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Health Benefits of Cinnamon: The Sweet Life

Updated on February 13, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Cinnamon is one of the most popular spices in the world, well known for its sweet, spicy flavor.  The health benefits of cinnamon are not so well known.

Although there are numerous varieties, the studies on health have all been done with cassia.  Cassia is the everyday cinnamon that you will find in any grocery store in the country.  Generally just sprinkling cinnamon on your oatmeal will not give you enough of it to make a difference in your health and you will need to add capsules or tinctures to your diet.


Cinnamon Has Been Used for Centuries

The Chinese people have known about the health benefits of cinnamon for hundreds of years.  They believe it increases circulation as well as having a positive impact on energy and vitality.  It boosts circulation so well that it is used in the winter time to help older people keep their feet warm.

As one of the main ingredients in chai, it has been used as a relaxing after- dinner drink to help with the digestion of dairy products and fruit.

Cinnamon is used for:

  • Colds
  • Nausea
  • Digestive aid
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Painful menstruation
  • Diabetes
  • Indigestion


Scientific Studies on the Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Recently researchers have begun to take a new look at cinnamon.  One of the studies followed sixty people with type 2 diabetes for a six week period of time.  Each of the subjects in the study was given between one and six grams of cinnamon per day in pill form.   Six grams is approximately one-fourth a teaspoonful. 

The results showed that all of the subjects, no matter what the amount they were given, benefited from the addition of cinnamon to their diet.  Blood sugar levels balanced out and cholesterol levels overall were lower.

The results, published in the Diabetes Journal showed the following:

  • Total cholesterol was reduced by 12 to 26 percent
  • LDL cholesterol was reduced by 7 to 27 percent
  • Triglycerides were reduced by 23 to 30 percent
  • Fasting blood glucose was reduced by 18 to 29 percent

Other Studies on Cinnamon

Cinnamon was shown to reduce lymphoma and other types of cancer cells.  This study was done by the United States Department of Agriculture in Maryland.

At Copenhagen University a combination of cinnamon and honey was given to arthritis patients each morning before breakfast.  In a short period of time the patients being studied reported significant pain relief.  Many patients stated that within a month on this therapy they were walking pain free for the first time in years

In a Kansas State University lab researchers discovered that cinnamon will fight E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juice.  More research is being done on the significance of this in food safety.

Other Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Cinnamon is also thought to be active against the following:

  • Candida albicans(yeast infections) 
  • Helicobacter pylori (bacteria that causes ulcers) 
  • Anti-clotting effect on the blood
  • Natural food preservative
  • Smelling cinnamon essential oil boosts memory
  • Protects the colon against cancer
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Protects against coronary artery disease
  • Effective against head lice when the essential oil is added to shampoo 
  • Protects against stroke

Cinnamon Essential Oil

Cinnamon is available as an essential oil as well.  It can be used as any essential oil; in a diffuser, mixed with a carrier oil for massage, or as a spray.  As an essential oil cinnamon is used for:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Stress
  • Constipation
  • Lice
  • Rheumatism

It is important that cinnamon oils not be taken internally because ingestion of these concentrated oils can cause death.

Drug Interactions and Cautions

A snickerdoodle cookie or cinnamon roll is not going to be enough to cause problems.  For the health benefits of cinnamon, however, you will need to supplement in a higher or therapeutic dose. 

If you decide to try to take therapeutic doses of cinnamon you should always talk to your health care provider first.  Cinnamon in large doses can interact with the following medications:

  • Diabetes medication
  • Coumadin and other anti-clotting medications


You should also stay away from therapeutic doses of cinnamon if you have the following conditions:
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Pregnancy
  • Within three weeks of surgery

Add Cinnamon to Your Diet

Adding cinnamon to your diet can be a sweet way to protect your health and help your body be at its best no matter what your age.

Be careful because many food products that have cinnamon are also high in fat, sugar and calories.  A cinnamon roll won't help the state of your health no matter how much cinnamon it has in it.

Eat right, follow a healthy exercise program, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  With or without cinnamon these are just smart things to do. 


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    • Ruchi Urvashi profile image

      Ruchi Urvashi 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Great information about cinnamon. I like cinnamon flavor and its aroma. Voted up.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      i drink everyday with hot water, thanx for the information

    • profile image

      best cookware set 

      7 years ago

      Interesting hub. I always sprinkle some cinnamon powder on my soft boiled eggs.

    • jseven profile image


      7 years ago from Michigan

      Very helpful hub about cinnamon. I use the organic kind for stomach digestion and the sticks for apple cider. Yum!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi! I always sprinkle some cinnamon powder on my food instead of salt and pepper. Didn't realize that it has so much health benefits.

    • Natural Remedy profile image

      Natural Remedy 

      8 years ago from Canada

      I have been trying to get my brother to use cinnamon to help his diabetes. I can't understand why he wouldn't at least try it, it's not like cinnamon tastes bad, and he can take it in pill form.

    • kaja_mel profile image


      8 years ago from Saraland, AL

      I use cinnamon too. I love it in oatmeal and find I don't really need to add much if any sugar. Great hub.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 

      8 years ago from USA

      My son tried this for his diabetes with extemely good results. Foods you wouldn't think about taste better with just a little cinnamon - like baked beans and I've even seen chicken made with it sprinkled on. I've tasted the baked beans made this way and they were delicious. I haven't tried the chicken though. I'm sure if you tried it many foods would taste good with a little cinnamon.

    • GojiJuiceGoodness profile image


      8 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

      I've always enjoyed adding cinnamon to my cooking. Thanks for the info.

    • Liquid HCG Diet profile image

      Liquid HCG Diet 

      8 years ago

      One thing is for sure, be careful not to breathe in cinnamon. Thanks for the great article. I will be eating my cinnamon toast crunch tomorrow morning. :)

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 

      8 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Great Hub. Being a new Diabetic, I am intrigued.

      I plan to contact my doctor, and if it is OK with him, I am going to purchase and start a regiment with Cinnamon, shrtly.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love it!! Thank you...I'll use cinnamon at least for the memory part!!

    • Vizey profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice hub. I have knowledge about this and i am regularly consuming it.

    • RK Sangha profile image

      RK Sangha 

      8 years ago from USA

      Thanks for information about cinnamon. A useful hub.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      8 years ago

      Marye Audet,

      Thank you for the wonderful tips! You have well presented some great information...


    • hypnosis4u2 profile image


      9 years ago from Massachusetts

      So I was right - It's not just for flavoring! LOL

      Thanks for packing this information together in one body of work. Nice job Marye.

    • profile image

      Cheryl Janecky  

      9 years ago

      I'm really into Superfoods and have included cinnamon with my Superfood honey and home remedies for natural healing and maintaining health.

      I'm a believer - I've used the combo of honey and cinnamon and had excellent results for weight loss, colds and sinus allergies.

      I add 1/2 tsp. of natural cinnamon powder (not irradiated) to hot water, along with a tablespoon or so of RAW honey. Take it morning and night. Tasty and helps with metabolism, digestion, elimination and appetite control. What's not to like?

      Good healthy info is so good to get to people in distress. Thanks so much - great hub.

      Good Fortune to you. Cheryl

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 

      9 years ago from Wisconsin

      I had never heard of this. I'm going to give it a try. Can't lose :)

    • C.S.Alexis profile image


      9 years ago from NW Indiana

      I have been using cinnamon for the past month on an almost daily basis. I read a few of the suggested benefits somewhere and figure it could not hurt to try it. I enjoy the taste. I have been adding it to my coffee several times each day. i have noticed that there has been a decrease in the amount of pain I usually have from arthritis. Considering it has gotten to the point that a day with NO pain is unusual. Thumbs up on this hub!

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S Jain 

      9 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      Nice Hub! I read sometwhere that Cinnamon can be used for weightloss combined with someother ingredient. I appreciate if you can look that up for me. In India at a health clinic called Kaya they serve a wonderful health drink made with chinnamon and apple which is very refreshing. I wish i knew how thay make it.


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