Cinnamon is a spice that is used in various dishes, beverages, sprinkled on toast, desserts etc. Bark from the cinnamon tree – especially Cassia cinnamon has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The other type is Ceylon or ‘true’ cinnamon. Both these varieties are used as additives in innumerable dishes.
Cinnamon supplements are used to make various supplements that can be powders, liquid extracts or capsules. Cinnamon bark contains many beneficial chemicals that have medicinal value like volatile oils – eugenol, trans-cinnamic acid and cinnamaldehyde; proanthocyanidins, tannins, and catechins which are phenolic compounds; sesquiterpenes and monoterpenes.
How Much Cinnamon You Should Take?
The health benefits of cinnamon can from supplements and through diet. Supplements offer greater concentration than cinnamon in our food. Cinnamon is said to be effective in treating menstrual disorders, type-2 diabetes, muscle and stomach cramps, kidney disorders, flatulence, vomiting, certain cancers, bronchitis and more.
Cinnamon supplements offer antioxidant, antiviral,, antispasmodic and antifungal benefits. It is a very good source of calcium, manganese and dietary fiber; it is a good source of iron and vitamin K; and it is low in cholesterol, sodium and saturated fat.
It is important to know the right dosage and to consult a doctor if you plan to take cinnamon supplements for any specific medical condition. The dosage depends on the age of the user and the medical condition. There is no specific dosage of cinnamon for children. In the same way, pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised against using cinnamon supplements for their long term effects are unknown.
- For type-2 diabetes it is recommended that 1-6g a day can be taken for 40 days. Studies on patients with type-2 diabetes found that it could reduce blood sugar levels when the recommended dosage is taken.
- For general purposes as a health supplement, the usual dosage is 1-4 g.
- Read the label instructions for other medical conditions like colic, indigestion, heartburn, low stomach acidity, menorrhagia which is a menstrual disorder and for yeast infections.
- The dosage of cinnamon oil is usually 0.05 0 0.2g per day.
Food amounts of cinnamon do not usually cause side effects. Excess use can cause allergic reactions in some people and inflammation or sores of the lips and mouth. Since cinnamon lowers blood sugar levels, those with diabetes must monitor their blood sugar levels carefully when they include cinnamon supplements as part of their treatment. Large doses of cassia cinnamon can be toxic for those with liver problems due to the presence of coumarin. Those with breast cancer and any other cancer that affects hormone levels are advised against using cinnamon. Anyone on medications like diabetic drugs, antibiotics, heart medicines, blood thinners etc must consult their doctor before using cinnamon supplements. those requiring surgery must stop taking cassia cinnamon a couple of weeks prior to the scheduled date since it affects blood sugar levels.