"Give with a free hand, but give only your own."
-- J.R.R. Tolkien The Children of Hurin
- Cinnamon Tea -
Part of an Effective Treatment for Corticobasal Degeneration?
(and other tauopathies?)
I have nothing to sell you but hope, and that I give you for free.
The purpose of this web site is to provide you with information for when you meet with a physician to discuss what can be done for someone suffering from brain failure. You will have a list of questions to ask, and sources to read so that you can ask them intelligently. I want to share some of the information I've accumulated in my search to help my mother.
Synthetic pharmaceuticals and physician supervised treatment is certainly the preferred course of action to help the brain failure sufferer. But while you wait for the physicians (who may have treatments) to get off of their duffs and actually try something, here are two substances you can try. The research papers indicate that this may be the closest you will get to a cure in that these two substances interrupt key steps in the disease process. Pharmaceutical versions, if and when they ever develop them, should be stronger and more effective.
Cinnamon "Tea" to Combat
[...such as Alzheimer's disease, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD, corticobasal ganglionic degeneration, CBGD, corticobasal syndrome, CBS), etc] Tauopathy Discussion Forum
NOTE: 4-21-2017 There is now a “water extract” of cinnamon available commercially. Costco sells a product called Cinsulin for people with Type II diabetes. It is a freeze-dried water extract of cinnamon. If it is as advertized, there should be no need to make the cinnamon tea.
Here's the "recipe" I use, plus
3 tablespoons of ground cassia cinnamon
2 bottles of mineral or bottled water, 1/2 liter bottles
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
2 canning jars, 1 quart size
1 bamboo shish kabob skewer
1 cooking thermometer (candy thermometer, etc.)
1 pan (see text)
Place 3 tablespoons of ground cinnamon in a 1 quart canning jar. Measure 3-1/2 cups of water, mix into the cinnamon in the canning jar. If you use another canning jar to measure the water, note the level of the water on the jar, and use this to measure the proper amount of water for future brews. Save the mineral water bottles to store the "tea" in.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to cinnamon/water mixture and stir. At this point, you can place the lid (without the ring!) on the jar to keep dust or other foreign objects out. Place the jar (or jars if you are doing more than one at a time) into a pan with water in it. Place the thermometer in the pan of water, off of the bottom. Place the pan with canning jars on the stove and heat slowly to about 70-80°C (no higher than 90°C). Heating slowly ensures that the water inside the canning jars is also to the proper temperature. Of course, you can also measure the temperature of the cinnamon/water solution if you want. When the water reaches the right temperature, stir the cinnamon water mixture for at least 1 minute.
Let the pan with the jars cool. When cool enough to handle, place the jars on the counter to cool to room temperature. This will probably take several hours. When at room temperature, place in the refrigerator to cool and let things settle out for a couple of days. Cinnamon is basically like fine saw dust. Most of what was floating around will have fallen to the bottom.
When it's ready, pour off the water portion and save in one of the mineral water bottles. Discard the "grounds" on the bottom.
Optionally, you can run the water portion though a coffee filter to remove more of the solids that are still floating around. You will have to figure out a way to support such a filter. I was able to obtain the plastic filter section of a discarded coffee maker. This has ribs on the bottom that allow the liquid to pass more easily. I set this on top of a recycled 1/2 gallon juice bottle, and pour the "tea" into the filter. This setup is admittedly precarious, so you will have to make use of what you have on hand or can find. I am not a coffee drinker, but I imagine that using a coffee maker for this purpose would result in the taste of cinnamon being present in future coffee brews, so I don't recommend it. The filtering process can be slow if you don't let the fine particle settle out for a couple of days. It can take 3 or 4 hours since the filter clogs quickly.
I've tried "brewing" the "cinnamon tea" as described on several diabetes web sites. I haven't been able to make the process work, per the instructions. (Think of it more as "cinnamon extract"-- extracting the water soluble components of cassia cinnamon.) The process isn't as easy as it sounds. First, I don't think a quart jar is large enough. Second, the liquid foams up and oozes down the side of the jar when you pour in the boiling water. Third, when you try to carefully "decant" the water, it tends run down the side of the jar . Fourth, there is a layer of icky stuff floating on the top. Fifth, there is an awful lot of "grounds" in the bottom of the jar. The first time I tried making the "tea", I used GFS (Gordon Food Service) bulk cinnamon. More than half the volume of the jar was occupied by the "grounds". Ick. There must be some tricks to doing this.
I've done some experimenting with using different brands of cinnamon. I put 1/2 tsp. of each brand into a graduated "shot" glass. I filled a tea kettle and put it on the stove to boil. Meanwhile, I filled a pan with hot tap water to dip the shot glasses into before filling them to the same level with the boiling water from the tea kettle. I held the glass by the top, dipped the bottom in the pan of hot water to pre-heat. Then, I sat it on the kitchen counter, and poured in the boiling water. Using a toothpick, I stirred the cinnamon up so it was well mixed with the water, then let it sit until cool. I found that different brands of cinnamon expanded more, leaving less "cinnamon tea", and more icky, gloppy, sludge to be thrown out.
A quart canning jar is not large enough. A 1-quart canning jar holds EXACTLY 4 cups when filled to the brim. When you pour the boiling water in, it foams up, and oozes down the side. I cut back to 3-1/2 cups of water, a bit less than 1/2 tsp of baking soda, and three level tablespoons of ground cassia cinnamon instead of "three well-rounded tablespoons".
I use bottled mineral water in 1/2 liter (about 2 cups) bottles. I save a bottle to store the extract in later.
The thermal shock from the sudden increase in temperature when you pour boiling water into a cold glass canning jar may cause it to crack. So, after putting the three tablespoons of cinnamon in, it might be a good idea to run hot tap water on the outside of the jar just before adding the boiling water to pre-heat it. However, I have not had one of my Ball 1 quart canning jars crack yet, even though I have been skipping the preheat step. Then, I set the jar in the kitchen sink so that if it should break open while pouring in the boiling water, I won't get scalded. To keep the jar from tipping over, I set it on a small cutting board positioned over the drain.
After pouring in about 3/4 of the the boiling water, I use a "shish kabob" stick to briefly stir the mixture to ensure there are no pockets of dry cinnamon trapped on the bottom. Do NOT stir so much that the foamy material at the top drops to the bottom. This will cause the liquid to be excessively cloudy. Most of it will drop to the bottom as the liquid cools. I don't know if this effects the quality of the extract. After this first pour, I allow the foam on the top to settle a bit, or break some of the bubbles with the end of the stir stick, and then pour in the rest of the water. I let it cool off to room temperature on the kitchen counter. When cool, I put the jar in the refrigerator to let things settle out over night. I often set the canning jar lid on the jar to keep out any creepy-crawlies that might happen by. I know this also keeps moisture in, and air out, so it might affect things.
I tried not adding the baking soda to the water, but this resulted in a "coffee and cream" colored, opaque liquid. Again, I don't know if this affects the quality of the resulting extract for the purposes of "untangling tau fibers".
The next day, I use a coffee filter in a small strainer held over a funnel stuck in the mouth of the now empty water bottle to decant the water. I slowly pour off the cinnamon water from the canning jar, leaving the sludge-like "grounds" behind. The floaties on top were caught in the coffee filter, or skimmed off with a spoon. Try to avoid getting the sludgy grounds into the strainer, as this seems to clog it up in a hurry. It takes a long time for the cinnamon water to get through the strainer. Hours. I think non-soluble particles still floating in the water get stuck in the filter and clog it up. I salvaged the plastic filter section from a discarded coffee maker and use that to hold the filter. This has ridges on the bottom to let the liquid seep thorough. It's best to set something up so you don't have to stand there and hold it.
To keep the liquid from running down the side of the jar, I put the back of the spoon up against the lip of the jar just before I pour in order to direct the flow into the coffee filter.
The left over sludge in the bottom gets deposited in the nearest chipmunk hole I can find. I'll bet they love that! I don't recommend pouring it down the drain of the kitchen sink. Maybe the toilet, but even that I'm not too enthusiastic about.
We've been giving my mom 1/2 cup of the aqueous cinnamon extract three times per day instead of capsules. We get about 2 cups of liquid from each jar. This means that there are 9 teaspoons worth of aqueous cinnamon extract per 2 cups, or 2.5 (9/4) teaspoons per 1/2 cup. When mixed with 1/2 cup of apple juice, it actually tastes pretty good, if you like the taste of cinnamon and apples. It doesn't have the characteristic hotness of the cinnamon oil. I estimate that this should be the equivalent of several times the raw ground cinnamon I had been giving her in apple sauce. As a reminder, there are apparently enzymes in saliva that will degrade the active components of the cinnamon extract, so the less contact with saliva, the more effective it will be. Stomach acid deactivates the saliva enzymes, so taking the ground cinnamon in capsules should be effective. In my mother's case, she insists on thoroughly chewing up everything, so I can't give her pills. I have to mix all her medications with food. Apple sauce seems to work the best. Since she even chews the apple sauce, this has not been the best way to deliver the cinnamon. That's why I switched over to the cinnamon extract (tea).
Another thing to note is that you will find different qualities of cinnamon available. I have no idea what the best characteristics are, but judging solely on what the fraction of "grounds" at the bottom of the jar is compared to the cinnamon water floating on top, I'm choosing the cinnamon based on 'the less grounds the better'. I figure that if the the grounds occupy a large fraction of the jar, and the cinnamon water is cloudy, then there must be a lot of non-cinnamon filler material.
I hope everyone is trying this "water soluble cinnamon extract" idea. Even if you are pursuing other therapies, the goal is to stop the progression of the disease. Leave it to the researchers to do the studies on the effectiveness of any particular treatment. And with this, YOU have the power to make it happen. You don't have to get anyone else's permission, convince someone else to do something or plead with an insurance company. Well... except if the person is in a nursing home and they won't give it to them. I don't know what to do in that case. I suppose you could make up the 50/50 cinnamon tea and apple juice and try to get the staff to give it to the person by telling them, "oh, it's her favorite drink".
Update February 21, 2010:
The ethnic grocery store (Middle Eastern) I had been buying the cinnamon from changed vendors. The new stuff just doesn't work out as well. I get mostly sludge. Very discouraging. I will have to find another source. In the Person/Anderson/Graves article, they mention getting their Ceylon cinnamon from Penzey's Spices in Brookfield, WI.
Also, Anderson has been involved with a company that produces a water-soluble cinnamon extract called "Cinnulin". This home-made cinnamon tea is essentially a crude process for obtaining the water-soluble components of cinnamon. Swanson Health Products is one distributor of Cinnulin, but there may be others.
Update July 30, 2010:
A recent discussion about the different types of cinnamon (cassia or Chinese vs. Ceylon or "sweet") makes me think that the ethnic grocery store is selling Ceylon cinnamon. I'm not sure yet. It fits the descriptions I've read, but I am going to obtain some Ceylon cinnamon, and compare them. If it is in fact Ceylon cinnamon, it is not necessary to make the tea.
If you don't try, there is no way in the world you will succeed.
Home Preface Brain Failure Notes References pg. 1 References pg. 2
Nutritional Alternatives Patricia's Protocol Tauopathy Discussion Forum
You can reach me by mai|ing perpetualcommotion.com at gmail
Updated: February July 30,
Inception: April 30, 2008