Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Health & Fitness
  3. Holistic Health

Herb profiles: Cinnamon

See also

Cinnamon is a popular spice that you probably have in your kitchen cabinet, but did you know that it has health benefits?

Recognized for its characteristic pungent and sweet aroma and flavor, cinnamon is one of the oldest known spices. In fact, in the ancient world it was a valuable commodity that was used medicinally as well as in a culinary capacity. Cinnamon is derived from the bark of several varieties of trees that are native to India, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Egypt. The processing of cinnamon is done today in much the same way as it was in ancient times. Cinnamon bark is stripped from the tree, dried, and rolled into sticks or ground into a fine powder.

Health benefits of cinnamon

Of the four main varieties of cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon and cassia are the most common. Cassia, the variety found on most grocery store shelves, has more of the stronger, hotter flavor coveted by culinary aficionados. However, Ceylon cinnamon – also known as “true cinnamon” – is much more expensive and only comes from one variety of cinnamon plant grown exclusively in Sri Lanka.

Both types of cinnamon have health benefits. Cinnamon is known to stimulate digestion, ease diarrhea, and relieve nausea and vomiting. In Chinese medicine, it is used to address pain, cramping, and bloating. But among its most famous health benefits is the effect that cinnamon has on lowering blood sugar. In studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center, patients who were insulin-dependent tripled the effectiveness of their insulin doses by taking cinnamon daily.

One thing to remember is that cassia and Ceylon cinnamon differ in the amounts of coumarin they contain. Coumarin is a naturally-occurring compound that can be harmful in taken in excessive amounts. Normal consumption of cinnamon, however, does not pose a health threat.

Cinnamon makes a great addition to your morning smoothie, oatmeal, or tea. You can even add it to vegetable dishes for a delicious and flavorful twist.

References:

Dugoua, J.J., Seely, D., Perri, D., Cooley, K., Forelli, T., Mills, E., & Koren, G. (2007). From type 2 diabetes to antioxidant activity: a systematic review of the safety and efficacy of common and cassia cinnamon bark. Candian Journal of Physiological Pharmacology, 85(9), 837-47.

Advertisement

Life

  • Transgender cop
    A transgender police officer is stepping down from her position to run for office
    Video
    Political Office
  • Easter eggs
    Craft delicate, hand-painted eggs with flowers and other designs celebrating spring
    Camera
    Easter Eggs
  • Subway message
    Subway customer finds 'Big Mama' written on her order
    Video
    Subway Message
  • Working from home
    Working from home can be an exciting venture. Get tips to ensure productivity
    Camera
    Get Tips
  • Limes
    Rising cost of limes could be putting the squeeze on your favorite restaurant
    Expensive Limes
  • Pope Francis
    Religion: Pope Francis instructs how to fight against Satan
    Morning Mass

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!