Cinnamon Bark

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What other names is Cinnamon Bark known by?

Batavia Cassia, Batavia Cinnamon, Cannelier de Ceylan, Cannelle de Ceylan, Cannelle de Saïgon, Cannelle du Sri Lanka, Ceylon Cinnamon, Ceylonzimt, Ceylonzimtbaum, Cinnamomum verum, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Corteza de Canela, Dalchini, Écorce de Cannelle, Laurus cinnamomum, Madagascar Cinnamon, Padang-Cassia, Panang Cinnamon, Saigon Cassia, Saigon Cinnamon, Sri Lanka Cinnamon, Thwak, Tvak.

What is Cinnamon Bark?

Cinnamon comes from a tree. People use the bark to make medicine.

Cinnamon bark is used for gastrointestinal (GI) upset, diarrhea, and gas. It is also used for stimulating appetite; for infections caused by bacteria and parasitic worms; and for menstrual cramps, the common cold, and the flu (influenza).

Cinnamon bark, as part of a multi-ingredient preparation, is applied to the penis for premature ejaculation.

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.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Premature ejaculation. Some evidence suggests that a specific cream containing cinnamon and many other ingredients might prevent premature ejaculation.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Hay fever (allergic rhinitis). Research suggests that taking a specific product (ClearGuard Access Business Group, LLC) that contains cinnamon bark extract, acerola fruit concentrate, and powdered Spanish needles can reduce hay fever symptoms and people with seasonal allergies.
  • Yeast infection (candidiasis). Early research suggests that taking lozenges containing cinnamon bark 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 suggests that consuming a formula containing cinnamon bark, bilberry, slippery elm bark, and agrimony twice daily for 3weeks can increase bowel movements and reduce stomach pain, bloating and straining in people with IBS.
  • Food poisoning (Salmonella infection). Consuming cinnamon bark might help treat a salmonella infection.
  • Diabetes.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Infections.
  • Worm infestations.
  • Common cold.
  • Influenza.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Gas (flatulence).
  • Spasms.
  • Appetite stimulation.
  • Menstrual discomfort.
More evidence is needed to rate cinnamon bark for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Cinnamon Bark work?

The oils found in cinnamon bark are thought to reduce spasms, reduce gas (flatulence), and stimulate the appetite. Cinnamon might also increase blood flow. Cinnamon bark also contains a chemical that might work like insulin to lower blood sugar. However, these effects are thought to be fairly weak.

There are also ingredients in cinnamon bark called tannins that might help wounds by acting as an astringent, and also prevent diarrhea.

Are there safety concerns?

Consuming cinnamon bark in food amounts is LIKELY SAFE. Cinnamon bark 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, cinnamon bark is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts. 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 cinnamon bark is LIKELY SAFE when taken in food amounts during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Do not take larger amounts of cinnamon bark if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Not enough is known about the safety of taking larger amounts.

Diabetes: Cinnamon bark 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 cinnamon bark.

Surgery: Cinnamon bark can affect blood sugar levels and might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking cinnamon at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

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), metformin (Glucophage), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Dosing considerations for Cinnamon Bark.

The appropriate dose of cinnamon bark 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 cinnamon bark. 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.

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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