5 Health Benefits of Cinnamon [Infographic]
Cinnamon, with its distinctly sweet and uplifting flavor, has a long history of medicinal use in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Modern science suggests that it may relieve the symptoms of indigestion, prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, and improve learning and memory. Cinnamon is also a versatile balancing herb for tea blends.
What is cinnamon?
Cinnamon is often used as a condiment and flavoring agent in cooking. Its name was derived from the Greek word kinnamon meaning ‘sweet wood’. Cinnamon has been utilized extensively for thousands of years ago in herbal remedies. Its use dates back to at least 1700 BC and it was mentioned in ancient Egyptian texts and the Bible. Cinnamon is considered one of the fundamental herbs in traditional Chinese medicine and was used in Ayurvedic medicine to promote respiratory and digestive health. Today, cinnamon is used for conditions such as diabetes, digestive problems, infections, joint pain, and cramps.
The health benefits of cinnamon according to research
1. Digestive Health
In traditional medicine, cinnamon has been used as a warming and soothing remedy to treat symptoms of indigestion such as mild spasms in the gastrointestinal tract, fullness, flatulence, and loss of appetite.
Modern research has indicated that cinnamon may ease the symptoms of indigestion by relieving spasms in the intestinal tract, supporting its traditional uses. Cinnamon may also increase digestive enzymes and encourage movement in the digestive tract. Cinnamon is currently approved by the German Commission E (Germany’s equivalent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) for stimulating appetite and for its beneficial effects on digestion.
2. Energy & Brain Support
Extensive research over the last decade has indicated that spices such as cinnamon may have anti-inflammatory properties which could help prevent neurodegenerative diseases, conditions which result in degeneration of the nervous system, especially the neurons in the human brain. Examples of neurodegenerative diseases include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and brain tumor.
Cinnamon may improve cognitive skills, including memory and attention. Suggestions from research indicate that it has neuroprotective properties and helps promote brain health. According to the results of animal studies that were published in the June 2016 edition of the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, cinnamon may also increase learning capability. This is due to its effect on the brain’s hippocampus, the brain’s main memory center.
3. Heart and Circulatory Health
According to several research studies, cinnamon improves blood sugar levels, lowers cholesterol levels, and helps protect against high blood pressure. These effects may be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes or for general cardiovascular health. Cinnamon has also been shown to aid blood circulation and production, and counter the various side effects of contracting veins. Researchers believe cinnamaldehyde, the compound that gives cinnamon its unique flavor, may contribute to these effects.
In addition, cinnamon tea may be beneficial for controlling blood sugar metabolism in nondiabetic adults according to a study published in the Journal of Diabetes Research in 2015. The researchers found that cinnamon tea has a high antioxidant capacity, which may be due to its polyphenol content.
4. Immunity and Overall Health
Cinnamon may help restrain bacterial growth and prevent the onset of various diseases. Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde, an organic compound that scientists believe have antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, anticarcinogenic (anti-cancer), and antioxidant activity.
Preliminary research studies suggest that cinnamon exhibits antiviral activity against various influenza viruses and HIV. In one particular study, cinnamon was found to be one of the more effective herbs out of around 70 tested plant species for countering HIV.
Cinnamon may also have anti-cancer effects. Research conducted at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy and the UA Cancer Center found evidence that cinnamaldehyde inhibits the growth of colon cancer cells. There are ongoing studies to investigate its effect against cancer.
5. Women’s Health
Cinnamon is used in traditional medicine to treat pain associated with menstruation and to normalize menstrual bleeding (i.e. controlling heavy bleeding and stimulating flow when it is light). According to a study conducted in 2012, cinnamon was found to be effective in reducing the severity of primary dysmenorrhea, or painful menstruation, a problem that affects an estimated 90% of adult women. A subsequent clinical study conducted in 2015 that was published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found that after eight hours, the intake of cinnamon resulted in reduced pain severity and duration of pain.
* These are some of the pharmacological actions that have been observed or are under study in various evidence-based research studies. Herb may have other properties not listed here.
The statements on this page are for educational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner prior to the use of any herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have allergies or medical conditions.
The information has been sourced and extracted from scientific papers, academic journals, research abstracts, and other sources. While Purify Tea makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information on this website, Purify Tea does not endorse, approve, or certify such information, nor does it guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficiency, timeliness, or correct sequencing of such information. Use of such information is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy, completeness, efficiency, and timeliness. While many traditional or folkloric remedies have a long history of use, modern research has only begun to investigate and substantiate their effectiveness. Research is still ongoing in many areas therefore conclusions are subject to change.
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