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.
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.
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 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.
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.
- Worm infestations.
- Common cold.
- Upset stomach.
- Gas (flatulence).
- Appetite stimulation.
- Menstrual discomfort.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
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.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Agricultural Research Service. Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Available at: www.ars-grin.gov/duke/.
Anderson RA, Broadhurst CL, Polansky MM, et al. Isolation and Characterization of Polyphenol Type-A Polymers from Cinnamon with Insulin-like Biological Activity. J Agric Food Chem 2004;52:65-70. View abstract.
Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, eds. Herbal Medicine Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 2000.
Choi HK, Jung GW, Moon KH, et al. Clinical study of SS-Cream in patients with lifelong premature ejaculation. Urology 2000;55:257-61. View abstract.
Corren, J., Lemay, M., Lin, Y., Rozga, L., and Randolph, R. K. Clinical and biochemical effects of a combination botanical product (ClearGuard) for allergy: a pilot randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Nutr.J 2008;7:20. View abstract.
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182
Hawrelak, J. A. and Myers, S. P. Effects of two natural medicine formulations on irritable bowel syndrome symptoms: a pilot study. J Altern Complement Med 2010;16(10):1065-1071. View abstract.
Jarvill-Taylor KJ, Anderson RA, Graves DJ. A hydroxychalcone derived from cinnamon functions as a mimetic for insulin in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. J Am Coll Nutr 2001;20:327-36. View abstract.
Kanerva L, Estlander T, Jolanki R. Occupational allergic contact dermatitis from spices. Contact Dermatitis 1996;35:157-62. View abstract.
Khan A, Safdar M, Ali Khan M, et al. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2003;26:3215-8. View abstract.
Onderoglu S, Sozer S, Erbil KM, et al. The evaluation of long-term effcts of cinnamon bark and olive leaf on toxicity induced by streptozotocin administration to rats. J Pharm Pharmacol 1999;51:1305-12. View abstract.
Pilapil VR. Toxic manifestations of cinnamon oil ingestion in a child. Clin Pediatr (Phila) 1989;28:276.. View abstract.
Quale, J. M., Landman, D., Zaman, M. M., Burney, S., and Sathe, S. S. In vitro activity of Cinnamomum zeylanicum against azole resistant and sensitive Candida species and a pilot study of cinnamon for oral candidiasis. Am J Chin Med 1996;24(2):103-109. View abstract.
Rosti L, Gastaldi G. Chronic salmonellosis and cinnamon. Pediatrics 2005;116:1057. View abstract.
Verspohl EJ, Bauer K, Neddermann E. Antidiabetic effect of Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum zeylanicum in vivo and in vitro. Phytother Res 2005;19:203-6. View abstract.