Cinnamon has been used as a spice around the world for centuries. It has also been used for its possible healing benefits. It has been used to improve stomach health and gas prevention. The only two species that are approved as medicinal herbs in the genus Cinnamomum areCinnamomum zeylanicum and C. cassia. The bark is used as a spice and is called cinnamon bark.
There is a lack of evidence supporting the use of cinnamon for any medical condition.
Cinnamon has been studied for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Although there are conflicting results, many trials suggest significant blood sugar-lowering effects. Cinnamon has been shown to be effective in improving both blood sugar and insulin metabolism.
Cinnamon is also believed to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant benefits. Research is ongoing in terms of its possible use for cancer or severe viral infections.
α-bromo-4-chlorocinnamaldehyde, δ-cadinene, 1,2-dimethoxy-4-(1-E-propenyl)benzene, 1,2-dimethoxy-4-(1-Z propenyl)benzene, 1,2-dimethoxy-4-(2-propenyl)benzene, 1-methoxy-4-(1-propenyl)benzene (transanethole), 2-substituted 4-(3H)-quinazolinones, 3-phenyl-2-propen-l-ol (cinnamyl alcohol), 3,4 dimethoxybenzaldehyde, 5,7,3',4'-tetrahydroxyflavan-3,4-diol, actinodaphnine, aitokaneli (Finnish), äkta kanel (Swedish), akupatri (Telugu), albero della cannella (Italian), allylbenzene, alpha-amyl cinnamaldehyde, American cinnamon, Batavia cassia, Batavia cinnamon, benzyl benzoate, breyne, canela (Portuguese, Spanish), canela de la China (Portuguese, Spanish), caneleiro (Portuguese), canelero chino (Spanish), canelero de Ceilán (Spanish), canelheira da India (Portuguese-Brazil), cannelier de Chine (French), cannella (Italian), cannella del Ceylan (Italian), cannella della Cina (Italian), cannelle (French), cannelle de Ceylan (French), cannelle de Chine (French), cannelle de Cochinchine (French), cannellier casse (French), cannellier de Ceylan (French), cannellier de Chine (French), cassia (English, Italian), cássia (Portuguese), cássia-aromática (Portuguese), cassia bark, cassia-bark tree, cassia cinnamon, cassia lignea, cassia rou gui, catechins, cây que (Vietnamese), Ceylon cinnamon, ceyloni fahéj (Hungarian), ceyloninkaneli (Finnish), ceylonkanel (Swedish), ceylonski cimet (Croatian), Ceylonzimt (German), Ceylon-Zimt (German), Ceylonzimtbaum (German), chadana (Sanskrit), chek tum phka loeng (Khmer), Chinazimt (German), Chinese-cassia, Chinese cinnamon, Chinesischer Zimt (German), Chinesischer Zimtbaum (German), cinbalansan, cin tarçını (Turkish), cinnakotolactone, cinnamal, cinnamaldehyde, cinnamate, cinnamic acid, cinnamic aldehyde, cinnamom-dhal chini, Cinnamomi cassiae, Cinnamomi cassiae cortex, Cinnamomi ceylanici cortex, Cinnamomi cortex, Cinnamomi flos, Cinnamomi osmophloeum, Cinnamomi ramulus, Cinnamomom, , Cinnamomum aromaticum Nees, Cinnamomum burmannii, Cinnamomum cassia, Cinnamomum cassia Blume, Cinnamomum cassia J. Presl, Cinnamomum cinnamon, Cinnamomum loureiroi, Cinnamomum mairei Levl., Cinnamomum migao, Cinnamomum obtusifolium, Cinnamomum osmophloeum clones (A and B), Cinnamomum osmophloeum Kaneh., Cinnamomum sieboldii, Cinnamomum sieboldii Meissn., Cinnamomum tamala, Cinnamomum tejpata, Cinnamomum verum, Cinnamomum verum J. Presl, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Cinnamomum zeylanicum bark, Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume, Cinnamomum zeylanicum Nees, cinnamon, cinnamon bark, cinnamon bark essential oil, cinnamon bark oil, cinnamon cortex, cinnamon essential oil, cinnamon extract, cinnamon flower, cinnamon fruit stalks, cinnamon leaf, cinnamon leaf essential oil, cinnamon leaf oil, cinnamon twig, cinnamon water, cinnamophilin, cinnamyl alcohol, cinnamyl anthranilate, coca (Sanskrit), cocam (Sanskrit), common cinnamon, condensed tannins, cortex cinnamomi, cortex cinnamomum, coumarin, cunamon cejloński (Polish), curruva pattai (Sinhalese), cynamon cejloński (Polish), cynamon chiński (Polish), cynamonowiec cejloński (Polish), cynamonowiec chiński (Polish), cynamonowiec wonny (tree) (Polish), daalachiini (Nepalese), daalachiinii (Nepalese), daalacinii (Hindi), daaracini (Bengali), daarciinii (Hindi), dal chini (Punjabi), dal ciinii (dalcheeni) (Urdu), dalachini (Marathi), dalachinni (Kannada), dalachinni chakke (Kannada), dalchini (Assamese, Bengali, Hindi), dar chini (Persian), dâr sînî (Arabic), dâr sînî ed dûn (Arabic), dâr sûss (Arabic), darchini (Bengali, Hindi), darusita (Sanskrit), E-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-2-propenal, (E)-2-cinnamaldehyde, echter Ceylonzimt (German), echter Kanel (German), echter Zimt (German), (E)-cinnamaldehyde, epicatechins, erikkoloam (Malayalam), eugenol, fahéj (Hungarian), fahéjkasszia (Hungarian), falsa cannella (Italian), false cinnamon, gixin, gong gui (Chinese), guan gui (Chinese-Mandarin), gui (Chinese-Mandarin), gui pi (Chinese-Mandarin), gui xin (Chinese-Mandarin), gui zhi (Chinese), guipi (Chinese-Mandarin), guirou, guixin (Chinese-Mandarin), guizhi (Chinese), guizhi tang, gum, gun gwai (Chinese-Cantonese), gwai sam (Chinese-Cantonese), hiina kaneelipuu (Estonian), hman thin (Burmese), hminthin (Burmese), hushållskanel (Swedish), ilavangam (Malayalam, Tamil), isoobtusilactone A, isokotomolide A, isolinderanolide B, isotenuifolide A, jingo tongxiao, jih gwai (Chinese-Cantonese), jungui, kaempferol, kaneel (Danish), kaneelboom (Danish), kanel (Norwegian, Swedish), kanéla (Greek), kanela (Tagalog), kaneli (Finnish), kanelipuu (Finnish), kanell (Icelandic), karun (Malayalam), kashia (Japanese), kashia keihi (Japanese), kasia (Greek), kasiia (Bulgarian), kassia (Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Norwegian, Swedish), kassiakanel (Danish, Swedish), kassiakaneli (Finnish), Kassie (as C. cassia) (German), kassie (Dutch), kasszia (Hungarian), kayu manis (Malay), kayu manis cina (Malay-Indonesia), keihi, keishi (Japanese), keishi-bukuryo-gan, keychi (Korean), kiinankaneli (Finnish), kínai fahéj (Hungarian), kinamon (Hebrew), kinesisk kanel (Danish), kinesisk kaneltræ (Danish), kinnamomom (Greek), korichnik aromatnyi (Russian), korichnik kitaiskii (Russian), korichnik tsyelonskii (Russian), korichnoe derevo (Russian), korihnoe derevo (Russian), koritsa tseilonskaia (Bulgarian), kotomolide A, kotomolide B, kuei tsin (Chinese-Mandarin), kukhii taaj (Nepalese), kukjii taaj (Nepalese), kurundu (Sinhalese), kye pi (Korean), Lauraceae (family), laurier casse (French), lauro aromatico (Italian), lauro cassia (Italian), lavangamu (Telugu), lavangapatri (Kannada, Tamil), lavangapatta (Kannada, Telugu), lavangapattai (Malayalam, Tamil), lavangapatte (Kannada), lavangpatram (Malayalam), lignans, linalool, luteolin, Malabar leaf, Malabathrum, Malobathrum, mauh gwai (Chinese-Cantonese), mdalasini (Swahili), monoterpenes, mucilage, mu gui (Chinese-Mandarin), mugui (Chinese-Mandarin), N-acetyl-S-(1-phenyl-2-carboxy ethyl)cysteine, N-acetyl-S-(1-phenyl-3-hydroxypropyl)cysteine, nagkesar (Hindi), nhuc que (Vietnamese), o-methoxycinnamaldehyde, ocotea quixos, Oleum Malabathri, op choei chin (Thai-Bangkok), op choei thet (Thai-Bangkok), padang cassia, padang cinnamon, patrakam (Hindi), pattra (Sanskrit), pelargonidin, phenolic compounds, phenylpropanoids, pinene, polyphenol polymers, proanthocyanidins, procyanidin oligomers, propenylbenzenes, qassia (Hebrew), qin, qirfah (Arabic), quarfa (Arabic-Morocco), que dơn (Vietnamese), que hoi (Vietnamese), que quang (Vietnamese), que rành (Vietnamese), que Srilanca (Vietnamese), que thanh (Vietnamese), quercetin, ramulus Cinnamomi (Cinnamomum cassia Presl), resin, rou gui (Chinese), rou gui pi (Chinese-Mandarin), rougui (Chinese-Mandarin), sa chwang (sa chouang) (Laotian), Saigon cassia, Saigon cinnamon, saliha (Turkish), salîkhah (Arabic), scortisoara (Romanian), secobutanolide, secokotomolide A, secosubamolide A, secotenuifolide A, seiron Nikkei (Japanese), sequiterpenes (pinene), sesamin, Seychelles cinnamon, seylan tarçini (Turkish), shinamon (Japanese), sil long gye pi (Korean), skořice (Czech), skořice cejlonská (Czech), skořice čínská (Czech), Sri Lanka cinnamon, sthula tvak (Sanskrit), subamolides A-E, sweet wood, taj (Sanskrit), talouskaneli (Finnish), tamaala patra (Sanskrit), tamaalaka (Sanskrit), tarçın ağacı (Turkish), teipat (Urdu), tenuifolide A, tenuifolide B, tenuifolin, thi ho thit kya bo (Burmese), thit-ja boh guak (Burmese), thit kya bo (Burmese), tonkin Nikkei (Japanese), transanethole, trans-cinnamaldehyde, trans-cinnamic acid, trans-cinnamic alcohol, true cinnamon, tseiloni kaneelipuu (Estonian), tseilonska kanela (Bulgarian), tseilonskaia koritsa (Bulgarian), tuj (Gujarati), tvak (Sanskrit), tvakpatrakka (Sanskrit), utkaTa (Sanskrit), valse kaneel (Dutch), varaangam (Hindi), vayana (Malayalam), xi lan rou gui (Chinese), xiao-jian-zhong, xiao-jian-zhong-tang, yin xiang, yu gui (Chinese-Mandarin), yuhk gwai (Chinese-Cantonese), yuk gwai (Chinese-Cantonese), zi gui (Chinese-Mandarin), Zimt (German), Zimtbaum, (German), Zimtblüte (German), Zimtblüten (German), Zimtcassie (as C. cassia) (German), Zimtrinde (German), Zimtrindle (German).
Note: The foreign language equivalents above come from the Cinnamomum aromaticum Nees, Cinnamomum verum J. Presl, and Cinnamomum zeylanicum species.
Traditional Chinese Medicine formula examples: Bai Hu Jia Gui Zhi Tang, Da Qing Long Tang, Dang Gui Si Ni Tang, Ge Gen Tang, Gui-Zhi, Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan, Gui Zhi Tang, Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang, Ma Huang Tang, Tao He Cheng Qi Tang, Tan Yin, Tongbiling, Yi Qi Tong Lin Chingji, Zhi-Shen.
Note: This bottom line focuses on edible types of cinnamon. It does not include Cinnamomum camphora, or the camphor tree, which may be lethal to humans in large doses, or Cinnamomum kotoense, which is an ornamental species.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Early study suggests that cinnamon may have anti-allergy benefits. A combination product containing cinnamon may reduce nasal allergy symptoms. More studies are needed before a firm conclusion may be made.
Cinnamon has been studied as an antioxidant. Dried cinnamon extract (Cinnulin PF®) has been shown to improve antioxidant status in overweight or obese people with abnormal blood sugar levels. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.
Early study suggests that cinnamon may treat bacterial infections. However, more research is needed in this area.
Cinnamon oil has been studied for its possible benefits in fighting bacteria that cause bad breath. Sugar-sweetened cinnamon gum has been studied. More research is needed in this area.
Cinnamon has been studied for chest pain caused by a bacterial infection. Further study is needed before a firm conclusion may be made.
Early studies suggest that cinnamon may affect insulin and blood sugar levels. Benefits have been found in type 2 diabetics in terms of reduced blood sugar and cholesterol. However, results are inconsistent. More research is needed in this area.
Early research has found that a combination herbal eye drop (OphthaCare) may be useful in treating some eye disorders, such as pink eye or dry eye. Further study is needed.
Helicobacter pylori infection
Cinnamon has been studied for use in
Cassia oil sprays (
Irritable bowel syndrome
Cinnamon has been studied for its possible effects on bacteria that may cause irritable bowel syndrome. A combination of cinnamon quills, bilberry, slippery elm bark, and agrimony was found to have mixed benefits for this purpose. More research is needed on the effects of cinnamon alone.
Early study suggests that cinnamon may be useful in the treatment of lung cancer. However, more research is needed before a firm conclusion may be made.
Metabolic syndrome (coronary heart disease)
Early study suggests that cinnamon may be useful in the treatment of metabolic syndrome in prediabetic people. However, one trial reported a lack of effect. More research is needed in this area.
A combination ointment containing cinnamon may have benefits for people with osteoarthritis. More research is needed on the possible effects of cinnamon alone for this condition.
Cinnamon has been studied for premature ejaculation in combination with eight other herbs. Further study is needed to determine any effect of cinnamon alone.
Cinnamon has been studied for use in yeast infection. Early study has found mixed results. Further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of cinnamon for this purpose.