By Nancy Overzet



Cinnamon is a common spice with quite a few surprising twists and turns.  It grows on small trees commonly found in South Asia and India. There are approximately one hundred varieties of Cinnamon. The two most popular types are Ceylon and Cassia.   Each is derived from a different tree.  Cassia is widely used as it is cheaper. Ceylon, which is also called true cinnamon, is slightly sweeter and considered to be of a higher quality due to its higher Coumarin content, which makes it healthful.  It is extremely high in anti-oxidants and the oil has strong anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It is a great source of vitamins and minerals.

Uses for Cinnamon

Cinnamon has been used in home remedies for lowering blood sugar levels 18 to 29 percent and cholesterol 12 to 26 percent. It treats arthritis, bad breath and headaches. Nutritionally 10 grams, about 2 teaspoons, of ground cinnamon contain 0.12 g fat and has just 12 calories.

Cinnamon has been around since the ancient Hebrews in the Bible. Moses was told by God to put it in the holy anointing oil. Egyptians used it as early as 2000 B.C. as an embalming ingredient. Greeks used it to flavor wine. The Chinese have long used it as a natural remedy for coughs and the common cold.

Cinnamon has anti-clotting actions thereby lowering incidents of strokes. A 2011 study isolated the substance (CEppt) in the plant that inhibits development of Alzheimer’s disease in mice. It is extracted from the bark of the cinnamon tree.

How to Purchase

When buying cinnamon, it should smell fresh and pungent. Select organically grown to be sure of its purity as irradiating may lead to a significant decrease in its vitamin C and carotenoid content. Keep it in tightly sealed glass containers in a cool, dark and dry place. Ground cinnamon will keep for about six months and in stick form for about one year.

Powdered cinnamon has even entered the spotlight in recent years because of a contest known as the cinnamon challenge. People attempt to swallow a full tablespoon in under 60 seconds. It dries out the mouth becoming impossible to swallow. Please do NOT take the challenge as it is very dangerous.

Pleasure can be derived from the spice in a large variety of foods such as on oatmeal, Mexican and Indian dishes, and fruit salads or on
yogurt. You can also enjoy chewing cinnamon gum.

Nancy’s Spiced Coffee

Nancy’s Recipe

One cup hot coffee, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and tablespoon dark cocoa
powder and steamed milk to taste. PBH & C Toast
1.  Put two tablespoons peanut butter,  2.  one tablespoon honey and 3.  ¼ teaspoon cinnamon on toast.

Ancient Chinese common cold recipe
Add one cinnamon stick to one cup water and microwave until boiling. Remove cinnamon stick and steep green tea bag in the water.

According to Wikipedia, global production amounts to 27,000-35,000 tons. Trees are grown 2 years and then the trees are chopped  back and the next year about a dozen shoots will form from the roots before they can be harvested. They scrape the outer bark and then the inner bark is pried out in long rolls. It must be processed right away while the bark is wet. It is then dried for 4-6 hours. If not done in proper ventilated areas, moisture will encourage pests and fungi grow and it would need to be fumigated.

Nancy Overzet attended Western Wisconsin Collage of Nursing. She is now writing her own book about the Healing Power of Herbs.
By Nancy Overzet

Nursing Assessment

Nursing Assessment

Every patient is assessed by an nurse upon admission. This nursing assessment will cover every system of the body. This is the first time your loved ones wishes and history are recorded.

There are two parts to the  nursing assessment.  If an LPN is deemed competent by the RN the LPN can do the one part. This assessment will cover every system of your body.  Depending upon your nurses experience and time allotted, your assessment can either be thorough or hurried and incomplete.   Every RN has to have their first job, and your family may very well be one of their first patients. In college the RN will likely have clinical experience in a hospital, but that’s not true in every college. They may be receiving training from the LPN.

This the first time your wishes are heard and your history recorded.  It is important to get the nursing assessment done correctly if you should ever go to court over your care. Your care plan will be made upon the information in your assessment. A family may request a copy in writing, but most likely will only be allowed to read certain parts of it with a RN or LPN watching. The facility will most likely tell you they are there to help explain medical jargon; however it is so you don’t take pictures or remove parts of the chart. The nursing home may make copies of only the parts they are willing to let you see.

Depending upon your specific illness or problems, the nursing assessment should take at least 2 hours. It may take more for instance if you have several wounds to measure and dress, or a long cardiac history.  Based upon the assessment the nurse may ask the doctor for more lab work, scans or x-rays



Body Systems and the Nursing Assessment:


Your nurse should listen to your heart with a stethoscope.  If you brought cardiac strips, or EKG’s, showing their heart rhythm, they should be attached to your chart at this time.  You will be asked about your cardiac history, medicines and pain.


Your nurse will listen to your lungs.  Your 02 saturation, which shows how well your body is using the oxygen you are breathing in, will be taken as well.  Your respiratory history and medicine list will be written down, including notations about any shortness of breath and pain you are experiencing.


You may be given a mini mental exam and a neurological test.  You will be asked about your memory, any dizziness and headaches.  Caution:  you may be categorized on your whole visit based on this one set of questions.  It is a big deal, especially if you are not in your peak condition when this assessment is taking place.  While it is necessary to have this done on admission, you may want to request a reassessment later to get a truer picture of who you really are.


Categorization means how the nursing population will think about you. It will not be written down, however passed on between nurses. They may say, this one is a drug seeker, or has a history of beating his wife. These things can make a difference in how the nurses view and treat a person.


This assessment includes your abdomen and bowel status.  Your diet will be discussed, including food preferences and allergies.  Your nurse will listen to four areas of your abdomen, and to your bowel sounds which may vary in pitch and intensity.  Your nurse will ask about your stool habits.


You will be asked about pain and any problems.   You may be asked to give a urine sample.


Your entire body should be checked.  Wounds will be inspected and measured, scars noted as well.


These areas will be inspected and any questions should be asked in a respectful manner.  Be sure to be candid about infection and discharges.


Your gait and balance will be inspected.  Be sure to discuss pain or weakness so a plan can be put in place to strengthen you.  In fact, this should be a main focus for any facility.  Tell your nurse of any history of falls.