EBSCO Health

Print PageSend to a Friend
Health Library Home>Natural & Alternative Treatments>Herbs & Supplements>Article

Cinnamon

Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

Cinnamomum, cinnamon bark, Ceylon cinnamon, Cassia cinnamon

Introduction

Cinnamon is a common spice that comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree. It has been used to lower blood glucose and blood pressure. It can be taken as a pill, powder, extract, or oil. It can also be made into a tea or used as an ointment.

Dosages

1 to 6 grams once daily

What Research Shows

Likely Effective

  • Diabetes —likely to lower blood glucose, BMI, and blood pressure when used with standard treatmentA1-A10
  • High triglycerides —likely to lower triglyceride levels D1-D6

May Be Effective

  • Episiotomy —may reduce pain and soreness when applied as an ointmentC1
  • Metabolic syndrome —may lower blood glucose and BMIE1
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome —may stabilize menstrual cycle and reduce insulin resistanceG1, G2

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Dysmenorrhea B1
  • Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease F1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take small doses of cinnamon. It may not be safe to take large doses of cinnamon for a long period of time.

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:

  • People that take tetracyclines should talk to their doctors before taking cinnamon. It may interact with their medicines.
 

References

A. Diabetes

A1. Crawford P. Effectiveness of cinnamon for lowering hemoglobin A1C in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, controlled trial. J Am Board Fam Med. 2009;22(5):507-512.

A2. Akilen R, Tsiami A, et al. Glycated haemoglobin and blood pressure-lowering effect of cinnamon in multi-ethnic Type 2 diabetic patients in the UD: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial. Diabet Med. 2010;27(10):1159-1167.

A3. Davis PA, Yokoyama M. Cinnamon intake lowers fasting blood glucose: meta-analysis. J Med Food. 2011;14(9):884-889.

A4. Akilen R, Tsiami A, et al. Cinnamon in glycaemic control: Systematic review and meta analysis. Clin Nutr. 2012;31(5):609-615.

A5. Lu T, Sheng H, et al. Cinnamon extract improves fasting blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin level in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes. Nutr Res. 2012;32(6):408-412.

A6. Akilen R, Pimlott Z, et al. Effects of short-term administration of cinnamon on blood pressure in patients with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Nutrition. 2013;29(10):1192-1196.

A7. Allen RW, Schwartzman E, et al. Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Farm Med. 2013;11(5):452-459.

A8. Liu Y, Cotillard A, et al. A Dietary Supplement Containing Cinnamon, Chromium and Carnosine Decreases Fasting Plasma Glucose and Increases Lean Mass in Overweight or Obese Pre-Diabetic Subjects: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial. PLoS One. 2015 Sep 25;10(9):e0138646.

A9. Mirfeizi M, Mehdizadeh Tourzani Z, et al. Controlling type 2 diabetes mellitus with herbal medicines: A triple-blind randomized clinical trial of efficacy and safety. J Diabetes. 2016 Sep;8(5):647-656.

A10. Talaei B, Amouzegar A, et al. Effects of Cinnamon Consumption on Glycemic Indicators, Advanced Glycation End Products, and Antioxidant Status in Type 2 Diabetic Patients. Nutrients. 2017 Sep 8;9(9). pii: E991.

B. Dysmenorrhea

B1. Jahangirifar M, Taebi M, et al. The effect of Cinnamon on primary dysmenorrhea: A randomized, double-blind clinical trial. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2018 Nov;33:56-60.

C. Episiotomy

C1. Mohammadi A, Mohammad-Alizadeh-Charandabi S, et al. Effects of cinnamon on perineal pain and healing of episiotomy: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. J Integr Med. 2014;12(4):359-366.

D. High Triglycerides

D1. Khan A, Safdar M, et al. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2003;26(12):3215-3218.

D2. Lu T, Sheng H, et al. Cinnamon extract improves fasting blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin level in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes. Nutr Res. 2012;32(6):408-412.

D3. Vafa M, Mohammadi F, et al. Effects of cinnamon consumption on glycemic status, lipid profile and body composition in type 2 diabetic patients. Int J Prev Med. 2012;3(8):531-536.

D4. Allen RW, Schwartzman E, et al. Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Fam Med. 2013;11(5):452-459.

D5. Askari F, Rashidkhani B, et al. Cinnamon may have therapeutic benefits on lipid profile, liver enzymes, insulin resistance, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease patients. Nutr Res. 2014 Feb;34(2):143-148.

D6. Maierean SM, Serban MC, et al. The effects of cinnamon supplementation on blood lipid concentrations: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Lipidol. 2017 Nov - Dec;11(6):1393-1406.

E. Metabolic Syndrome

E1. Gupta Jain S, Puri S, et al. Effect of oral cinnamon intervention on metabolic profile and body composition of Asian Indians with metabolic syndrome a randomized double-blind control trial. Lipids Health Dis. 2017;16(1):113.

F. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

F1. Askari F, Rashidkhani B, et al. Cinnamon may have therapeutic benefits on lipid profile, liver enzymes, insulin resistance, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease patients. Nutr Res. 2014 Feb;34(2):143-148.

G. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

G1. Kort DH, Lobo RA. Preliminary evidence that cinnamon improves menstrual cyclicity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Nov;211(5):487.e1-6.

G2. Hajimonfarednejad M, Nimrouzi M, et al. Insulin resistance improvement by cinnamon powder in polycystic ovary syndrome: A randomized double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial. Phytother Res. 2018 Feb;32(2):276-283.

Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 6/17/2020