How Does Cinnamon Benefit Your Horse?
Cinnamon has long been used as an aromatic spice and shelved for its medicinal properties. Cinnamon was a high-cost relish in horse and buggy days and given as a gift to monarchs and gods. Even the origin of Cinnamon was kept secret by middlemen to maintain their monopoly.
People have been using Cinnamon for its antioxidant, antibacterial, and metabolic benefits for a long time. However, it should be noted that there is a limited number of trials for the use of Cinnamon in animals. In horses, the effect of Cinnamon on insulin resistance has been studied.
While antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antioxidant properties have been inspected on other animals. Equestrians have credited that when given in mild to moderate quantity, Cinnamon has several health benefits for horses. Here we will discuss Cinnamon and its health benefits for your horse.
What is Cinnamon?
Cinnamon is the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree. After separating from the tree, it is dried until it is curled into close rolls, called cinnamon sticks. Cinnamaldehyde is the active compound in Cinnamon responsible for the strong spicy flavor and its health benefits. Cinnamon is obtained from different Cinnamomum family trees; however, two types of Cinnamon are commonly found.
Cassia Cinnamon is the most commonly used cinnamon type. Most of the spices around the world contain cassia, Cinnamon. It is grown in eastern Asia, so also called Chinese Cinnamon. About 95% of its oil is cinnamaldehyde which gives it a strong spicy flavor.
Ceylon Cinnamon is quite expensive than cassia type. It has a mild sweet taste with light brown color. It is produced in Sri Lanka and India, considered the safer and best kind of Cinnamon. Oil of Ceylon Cinnamon contains 55 to 60%of cinnamaldehyde.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
People are increasingly supplementing their horses with Cinnamon due to social or personal recommendations. Here are some commonly believed health benefits of Cinnamon for horses.
Cinnamon is commonly prized for its antioxidant properties. As the result of metabolic processes, some compounds are produced in the living body called free radicals. These unstable compounds cause a variety of damages at the cellular level. In older horses, arthritis, cancers, auto-immune diseases, and age-related conditions are linked with free radical activity.
Many natural foods like vegetables or herbs have compounds to scavenge these free radicals. Studies have proved the potent antioxidant properties of Cinnamon in both humans and animals. And older equines fellows can be particularly benefited from the antioxidant properties of Cinnamon.
Do you know?
Cinnamon was found between spices with the highest values when a comparative study was designed for 26 spices to compare their antioxidant properties, even higher than super-food such as garlic.
Cinnamaldehyde is the active compound in Cinnamon with medicinal effects. It is widely used in Chinese medicine due to its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Cinnamon has proven effects in patients suffering from respiratory fungal infection. After testing cinnamon oil for anti-fungal properties, researchers concluded that inhalable vapors of cinnamon oil are ideal chemotherapy for respiratory mycoses.
Clinical trials have shown its broad-spectrum antibacterial properties. This dusty spice has shown its effects against several bacteria like E.coli and Staphylococcus Aureus as a potent antibacterial. It can be an effective strategy to deal with growing antibiotic resistance.
Insulin resistance is a common issue facing many horses in different countries. Like diabetes in humans, the body of a horse suffering from IR does not respond to insulin. There are no specific symptoms of this condition; however, insulin-resistant horses have fat deposition on some particular body areas like above the eye, rump, and crest regions.
A significant risk factor of IR in horses is obesity. However, older horses are also prone to equine metabolic syndrome associated with insulin resistance. Exercise and weight loss is an effective treatment of IR. It is believed that Cinnamon also helps to alleviate the response of the body to insulin. By enzyme activation, some compounds produced in Cinnamon make cells more responsive to insulin. However, further clinical studies should be conducted on this super spice.
Weight Loss in equines
Obesity in horses is unbearable. Optimum body weight is imperative for good performance and better health of a horse. The horses with some extra pounds can come across the problems like insulin resistance and lameness.
Naturally, exercise and nutritional management play an essential role in achieving a healthy weight in equines. However, some minerals and nutraceuticals can also be used to aid weight loss. Cinnamon has a rich history of managing these metabolism-associated conditions. That’s why most of the equine slimming rations have Cinnamon in them.
How to give Cinnamon to your horse?
With all these benefits of Cinnamon for horses, there is a surprising fact about the flavor of Cinnamon. Kentucky Equine Research found that some flavors might be preferred by the horses, like cherry, apple, citrus, and carrot. Though, the least enticing flavors were orange, garlic, and Cinnamon, according to another study. If your horse is picky, you may need to mask the taste of Cinnamon. By adding in horse treats or mixing with fruits, Cinnamon can be pleasant to your horse. It all depends on you and the choice of your horse. And it is always recommended to consult with your equine health professional before adding any supplements to your horse diet.
Lastly, Cinnamon can help different curable and incurable health conditions of your horse. As a preventive herbal supplement, it tends to make your horse immune metabolic and infectious ailments. However, medicine and herb for the horse should be used thoughtfully because they can’t replace veterinary treatment and can only complement it. Let your horse live healthy because a healthy horse is imperative to happy equestrian life.
Preference & further Readings
Anti-oxidant effects of cinnamon
Antioxidant capacity of 26 spice extracts
Antimicrobial activities of cinnamon oil
Cinnamon bark oil, a potent fungitoxicant
Horse Treats: What Does Your Horse Prefer?