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(Cinnamomum zeylanicum & Cinnamomum cassia)

open quote logo graphics Cinnamon has been used over 4,000 years ago in China. It is historically used to treat fever, diarrhea, rheumatoid arthritis and menstrual problems. Its reported aphrodisiac properties generated a lot of attention lately. close quote logo image

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This is one of the world's most popular spices. It can be found in foods, chewing gums, toothpaste, soap, beverages and cough medications.  The rolled bark is used in drinks and cooking to add flavour. More clinical research will need to be done to find out how effective it is for treating high blood sugar levels, but initial studies are very promising.

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Table of Contents

Evidence of Benefits (Leaf Rating System)

leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Diabetes

Cassia Cinnamon has been shown in clinical studies to lower blood sugar levels in people suffering from type 2 diabetes. The other species did not have this benefit.

Cinnamon bark that you can buy from health food stores usually contains a mixtures of the different species (unless specified in their packaging).

leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Trush (Oral Yeast Infection in HIV/AIDS Patients)

Initial studies done on patients with AIDS shows that applying the essential oil helped cure the yeast infection in the mouth.
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Antiviral / Antibacterial / Antifungal Benefits

Lab studies show that the oil of this herb inhibits the growth of virus, bacteria and fungus.
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Anti-Cancer Benefits

Lab studies show that this herb is able to stop the growth of 29 types of human cancer cells.
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Anti-oxidant Benefits

This herb shows antioxidants benefits and has been suggested for preserving food.
Helpful Weight Loss

One study done at the Smell and Taste Research Foundation showed that the smell of this herb helped with weight loss.

The study involving 1,436 volunteers reported about 30 pounds of weight loss compared to the only 2 pounds in placebo group.
Helpful Aphrodisiac

Studies done at the Smell and Taste Research Foundation in Chicago shows that the smell of cinnamon (compared to other aromas) can increase blood flow to the penis.

This further provides some proof that the use of aromatherapy can enhance sexual response and reduce stress.
Helpful Digestive Aid / Indigestion / Colic / Heartburn

This spice is shown to support digestion and can be used to help break down fats.
Helpful Bladder Infections (Cystitis) Prevention

A study conducted in Germany suggested that this bark may help to prevent most bladder infection cases.
Helpful Yeast Infections (Candida) / Athlete's Foot

In the same German study (as above), scientist suggested that most minor cases of yeast infection can be prevented with the use of cinnamon bark.
Helpful Gingivitis and Tooth Decay Prevention

This herb is commonly found in toothpaste and mouthwash formulation for its ability to kill bacteria found in the mouth.
Helpful Sore Throat

This spice can provide some relief from sore throat by soothing the throat and reducing inflammation.

Click here to get comprehensive details on how to treat sore throat using herbal and home remedies.
Helpful Appetite Stimulant

Some experts suggest using this spice to help improve a person's appetite.

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Suggested Benefits and Traditional Uses

  • Antibacterial activities (for mouthwash and toothpaste)
  • Anti-viral activities
  • Anti-cancer benefits
  • Appetite stimulant
  • Athlete's foot (fungus infection)
  • Asthma (induced by the common cold)
  • Aphrodisiac (smell of the spice)
  • Backache
  • Bladder infections (cystitis)
  • Bronchitis
  • Bladder infection (cystitis)
  • Colic
  • Contraception after childbirth
  • Cough and cold symptoms
  • Diabetes
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive aid
  • Dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain)
  • Fever
  • Flavour agent (foods and cosmetics)
  • Gingivitis (gum disease)
  • Heartburn / Indigestion
  • Infertility (female)
  • Influenza (the flu)
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain relief
  • Promote menses
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sedative
  • Sore throat
  • Stomach problems
  • Support the digestive system
  • Tooth decay (cavity) prevention
  • Trush (in AID/HIV patients)
  • Yeast Infections
  • Weight Loss
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Facts and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is cinnamon?

Two species of cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum & Cinnamomum cassia) are used for medicinal and food flavouring purposes.

The oils from the bark contain cinamaldehyde and eugenol, both shown to have strong anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral activities. They also possess sedative effects at a higher dose, while acting as a stimulant at a lower dose.

Some researchers also found that this herb has antioxidant benefits.

Does cinnamon help with diabetes?

Some clinical studies show that, by taking this herb (specifically Cassia Cinnamon), diabetics can lower the dose of insulin they are using. More clinical research will need to be done to confirm this initial finding.

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Side Effects, Toxicity and Warnings

What are some side effects of taking cinnamon?

Side effects are not expected when taken in amounts common found in foods. The cinnamon oil may cause an allergic reaction on the skin or in the mouth for some people sensitive to this ingredient.

What is some toxicity if I take too much of cinnamon?

Avoid taking the essential oil by mouth unless supervised by a healthcare professional experienced in using this oil. Taking a very high dose of the oil can cause nausea, vomiting and potential kidney damage.

Do not apply the essential oil undiluted as it is highly irritating to the skin. 

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Avoid using during pregnancy or when breastfeeding. There is not safety information in using this herb. The German Commission E recommended against using this herb during pregnancy.

However, amounts typically found in foods and spice are not expected to cause any problems.

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Dosage & How to Take It

Tea - Use 2 to 3 grams of the powdered herb in 250 mL (1 cup) of water and boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Allow it to cool and drink.

Essential Oil - Use only a few drops one or two times daily. (See warning under the section Side Effects, Toxicity and Warnings).

Tincture - Use 2 to 3 mL (about 1/2 a teaspoon) up to three times daily.

Doses Suggested for Various Health Problems

Diabetes - Take 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of ground herb with each meal to help stabilize blood sugar levels. This dosage is suggested by the German Commission E. Recent clinical studies used 1.5 to 6 grams of the grounded herb daily (divided into two or three times daily).

Aphrodisiac - We suggest using cinnamon essential oil in the bedroom to enhance sexual response. Going out for a cinnamon bun and coffee in anticipation of an eventful night might also work. 

Selected References for Cinnamon
Revised: July 12, 2012

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