Cinnamon powder comes from the bark of tropical, evergreen trees. In order to harvest cinnamon, it’s peeled off of the inside of the bark of the tree. There are two main types of cinnamon: Ceylon and Cassia.
- Cinnamon has been used medicinally for thousands of years and is known for its health benefits.
- You’d have to eat very high amounts of cinnamon powder to experience any dangerous side effects.
- Studies have shown that cinnamon does have an effect on blood glucose levels in those with type 2 diabetes.
- High Source of Antioxidants: Cinnamon is packed with a variety of protective antioxidants that reduce free radical damage and slow the aging process; in fact researchers have identified forty-one different protective compounds of cinnamon to date!
- Contains Anti-inflammatory Properties: The antioxidants in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, brain function decline, and more. Researchers have identified over seven kinds of flavonoid compounds alone in cinnamon, which are highly effective at fighting dangerous inflammation levels throughout the body.
- Because cinnamon lowers swelling and inflammation, it can be beneficial in painmanagement, with studies showing that cinnamon helps to relive muscle soreness, PMS pains, severity of allergic reactions, and other age-related symptoms of pain too.
- Protects Heart Health: Studies have shown that another health benefit of cinnamon is that it reduces several of the most common risk factors for heart disease, including high cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels, and high blood pressure.
- Fights Diabetes: Cinnamon is known to have an anti-diabetic effect. It helps lower blood sugar levels and also can improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which is the vital hormone needed for keeping blood sugar levels balanced.
- Helps Defend Against Cognitive Decline & Protects Brain Function: Research also shows that another benefit of cinnamon’s protective antioxidant properties is that they can help defend the brain against developing neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
- May Help Lower Cancer Risk: Because of its antioxidant abilities, cinnamon can protect against DNA damage, cell mutation, and cancerous tumor growth. Studies have revealed that the health benefits of cinnamon come from a compound called cinnamaldehyde include its ability to inhibit cancer tumor growth and protect DNA from damage, while also encouraging cancerous cells to self-destruct (called cell apoptosis).
- Fights Infections & Viruses: There are many benefits of cinnamon when it comes to defending the body from illnesses. Cinnamon is a natural anti-microbial, anti-biotic, anti-fungal, and anti-viral agent. The immune-boosting abilities of cinnamon are found in cinnamon’s essential oils.
- Protects Dental Health & Freshens Breath Naturally: In studies, the extracts found in cinnamon were shown to be protective against bacteria living in the oral microflora that could cause bad breath, tooth decay, cavities, or mouth infections. The essential oil from cinnamon has been shown to be more potent than other tested plant extracts and can be used to naturally combat bacteria in the mouth, acting like a natural anti-bacterial mouthwash.
- Can Help Prevent or Cure Candida: Certain studies have concluded that cinnamon’s powerful anti-fungal properties may be effective in stopping or curing Candida overgrowth in the digestive tract. Cinnamon has been shown to lower amounts of dangerous Candida Albicans, which is the yeast that causes Candida overgrowth that can cause multiple digestive and autoimmune symptoms. Additionally, another health benefit of cinnamon is that it helps to control blood sugar levels, and too much sugar within the digestive tract is associated with increased candida risk.
- Benefits Skin Health: Cinnamon has anti-biotic and anti-microbial effects that protect skin from irritations, rashes, allergic reactions, and infections. Applying cinnamon essential oil directly to the skin can be helpful in reducing inflammation, swelling, pain, and redness. Cinnamon and honey, another antimicrobial ingredient, are frequently used together to boost skin health for this reason and are beneficial for acne, rosacea, and signs of skin allergies.
- Helps Fight Allergies: Studies have concluded that those with allergies can find relief thanks to the benefits of cinnamon’s compounds. Cinnamon has been shown to be helpful in fighting common allergy symptoms because it reduces inflammation and fights histamine reactions in the body. For the same reason it can also help to reduce symptoms of asthma attacks.
- Can be Used to Sweeten Recipes without Added Sugar: Because of its naturally sweet taste, adding cinnamon to foods and recipes can help you cut down on the amount of sugar you normally use, thereby lowering the glycemic load of your meal. Cinnamon already has anti-diabetic effects that slow sugar from releasing into the blood stream which can help manage food cravings and weight gain, but using cinnamon for its taste is another added benefit.
- Can Be Used as a Natural Food Preservative: One of the less-known benefits of cinnamon is that it can be used to preserve food. Because cinnamon has anti-bacterial abilities and also acts as an antioxidant, it can be used as a preservative in many foods without the need for chemicals and artificial ingredients.
- Side effects. Cinnamon usually causes no side effects. Heavy use of cinnamon may irritate the mouth and lips, causing sores. In some people, it can cause an allergic reaction. Applied to the skin, it might cause redness and irritation.
- Risks. Very high quantities of cassia cinnamon may be toxic, particularly in people with liver problems. Because cinnamon may lower blood sugar, people with diabetes may need to adjust their treatment if they use cinnamon supplements. An ingredient in some cinnamon products, coumarin, may cause liver problems; but the amount of this compound ingested is usually so small that this wouldn’t happen for most people. Given the lack of evidence about its safety, cinnamon — as a treatment — is not recommended for children or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- If you take any medication regularly, talk to your doctor before you start using cinnamon supplements. They could interact with antibiotics, diabetes drugs, blood thinners, heart medicines, and others.
Source: WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-cinnamon