While Cinnamon may have huge benefits, we take a look at the twelve side effects of Cinnamon from lowering blood sugar levels to increasing body heat. Take a sensible pragmatic approach to Cinnamon and remember to understand that the benefits or dangers may or may not apply you. You might also want to check out how much Cinnamon to take which we list here.
1. TOXICITY ACCUMULATION
As with most things taking Cinnamon over extended periods of time will build a certain level of toxicity in your body. The recommended dosage of Cinnamon according to the US Department of health, is 6 grams daily for 6 weeks or less. At this level of Cinnamon appears to be safe for most people. We recommend you follow these directions with a week of rest from Cinnamon every 6 weeks. This will allow any toxicity to be purged from your system. Or you could try 5 days and 2 days of rest from Cinnamon on the weekends.
2. PREMATURE LABOR
Pregnant women should not take Cinnamon. This is because Cinnamon (especially the oils) can induce premature labor or uterine contractions. While Cinnamon helps with stomach pains, gas of indigestion, you should NOT be taking Cinnamon for these purposes while you are pregnant. Better safe than sorry. An occasional cup of Cinnamon is probably safe but why take a chance? Taking Cinnamon tablets or especially smelling Cinnamon Oil should be avoided at all costs.
3. COUMARIN & OTHER TOXIC SUBSTANCES
Those who take Cinnamon on a daily basis for dieting or other health reasons should switch to Ceylon Cinnamon, which only has 0.03-0.04% Coumarin. All other types of Cinnamon has high levels (about 0.4-0.8%) Coumarin which can cause liver failure if taken daily or in high doses. The Europeans even banned Cassia Cinnamon for a while because of its effects on the liver. Read our blog post on Coumarin with the latest data here. Cassia Cinnamon contains more styrene, benzene, 1,1′-(2-butene-1,4-diyl)bis-, benzene, 1,1′-(1,2-cyclobutanediyl)bis-, palmitic acid, stearic acid, 4-phenylbutyl chloride, and (2,3-diphenylcyclopropyl) methyl phenyl sulfoxide, which are present in Ceylon Cinnamon in negligible amounts. (Rush University)
4. BLOOD SUGAR
Cinnamon may also reduce your blood sugar levels depending on the quantity you take. While taking a 2 tsp. of Ceylon Cinnamon powder or boiling a Cinnamon stick into a tea may not have much of an effect on blood sugar levels, Ceylon Cinnamon Bark Oil may result in a dramatic drop in blood sugar levels, leaving you a light headed and a bit whoozy. Especially if you are taking medication. So be careful. If you are adding more than 2-3 drops of Ceylon Cinnamon Bark Oil to your tea or coffee you might feel light headed. But the flavor it infuses is unbelievable when used in moderation. Probably one of the reasons Coca Cola uses Ceylon Cinnamon Bark in Coke, although that is laden with huge doses of sugar.
5. BLOOD THINNER
Cinnamon apparently thins your blood. This blood thinning properties are apparently particularly high in Cassia Cinnamon, while Ceylon Cinnamon does not seem to thin your blood. This blood thinning property of Cassia Cinnamon apparently helps it in acting as an anti-clotting agent, especially for those suffering from heart disease. Therefore care must be taken not to take Cinnamon with other blood thinning medication and the reason why Doctors do not recommend taking Cinnamon while taking medication especially blood thinning medication.
A small minority of people may be allergic to Cinnamon, even if they have consumed it previously without any ill effects. The symptoms usually include a runny nose, watery eyes or soreness of the eyes, shortness of breath (usually by smelling Cinnamon Oil), upset stomach, facial or hand swelling, anaphylactic shock (unusual heartbeat, dizziness, confusion, dizziness, sudden drop in blood pressure) and nausea.
Most of the time Cinnamon allergies are not life threatening. While it is the adults who get most Cinnamon allergies, young children especially infants and toddlers may develop a reaction, sometimes through the mother consuming Cinnamon. If you suspect a Cinnamon allergy stop consuming Cinnamon and remove all traces of it from the house. Cinnamon is in many food items, so make sure anything you consume does not contain Cinnamon, especially Cassia Cinnamon. Any allergy test should establish which type of Cinnamon you are allergic to, so proper treatment can be affected.
7. SKIN IRRITATION
If you touch Cinnamon oil without diluting it, it will irritate your skin and create a burning sensation. Kind of like chili powder. This is particularly acute if you touch any genitalia after handling pure Cinnamon oil. So it's best to wear gloves or be careful not to spill any on your hands.
8. INCREASED HEART RATE
High doses of Cinnamon could be dangerous for those with a heart condition as Cinnamon is known to increase your heart rate. Similarly, undiluted Cinnamon oil can cause rapid heart rates especially in children. Remember Cinnamon oil is especially powerful and should be diluted to less than 2% before use. At those levels it is safe for use by most people.
9. CINNAMON CHALLENGE CHOKING HAZARD
Lately teens and even preteens have been playing a game of who can swallow a tablespoon or more of Cinnamon powder. Swallowing Cinnamon powder without water creates a serious choking hazard that could result in death. Cinnamon powder can seep into your lungs and cause a serious chest infection, resulting in severe complications to your breathing. Your lungs can collapse and if you do not have access to a ventilator this would be certain death. It will also scar your lung leading to medical issues later in life. In fact any powder not just Cinnamon can cause all these complications.
10. CINNAMON TABLETS
We do not believe Cinnamon tablets or capsules are safe or even effective to take because of things like Silicon Dioxide which is used in the manufacture of these tablets. Click here to see our in depth look at the dangers of Cinnamon capsules.
11. ANTIOBIOTIC CONFLICT
Because Cinnamon in many ways can act like an antibiotic, albeit an all natural one. taking commercial antibiotics with cinnamon may create a conflict. It is like taking a double dose of antibiotics. It is best you stop taking Cinnamon when taking prescription antibiotics and consult your Doctor. The FDA says Cinnamon has no proven health properties. If that is the case why prevent it from being marketed as a drug right?
12. BODY HEAT
Chinese medicine says to avoid anything that increases body heat when necessary. Cinnamon like alcohol, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cauliflower, lobster, coffee, garlic, ginger, glutinous rice, kimchi, onions, and pumpkin may increase body heat. As the body heat or inflammation increases from consuming too much Cinnamon the body will try to vent this excess heat. This usually takes the form of boils under the tongue, cracked lips, pimples or a thick crusty mucus that seeps from the eye. You may not feel this so much in winter, but during summer it will be felt much more if you take too much Cinnamon. If you are going through menopause for example, then avoid Cinnamon. If you have had a huge dose of lobster, then don't' eat cinnamon.
CINNAMON OIL ORAL INGESTION & INHALING
Generally speaking only professional food processors or manufactures should mix Cinnamon oil for internal consumption. This is because of the sheer difficulty of mixing Cinnamon oil. Most people just don't have the skills to do this properly. But those who are not afraid, you can try.
CINNAMON FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Because Cinnamon apparently thins your blood, it has been assumed that it will naturally increase blood circulation. Increased blood flow it has been said generally boosts your metabolism. But not according to the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration).
However only Cassia Cinnamon is generally known to thin your blood, but the danger of Cassia Cinnamon is that it will damage your liver because of high Coumarin content. That means you may suffer liver damage or even complete liver failure at times if you take high levels of Cassia Cinnamon on a daily basis.
CINNAMON CHEMICAL CONTENT
The quality of Cinnamon Leaf Oil is judged based on its Eugenol Content. Generally Cinnamon Leaf oil with over 70% Eugenol is considered very high quality.
Cinnamon Bark Oil is judged based on its cinnamaldehyde content.. Anything over 60% cinnamaldehyde is considered very good quality.
Our Ceylon Cinnamon Bark Oil has 60 - 77% % cinnamaldehyde depending on the crop yield for any particular year.