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Is Too Much Cinnamon Bad for You?

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Excessive cinnamon causes toxicity in the body resulting in facial flushing and shortness of breath. It contains coumarin which has blood thinning properties and is a hepatotoxic. It can cause allergies and induce premature labor. It increases heart rate, intestinal movement, breathing and perspiration. It is recommended to consume only 2-5 g a day.

Cinnamon has been widely used in numerous Ayurvedic herbal preparations and home remedies. It is often recommended for people with an unbalanced kapha dosha and to control blood sugar levels and ease digestion. The health benefits of cinnamon could be related to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial and astringent as well as anti-clotting qualities. Cinnamon has no side effects within the recommended dose typically found in foods. However, it does have active ingredients that can cause side effects when consumed in excess.

Cinnamon – Side Effects And Concerns

Toxicity Accumulation

Taking Cinnamon over extended periods of time can lead to acute cinnamon toxicity resulting in facial flushing, shortness of breath, tachycardia, dizziness and abdominal pain [1].

Blood Thinning

Blood thinning properties are particularly high in Cassia Cinnamon which contains coumarin, the parent compound of warfarin, a medication used to keep blood from clotting [2].

Premature Labor

Pregnant women should be careful with their cinnamon intake. This is because Cinnamon is a Emmenagogue (herb that stimulates blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus), which may induce premature labor or uterine contractions [3].

Coumarin

Coumarin is a hepatotoxic and carcinogenic phyto chemical found abundantly in cinnamon. Coumarin can cause liver failure if taken daily or in high doses [4].

[Read: Benefits of Cinnamon and Honey Mixture]

Allergies

The main cause of allergic reaction to cinnamon oil is the presence of cinnamaldehyde and eugenol. When cinnamon is consumed, if a person is allergic to it, the body will produce histamine and IgE antibody in response to it. Cinnamon oil is also known to be a contact allergen and could cause allergic contact dermatitis. Topical use of cinnamon oil is the most common cause of an allergic reaction.

Increased Heart Rate

Consumption of large quantities of cinnamon bark or moderate quantities of cinnamon oil has been shown to increase heart rate, intestinal movement, breathing and perspiration [5].

Recommended Dosage Of Cinnamon

Cinnamon has been given Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status by the FDA. It is recommended to consume not more than two to five grams of cinnamon each day. Cinnamon appears to be safe for most people at these levels [6].

Note: If your diabetes medication or any medication affects blood glucose or insulin levels, you shouldn’t take therapeutic doses of cinnamon unless they’re under a doctor’s supervision.

Too much of anything can always cause problems, so consume in moderation to be on the safer side.

 References

  1. Shinde, Poonam, Pankaj Patil, and Vinod Bairagi. “Herbs in pregnancy and lactation: a review appraisal.” IJPSR 3.9 (2012): 3001-6.
  2. Cinnamon. Herbs At A Glance. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. U.S Department of Health and Human Services.
  3. Ernst, E. “Herbal medicinal products during pregnancy: are they safe?.” BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 109.3 (2002): 227-235.
  4. Abraham, Klaus, et al. “Toxicology and risk assessment of coumarin: focus on human data.” Molecular nutrition & food research 54.2 (2010): 228-239.
  5. Wichtl, M. “Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals: A Handbook for Practice on a Scientific Basis: 237. Bisset, N. Ed.” (1995).
  6. Blevins, Steve M., et al. “Effect of cinnamon on glucose and lipid levels in Non–insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes.” Diabetes care 30.9 (2007): 2236-2237.
CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.

CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.