Ceylon cinnamon comes from a tree called Cinnamomum verum. People use the bark to make medicine.
Ceylon cinnamon is taken by mouth for gastrointestinal (GI) upset, diarrhea, gas, and irritable bowel syndrome. It is also used for stimulating appetite, for hayfever (allergic rhinitis), for infections caused by bacteria and parasitic worms, for yeast infections inside the mouth (thrush), for menstrual cramps, weight loss, the common cold, and the flu (influenza).
Ceylon cinnamon, as part of a multi-ingredient preparation, is applied to the penis for premature ejaculation. Ceylon cinnamon is also used as a mouth rinse to prevent mouth sores in people with dentures.
In foods, cinnamon is used as a spice and as a flavoring agent in beverages.
In manufacturing, cinnamon oil is used in small amounts in toothpaste, mouthwashes, gargles, lotions, liniments, soaps, detergents, and other pharmaceutical products and cosmetics.
There are lots of different types of cinnamon. Cinnamomum verum (Ceylon cinnamon) and Cinnamomum aromaticum (Cassia cinnamon or Chinese cinnamon) are commonly used. In many cases, the cinnamon spice purchased in food stores contains a combination of these different types of cinnamon. See the separate listing for Cassia Cinnamon.
How does it work?
The oils found in Ceylon cinnamon are thought to reduce spasms, reduce gas (flatulence), stimulate the appetite, and fight bacteria and fungi. Cinnamon might also decrease blood pressure and blood lipids. Ceylon cinnamon chemicals might work like insulin to lower blood sugar. However, these effects are thought to be fairly weak.
There are also ingredients in Ceylon cinnamon called tannins that might help wounds by acting as an astringent, and also prevent diarrhea.
Uses & Effectiveness
Insufficient Evidence for
- Hay fever (allergic rhinitis). Research shows that taking Ceylon cinnamon extract along with acerola fruit concentrate and powdered Spanish needles might reduce nasal symptoms in people with seasonal allergies.
- Yeast infection (candidiasis). Early research shows that taking lozenges containing Ceylon cinnamon for one week might improve yeast infections in the mouth, a condition also known as thrush, in some people with HIV.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Early research shows that consuming a formula containing Ceylon cinnamon, bilberry, slippery elm bark, and agrimony twice daily for 3 weeks can increase bowel movements and reduce stomach pain, bloating and straining in people with IBS.
- Mouth sores from dentures. Early research shows that rinsing the mouth with 10 mL of mouthwash containing Ceylon cinnamon leaf oil helps prevent mouth sores in some people with dentures.
- Premature ejaculation. Some research shows that applying a specific cream containing Ceylon cinnamon and many other ingredients might prevent premature ejaculation.
- Food poisoning (Salmonella infection). Consuming Ceylon cinnamon might help treat a salmonella infection.
- Weight loss. Early research shows that drinking black tea steeped with 3 grams Ceylon cinnamon for 8 weeks does not increase weight loss compared to drinking black tea alone in people who are overweight.
- Appetite stimulation.
- Common cold.
- Gas (flatulence).
- Menstrual discomfort.
- Upset stomach.
- Worm infestations.
- Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate Ceylon cinnamon for these uses.
Side Effects & Safety
Consuming Ceylon cinnamon in food amounts is LIKELY SAFE. Ceylon cinnamon is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in amounts used for medicine. These amounts are slightly higher than amounts found in food. However, Ceylon cinnamon is POSSIBLY UNSAFEwhen taken by mouth in large amounts or long term. Also, taking cinnamon oil by mouth is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. The oil can be irritating to the skin and mucous membranes, including the stomach, intestine, and urinary tract. It can cause side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and others.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Consuming Ceylon cinnamon is LIKELY SAFE when taken in food amounts during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Ceylon cinnamon is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken in amounts greater than those found in foods during pregnancy. Not enough is known about the safety of taking larger amounts during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.
Diabetes: Ceylon cinnamon might lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use Ceylon cinnamon.
Low blood pressure: Ceylon cinnamon might lower blood pressure. Taking Ceylon cinnamon might cause blood pressure to drop too low in people who already have low blood pressure.
Surgery: Ceylon cinnamon can affect blood pressure and blood sugar levels and might interfere with blood pressure and blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking cinnamon at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Be cautious with this combination
- Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with CEYLON CINNAMON
Cinnamon bark might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking cinnamon bark along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed. Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
The appropriate dose of Ceylon cinnamon depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Ceylon cinnamon. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.