11 health benefits of cinnamon

by | Jan 20, 2024 | Diet & herbs, Featured blog post

Although the holidays are in the review mirror, there are spices from the festive season that serve us well during the entire year. One such spice is cinnamon. Before we dive into 11 health benefits of cinnamon and the reasons for loving this aromatic kitchen herb every day—well beyond the holidays—, let’s get some basics out of the way.

There are four main types of cinnamon:

  • Ceylon, Mexican or true cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum),
  • Indonesian cinnamon (Cinnamomum burmanni),
  • Vietnamese cinnamon (Cinnamomum loureiroi)
  • Cassia, or Chinese, cinnamon (Cinnamomum aromaticum)

Cinnamon is packed with antioxidants, and has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antilipemic (fat-level lowering in blood) and analgesic (pain relieving) qualities, among other benefits. Here are eleven health benefits of cinnamon:

1. Keep your blood sugar in check

Cinnamon has a substance known as the insulin-potentiating factor (IPF), which is tied to antidiabetic activity.

Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar and may even help slow the progression of diabetes in prediabetic people. Several studies have found (cassia) cinnamon to be helpful in lowering blood glucose levels, and improving LDL, triglycerides and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes.

2. …And your cholesterol

A human study, in which participants were given 1, 3 and 6 grams of cassia cinnamon per day over the course of the study, saw a decrease in serum glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL.

3. Keep the blood pumping

An excellent spice for the circulatory system due to its cardio-protective, cardio-stimulant, blood purifying and white blood count promoting qualities. No wonder it’s used in cardiac debility and blood disorders resulting from bacterial infections.

Several studies have found that cinnamon can help significantly lower systolic as well as diastolic blood pressure, due to this spice’s vasorelaxant property.

4. Make your mouth happy

Your mouth will thank you for cinnamon. Use it as a mouthwash in bad breath and help keep your teeth healthy by chewing cinnamon.

5. Say goodbye to nausea

Motion sickness? Chew on a cinnamon stick. Pack some for the road.

6. Strengthen your respiratory system

Cinnamon is an expectorant, which means it helps promote drainage of mucus from the lungs. It helps strengthen and fortify the lungs, and that’s why it’s helpful in lung and respiratory problems, such as asthma, bronchitis, cough, colds and sinus congestion.

7. Kindle your digestion

It’s a great appetizer, liver stimulant, and helps relieve intestinal gas, pain and distension. It is said to aid in cases of anorexia, abdominal pain and even hemorrhoids. Try it with cardamom and bay leaves to give your digestion an extra boost.

8. Consider for cancer prevention and management

Cinnamon has been studied in cancer research for its anticancer activities. For example, Cinnamomum zeylanicum was used in a study involving rats, mice and cell line breast carcinoma models to assess its chemopreventive and therapeutic efficacy. The results were promising. And the polyphenol component of cinnamon (cassia cinnamon was used) was found to have a positive effect on melanoma cells.

9. Promote female health

Cinnamon has oxytocic and aphrodisiac qualities, and is found to be helpful in amenorrhea, which is the abnormal absence of periods in women, and infertility.

10. Give your kidneys some love

As a diuretic herb, it helps stimulate the bladder, increase urination and aid in kidney health.

11. Support your nervous system

Cinnamon has been used in neural debility and neuroprotective therapies, so it’s no surprise that it’s showing promising signs in helping treat and improve Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

How to use cinnamon?

For general daily consumption, the FDA recommends a 6-gram per day limit, which is about the size of a tablespoon. But for medicinal purposes, your healthcare practitioner may recommend a different dosage for a certain amount of time.

Of the 4 main cinnamon types, Ceylon cinnamon is the lowest in a compound called coumarin, which in large quantities, could cause health issues. So, follow the old-age advice of moderation. The more is not necessarily better.

When to limit the use of cinnamon? If you are experiencing too much heat in your body, including bleeding or hepatic disorders, it is advisable to limit or even avoid cinnamon, especially the types high in coumarin. It’s also rather pungent, and pungent tastes have a heating effect on the body, which could aggravate your symptoms even more.

Image by Pixabay, Pexels


Disclaimer: This article aims to give you a different perspective on cinnamon and should not be considered medical advice. Consult a qualified health practitioner to address any health concerns and evaluate how much cinnamon is right for you.

This blog is an update to our “8 health benefits of cinnamon” post and was originally published in the Consciously Beautiful magazine.


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