Parts Used & Where Grown
Most people are familiar with the sweet but pungent taste of the oil, powder, or sticks of bark from the cinnamon tree. Cinnamon trees grow in a number of tropical areas, including parts of India, China, Madagascar, Brazil, and the Caribbean.
Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.
For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.
3 StarsReliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
2 StarsContradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
1 StarFor an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:
1 to 3 grams daily
Cinnamon has been shown to improve all aspects of metabolic syndrome.
Because cinnamon and cinnamon extracts have demonstrated benefits in people with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, it has potential benefits in people with metabolic syndrome. A placebo-controlled trial that included 116 participants with metabolic syndrome found 3 grams of cinnamon per day for 16 weeks improved blood glucose, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels, as well as waist circumference, blood pressure, and blood glucose control. In a randomized controlled trial, cinnamon reduced signs of metabolic disease in people with type 2 diabetes: after eight weeks, study participants receiving 3 grams of cinnamon per day had lower blood glucose levels, triglyceride levels, body weight, and body fat, and improved blood glucose control. Similarly, in a placebo-controlled trial with 140 participants with diabetes, taking 1 gram of cinnamon daily for three months improved glucose and lipid metabolism and was associated with body fat and weight loss, with stronger effects in those with more severe obesity. Placebo-controlled trials in people with type 2 diabetes show cinnamon can reduce high blood pressure in people with metabolic disease. Furthermore, a meta-analysis of controlled trials showed cinnamon can also reduce high blood pressure, with greatest efficacy when used at a dose of 2 grams per day or less for at least 12 weeks.
Type 2 Diabetes
1 to 3 grams daily
Cinnamon may improve glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
A number of randomized controlled trials have found adding 1 to 3 grams of cinnamon per day to usual treatment for two to three months can improve blood glucose control and lower HgbA1c in people with type 2 diabetes. However, not all studies have reported positive effects. Two meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials concluded that, although the evidence was difficult to analyze due to differences in study methods, cinnamon appears to lower blood glucose levels, but not HgbA1c, in people with type 2 diabetes.
Refer to label instructions
Cinnamon is a gas-relieving herb used in traditional medicine to treat colic. It is generally given by healthcare professionals as teas or decoctions to the infant.
Several gas-relieving herbs used in traditional medicine for colic are approved in Germany for intestinal spasms. These include yarrow, garden angelica (Angelica archangelica),peppermint, , and fumitory (Fumaria officinalis). These herbs are generally given by healthcare professionals as teas or decoctions to the infant. Peppermint tea should be used with caution in infants and young children, as they may choke in reaction to the strong menthol.
Indigestion, Heartburn, and Low Stomach Acidity
Refer to label instructions
Cinnamon is a gas-relieving herb that may be helpful in calming an upset stomach.
Carminatives (also called aromatic digestive tonics or aromatic bitters) may be used to relieve symptoms of indigestion, particularly when there is excessive gas. It is believed that carminative agents work, at least in part, by relieving spasms in the intestinal tract.
There are numerous carminative herbs, including European angelica root (Angelica archangelica), anise, Basil, cardamom, , cloves, coriander, dill, ginger, oregano, rosemary, sage, lavender, and thyme. Many of these are common kitchen herbs and thus are readily available for making tea to calm an upset stomach. Rosemary is sometimes used to treat indigestion in the elderly by European herbal practitioners. The German Commission E monograph suggests a daily intake of 4–6 grams of sage leaf. Pennyroyal is no longer recommended for use in people with indigestion, however, due to potential side effects.
Refer to label instructions
Cinnamon has been used historically for the treatment of various menstrual disorders, including heavy menstruation.
has been used historically for the treatment of various menstrual disorders, including heavy menstruation. This is also the case with shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris). Other herbs known as astringents (tannin-containing plants that tend to decrease discharges), such as cranesbill, periwinkle, witch hazel, and oak, were traditionally used for heavy menstruation. Human trials are lacking, so the usefulness of these herbs is unknown. Black horehound was sometimes used traditionally for heavy periods, though this approach has not been investigated by modern research.
Refer to label instructions
The essential oil of cinnamon contains various chemicals that are believed to be responsible for cinnamon’s antifungal effects.
The essential oil of contains various chemicals that are believed to be responsible for cinnamon’s medicinal effects. Important among these compounds are eugenol and cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamaldehyde and cinnamon oil vapors exhibit extremely potent antifungal properties in test tubes. In a preliminary study in people with AIDS, topical application of cinnamon oil was effective against oral thrush.
Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)
Cinnamon is an ancient herbal medicine mentioned in Chinese texts as long ago as 4,000 years. It has a broad range of historical uses in different cultures, including the treatment of diarrhea, rheumatism, and certain menstrual disorders.1
How It Works
How It Works
Various terpenoids found in the volatile oil are believed to account for cinnamon’s medicinal effects. Important among these compounds are eugenol and cinnamaldehyde. Both cinnamaldehyde and cinnamon oil vapors are potent anti-fungal compounds.2 Preliminary human evidence confirms this effect in a clinical trial with AIDS patients suffering from oral candida (thrush) infections that improved with topical application of cinnamon oil.3 Antibacterial actions have also been demonstrated for cinnamon.4 The diterpenes in the volatile oil have shown anti-allergic activity5 as well. In addition, water extracts may help reduce ulcers.6 Test tube studies also show that cinnamon can augment the action of insulin.7 However, use of cinnamon to improve the action of insulin in people with diabetes has yet to be proven in clinical trials.
How to Use It
The German Commission E monograph suggests 1/2–3/4 teaspoon (2–4 grams) of the powder per day.8 A tea can be prepared from the powdered herb by boiling 1/2 teaspoon (2–3 grams) of the powder for ten to fifteen minutes, cooling, and then drinking. No more than a few drops of volatile oil should be used and only for a few days at a time. A tincture (1/2 teaspoon or 2–3 ml) may also be taken three times per day.
Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds
Interactions with Medicines
Some people develop bronchial constriction or skin rash after exposure to cinnamon.9 Therefore, only small amounts should be used initially in people who have not previously had contact with cinnamon, and anyone with a known allergy should avoid it. Chronic use of the concentrated oil may cause inflammation in the mouth. According to the German Commission E monograph, cinnamon is not recommended for use by pregnant women.10
1. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Foods, Drugs, and Cosmetics, 2d ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996, 168-70.
2. Singh HB, Srivastava M, Singh AB, Srivastava AK. Cinnamon bark oil, a potent fungitoxicant against fungi causing respiratory tract mycoses. Allergy 1995;50:995-9.
3. Quale JM, Landman D, Zaman MM, et al. In vitro activity of Cinnamomum zeylanicum against azole resistant and sensitive candida species and a pilot study of cinnamon for oral candidiasis. Am J Chin Med 1996;24:103-9.
4. Azumi S, Tanimura A, Tanamoto K. A novel inhibitor of bacterial endotoxin derived from cinnamon bark. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1997;234:506-10.
5. Nagai H, Shimazawa T, Matsuura N, Koda A. Immunopharmacological studies of the aqueous extract of Cinnamomum cassia (CCAq). I. Anti-allergic action. Jpn J Pharmacol 1982;32:813-22.
6. Akira T, Tanaka S, Tabata M. Pharmacological studies on the antiulcerogenic activity of Chinese cinnamon. Planta Med 1986;(6):440-3.
7. Berrio LF, Polansky MM, Anderson RA. Insulin activity: stimulatory effects of cinnamon and brewer's yeast as influenced by albumin. Horm Res 1992;37:225-9.
8. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 110-1.
9. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 110-1.
10. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 110-1.
Last Review: 04-28-2015
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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2022.