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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:
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.
Modern research indicates that this spice may have some very beneficial properties.
This Medical News today information article on cinnamon includes information on its potential health benefits, provides a nutritional profile of the spice, as well as details on some risks associated with its consumption.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Cinnamon is used to help treat muscle spasms, vomiting, diarrhea, infections, the common cold, loss of appetite, and erectile dysfunction (ED).
Fungal infections - according to the National Institutes of Health2, cinnamaldehyde - a chemical found in Cassia cinnamon - can help fight against bacterial and fungal infections.
Diabetes - cinnamon may help improve glucose and lipids levels3 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.
HIV - a study of Indian medicinal plants revealed that cinnamon may potentially be effective against HIV4. 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.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture5, ten grams of ground cinnamon contains:
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, which has been linked to liver damage. Ceylan cinnamon contains less coumarin than Cassia cinnamon.
Written by Joseph Nordqvist
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without the permission of Medical News Today.
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Nordqvist, Joseph. "What are the health benefits of cinnamon?." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 15 Sep. 2013. Web.
5 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266069>
Nordqvist, J. (2013, September 15). "What are the health benefits of cinnamon?." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
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