Cinnamon powder comes from the bark of tropical, evergreen trees. In order to harvest cinnamon, it's peeled off of the inside of the bark of the tree.
There are two main types of cinnamon: Ceylon and Cassia. The majority of the cinnamon you'll find at the grocery store is Cassia. Ceylon grows primarily in Sri Lanka and isn't as common.
Ceylon cinnamon may sometimes be referred to as "true" cinnamon. But there's some debate about whether or not that's the case. Ceylon and Cassia are both cinnamon, but from different parts of the world and from slightly different types of trees.
You've probably sprinkled cinnamon on foods like toast, rolls, and desserts. But cinnamon has uses other than for topping sweets, including improving your health.
This article looks at the health benefits and side effects of eating cinnamon powder.
Here are some key points about cinnamon. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
- Cinnamon has been used medicinally for thousands of years and is known for its health benefits.
- You'd have to eat very high amounts of cinnamon powder to experience any dangerous side effects.
- Studies have shown that cinnamon does have an effect on blood glucose levels in those with type 2 diabetes.
Health benefits of eating cinnamon powder
Cinnamon's medicinal purposes date back to ancient times. In the past, it was used to help treat a number of medical conditions, including:
- respiratory illness
- gynecological issues
- digestive problems
In more recent decades, it has shown promise as an anti-inflammatory and to help with improving cognitive function.
Still, there hasn't been enough scientific research done at this point to determine how much cinnamon is needed to help various conditions.
Cinnamon and diabetes
Some smaller studies have shown that cinnamon does have an effect on blood glucose levels in those with type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, there seems to be a different effect based on the type of cinnamon used.
Cassia cinnamon has shown the most promise in controlling blood glucose, while the Ceylon species of cinnamon is just beginning to be studied. This may be partially because Ceylon is harder to come by than Cassia.
A smaller Chinese study published in the journal Nutrition Research found evidence of cinnamon lowering blood glucose levels in patients that took cinnamon supplements, in contrast to those who were given a placebo.