Cinnamon comes from a tree. People use the bark to make medicine.
Cinnamon bark is used for gastrointestinal (GI) upset, diarrhea, and gas. It is also used for stimulating appetite; for infections caused by bacteria and parasitic worms; and for menstrual cramps, the common cold, and the flu (influenza).
Cinnamon bark, as part of a multi-ingredient preparation, is applied to the penis for premature ejaculation.
In foods, cinnamon is used as a spice and as a flavoring agent in beverages.
In manufacturing, cinnamon oil is used in small amounts in toothpaste, mouthwashes, gargles, lotions, liniments, soaps, detergents, and other pharmaceutical products and cosmetics.
There are lots of different types of cinnamon. Cinnamomum verum (Ceylon cinnamon) and Cinnamomum aromaticum (Cassia cinnamon or Chinese cinnamon) are commonly used. In many cases, the cinnamon spice purchased in food stores contains a combination of these different types of cinnamon. See the separate listing for Cassia Cinnamon.
How it works
The oils found in cinnamon bark are thought to reduce spasms, reduce gas (flatulence), and stimulate the appetite. Cinnamon might also increase blood flow. Cinnamon bark also contains a chemical that might work like insulin to lower blood sugar. However, these effects are thought to be fairly weak.
There are also ingredients in cinnamon bark called tannins that might help wounds by acting as an astringent, and also prevent diarrhea.
Possibly EffectivePremature ejaculation
Some evidence suggests that a specific cream containing cinnamon and many other ingredients might prevent premature ejaculation.
Consuming cinnamon bark in food amounts is LIKELY SAFE
Cinnamon bark is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in amounts used for medicine. These amounts are slightly higher than amounts found in food
However, cinnamon bark is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts. Also, taking cinnamon oil by mouth is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. The oil can be irritating to the skin and mucous membranes, including the stomach, intestine, and urinary tract. It can cause side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and others.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Consuming cinnamon bark isLIKELY SAFEwhen taken in food amounts duringpregnancyandbreast-feeding. Do not take larger amounts of cinnamon bark if you arepregnantor breast-feeding. Not enough is known about the safety of taking larger amounts.Are there any interactions with medications?
Diabetes: Cinnamon bark might lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use cinnamon bark.
Surgery: Cinnamon bark can affect blood sugar levels and might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking cinnamon at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
ModerateMedications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Cinnamon bark might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking cinnamon bark along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), metformin (Glucophage), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.