Honey and Cinnamon: A Powerful Cure or a Big, Fat Lie?

Honey and cinnamon are two natural ingredients with multiple health benefits.

Some people claim that when these two ingredients are combined, they can cure almost any disease.

While there is some evidence that each has some medicinal uses, some claims about the mixture of honey and cinnamon seem too good to be true.

This article reviews the benefits of honey and cinnamon, separating fact from fiction.

Honey and Cinnamon: Natural Ingredients for Better Health


Honey is a sweet liquid produced by bees. It has been used for centuries as both a food and a medicine.

Today it is most commonly used in cooking and baking, or as a sweetener in beverages.

Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree.

People harvest and dry its bark, which curls into what are commonly known as cinnamon sticks. You can purchase cinnamon as whole sticks, ground into a powder or as an extract.

Both honey and cinnamon have multiple health benefits on their own. However, some people assume that combining the two is even more beneficial.

In 1995, a Canadian tabloid published an article that provided a long list of ailments that could be cured by a mixture of honey and cinnamon.

Since then, bold claims about the honey and cinnamon combo have multiplied.

These two ingredients do have plenty of health applications, but not all the claims about the combination are backed by science.

Bottom Line: Honey and cinnamon are ingredients that can be used as both food and medicine. However, not all of the claims about honey and cinnamon are supported by research.

Science-Backed Benefits of Cinnamon


Cinnamon is a popular spice in cooking and baking that can also be taken as a supplement.

There are two major types:

  • Cassia cinnamon: This variety, also known as Chinese cinnamon, is the most popular type in supermarkets. It is less expensive, but of lower quality than Ceylon cinnamon.
  • Ceylon cinnamon: This type is also known as “true cinnamon.” It is much harder to find than Cassia cinnamon and it has a slightly sweeter flavor.

Cinnamon’s health benefits are linked to active compounds in its essential oil.

The most well-studied cinnamon compound is cinnamaldehyde. This is also what gives cinnamon its spicy flavor and aroma (1).

Here are some of cinnamon’s most impressive benefits:

  • May reduce inflammation: Long-term inflammation increases the risk of chronic disease. Studies show cinnamon may help reduce inflammation (2, 3).
  • May help treat neurodegenerative diseases: A few test-tube studies suggest that cinnamon might help slow the progression of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. These results need to be confirmed in human studies (4, 5, 6, 7, 8).
  • May help protect against cancer: A few animal and test-tube studies found that cinnamon helps prevent the growth and reproduction of cancer cells. However, these results need to be confirmed with human studies (9, 10).

Some have also suggested that cinnamon may be a natural treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and food poisoning.

However, there is not sufficient evidence to support these claims.

Bottom Line: Cinnamon is one of the healthiest spices in the world. Both types of cinnamon have health benefits, but Ceylon cinnamon is the better choice if you are going to consume it on a regular basis.

Science-Backed Benefits of Honey


In addition to being a healthier alternative to table sugar, honey has several medicinal uses.

However, it’s important to note that not all types are equal.

Most of the benefits of honey are associated with active compounds that are most concentrated in high-quality, unfiltered honey.

Here are some of honey’s health benefits that have been supported by science:

  • May be an effective cough suppressant: One study found that honey was more effective at suppressing nighttime coughs than dextromethorphan, the active ingredient in most cough syrups. Yet more research is needed (11).
  • A powerful treatment for wounds and burns: A review of six studies found that applying honey to the skin is a powerful treatment for wounds (12, 13).

Honey is also thought to be a sleep aid, a memory booster, a natural aphrodisiac, a treatment for yeast infections and a natural way to reduce plaque on your teeth, but these claims aren’t supported by science.

Bottom Line: Honey has several health benefits connected to its antioxidant capacity and antibacterial properties.

Both Honey and Cinnamon May Benefit Certain Health Conditions


The theory is that if both honey and cinnamon can help on their own, then combining the two can have an even stronger effect.

What is known is that there are several similarities between the health benefits of honey and cinnamon. Both are beneficial in the following areas:

Honey and Cinnamon May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease


A mixture of honey and cinnamon has the potential to lower your risk of heart disease.

That’s because it may help reverse several health signs that significantly raise that risk.

These include elevated levels of “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high triglyceride levels.

High blood pressure and low levels of “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol are additional factors that can increase your risk of the disease.

Interestingly, honey and cinnamon may positively affect all of these.

Studies have shown that consuming honey lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol by 6–11% and lowers triglyceride levels by as much as 11%. Honey may also increase “good” HDL cholesterol by about 2% (14, 15, 16, 17, 18).

A meta-analysis found that a daily dose of cinnamon lowered total cholesterol by an average of 16 mg/dl, LDL “bad” cholesterol by 9 mg/dl and triglycerides by 30 mg/dl. There was also a slight increase in “good” HDL cholesterol levels (19).

While they have not been studied together, cinnamon and honey have individually been shown to cause modest decreases in blood pressure. However, this research was in animals (2, 20, 21, 22).

Additionally, both foods are rich in antioxidants, which have multiple benefits for the heart. Polyphenol antioxidants improve blood flow to the heart and prevent blood clots, lowering your risk of heart attack and stroke (20).

Honey and cinnamon might also help prevent heart disease because they both reduce inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a major factor in the development of heart disease (2, 23, 24).

The Honey and Cinnamon Combo Is Useful for Healing Wounds


Both honey and cinnamon have well-documented healing properties that could be useful for treating skin infections when the mixture is applied to the skin.

Honey and cinnamon both have the ability to fight bacteria and decrease inflammation. These are two factors that are very important when it comes to healing the skin (12).

Applied to the skin, honey has been used successfully to treat burns. It can also treat diabetic foot ulcers, which are a very serious complication of diabetes (12, 25).

Cinnamon may provide some additional benefit for healing wounds, due to its strong antibacterial properties.

Diabetic foot ulcers have a high risk of becoming infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A test-tube study found that cinnamon oil helps protect against antibiotic-resistant bacteria (26, 27).

However, this study used cinnamon oil, which is much more concentrated than the powdered cinnamon you can find at the grocery store. There is no evidence that powdered cinnamon would have the same effect.

Honey and Cinnamon May Be Good for Diabetics


It is well documented that consuming cinnamon on a regular basis is good for diabetics. It may also help prevent diabetes (28, 29, 30).

Numerous studies have shown that cinnamon decreases fasting blood sugar levels in diabetics (28, 29, 31, 32, 33).

One of the ways cinnamon lowers blood sugar is by increasing insulin sensitivity. Cinnamon makes the cells more sensitive to the hormone insulin and helps sugar move from the blood into the cells (30).

Honey also has some potential benefits for diabetics. Studies have shown that honey has less impact on blood sugar levels than sugar (34).

Additionally, honey may lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in diabetics, while raising “good” HDL cholesterol levels (14, 16).

Honey and cinnamon may be relatively healthier than table sugar for sweetening your tea. However, honey is still high in carbs, so diabetics should use it in moderation.

Honey and Cinnamon Are Packed With Antioxidants

Both honey and cinnamon are excellent sources of antioxidants, which have multiple benefits for your health (35, 36, 37).

Antioxidants are substances that protect you from unstable molecules called free radicals, which can damage your cells.

Honey is rich in phenol antioxidants, which have been associated with a decreased risk of heart disease (38).

Cinnamon is also an antioxidant powerhouse. When compared to other spices, cinnamon ranks at the very top for antioxidant content (1, 39, 40).

Consuming honey and cinnamon together can give you a powerful dose of antioxidants.

Bottom Line: There are some health conditions that the combo of honey and cinnamon may help. The combo might improve your heart health, treat wounds and may be useful for diabetics.

Unproven Claims About Honey and Cinnamon

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The concept of combining two powerful ingredients to create an even more powerful remedy makes sense.

However, there are no direct studies showing that the combination of honey and cinnamon creates a miracle substance that cures multiple ailments.

Additionally, many of the proposed uses for honey and cinnamon have not been backed by science.

Here are some of the popular but unproven claims about honey and cinnamon:

  • They can fight allergy symptoms: Some studies have been done on honey’s ability to reduce allergy symptoms, but the evidence is weak (41, 42).
  • Honey and cinnamon can cure the common cold: Honey and cinnamon have strong antibacterial properties, but most colds are caused by viruses.
  • Honey and cinnamon can treat acne: While the antibacterial properties of both ingredients can be beneficial for acne-prone skin, studies have not explored the mixture’s effectiveness for treating acne.
  • They are a natural weight loss tool: A few studies suggest that replacing sugar with honey contributes to less weight gain, but there is no evidence that honey and cinnamon will help you lose weight (43, 44).
  • Rubbing the mixture on your joints can relieve arthritis pain: Honey and cinnamon do reduce inflammation, but there is no proof that applying these foods to your skin can reduce inflammation in the joints.
  • Honey and cinnamon can calm digestive issues: There are claims that honey can coat your stomach and both ingredients will fight bacterial infections in the gut. However, this isn’t backed by research.

Bottom Line: Honey and cinnamon are both beneficial for your health, but there is no evidence that combining them will multiply their effects.

How to Use Honey and Cinnamon to Improve Your Health


The best way to use honey in your diet is as a replacement for sugar.

Make sure you purchase unfiltered honey, since most of the highly processed honey on supermarket shelves doesn’t have any health benefits.

Use honey with caution though, since it is still high in sugar — just “less bad” than regular sugar.

You should also be aware that cinnamon contains a compound called coumarin, which can be toxic in large doses. Coumarin content is much higher in Cassia cinnamon than in Ceylon cinnamon (45, 46).

It is best to purchase Ceylon cinnamon, but if you are going to consume the Cassia variety, limit your daily intake to 1/2 teaspoon (0.5–2 grams). You can safely consume up to 1 teaspoon (about 5 grams) of Ceylon cinnamon per day (45).

To use honey and cinnamon to treat a skin infection, mix honey with a small amount of cinnamon oil and apply it directly to the infected skin.

Bottom Line: Honey and cinnamon can be eaten or applied to the skin. Purchase high-quality unfiltered honey and Ceylon cinnamon if you want to get the most benefits.

Take Home Message


Honey and cinnamon both have multiple health benefits individually, many of which are backed by science.

Both of these ingredients are especially useful for improving your heart health and healing infections.

However, there is no scientific evidence to show that combining honey and cinnamon creates a miracle cure.

Source: healthline.com


How Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar and Fights Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease characterized by abnormally high blood sugar.

If poorly controlled, it can lead to complications like heart disease, kidney disease and nerve damage (1).

Treatment often includes medications and insulin injections, but many people are also interested in foods that can help lower blood sugar.

One such example is cinnamon, a commonly used spice that’s added to sweet and savory dishes around the world.It provides many health benefits, including the ability to lower blood sugar and help manage diabetes.

This article tells you everything you need to know about cinnamon and its effects on blood sugar control and diabetes.

What Is Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is an aromatic spice derived from the bark of several species of Cinnamomum trees.

While you may associate cinnamon with rolls or breakfast cereals, it has actually been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine and food preservation.

To obtain cinnamon, the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees must be removed.

The bark then undergoes a drying process that causes it to curl up and yield cinnamon sticks, or quills, which can be further processed into powdered cinnamon.

Several different varieties of cinnamon are sold in the US, and they are typically categorized by two different types:

  • Ceylon: Also called “true cinnamon,” it’s the most expensive type.
  • Cassia: Less expensive and found in most food products containing cinnamon.

While both types are sold as cinnamon, there are important differences between the two, which will be discussed later in this article.

Summary: Cinnamon is made from the dried bark of Cinnamomum trees and is generally categorized into two varieties.


It Contains Antioxidants That Provide Many Health Benefits

A quick glance at cinnamon’s nutrition facts may not lead you to believe that it’s a superfood (2).

But while it doesn’t contain a lot of vitamins or minerals, it does contain large amounts of antioxidants, which give it its health benefits.

In fact, one group of scientists compared the antioxidant content of 26 different herbs and spices and concluded that cinnamon had the second highest amount of antioxidants among them (after cloves) (3).

Antioxidants are important because they help the body reduce oxidative stress, a type of damage to cells, which is caused by free radicals.One study showed that consuming 500 mg of cinnamon extract daily for 12 weeks decreased a marker of oxidative stress by 14% in adults with prediabetes (4).

This is significant, since oxidative stress has been implicated in the development of nearly every chronic disease, including type 2 diabetes (5).

Summary: Cinnamon does not contain many vitamins or minerals, but it is loaded with antioxidants that decrease oxidative stress. This may potentially protect against diabetes.

It Can Imitate Insulin and Increase Insulin Sensitivity

In those with diabetes, either the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or cells do not respond to insulin properly, leading to high blood sugar levels.

Cinnamon may help lower blood sugar and fight diabetes by imitating the effects of insulin and increasing glucose transport into cells (6).

It can also help lower blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, making insulin more efficient at moving glucose into cells.

One study of seven men showed taking cinnamon increased insulin sensitivity immediately after consumption, with the effect lasting at least 12 hours (7).

In another study, eight men also demonstrated increases in insulin sensitivity following two weeks of supplementing with cinnamon (8).

Summary: Cinnamon can lower blood sugar by acting like insulin and increasing insulin’s ability to move blood sugar into cells.


It Lowers Fasting Blood Sugar and May Decrease Hemoglobin A1c

Several controlled studies have demonstrated that cinnamon is excellent at reducing fasting blood sugar.

One review of 543 people with type 2 diabetes found taking it was associated with an average decrease of over 24 mg/dL (1.33 mmol/L) (9).

While these study results are pretty clear, studies investigating its effects on hemoglobin A1c, a measure of long-term blood sugar control, have yielded conflicting results.

Some studies report significant decreases in hemoglobin A1c, while others report no effect (9, 10, 11, 12).

The conflicting results may be partially explained by differences in the amount of cinnamon given and prior blood sugar control of participants (9, 13).

Summary: Cinnamon shows promise in lowering blood sugar. However, its effects on hemoglobin A1c are less clear.

It Lowers Blood Sugars After Meals

Depending on the size of the meal and how many carbs it contains, blood sugar levels can rise pretty dramatically after you eat.

These blood sugar fluctuations can increase levels of oxidative stress and inflammation, which tend to do a lot of damage to your body’s cells and put you at risk of chronic disease (14, 15).

Cinnamon can help keep these blood sugar spikes after meals in check. Some researchers say it does this by slowing down the rate at which food empties out of your stomach.

One study found that consuming 1.2 teaspoons (6 grams) of cinnamon with a serving of rice pudding led to slower stomach emptying and lower blood sugar elevations then eating rice pudding without it (16).

Other studies suggest that it may lower blood sugar following meals by blocking digestive enzymes that break down carbs in the small intestine (17, 18).

Summary: Cinnamon can lower blood sugar following meals, possibly by slowing stomach emptying and blocking digestive enzymes.


It May Lower the Risk of Common Diabetes Complications

This spice does more than lower fasting blood sugar and decrease blood sugar spikes following meals.

It may also lower the risk of common diabetes complications.

People with diabetes have twice the risk of heart disease as people without it. Cinnamon may help lower this risk by improving established risk factors for heart disease (19).

A review of controlled studies in people with type 2 diabetes found that taking cinnamon was associated with an average decrease in “bad” LDL cholesterol of 9.4 mg/dL (0.24 mmol/L) and a decrease in triglycerides of 29.6 mg/dL (0.33 mmol/L) (9).

It also reported an average 1.7 mg/dL (0.044 mmol/L) increase in “good” HDL cholesterol (9).

Furthermore, another study found that supplementing with two grams of cinnamon for 12 weeks significantly lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure (11).

Interestingly, diabetes has also been increasingly implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, with many people now referring to Alzheimer’s disease as “type 3 diabetes” (20).

Studies suggest that cinnamon extract may decrease the ability of two proteins — beta-amyloid and tau — to form plaques and tangles, which are routinely linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease (21, 22).

However, this research has only been completed in test tubes and animals. Further studies in humans are needed to confirm these findings.

Summary: Cinnamon may help lower the risk of diseases related to diabetes, such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Ceylon vs Cassia: Which Is Better?

Cinnamon is typically grouped into two different types — Ceylon and Cassia.

Cassia cinnamon can be derived from a few different species of Cinnamomum trees. It’s generally inexpensive and is found in most food products and the spice aisle of your grocery store.

Ceylon cinnamon, on the other hand, is specifically derived from the Cinnamomum verum tree. It’s typically more expensive and is less common than Cassia, but studies have shown that Ceylon cinnamon contains more antioxidants (3).

Because it contains more antioxidants, it’s possible that Ceylon cinnamon may provide more health benefits.

Nevertheless, although several animal and test-tube studies have highlighted the benefits of Ceylon cinnamon, most studies demonstrating health benefits in humans have used the Cassia variety (23).

Summary: Both varieties of cinnamon likely lower blood sugar and fight diabetes, but studies in humans are still needed to confirm that Ceylon provides more benefits than Cassia.


Some Should Be Cautious With Cinnamon

Cassia cinnamon is not only lower in antioxidants, it’s also high in a potentially harmful substance called coumarin, an organic substance found in many plants.

Several studies in rats have shown coumarin can be toxic to the liver, leading to concern that it can cause liver damage in humans as well (24).

Accordingly, the European Food Safety Authority has set the tolerable daily intake for coumarin at 0.045 mg per pound (0.1 mg/kg).

Using average coumarin levels for Cassia cinnamon, this would be equivalent to about a half teaspoon (2.5 grams) of Cassia cinnamon per day for a 165-pound (75-kg) individual.

As you can see, Cassia cinnamon is particularly high in coumarin, and you can easily consume more than the upper limit by taking Cassia cinnamon supplements or even eating large amounts of it in foods.

However, Ceylon cinnamon contains much lower amounts of coumarin, and it would be difficult to consume more than the recommended amount of coumarin with this type (25).

Additionally, people with diabetes who take medications or insulin should be careful when adding cinnamon to their daily routine.

The addition of cinnamon on top of your current treatment may put you at risk of low blood sugar, which is known as hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia is a potentially life-threatening condition, and it is recommended to talk to your doctor about incorporating cinnamon into your diabetes management.

Lastly, children, pregnant women and others with extensive medical histories should speak with their doctors to see if the benefits of cinnamon outweigh the risks.

Summary: Cassia cinnamon is high in coumarin, which may cause liver damage. Also, people with diabetes should consider the risk of hypoglycemia when consuming large amounts of cinnamon.

How Much Should You Take?

Cinnamon’s benefits for lowering blood sugar have been well-studied.

Yet despite this, no consensus has been reached regarding how much you should consume to reap the benefits while avoiding potential risks.

Studies have typically used 1–6 grams per day, either as a supplement or powder added to foods.

One study reported that the blood sugar of people taking either 1, 3 or 6 grams daily all decreased by the same amount (26).

Given that people on the smallest dose saw the same benefit as those on the largest dose, there may be no need to take large doses.

Additionally, a number of studies have shown that the coumarin content of Cassia cinnamon can vary. Therefore, it would be wise not to exceed 0.5–1 grams of it per day to avoid surpassing the tolerable daily intake of coumarin.

Much less caution can be taken with Ceylon cinnamon. Consuming up to 1.2 teaspoons (6 grams) daily should be safe as far as coumarin content is concerned.

Summary: Limit Cassia cinnamon to 0.5–1 gram per day. Ceylon cinnamon can be consumed in higher amounts, even though it may not be necessary.

The Bottom Line

Many studies have shown that cinnamon has the ability to lower blood sugar and help manage common diabetes complications, among other health benefits.

If you want to take cinnamon supplements or add it to your meals to help lower your blood sugar, it would be wise to use Ceylon instead of Cassia.

It may be more expensive, but Ceylon cinnamon contains more antioxidants and lower amounts of coumarin, which can potentially cause liver damage.

It’s probably best not to exceed 0.5–1 grams of Cassia daily, but taking up to 1.2 teaspoons (6 grams) daily of Ceylon cinnamon should be safe.

Source: healthline.com

Cinnamon: Health Benefits, Nutritional Information

Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the branches of wild trees that belong to the genus “Cinnamomum” – native to the Caribbean, South America, and Southeast Asia.

There are two main types of cinnamon:

  • Ceylon cinnamon
    (Cinnamomum verum), often considered to be “true cinnamon”
    (NB: Far less courmarin than Cassia Cinnamon – no risk of liver damage)
  • Cassia cinnamon or Chinese cinnamon
    (Cinnamomum aromaticum), which originates from southern China, is typically less expensive than Ceylon cinnamon.
    (NB: Serious risk of liver damage in large quantities)

Due to the fact that Ceylon cinnamon is more expensive, most foods in the USA and Western Europe, including sticky buns, breads and other products use the cheaper Cassia cinnamon (dried Cassia bark). These days cinnamon is regarded as the second most popular spice, next to black pepper, in the United States and Europe.


Cinnamon has been consumed since 2000 BC in Ancient Egypt, where it was very highly prized (almost considered to be a panacea). In medieval times doctors used cinnamon to treat conditions such as coughing, arthritis and sore throats. (This Cinnamon was sourced from the Kandy Kingdom)

Modern research indicates that cinnamon may have some beneficial health properties. Having said that, it is important to recognise that more research and evidence is needed before we can say conclusively that cinnamon has these health benefits.

Possible health benefits of cinnamon

Cinnamon sticks
Cinnamon sticks or quills

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Cinnamon can be used to help treat muscle spasms, vomiting, diarrhea, infections, the common cold, loss of appetite, and erectile dysfunction (ED).

Cinnamon may lower blood sugar in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, according to Diabetes UK. However high quality research supporting the claim remains scarce.

Fungal infections

According to the National Institutes of Health, cinnamaldehyde – a chemical found in both types of cinnamon – could help fight against bacterial and fungal infections.


Cinnamon may help improve glucose and lipids levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in Diabetics Care.

The study authors concluded that consuming up to 6 grams of cinnamon per day “reduces serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes.” and that “the inclusion of cinnamon in the diet of people with type 2 diabetes will reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.”

In addition, a certain cinnamon extract can reduce fasting blood sugar levels in patients, researchers reported in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation.


Alzheimer’s disease

Tel Aviv University researchers discovered that cinnamon may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. According to Prof. Michael Ovadia, of the Department of Zoology at Tel Aviv University, an extract found in cinnamon bark, called CEppt, contains properties that can inhibit the development of the disease.


A study of Indian medicinal plants revealed that cinnamon may potentially be effective against HIV. According to the study authors, “the most effective extracts against HIV-1 and HIV-2 are respectively Cinnamomum cassia (bark) and Cardiospermum helicacabum (shoot + fruit).”

Multiple Sclerosis

Cinnamon may help stop the destructive process of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a neurological scientist at Rush University Medical Center. Cinnamon could help eliminate the need to take some expensive and unpleasant drugs.

Lower the negative effects of high fat meals

Penn State researchers revealed that diets rich in cinnamon can help reduce the body’s negative responses to eating high-fat meals.

Treating and healing chronic wounds

Research published in the journal ACS Nano suggests that scientists have found a way to package antimicrobial compounds from peppermint and cinnamon in tiny capsules that can both kill biofilms and actively promote healing.

In this video, Dr. Josh Axe discusses the possible health benefits of cinnamon.


On the next page we look at the nutritional profile of cinnamon and the health risks associated with consuming it (including the fact that cassia cinnamon in particular contains coumarin). We also discuss Tolerable Daily Intakes and how much cinnamon you can safely eat each day.

Nutritional profile of cinnamon

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ten grams of ground cinnamon contains:

  • Energy: 24.7 kcal
  • Fat: 0.12 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8.06 g
  • Protein: 0.4 g.

Risks and precautions

Some people who are sensitive to cinnamon may be at an increased risk of liver damage after consuming cinnamon-flavored foods, drinks and food supplements.

This is likely due to the fact that cinnamon contains coumarin, a naturally occurring flavoring substance, which has been linked to liver damage. Cassia cinnamon powder (commonly used in foods in the USA and Western Europe) contains more coumarin than Ceylon cinnamon powder. A 2010 German study found that on average, Cassia cinnamon powder had up to 63 times more coumarin compared to Ceylon cinnamon powder, while Cassia cinnamon sticks contained 18 times more coumarin than Ceylon cinnamon sticks.

How much cinnamon should I eat?

A study carried out in Norway and published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology in 2012 suggested establishing a Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) for coumarin of 0.07mg per kg of bodyweight per day. The researchers commented that by sprinkling cinnamon on oatmeal porridge or drinking cinnamon-based tea regularly, adults and children can very easily exceed this amount.

Based upon the conclusion of this study, if the average weight of an American male is 191 pounds (86.6kg), it could mean a maximum Tolerable Daily Intake of 6mg of coumarin. For an average American female (159 pounds or 72.1kg) it could mean a maximum of 5mg of coumarin per day.

In a document published in 2006, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BFR) suggested that 1kg of (cassia) cinnamon powder contains between 2.1 and 4.4g of coumarin. If you estimate that powdered cassia cinnamon weighs approximately 0.56 g/cm3, a kilo of cassia cinnamon powder would equal 362.29 teaspoons. This suggests that a single teaspoon of cassia cinnamon powder could contain between 5.8 and 12.1mg of coumarin (which may be above the Tolerable Daily Intake for a smaller individual).


Coumarin In Cinnamon Causes Liver Damage In Some People

Sensitive people who consume cinnamon-flavored foods, drinks and food supplements may have a higher risk of liver damage, researchers from the University of Mississippi, USA, and King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, report in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

Cinnamon is one of the most important flavoring agents in foods and drinks, team leader Ikhlas Khan explained. It is the second most popular spice, next to black pepper, in the United States and Europe.

Ceylon cinnamon, also known as “true cinnamon” (cinnamon verum) is very expensive. Therefore, most foods in the USA and Western Europe, including sticky buns, breads and other products use the cheaper Cassia cinnamon (dried Cassia bark).

Cinnamon comes from the bark of trees and is sold as sticks or powder in the country of origin. Ceylon cinnamon grows in Sri Lanka, Madagascar and the Seychelles, while Cassia cinnamon comes from Indonesia and China. Previous studies have linked coumarin intake to liver damage in a small number of sensitive individuals.

True cinnamon has very little coumarin, unlike Cassia cinnamon. A 2010 German study found that on average, Cassia cinnamon powder had up to 63 times more coumarin compared to Ceylon cinnamon powder, while Cassia cinnamon sticks contained 18 times more than Ceylon cinnamon sticks.

The researchers in this latest study also reported that coumarin, a naturally-occurring substance, may cause liver damage in some sensitive people.

Cinnamomum Verum vs Cinnamomum Burmannii

Ceylon cinnamon (left) has much less coumarin than Cassia cinnamon (right)

The authors wrote:

“As found in this study, coumarin was present, sometimes in substantial amounts, in cinnamon-based food supplements and cinnamon-flavored foods.”

According to health officials, consumers cannot tell the difference between Ceylon and Cassia cinnamon in powder form. Cinnamon sticks look different though – Cassia cinnamon sticks consist of a thick layer of rolled bark, while Ceylon cinnamon sticks have thin layers.

How to Differentiate Between Ceylon and Cassia Cinnamon

I have listed all the differences between the two types of cinnamon. The images also illustrate how to identify the real one.


Cinnamon is one of those herbs which have been used in the traditional treatments and medicines for a wide range of ailments since ancient times. Among many other remedies and combination, real cinnamon and honey is one of the most useful, effective and easy to use home remedies for several conditions.

But….You need to pay attention to a very important fact that all cinnamon is no good. Most people do not know it.

There is a lot of discussion on the internet on topics like benefits, uses, remedies etc of cinnamon. There is either no or little information about the fact that all cinnamon is not good.

There is fake and real, good and bad, toxic and non-toxic! In this article, I have explained all about this and how to choose the right one.

Cassia Cinnamon

This is called cassia, Chinese or Saigon cinnamon. Some people also call it fake cinnamon. It is produced in countries such as Vietnam, China and Indonesia.

It is very hot and by chewing a piece you can feel the pungent taste sizzle and flame in your mouth. It shares some of the characteristics with real cinnamon like being anti-microbial, anti-fungal, blood regulation etc.

The real problem, however, with the fake cinnamon is that it has a high content of coumarin; in fact, nearly 1200 times higher than found in the real herb.

Taking large amount of coumarin is highly toxic and a prolong use may pose several serious health damages.

According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in Germany, coumarin can damage liver and kidneys if taken for longer periods. In case of sensitive individuals, only a small amount can cause damage.

BfR further advises that cassia cinnamon contains high levels of coumarin and should not, therefore, be eaten.

Cassia Cinnamon is a lot cheaper than the real or Ceylon variety. Most cinnamon sold in the supermarket is the Chinese or Cassia variety.


Ceylon Cinnamon

This is also called real, sweet or good cinnamon. It is produced in Sri Lanka from the plant called Cinnamomum Zeylanicum.

It is light brown in color and thin and soft in appearance. The sticks are filled like a cigar with several folded layers. The amount of coumarin content is only 0.0004% against 5 % found in Cinnamomum Cassia.

How to Distinguish Between the Two?

In case of ground cinnamon, it is very difficult to distinguish between the two unless you are an expert, especially at sniffing spices. There is no guarantee that the result will be one hundred percent accurate.

However, in case of sticks, it is easier to differentiate between the two. The following table and pictures highlight some of the differences which shall help you to choose the correct type.

Ceylon Cinnamon Cassian Cinnamon
Soft texture, easily broken Hard texture Not easily broken
Soft and Sweet aromatic Pungent and very spicy flavor
Coumarin content 0.0004% Coumarin content 5%
Generally safe Toxic if taken in case of prolonged use
Expensive and not found everywhere A lot cheaper and found in supermarket
Native to Sri Lanka Native to China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia
Light brown in color Dark Brown or reddish in color
Soft in appearance Rough in appearance
Several folds of layer like a cigar only inward folded. Empty cavity

Most bottled or packaged ground cinnamon does not mention its type or origin. It is, therefore, difficult to ascertain its type and origin or the country or plant.

The best course is to identify the sticks and make sure that you are buying the Ceylon variety. Once you get hold of the real “thing” , use your blender to crush it into powder.



7 Health Benefits of Cinnamon You Need to Know


Once upon a time, cinnamon was more valuable than gold. And while these days, most of us would rather get our hands on 24 karats instead of 24 ounces – a gold bar over a brown stick – this bark-cum-spice has just as much bite as it does bark. The potential health benefits of cinnamon could be stated as nothing short of astonishing.

To help us sort myth from fact, we’ve enlisted the help of several health experts to give us their two cents on one of our favorite spices.

7 Proven Health Benefits of Cinnamon

1. Cinnamon may help treat Type 2 diabetes.

While it’s true that there’s no cure for Type 2 diabetes, cinnamon can be an effective tool in managing the disease.

According to Lori Kenyon Farley, a Certified Nutrition Consultant specializing in wellness, fitness and anti-aging and one of the experts behind Project Juice, cinnamon can help manage this disease in two different ways. “It can reduce blood pressure and have a positive effect on blood markers for those with Type 2 diabetes,” she explains. Cinnamon can also reduce insulin resistance, which, Farley explains, “has been shown to lower fasting blood sugar levels by up to 29%, which can reduce the instance of Type 2 diabetes.”

Shane Ellison, MS, a medicinal chemist and founder of the Sugar Detox, explains how exactly this works. “(Cinnamon) works directly on the muscle cells to force them to remove sugar from the bloodstream, where it is converted to energy,” he says. “It’s even shown to work better than most prescription meds.”

The key is in increasing insulin sensitivity in the body, a sensitivity that, while present at birth for those without type 1 diabetes, slowly decreases as we age and consume more sugar. As a result, sugar floats around in the blood, causing diabetes and other health problems. “Cinnamon, which is completely non-toxic, repairs the receptors so they are once again responsive to insulin,” Ellison explains. “In time, sugar levels normalize due to an increase in insulin sensitivity.”

Add to this the fact that cinnamon has a naturally sweet taste that is devoid of sugar, making it a great addition to foods like plain yogurt as a dessert or snack, and you’ll soon see why we suggest it as a staple for the pantries of those with Type 2 diabetes.

2. Cinnamon can lower your bad cholesterol (or LDL).

Even if you do not suffer from diabetes, you may want to include cinnamon in your diet for many of the same reasons as those who do.

As Carina Parikh, MScN, MSiMR, the holistic nutritionist for Kate Naumes ND Holistic Wellness in Dallas explains, the positive impact on Type 2 diabetes symptoms is due to a number of factors, notably “improving serum glucose, lowering fasting blood glucose, and reducing triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol.” These are all benefits that can help even those not suffering from diabetes, including those with hereditary cholesterol worries or problems.

“(Cinnamon) also raises HDL (the “good”) cholesterol,” she explains. HDL cholesterol helps remove LDL cholesterol from the body.

And that’s not all. “Regular intake of cinnamon may also help to mitigate the effects of high-fat meals by slowing the increase in blood sugar post-meal,” says Parikh. This means that when cinnamon is added to your diet, the effects of occasional high-fat choices may not be quite as detrimental to your health as they would otherwise be.

3. Cinnamon has antifungal, antibacterial, and even antiviral properties.

Cinnamon has been proven to fight fungal, bacterial, and viral elements in foods, thus preventing spoilage. It’s no surprise that in the Middle Ages, when food spoilage was far more frequent due to lack of refrigeration, many recipes, both sweet and savory, were flavored with the spice.

But these properties of cinnamon do not extend merely to the foods cinnamon seasons. Consumers of cinnamon can benefit from these properties as well, according to our experts, who say cinnamon can be used as part of a treatment for anything from lung problems to the common cold.

Denise Baron, a wellness educator and director of Ayurveda for Modern Living explains that cinnamon can help with all sorts of lung congestion issues. “It helps clear up mucus and encourages circulation,” she explains, thus lending its powers to everything from a simple seasonal cough to bronchitis, when used in tandem with other remedies.

But perhaps the most surprising use of cinnamon is in combatting viruses, and not just the common cold. “Research shows that cinnamon extract may help fight the HIV virus by preventing the virus from entering cells,” says Parikh. “Therefore, cinnamon extract could potentially contribute to the management of HIV.”

4. Cinnamon can help treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are two neurological conditions that, for the moment, are incurable. An enormous part of treating these diseases is therefore in symptom management, and this can be boosted with the addition of cinnamon to a regular regime.

“Cinnamon has been shown to help neurons and improve motor function in those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s,” explains Farley. These contributions can help sufferers of these two diseases continue their regular routines with far less impediment.

5. Cinnamon may have anti-carcinogenic properties.

Many superfoods are attributed with anti-carcinogenic properties, but it’s important not to jump from super food to super power. Parikh explains why it’s important not to get carried away.

“Evidence suggests that cinnamon may have anti-carcinogenic effects as well, although the research thus far is limited to animal studies,” she says. “These experiments demonstrate that cinnamon extract slows the growth of cancer cells and induces cancerous cell death.”

If these properties do extend to humans, then cinnamon may in fact be able to slow growth and kill cancerous cells. And even if these properties do not extend to a cure or treatment for cancer in humans, other characteristics of cinnamon, including the presence of antioxidants and free radicals, can contribute to its possible anti-carcinogenic effects.

6. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties.

Consumption of cinnamon can reduce both systemic and specific inflammation. The former is particularly important in the Western world, according to Parekh.

She says that in the West, “Systemic inflammation is a prominent problem that has led to the rise in chronic disease.” By adding cinnamon to a regular diet, this systemic inflammation can be reduced significantly.”

Specific inflammation reduction means that consumption of cinnamon can help treat certain types of pain and headaches, as well as arthritis pain. It plays a double role in this particular type of pain, according to Baron, as cinnamon can also boost circulation. “With circulation problems such as Raynaud’s syndrome or arthritis, this helps stimulate and push circulation to the joints,” she explains.

7. Cinnamon can help manage PCOS.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a problem with numerous symptoms that need to be managed, and cinnamon can be a key element of this management due to a number of characteristics.

First would be the management of insulin resistance in women with PCOS, which can contribute to weight gain. “A recent pilot study found that cinnamon reduced insulin resistance in women with PCOS,” explains Parekh, extending cinnamon’s recommended consumption from diabetes sufferers to anyone with an insulin resistance problem.

“Cinnamon can also help mitigate heavy menstrual bleeding associated with common conditions of female health, such as endometriosis, menorrhagia, and uterine fibroids.”

It’s possible we’re just brushing the surface here. After all, Chinese medicine and Ayurveda have long revered cinnamon for its near superpowers, using it to treat things such as colds, indigestion and cramps, not to mention for its anti-clotting properties as well as attributes for cognitive function and memory. These societies also believed cinnamon could improve energy, vitality and circulation. It’s no wonder we’ve dubbed it a superfood!


Why is Cinnamon So Good for You?

How does such a little spice have so much power?

Many of cinnamon’s fantastic properties come from one substance, something called cinnamaldehyde, which is naturally present in cinnamon. According to Parikh, cinnamaldehyde is the source many of the antifungal and antibacterial properties that make cinnamon such a great addition to your diet.

But that’s not all. “Cinnamon’s high concentration of antioxidants can help protect the body from damage from free radicals and reduce inflammation, reducing risk of cancer and other diseases,” explains Farley.

The combination of cinnamaldehyde, antioxidants and cinnamon’s high fiber content are some of the characteristics that lend it its incredible positive effects on the human body.

How to Include Cinnamon in Your Diet

Even with all this evidence pointing to the wonders of cinnamon, we are absolutely not advocating you start guzzling it – it has been found to be toxic in large doses.

We are, however, wholeheartedly encouraging a little pinch (or stick) here and there in places you might otherwise have overlooked (in your tea or coffee, added to savory dishes, etc.) – if not for your overall health, for its undeniably enchanting aroma and flavor.

And while we all have fell victim to the irresistible smells wafting through an otherwise bleak airport experience, this does not make Cinnabon a free-for-all. Not only is it much better to use cinnamon in healthy recipes, but you’re going to want to source your cinnamon somewhere you trust for several reasons.

What Kind of Cinnamon Should I Use?

Not all cinnamons were created equal, so be careful what you buy.

“Nearly all the cinnamon in the grocery stores and health food stores is a cousin of true cinnamon,” explains Christina Major, a MS Holistic Nutritionist and Herbalist and the Health Recovery Expert of Crystal Holistic Health.

Cinnamomum cassia, or Chinese cinnamon, has a very similar flavor and color, but it does not have the same health benefits,” she explains. “Only Cinnamomum verum provides the health benefits, and this is an expensive spice that is often illicitly substituted with Cinnamomum cassia.”

When you are perusing the supermarket shelves, you’ll likely see Cinnamomum cassia sold as Chinese or Cassia cinnamon, whereas Cinnamomum verum will be sold as Ceylon cinnamon. According to our experts, you should opt for the latter.

If you do have Cassia cinnamon on your shelf already, you can try integrating it into your diet as well, but bear in mind a few important notes.

You likely will not find that the same benefits outlined with regards to Ceylon cinnamon hold true with Cassia. “That’s why most supplements and home remedies don’t work,” explains Major. “There isn’t enough active ingredient, because the manufacturer didn’t use the right cinnamon.”

Farley also warns that the Cassia variety should be consumed in very small doses. “Not more than 2 tsp. per day,” she suggests, “Since it has a higher concentration of courmarin, which can be harmful in large doses.” Courmarin can cause liver toxicity and have blood-thinning properties, so be sure to talk to your doctor before adding this or any sort of cinnamon to your diet if you are on blood thinners or liver medication.

If you’d like to give a small amount of cinnamon a try, here’s a good starting point.  If you prefer to buy in bulk to save money, click here for 1lb of cinnamon.

How Much Cinnamon Should I Eat?

Once you’ve got your hands on some true Ceylon cinnamon, the recommended dosage, according to the U.S. Department of Health, is up to 6 grams daily for 6 weeks or fewer.

“I would suggest a week rest after the 6 weeks, before beginning again,” says Farley. “Turmeric can be taken during the rest week since it has similar benefits.”

You can also reduce your cinnamon consumption to 5 days a week without a rest week, says Parehk, though she – and we – urge anyone starting a new supplement regimen to consult with a qualified practitioner first and to be very careful of over-consumption of cinnamon, no matter which variety you have. Overconsumption of cinnamon or even a rapid increase of consumption of cinnamon can have some adverse effects.

One, explains Dizon, is that cinnamon’s anti-bacterial properties do not distinguish between good or bad bacteria in the gut, meaning that you could find yourself facing some cinnamon-related digestive issues. “Incorporate fermented foods to replenish your stomach with good bacteria,” she suggests.

Our experts also warn against incorporating too much cinnamon into your diet if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a heavy menstrual cycle. If any of these things apply to you, please see a medical professional before adding cinnamon to your diet.


How Should I Add Cinnamon to My Diet?

Cinnamon can be purchased in several forms, including ground powder, cinnamon sticks, cinnamon bark oil, or even capsules.

Jane Dizon, a nurse and health and fitness enthusiast behind Health and Fitness, has a few suggestions for how to add cinnamon to your diet. “You could add half to one teaspoon of cinnamon powder to your coffee, or sprinkle some on your fruit platter. It’s also great with baked sweet potatoes, oatmeals and apple cider.”

And cinnamon doesn’t always have to be used alone. “You can combine ginger and cardamom with cinnamon if you have a sluggish digestive system,” explains Baron.

You don’t even have to eat your cinnamon to take advantage of it. Dizon suggests cinnamon-scented candles to boost brain function, and Baron makes a homemade toothpaste with cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and cinnamon oil. She also suggests a cinnamon and oatmeal face mask for acne.

Here are just a few of our favorite recipes for including cinnamon in your diet:

What are your favorite ways to eat cinnamon?

Source: organicauthority.com

9 Ways Cinnamon Can Benefit Your Skin

Cinnamon grows abundantly in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India and other Asian countries and people out there have been using cinnamon for various medicinal purposes including for skin disorders.

One great thing about cinnamon is there are so many ways to use it – cinnamon oil, powder, mask, etc.

Cinnamon is proving to be a spice that not only adds flavor to various dishes but can also cure many infections and diseases.

There are several researches being conducted all over the world about the benefits of cinnamon for diabetes, hair loss, cholesterol, memory, arthritis, skin and more.

A topical application of cinnamon with honey is said to get rid of pimples, ringworms, eczema and other skin infections.

Cinnamon essential oil is often used in aromatherapy and it combines well with lemon, lavender, cardamom, geranium and rosemary essential oils. Cinnamon essential oil can be used as a massage oil to cure arthritis, general pain and such.


Cinnamon Benefits for the Skin

Cinnamon has been used for centuries in traditional medicines in Asian cultures-Chinese and Indian. Among the various benefits which cinnamon offers, one of the most important is its role in maintaining healthy skin.

In addition to this, it can also help remedy various skin related diseases and infections.

Thus, cinnamon can be used in multifarious various to improve your skin.

Here are some of the benefits of cinnamon for skin –

1. Plumps Skin

Cinnamon is said to improve fine lines by plumping the skin.
This means that using cinnamon can stimulate blood vessels and bring blood to the surface of the skin. Use a mixture of 3 drops essential oil of cinnamon and 2 tbsp olive oil or petroleum jelly. Apply this mixture to fine lines on the skin, taking care to avoid the eyes.

The skin soon plumps out and fine lines become less visible. This can even be done to plump up lips and can be used as an alternate to lip gloss.

2. Cleanses the Scalp

Cinnamon can also be used to nourish the scalp. Make a paste using 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp warm olive oil and 1 tbsp honey. Massage this into the scalp and leave on for 15 minutes.

Wash off after this using a normal shampoo. Cinnamon acts like an exfoliating agent to stimulate the scalp and provide nourishment to hair follicles.

3. Treatment for Eczema

Eczema is a condition in which skin gets  inflamed and irritated. A large number of medical conditions are grouped under the term ‘eczema’. The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis, which is an inherited condition. The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but the most important cause is an overactive response by the body’s immune system against an irritant or allergen.

Eczema can be a very irritating skin condition that leaves behind light colored patches.

Some people have found that using 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp honey on these patches could provide relief.

However, this paste must not be used on the face for it can cause irritation. You are advised to perform a skin test before using cinnamon paste on the skin.

4. Treatment for Acne

Cinnamon is said to help with treatment of acne and pimples. Mix 1 tbsp cinnamon powder and 3 tbsp honey and apply this on pimples. Leave this paste overnight or for 20 minutes before washing with warm water.

Acne scars could dry out and skin could get rejuvenated.

This paste can also declog pores and bring oxygen and blood to the surface. However, this must not be used more than once a week since it could cause skin irritation.

5. Antiseptic

Cinnamon has antiseptic properties. If you have an open cut or wound, just dust a pinch of cinnamon over it. Bacteria will be killed and the wound heals faster.

A large number of studies have determined the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of cinnamon.

As far back as 1978, a study reported the anti-fungal effects of o-methoxycinnamaldehyde from cinnamon. It was reported that this compound inhibited the growth and toxin production by the mycotoxin producing fungii.

It completely inhibited the growth of Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus at 100 microgram/ml and Aspergillus ochraceus and Aspergillus versicolor at 200 microgram/ml.

A comparative analysis of the bacteriostatic and bactericidal activity of 13 essential oils showed that the True Cinnamon bark oil had the highest anti-microbial activity.

It was particularly effective against resistant strains. The study was exhaustive and analysed the effect of the oils against 55 different bacterial strains. Thus, cinnamon can effectively be used to eliminate various bacterial strains.

Another study has shown that Cinnamon essential oils can help combat the infectious agents which are resistant to the traditional antibiotics, e.g. Staphylococcus aureus. In this study, it was found that Cinnamon oils are much more effective as compared to olive and paraffin oils in fighting Multi-Drug Resistant S. aureus.

Thus, cinnamon oils can be used to fight Staphylococcus infections.

Thus, the anti-microbial properties of Cinnamon and its oils have been definitively proven in numerous studies. Since sepsis is an inflammation caused by infection, it can be inhibited by using Cinnamon extracts and oils. Sepsis is a potentially fatal condition which might result in septic shock and multi-organ failure.

Thus, Cinnamon can offer a very simple cure to septic infections.

6. Reduce signs of aging

Cinnamon used on the skin seems to increase collagen levels for up to six hours after it is applied. Breakdown of collagen causes the skin to lose elasticity and increases signs of aging.

When cinnamon extracts were used as an inducer for skin fibroblast cells, there was an increase in the levels of collagen protein, without any cytotoxic effects.

Thus, cinnamon can act as a safe agent to promote collagen biosynthesis. By carrying out experiments like liquid chromatography and nuclear magnetic resonance, it was determined that the active agent responsible for this up regulation of collagen is cinnamaldehyde.

The intracellular pathway for the synthesis of collagen involves a receptor known as the Insulin-like Growth factor-I (IGF-I). It was observed that upon cinnamon extract treatment, there was an increased level of phosphorylation of this receptor.

This indicates that when cinnamon treatment was given, the biosynthetic pathway of collagen synthesis was activated to greater extent. An enhanced expression level of the various proteins involved downstream of the receptor was also observed due to the cinnamon treatment.Thus, cinnamon can be used as an anti-aging agent.

In a nutshell — Cinnamon seems to increase collage expression on the skin through cinnamaldehyde, its main chemical component. This is able to activate growth factors IGF-1 and improve collagen expression. Topically cinnamon creams could be used.

7. To soften and soothe dry and dead skin

Cinnamon extracts and powder act as very good exfoliants an can be used to remove dead skin cells. This helps to restore the shine and suppleness of skin. Cinnamon can be used in combination with sea salt, almond oil, honey and olive oil.

To soften rough skin, we can take advantage of the anti-oxidant properties of cinnamon. In a study carried out in 1998, the anti-oxidant properties of Cinnamon extracts were evaluated. It was was observed that Cinnamon extracts have highly potent anti-oxidant properties.

To treat roughened feet, a foot bath consisting of lemon juice, olive oil, whole milk, water and ground Cinnamon can be prepared. A treatment for 15 mins can effectively soften skin and make the feet smooth.

8. To improve complexion

Another major benefit of using Cinnamon is that it helps to enhance skin complexion. This is due to the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of cinnamon. But I have to add, this is not scientifically established.

For this, a face mask consisting a banana puree, yoghurt, ground Cinnamon and lemon juice can be prepared and applied onto the skin. It should be left until it has dried and then it can be washed with warm water. This helps to improve skin quality and as well as complexion.

Cinnamon is a highly beneficial spice which can be used to ensure various benefits for the skin. It helps to prevent and fight skin infections, eczema and also improves the quality, texture and complexion of skin. Thus, cinnamon powder can act as a very simple solution for various skin related problems.

9. As a massage Oil

Cinnamon oil improves blood circulation. By using this essential oil for massages, the nutrients in the skin increases and this improves the tone of the skin. Cinnamon oil made from the leaves must only be used on the skin. Oil made using cinnamon bark usually causes allergic reactions.


Other benefits to the skin

Cinnamon included in foods can also improve skin tone. For example, add a tablespoon cinnamon to various foods in a day can provide us with a good source of fiber. This eliminates waste products from the body. Flushing out toxins prevents them from clogging the skin and improves skin tone.

Drinking a smoothie with a dash of cinnamon powder can fight against bacteria which cause acne and other skin conditions.

Cinnamon powder and cinnamon oil have been found to offer anti-parasitic, antifungal, antiseptic and antibacterial properties according to animal and test tube studies.

Cinnamon could be used to fight vaginal and oral yeast infections caused by the Candida Albicans fungus. It could also be used to get rid of head lice.

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Ways to use Cinnamon for Skin

Here are some ways to use cinnamon and other ingredients for the skin. Wherever I mention cinnamon for oral use, please consider it as Ceylon cinnamon.

Cinnamon-Nutmeg Body Wash

If you are feeling fatigued, you can try this body wash to recharge your body and make you feel fresh and look younger. Make this inexpensive, rejuvenating wash using 6 teaspoons each of ground nutmeg and ground cinnamon. Filter this, pour it into a warm bath and soak in this until the water cools.

Use the same water to wash your face too. Soak for 10 minutes a day and feel the difference.

Cinnamon Scrub

Combine together the following ingredients and use them as a scrub.

  • Cinnamon essential oil – 2-3 drops (optional)
  • Ground coffee – 2 cups
  • Cinnamon powder – 1 tsp
  • Sea Salt or raw sugar – ½ cup
  • Almond oil or any other light essential oil – 2-3 tbsp

Cinnamon-Honey-Nutmeg Face Mask

This face mask can be used to treat acne. It can be used twice a week but with caution. The benefits are got from all three products. Honey offers antimicrobial benefits and can fight acne caused by microbes.

It is also soothing to the skin and is a natural antioxidant. Nutmeg reduces inflammation and redness caused by acne. It can dry out acne and is a safe topical acne treatment similar to salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

Cinnamon can dry out pimples and plump the skin by bringing oxygen and blood to the surface and unclog and open pores by removing excess oil from the skin’s surface.

For the mask, mix together:

  • Cinnamon – 1tbsp
  • Raw organic honey – ¼ cup
  • Nutmeg – 2 tbsp


Precautions while using cinnamon

Use Ceylon and not Cassia Cinnamon for oral use. This is because Cassia has high % of coumarin which can cause harm.

Cinnamon oil offers many health benefits but used in concentrated form, it can also cause allergic reactions like swelling of the skin, hives, mouth sores and skin irritations in some people.

Hence, people are advised to do a patch test before using cinnamon oil or to use cinnamon bark powder instead for skin infections. The irritation is often caused by eugenol and cinnamaldehyde present in cinnamon oil.

This could cause convulsions and must be avoided during pregnancy.

It could also be an irritant or a dermal toxin sometimes. Some people could experience allergic reactions to cinnamon oil or even develop contact dermatitis.

Source: thesuperfoods.net

What are the health benefits of cinnamon?

Cinnamon has a long history of use as a medicine in both Eastern and Western cultures. Some of its reported uses are in cases of arthritis, asthma, cancer, diarrhea, fever, heart problems, insomnia, menstrual problems, peptic ulcers, psoriasis, and spastic muscles. There are scientific studies to support some of these uses. Some of the confirmed effects of cinnamon are as a sedative for smooth muscle, circulatory stimulant, carminative, digestant, anticonvulsant, diaphoretic, diuretic, antibiotic, and antiulcerative. One recent investigation of sixty people with type-2 diabetes demonstrated that 1 to 6 g of cinnamon taken daily for 40 days reduced fasting blood glucose by 18 to 29 percent, triglycerides by 23 to 30 percent, LDL (bad) cholesterol by 7 to 27 percent, and total cholesterol by 12 to 26 percent. In contrast, there were no clear changes for the subjects who did not take the cinnamon.


Cinnamon’s unique healing abilities come from three basic components in the essential oils found in its bark. These oils contain active components called cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol, plus a wide range of other volatile substances.


Cinnamon is often used in multi-component Chinese herbal formulas, some of which have been studied for clinical effects. For example, cinnamon combined with Chinese thorough wax (Bupleurum falcatum) and Chinese peony (Paeonia lactiflora) was shown to produce satisfactory results in the treatment of epilepsy. Out of 433 patients treated (most of who were unresponsive to anticonvulsant drugs), 115 were cured and another 79 improved greatly.

Improvements were noted not only by clinical symptoms, but also in brain wave patterns. Other clinical studies have shown cinnamon-containing formulae to be useful in cases of common cold, influenza, and frostbite. To what degree the improvements noted are actually due to cinnamon versus the other components is not really known.

Source: sharecare

5 Reasons Not To Take The Cinnamon Challenge

The Cinnamon Challenge is this millennium’s version of your mother admonishing you with, “If someone tells you to jump off a cliff, would you?,” for taking on a dare from your friends.


The challenge — attempting to swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon powder in 60 seconds without liquids — isn’t just painful. According to a paper published yesterday in the journal Pediatrics, cinnamon misuse was cited in almost 200 calls to U.S. poison control centers during the first half of 2012 with 30 of these cases requiring medical attention.


The corresponding author, Dr. Steven E. Lipshultz of the University of Miami School of Medicine, suggests that the combination of cinnamon’s caustic chemical and undigestible cellulose matrix makes the practice particularly damaging to the lungs.


The lungs?

Yes, the ingestion of the powder invariably stimulates the gag reflex followed by inhalation of the powder that’s stuck inside the mouth and throat. The pain then causes rapid exhalation characterized by “dragon breath” upon blowing the powder out. Good times.


The complete PDF of this Pediatrics report is currently available online without a subscription.

The idea of the challenge has circulated for years but has intensified with the popularity of YouTube, especially in the last three years. The oldest YouTube video documenting such a challenge was uploaded on April 2, 2006. Pre-YouTube, the Cinnamon Challenge was first documented on the web by Michael Buffington as it was played by Erik Goodlad on December 21, 2001, according to KnowYourMeme.com. The CC2K1 was then reported by Jason Kottke on December 22, 2001. Buffington’s original URL is no longer active but is archived at his current site, collusioni.st.


So if it’s not already apparent, why shouldn’t you take the Cinnamon Challenge?

1.  “Natural ” is not always safe.  Just because cinnamon is a naturally-occurring spice — it’s harvested from the dried bark of several Cinnamomum tree species — doesn’t mean it can’t be harmful. Cinnamon is deemed safe for consumption as a food additive under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s classification of Generally Recognized As Safe, or GRAS, list. But the FDA is silent on spice inhalation.


2. Cinnamaldehyde rhymes with formaldehyde. The chemical that gives cinnamon its characteristic smell and zing is known as cinnamic aldehyde, or cinnamaldehyde. This means there’s a part of the chemical that acts like formaldehyde that binds and “fixes” human tissue. Do you remember smelling formaldehyde in your high school biology class when dissecting some dead animal? That’s what cinnamaldehyde can do in high concentrations. (Okay, I’m being overly dramatic here. It’s #3 that’s the biggest health problem).


3. Cinnamon is ground tree bark. So not only are you inhaling a tissue fixative, you’re also inhaling powdered bark. That’s why it’s difficult to spit out or, more importantly, get out of your lungs. The cellulose matrix of tree bark acts like a sustained release medicine, but in this case releasing a painful and damaging chemical. The body cannot metabolize cellulose. That’s probably okay for the stuff that’s swallowed. It’ll only burn tomorrow morning at potty time. But the stuff in the lungs is hard to expire. In my grandfather’s day, inhaling coal dust led to a condition called black lung. In my father’s day, people would get a lung cancer called mesothelioma from inhaling asbestos fibers. In 1984, a paper in the British Journal of Industrial Medicine detailed the lung disease and hair and weight loss in Sri Lankan spice workers who process cinnamon quills.


4. Only doing it once can trigger an asthma attack. Doing it once won’t cause any of these chronic illnesses — probably. This 1995 paper in the Indian Journal of Medical Research shows that rats given a single intratracheal dose of cinnamon powder can develop severe lung damage a month later. In humans, inhaling cinnamon powder even once could at least cause an asthma attack, or uncontrollable spasms and narrowing of the bronchioles. While I haven’t yet seen any reports of deaths associated with the Cinnamon Challenge, I would never attempt doing this because I have a history of asthma and try to steer away from anything that might trigger a fatal asthma attack. In fact, I really don’t care for non-fatal asthma attacks. You shouldn’t either.


5.  Just because you saw it on YouTube, does that mean you should do it?

That’s what my generation is currently telling their kids.


Friends don’t let friends do the Cinnamon Challenge.

Source: Forbes

Watch the Mythbusters Cinnamon Challenge here on our Facebook page

10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a highly delicious spice.

It has been prized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years.

Modern science has now confirmed what people have instinctively known for ages.

Here are 10 health benefits of cinnamon that are supported by scientific research.

1. Cinnamon is High in a Substance With Powerful Medicinal Properties

Cinnamon is a spice that is made from the inner bark of trees called Cinnamomum.

It has been used as an ingredient throughout history, dating back as far as Ancient Egypt. It used to be rare and valuable, and was regarded as a gift fit for kings.

These days, cinnamon is cheap, available in every supermarket and found in all sorts of foods and recipes.

There are two main types of cinnamon (1):

  • Ceylon cinnamon: Also known as “true” cinnamon.
  • Cassia cinnamon: This is the more common variety today, what people generally refer to as “cinnamon.”

Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of the cinnamomum tree. The inner bark is then extracted and the woody parts removed from it.

When it dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls, called cinnamon sticks. The sticks can be ground to form cinnamon powder.

This is what cinnamon looks like:

The distinct smell and flavor of cinnamon is due to the oily part, which is very high in a compound called cinnamaldehyde (2).

It is this compound that is responsible for most of cinnamon’s powerful effects on health and metabolism.

Bottom Line: Cinnamon is a popular spice. It is high in a substance called cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for most of the health benefits.

2. Cinnamon is Loaded With Antioxidants

Cinnamon in a Glass Bowl

Antioxidants protect the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.

Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols (3, 4, 5).

In a study that compared the antioxidant activity of 26 spices, cinnamon wound up as the clear winner, even outranking “superfoods” like garlic and oregano (6).

In fact, it is so powerful that cinnamon can be used as a natural food preservative (7).

Bottom Line: Cinnamon contains large amounts of highly potent polyphenol antioxidants.

3. Cinnamon Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Tea With Cinnamon and Lemon

Inflammation in the body is incredibly important.

It helps the body fight infections and repair tissue damage.

However, inflammation can become a problem when it is chronic (long-term) and directed against the body’s own tissues.

Cinnamon may be useful in this regard, because some studies show that the antioxidants in it have potent anti-inflammatory activity (3).

Bottom Line: The antioxidants in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help lower the risk of disease.

4. Cinnamon May Cut the Risk of Heart Disease

Heart and Stethoscope

Cinnamon has been linked with reduced risk of heart disease, the world’s most common cause of premature death.

In people with type 2 diabetes, 1 gram of cinnamon per day has beneficial effects on blood markers.

It reduces levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while HDL cholesterol remains stable (8).

More recently, a big review study concluded that a cinnamon dose of just 120 milligrams per day can have these effects. In this study, cinnamon also increased HDL (the “good”) cholesterol (9).

In animal studies, cinnamon has been shown to reduce blood pressure (3).

When combined, all these factors may drastically cut the risk of heart disease.

Bottom Line: Cinnamon can improve some key risk factors for heart disease, including cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.

5. Cinnamon Can Improve Sensitivity to The Hormone Insulin

Insulin is one of the key hormones that regulate metabolism and energy use.

Girl Smelling Cup of Coffee

It is also essential for the transport of blood sugar from the bloodstream and into cells.

The problem is that many people are resistant to the effects of insulin.

This condition, known as insulin resistance, is a hallmark of serious conditions like metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Well, the good news is that cinnamon can dramatically reduce insulin resistance, helping this incredibly important hormone to do its job (10, 11).

By helping insulin do its job, cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels, which brings us to the next point…

Bottom Line: Cinnamon has been shown to significantly increase sensitivity to the hormone insulin.

6. Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Has a Powerful Anti-Diabetic Effect

Cinnamon Powder

Cinnamon is well known for its blood sugar lowering effects.

Apart from the beneficial effects on insulin resistance, cinnamon can lower blood sugar by several other mechanisms.

First, cinnamon has been shown to decrease the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a meal.

It does this by interfering with numerous digestive enzymes, which slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract (12, 13).

Second, a compound in cinnamon can act on cells by mimicking insulin (14, 15).

This greatly improves glucose uptake by cells, although it acts much slower than insulin itself.

Numerous human trials have confirmed the anti-diabetic effects of cinnamon, showing that it can lower fasting blood sugar levels by up to 10-29% (16, 17, 18).

The effective dose is typically 1-6 grams of cinnamon per day (around 0.5-2 teaspoons).

Bottom Line: Cinnamon has been shown to both reduce fasting blood sugar levels, having a potent anti-diabetic effect at 1 to 6 grams per day.

7. Cinnamon May Have Beneficial Effects on Neurodegenerative Diseases

Standing Cinnamon Sticks

Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by progressive loss of the structure or function of brain cells.

Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are two of the most common types.

Two compounds found in cinnamon appear to inhibit the buildup of a protein called tau in the brain, which is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (19, 20, 21).

In a study looking at mice with Parkinson’s disease, cinnamon helped to protect neurons, normalize neurotransmitter levels and improve motor function (22).

These effects need to be studied further in humans.

Bottom Line: Cinnamon has been shown to lead to various improvements for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease in animal studies.

8. Cinnamon May Be Protective Against Cancer

Cancer is a serious disease, characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells.

Vintage Cookbook With Cinnamon Sticks

Cinnamon has been widely studied for its potential use in cancer prevention and treatment.

Overall, the evidence is limited to test tube experiments and animal studies, which suggest that cinnamon extracts may protect against cancer (23, 24, 25, 26, 27).

It acts by reducing the growth of cancer cells and the formation of blood vessels in tumors, and appears to be toxic to cancer cells, causing cell death.

A study in mice with colon cancer revealed cinnamon to be a potent activator of detoxifying enzymes in the colon, protecting against further cancer growth (28).

These findings were supported by test tube experiments, which showed that cinnamon activates protective antioxidant responses in human colon cells (29).

Whether cinnamon has any effect in living, breathing humans needs to be confirmed in controlled trials.

Bottom Line: Animal studies and test tube experiments indicate that cinnamon may have protective effects against cancer.

9. Cinnamon Helps Fight Bacterial and Fungal Infections

Coffee With Cinnamon

Cinnamaldehyde, the main active component of cinnamon, may help fight various kinds of infection.

Cinnamon oil has been shown to effectively treat respiratory tract infections caused by fungi.

It can also inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, including Listeria and Salmonella (30, 31).

The antimicrobial effects of cinnamon may also help prevent tooth decay and reduce bad breath (32, 33).

Bottom Line: Cinnamaldehyde has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which may reduce infections and help fight tooth decay and bad breath.

10. Cinnamon May Help Fight The HIV Virus

Cinnamon Sticks

HIV is a virus that slowly breaks down the immune system, which can eventually lead to AIDS if untreated.

Cinnamon extracted from Cassia varieties is thought to help fight against HIV-1 (34, 35).

This is the most common strain of the HIV virus in humans.

A laboratory study looking at HIV infected cells found that cinnamon was the most effective treatment of all 69 medicinal plants studied (36).

Human trials are needed to confirm these effects.

Bottom Line: Test tube studies have shown that cinnamon can help fight HIV-1, the main type of HIV virus in humans.

It is Better to Use Ceylon (“True” Cinnamon)

Not all cinnamon is created equal.

The Cassia variety contains significant amounts of a compound called coumarin, which is believed to be harmful in large doses.

All cinnamon should have health benefits, but Cassia may cause problems in large doses due to the coumarin content.

Ceylon (“true” cinnamon) is much better in this regard, and studies show that it is much lower in coumarin than the Cassia variety (37).

Unfortunately, most cinnamon found in supermarkets is the cheaper Cassia variety.

Take Home Message

At the end of the day, cinnamon is one of the most delicious and healthiest spices on the planet.

It can lower blood sugar levels, reduce heart disease risk factors, and has a plethora of other impressive health benefits.

Just make sure to get Ceylon cinnamon, or stick to small doses if you’re using the Cassia variety.

Source: Authority Nutrition

Ceylon cinnamon lowers blood sugar better than drugs

For us here at Pure Cinnamon and Sundara Botanical, our parent company, when we speak of Cinnamon we are speaking of Ceylon Cinnamon, not Cassia Cinnamon. Ceylon Cinnamon has 200 times less Courmarin (a potentially harmful compound) than Cassia Cinnamon. Ceylon Cinnamon contains much higher levels of Cinnamon Oil as well.

Here is an article from naturalnews.com that explains the benefits and the risks of using Cinnamon from Ceylon against using Cassia Cinnamon.

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Ceylon cinnamon lowers blood sugar better than drugs: Study

Type 2 diabetes is definitely among the more frustrating diseases, in that the conventional treatment model requires daily oral medicine or constant needle pricks while providing no lasting cure. But a growing body of research suggests that regular supplementation with cinnamon could help in thwarting the onset of diabetes, and potentially even provide better relief than mainstream therapies for already-diagnosed diabetics.

Most Australians are familiar with cinnamon as a tasty spice used in oatmeal, pumpkin pie, egg nog and a variety of other often holiday dishes. But a recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that cinnamon is also capable of lowering fasting blood glucose levels. Paul Davis, a research nutritionist at the University of California, Davis, (UCD) recently explained his work to NPR.

“Yes, it does work,” Davis stated to NPR about the blood sugar-regulating effects of common cinnamon. “According to our results, it’s a modest effect of about 3 to 5 percent,” he added, noting that cinnamon is on par with many older generation diabetes drugs in terms of efficacy.

But where cinnamon has a real leg up on all those drugs prescribed for diabetes is its safety profile. Apart from isolated claims that the coumarin content in cinnamon could potentially be harmful to the liver — one would have to consume ghastly amounts of cinnamon for it to ever become harmful, despite all the hype — there are no harmful side effects associated with consuming therapeutic doses of cinnamon.

“Cinnamon intake, either as whole cinnamon or as cinnamon extract, results in a statistically significant lowering in FBG [fasting blood glucose] and intake of cinnamon extract only also lowered FBG,” wrote Davis and his colleagues about their findings. “Thus cinnamon extract and/or cinnamon improves FBG in people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.”


Ceylon cinnamon a better choice than the more common cassia cinnamon, say experts

Related research published in the journal The Annals of Family Medicine observed similar benefits with regard to lipid levels. Researchers from Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Pharmacy found that cinnamon intake helps lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides, two substances commonly associated with heart disease.

“The consumption of cinnamon is associated with a statistically significant decrease in levels of fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, LDL-C, and triglyceride levels, and an increase in HDL-C levels,” wrote the authors.

So will just any old cinnamon do? An increasing number of experts say no, as cassia cinnamon, the most common variety in North America and Europe, contains high levels of coumarin. Though the jury is still out on whether or not coumarin is actually harmful, sticking with Ceylon cinnamon, a more rare yet more potent cinnamon variety, can provide optimal benefits with minimal risk.

Often referred to as “true” cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon contains much higher levels of cinnamon oil compared to cassia varieties. At the same time, cassia cinnamon contains upwards of 200 times more coumarin than Ceylon cinnamon, containing up to 8 percent coumarin by volume. Comparatively, Ceylon cinnamon contains a mere 0.04 percent coumarin by volume.

As far as their general medicinal value, both cassia and Ceylon cinnamon have been found to aid in gut health and free radical scavenging. Science has shown that cinnamon may also be beneficial in preventing stomach flu, improving digestion, alleviating the symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), guarding against candida infections, treating arthritis and even preventing and treating cancer.

“Several studies have indicated that cinnamon has the ability to fight off bacteria,” writes Kevin Gianni of RenegadeHealth.com. “One animal study found that a particular component in cinnamon impaired the proliferation of cancer cells and slowed tumor growth,” he adds.

Source: naturalnews.com