The Science Behind the Cinnamon-Clove Christmassy Aromatic Tradition

What is my favorite ‘Christmas spirit ingredient”?’ The cinnamon-clove aroma! It seems that my nose follows my spirit – or vice versa! One way or another, tradition is in my DNA and consciousness for sure!

From November 15 to December 15, the Christmas fasting period includes feast day of Aghia Varvara – Santa Barbara – as a milestone. On Sunday, December 4th people named Varvara, Barbora, Barbara celebrated their name day.

To get through the fast, our health and daily regimen required a breakfast full of protein and energy. The ‘Varvara’ is an easy recipe based on boiled wheat seeds, flour, and sugar. The ‘heart’ of Varvara, though, is the cinnamon-clove aroma. This aroma follows us in all Christmas celebrations. Melomakarona, isli, and other sweets are quite the same, flour, sugar, butter/oil, honey – and that aroma.

All the famous ‘wintery’ ready-to-use tea bags contain cinnamon and clove. Cloves have impressive pharmaceutical power. They have fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In 2 gr of cloves powder you can find 1 gr of fiber, 4% the daily requirement of vitamin K. and 3% of our vitamin C needs – as well as other antioxidants.

Cloves help us overcome chronic diseases, cancer, and bacterial infections. They also help with liver inflammation and general liver health. It seems that they also help maintain sugar level are good for people with osteoporosis. Stomach ulcers from stress or infection or genetic disorders seem to benefit also.

Cinnamon seems to work in the same way. It contains antioxidants like powerful polyphenols,  and it has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antibacterial properties, also helping control sugar level. Plus, its enhances ‘good; cholesterol and reduces the ‘bad’ kind.

All these properties are ideal for a fasting period, helping your system stay healthy and in balance.

Hence, this is the science behind the tradition! Let the holidays begin!


* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.


Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Botany-Biology.



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