Cinnamon is among the most popular spices used worldwide. It has been used for centuries for its unique aroma and flavor. In ancient times, Hebrews, Egyptians and Europeans also used cinnamon for religious purposes. Its pungent flavor and aroma come from the cinnamaldehyde molecule naturally present in the plant.
There are multiple species of cinnamon available. Cinnamomum verum (Ceylon cinnamon) is often dubbed “true” cinnamon. It is more expensive than any other cinnamon and has a sweet taste. It is often sold in specialty stores and ground into coffee.
Cinnamomum cassia (cassia cinnamon), on the other hand, is most commonly sold in super markets in North America and is darker in color. It is also featured in more studies than Ceylon cinnamon.
In the health industry, cinnamon is often used to treat erectile dysfunction, bed-wetting, joint conditions, menstrual and menopausal symptoms, and weight gain.
Cassia cinnamon, in particular, is used to treat chest pain, kidney disorders, high blood pressure, cramps and even cancer. However, research is limited and results are varied.
Cassia cinnamon contains the chemical cinnamaldehyde. It is what gives cinnamon its distinct flavor and smell. Cinnamaldehyde exhibits antimicrobial and anticancer properties.
According to studies, cinnamaldehyde prevents oral bacterial growth by more than 50%, making it a useful tool for eliminating bad breath and preventing illness.
Some believe cinnamon is also an effective treatment for the following:
- Stomach Upset And Diarrhea
- Gastric Ulcers
- Nervous Disorders
- Appetite Loss And Dyspepsia
- High Blood Pressure
- Improved Circulation
- Bacterial Infections
- Eliminate Free Radicals And Toxins
Some studies suggest cinnamon may be useful for controlling type 2 diabetes. In 2003, researchers found ingesting 1-6 grams of cinnamon per day reduces serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
However, more recent research is conflicting. In 2006, researchers observed cinnamon’s effects on insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in type 2 diabetic patients. Researchers concluded, “the blood lipid profile of fasting subjects did not change after cinnamon supplementation.
Cinnamon is safe to use in concentrations commonly found in foods. However, cinnamon may cause negative side effects when taken in dosages larger than 6 grams. Using over 6 grams cinnamon may irritate the mouth and lips, resulting in sores.
Cinnamon contains the chemical coumarin, which might worsen or cause liver disease in sensitive individuals.  If you have liver disease, don’t take cassia cinnamon in amounts larger than two tablespoons, or 10 grams. Taking large amounts of cassia cinnamon along with medications that may harm the liver might increase risk of liver damage.
Such medications may include acetaminophen (Tylenol), amiodarone (cordarone), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), and others.
Cinnamon may decrease blood sugar levels. Diabetic medications combined with cinnamon may cause blood sugar levels to drop too low. If taking blood sugar medications, monitor blood sugar levels closely.
When applied to the skin, cinnamon may cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.
Because more research is needed to verify cinnamon’s effects, a standardized dosage has not yet been determined.
However, cinnamon powder consumption should not exceed more than 2-5 grams per day because it contains the toxic chemical coumarin. Norwegian experts found the tolerable daily intake for coumarin is .07 mg per kilogram of bodyweight.
-  Exodus 30:22-25
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