Cinnamon is a spice that comes from trees in the laurel family.1 It’s used by drying the bark from the tree and grinding it into a powder.1 The trees grow in tropical areas, including parts of Brazil, China, Madagascar, India, and the Caribbean.2
There are two main types of cinnamon, including Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum verum. The Cinnamomum verum variety, originally from Sri Lanka, is more commonly used by chefs since it has a stronger, sweeter taste.1
Cinnamon is often used to flavor fruits and cereals and comes with many health benefits. Cinnamon can be taken in many forms, including in tea, capsules, or sprinkled on your food as flavoring.
Cinnamon Uses and Health Benefits
Cinnamon benefits are vast. For example, research shows that cinnamon may help people with Parkinson’s disease.3 It’s also been suggested that you can use a cinnamon weight loss regimen to promote health. Other conditions you can use cinnamon for include:
- Diabetes - One of the most prominent cinnamon benefits is to use it to treat diabetes. Using a cinnamon diabetes treatment can help improve insulin sensitivity and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes.4 It’s suggested that a cinnamon diabetes treatment is effective because the herb mimics insulin and may even stimulate cellular glucose metabolism.5 It’s also said that cinnamon can lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.6
- Vomiting - When you’re ill, cinnamon and honey can be used to ease nausea and vomiting symptoms. Simply make cinnamon and honey tea by mixing 1 tablespoon of honey into your cinnamon tea.
- Menstrual Problems- Cinnamon may be able to help with menstrual problems like irregular cycles.
- Nausea- As with vomiting, cinnamon can help ease your symptoms while you’re sick. Use the same cinnamon and honey tea mixture to help you feel better.
- Obesity - Using a cinnamon weight loss treatment may help protect your metabolism and promote weight loss.4 This is partially because it may help suppress appetite, so drinking cinnamon tea may be a viable dietary supplement for controlling obesity.4
- Osteoarthritis - Osteoarthritis causes pain and swelling in the joints. Cinnamon can reduce inflammation and stiffness in arteries to treat the condition.4
Cinnamon Side Effects and Precautions
Whether going on a cinnamon diabetes or a cinnamon weight loss regimen, there are very minimal side effects when eating up to 6 grams per day for 6 weeks.7 Some people, however might experience allergic reactions.
Certain types of cinnamon may have different effects as well. For example, cassia cinnamon contains coumarin, which can keep blood from clotting.7 Because of this and how it affects blood sugar levels, it’s best to stop taking cinnamon supplements at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.8 You should also avoid taking cinnamon oil by mouth as it can irritate the skin and mucous membranes.8
Though cinnamon benefits are plenty, you shouldn’t use cinnamon to replace conventional medicine, especially if you have diabetes.7 Consult your doctor about other medications or herbs you’re taking if you plan to use cinnamon as a complementary approach.