woo, or does RJ have truly unique beneficial properties?
I am truly enchanted with bees as probably the greatest example of benign symbiotic relationship between insect and flowering plants.
What amazes me is that there is no difference in the DNA of a worker bee and a queen bee and all receive royal jelly as food. But when a normal bee larva receives an increased amount of RJ it triggers additional DNA commands to develop larger size, greater longevity, and the ability to reproduce. Apparently without this increase in RJ as a trigger, these abilities remain dormant in the DNA during the growth and development of a worker bee.
To me this is a profound discovery in study of DNA, with several implications if DNA in other living things may also contain dormand instructions, which may be accessed by chemical manipulation, such as RJ.
The active ingredient oil in cinnamon, oil of cinnamon, and “red hots” is cinnamaldehyde. Other than having a strong cinnamon flavor, stinging one’s tongue, and causing irritation if it ends up on one’s skin, it has no medical value.
But do they ‘know’ it is the oil of cinnamon that does the trick?? It could be some secondary chemical made by the plant.
“Its flavor is due to an aromatic essential oil that makes up 0.5% to 1% of its composition. This oil is prepared by roughly pounding the bark, macerating it in seawater, and then quickly distilling the whole. It is of a golden-yellow color, with the characteristic odor of cinnamon and a very hot aromatic taste. The pungent taste and scent come from cinnamic aldehyde or cinnamaldehyde (about 60 % of the bark oil) and, by the absorption of oxygen as it ages, it darkens in color and develops resinous compounds. Other chemical components of the essential oil include ethyl cinnamate, eugenol (found mostly in the leaves), beta-caryophyllene, linalool, and methyl chavicol.
In medicine it acts like other volatile oils and once had a reputation as a cure for colds. It has also been used to treat diarrhea and other problems of the digestive system. Cinnamon is high in antioxidant activity. The essential oil of cinnamon also has antimicrobial properties, which can aid in the preservation of certain foods”.
Oil of cinnamon is presently most often synthetic, made by condensation of benzaldehyde and acetaldehyde. Aldehydes are in general pretty reactive and therefore rough on organic tissue, starting with the smallest and more reactive of them, formaldehyde. So, it makes sense that it would be rough on microbes too. In the 1920s grocers found a great way of preventing their milk from going sour - a couple of drops of formaldehyde would keep it “fresh” for a couple of weeks, and it worked like a dream, that is, until some babies started dying. For some reason, big, interfering government stepped in and made it illegal to preserve milk with formaldehyde.
And I can tell you, Asanta, that it’s not some other compound. When I was in the eighth grade, a friend and I would buy cinmamon oil from a friendly pharmacist, soak toothpicks in it and sell them at school two for five cents. All was well until the damned lid came off of the bottle of oil I had in my pocket. I noticed that a very sensitive area betweeen my legs was getting uncomfortably warm. I hopped up, ran to the boy’s room and spent the next twenty minutes trying to dilute it. My Social Studies teacher was very upset that I had left the class without permission, that is, until he heard the cause. For some reason that I’ll never understand, he found the whole thing hilarious and didn’t penalize me.
There have been some studies on honey or sugar used to prevent infection in wounds that have to be left open to heal when there isn’t enough healthy skin to close them surgically. The sugar works by creating an osmotic environment that kills bacteria, but it has to be replaced multiple times a day since if it gets diluted by tissue fluids it can be a great medium to promote bacterial growth. No one is certain whether the honey works due to osmotic effects or antiseptic chemical present in it, but again as long as you’re equipped to do intensive management of a messy, messy wound packing, it can be used to prevent infection. There are, of course, safer and easier options, so I don’t see either used in practice ever, at least where these other options are available.
. . . The scientists analyzed 91 cinnamon samples purchased from stores in Germany. They found that coumarin levels varied widely among different bark samples of Cassia cinnamon. Therefore they analyzed cassia bark samples of five trees received directly from Indonesia and found a huge variation even among samples collected from a single tree.
The study confirmed that cassia cinnamon has the highest levels of coumarin, while Ceylon had the lowest levels. On average, cassia cinnamon powder contained up to 63 times more coumarin than Ceylon cinnamon powder and cassia cinnamon sticks contained 18 times more coumarin than Ceylon sticks. . .