Cinnamon or Cinnamomum Zeylanicum is also popularly known as ‘Dalchini’ in Hindi. It is a dried bark of a small tree, which grows mainly in southern/western parts of India. Its leaves are commonly called ‘Tejpatra’ in Hindi. For ages, it has been one of the most significant spices available as part of ‘Garam Masala’ in Indian kitchens. It is available in the markets as rolled and dried sticks.

Ayurveda defines cinnamon as ‘Tvak’. Cinnamon has a pungent and sweet taste, and it is hot in nature. It is considered beneficial in treating various conditions like oedema, flu, indigestion, cough etc., and thus, recommended for individuals having the ‘Kaphavata’ constitution. 

Nutritional Value of Cinnamon:

Cinnamon has the following nutritional value: 

  • Cinnamaldehyde is the bioactive constituent available in cinnamon.
  • Various macro and micronutrients are present in cinnamon. These include vitamin A and C, energy, carbohydrate, iron, calcium, and magnesium.

Therapeutic Uses of Cinnamon: 

Since ancient times, cinnamon has been used as herbal medicine. The in vitro experimentation and animal trials suggest that cinnamon has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, anti-microbial, and immunomodulatory effects. It also aids in lowering cholesterol levels. 

  • Studies have proven the benefits of cinnamon for human health, particularly as an antitumour and anticancer agent.  
  • It also helps control excess triglycerides (a type of fatty molecules) in the blood due to its phytochemical components, such as volatile and phenolic compounds.
  • Cinnamon can also help in reducing the risk of colon cancer as it improves the overall health of the colon.
  • Cinnamon helps improve immunity. It also helps maintain glucose levels in the body and is found to be helpful in the prevention of diabetes.

Benefits of Cinnamon: 

Benefits of Cinnamon in Oral Hygiene:  

  • Cinnamon has proven effective in maintaining oral health.
  • It has been usually used as tooth powder to relieve toothaches and other dental problems.
  • Cinnamon also acts as a mouth freshener and treats bad breath. Thus, it is used as an ingredient in chewing gums.

Benefits of Cinnamon in Blood Circulation and Coagulation: 

  • Cinnamon prevents bleeding from cuts and wounds as it helps in coagulating blood.
  • Cinnamon improves the blood circulation in the uterus, and further, it supports tissue regeneration.

Benefits of Cinnamon as an Antioxidant:  

Extracts of cinnamon such as ether, methanolic, and aqueous extracts demonstrate a significant antioxidant activity. Antioxidants have a significant impact on human health since they respond to free radicals and help in reducing age-associated disorders and damage due to metabolic diseases.

Benefits of Antibacterial Activity of Cinnamon: 

  • Cinnamon consists of essential oils. When cinnamon and clove oils are combined, they demonstrate anti-microbial activity against various bacteria and yeast.
  • Due to its anti-microbial effect, a paste of cinnamon powder with honey helps in curing wounds and cuts.

Benefits of Antidiabetic Activity of Cinnamon 

  • Insulin-potentiating factor has been isolated from aqueous extract of cinnamon, and it demonstrated insulin-like activity.
  • Cinnamon powder is thus used for lowering blood sugar levels (diabetic patients should use it with caution).

Benefits of Cinnamon to Cure Digestive Disorders  

Powdered cinnamon mixed in food can be used to cure minor digestive disorders, stomachaches, and intestinal spasms.

Benefits of Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Cinnamon  

Several studies conducted on cinnamon have revealed the anti-inflammatory property of its bark and essential oils.

How to Use Cinnamon? 

Applying essential oils:  

We can control dental caries by using a swab dipped in essential oils obtained from cinnamon on the affected teeth. Evidence shows that cinnamon oil effectively removes bad breath and strengthens teeth.

Applying the cinnamon paste:  

  • When applied to the forehead, the cinnamon paste can lower the severity of headaches.
  • To relieve swelling and pain, you can apply the paste of cinnamon powder on the affected part.

Using cinnamon sticks:  

Chewing a small piece of Dalchini will give relief from nausea and vomiting. 

Cinnamon tea: 

As a preventive measure against COVID-19 infection, as per the Ministry of AYUSH, we can drink ‘kadha’ or herbal tea once or twice a day. This tea is made by boiling mixed herbs (Tulsi (basil), dry ginger powder, Munakka- raisins, black pepper, and cinnamon).

Cinnamon powder:  

If taken with honey a few times a day, cinnamon powder gives relief from various conditions such as common cold and intestinal spasms.

Side Effects of Cinnamon 

The most common side effects related to the use of cinnamon are: 

Low Blood Glucose Levels  

Cinnamon stimulates cellular glucose metabolism and mimics insulin. Thus, the major side effect of consuming cinnamon beyond the doctor’s advice is a drop in blood sugar levels. Due to lowered blood sugar, symptoms like fatigue and dizziness may also be observed.

Hepatotoxicity – Impact on liver  

Studies report that cinnamon contains coumarin, which is known to be toxic to the liver. Thus, one should take medical advice before consuming cinnamon containing products.


Compounds like benzoates present in cinnamon have been associated with food allergies. Clinical practitioners often advise eliminating cinnamon and related food products from the diets of people with allergies.

Precautions to Take With Cinnamon 

It is suggested that, despite no major reported side effects of cinnamon as a spice or flavouring agent, cinnamon may demonstrate significant undesirable effects as medicinal products when we use it in higher doses or for a longer duration. A higher dosage of cinnamon should only be taken under clinical supervision.

Interaction With Other Drugs 

If taken in large quantities, cinnamon may have an adverse effect when used as medication. Also, unsupervised and unmonitored cinnamon consumption by people having health conditions (like diabetes and liver diseases) may complicate or worsen some conditions.

  • Cinnamon may assist medications for diabetes in lowering blood sugar, but if taken in very high doses, blood sugar levels may go very low. One should take proper medical advice if they are interested in taking cinnamon supplements.
  • The coumarin in cinnamon can interact adversely with medications that affect the liver, increasing the risk of liver damage.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1) How is cinnamon obtained? 

Cinnamon is obtained from the dried bark of the cinnamon tree.

2) Can we obtain essential oils from other parts of a cinnamon plant? 

Yes, we can obtain essential oils from different parts of a cinnamon plant (bark, leaf, and root-bark). These oils consist of varied components. The bark oil consists of cinnamaldehyde, the leaf oil has eugenol, and in the root-bark oil, we find camphor.

3) What are the cosmetic uses of cinnamon? 

Cinnamon also has many applications in cosmetic products due to its antibacterial and antioxidant properties and presence of anti-tyrosinase agents (tyrosinase is known to increase melanin and age spots).

4) What gives the unique fragrance to cinnamon? 

Cinnamon has a distinguished flavour and aroma because of the essential oils present in it. The essential oils extracted from cinnamon have cinnamaldehyde and trans-cinnamaldehyde (Cin), which give fragrance to cinnamon.

5) How much cinnamon is safe for the liver? 

To avoid an excessive dose of coumarin, adults shouldn’t consume more than 0.1 mg/kg of cinnamon per day since it may cause or worsen already existing liver problems. 

6) Is consuming cinnamon during periods helpful for women? 

Consuming cinnamon may assist in improving blood circulation in the uterus. It may further help in enhancing tissue regeneration. Therefore, cinnamon may give relief during menstruation.

7) Can cinnamon help fight HIV? 

By performing various sets of diversified experiments in test tubes on isolates from HIV-1 primary patients, it was reported that extracts from cinnamon (trimeric and pentameric forms) might be helpful against HIV.

8) Does cinnamon have any effect on acne? 

Studies show that cinnamon extracts are effective against acne-causing bacteria, and hence, they can be used in anti-acne products.

9) Does cinnamon consumption help in weight loss? 

Cinnamon helps to reduce fat mass and raise serum antioxidants. It also helps in improving metabolism and reducing free radicals in our bodies. Thus, cinnamon can be considered an ayurvedic supplement that helps in weight loss, though we require more well-designed and structured studies to establish this property.

Found this article interesting? Follow Cluay Techlabs on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to read more exclusive content we post.