Cinnamon: A Super-Spice With Potent Health Benefits
cinnamon benefits

Cinnamon: A Super-Spice With Potent Health Benefits

by Kelley Herring on March 14, 2014

Ahhh…the sweet smell of cinnamon.  Its distinct aroma never fails to conjure fond memories of home and hearth, and of course, delicious desserts. Our brains automatically associate cinnamon with cakes, cookies, pastries and pies.

But did you know that cinnamon is also a powerful medicinal agent? That’s right. Cinnamon isn’t just a tasty baking spice. It provides an impressive list of healing properties too.

Just a Dash to Smooth Out Crow’s Feet and Laugh Lines

cinnamon fights wrinkles

Want to look younger, longer? Add cinnamon liberally to your diet.

Do you wish to preserve your skin’s youthful appearance and keep lines and wrinkles at bay? Before you decide to go under the knife, consider a natural, non-invasive and supremely inexpensive remedy.


According to a recent report published in Journal of Medicinal Food, cinnamon is packed with antioxidants and other compounds that provide protection against the untimely formation of advanced glycation end-products.

Advanced what, you say?

Advanced glycation end-products, or “AGEs” (an apt acronym, don’t you think?) are one of the main culprits behind tissue damage and inflammation. AGEs result in the development of visible lines on your face, the development of inflexible arteries, and a host of other serious metabolic consequences.

So how can you maximize the age-defying effects of cinnamon?

Buy the highest quality organic cinnamon, store it properly and use it quickly. The potent AGE-fighting constituents of cinnamon – called phenols – can be destroyed by exposure to air, heat and light. So make sure to store your cinnamon in a cool, dark place and replace every six months to fully enjoy its powerful benefits.

But don’t expect to get the same benefits from cinnamon buns and spice cookies… at least not if you’re using sugar!  In fact, sugar will negate the anti-aging benefits of cinnamon by creating an onslaught of free radicals and inflammation.

When using cinnamon in baking, be sure to opt for safe, low glycemic sweeteners including stevia and erythritol. Not only will you promote healthy blood sugar levels and keep your weight on track, but you’ll maximize cinnamon’s power too.

And speaking of blood sugar…

Keep Your Blood Sugar Levels Stable with Cinnamon

half a teaspoon of cinnamon

A little cinnamon goes a LONG way for your health! You only need about half a teaspoon of cinnamon to help balance blood sugar and benefit cholesterol.

Diabetes is the most widespread chronic disease afflicting Americans today. But did you know that just a little cinnamon can go a long way to stabilize your blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes?

It’s true!

According to Dr. Richard Anderson, PhD, who has studied the great benefits and positive effects of cinnamon for the past 20 years, this particular spice effectively imitates insulin in the body. What’s more important, it has also been found to enhance insulin’s effects.

In a recent study conducted on 60 individuals diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, researchers found that patients who were given as little as one gram of cinnamon daily (about half a teaspoon) experienced:

  • 18% to 29% decrease in their blood sugar levels
  • 7% to 27% decrease in LDL cholesterol
  • 23% to 30% drop in triglycerides
  • 12% to 26% reduction in total cholesterol levels

Along with fighting the physical signs of aging, you now have even more important reasons to spice up your foods with cinnamon. So make a habit of sprinkling this potent spice into your coffee or tea, and mix into sweet potatoes or winter squash to promote better blood sugar balance and a healthier heart.

Health Benefits of Cinnamon - Healing Gourmet

Prevents Blood Clots and Reduces Inflammation

Cinnamon is known to contain three specific components – cinnamyl acetate, cinnamyl alcohol and cinnamaldehyde – which have been found to facilitate healing in a myriad of ways.

Cinnamaldehyde, in particular, has been researched extensively for its effects on platelets- the constituents of blood which are responsible for the formation of clots during injuries.

While some clotting is absolutely necessary for wound healing, too much clotting can cause poor circulation and other cardiovascular problems to occur. Cinnamon helps to thin the blood and prevent excessive clotting by inhibiting the release on an inflammatory factor called thromboxane A2 – putting this spice in an elite league of “anti-inflammatory” foods.

Prevents Infection… Better Than Drugs!

Aside from preventing blood clots and inflammation, cinnamon also contains essential oils that can inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi.

Among a long list of “nasties” inhibited by cinnamon, is the notorious yeast, Candida, which can cause a host of health problems from digestive distress to sinus infections. In fact, cinnamon is so powerful against Candida that lab tests found it works on strains that have grown resistant to common anti-fungal medications.

And cinnamon can keep the “bugs” at bay in your food too.

A recent study published the International Journal of Food Microbiology found that just a few drops of cinnamon oil added to approximately three ounces of carrot broth inhibited the growth of the food borne pathogen Bacillus cereus for at least 60 days.

So, mix cinnamon into broths, soups, chilis and stews to boost flavor and extend freshness while promoting healthy gut flora.

Forget the Medicine Cabinet, Create a Healing Pantry

A well-stocked pantry of healing foods, herbs and spices is what it takes to keep a healthy body and a happy tummy. So reach for natural cures like cinnamon to add more flavor to your foods and more years to your life!

Hlebowicz J, Darwiche G, Björgell O, Almér LO. Effect of cinnamon on postprandial blood glucose, gastric emptying, and satiety in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;85(6):1552-6. Davis PA, Yokoyama W. Cinnamon intake lowers fasting blood glucose: meta-analysis J Med Food. 2011 Sep;14(9):884-9. Epub 2011 Apr 11. Kirkham S, Akilen R, Sharma S, Tsiami A. The potential of cinnamon to reduce blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2009 Dec;11(12):1100-13 Crawford P. Effectiveness of cinnamon for lowering hemoglobin A1C in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, controlled trial. J Am Board Fam Med. 2009 Sep-Oct;22(5):507-12. Saraswat M, Reddy PY, Muthenna P, Reddy GB. Prevention of non-enzymic glycation of proteins by dietary agents: prospects for alleviating diabetic complications. Br J Nutr. 2009 Jun;101(11):1714-21. Epub 2008 Nov 6. Peng X, Ma J, Chao J, Sun Z, Chang RC, Tse I, Li ET, Chen F, Wang M. Beneficial effects of cinnamon proanthocyanidins on the formation of specific advanced glycation endproducts and methylglyoxal-induced impairment on glucose consumption J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Jun 9;58(11):6692-6 Dearlove RP, Greenspan P, Hartle DK, Swanson RB, Hargrove JL. Inhibition of protein glycation by extracts of culinary herbs and spices. J Med Food. 2008 Jun;11(2):275-81 Broadhurst CL, Polansky MM, Anderson RA. Insulin-like biological activity of culinary and medicinal plant aqueous extracts in vitro. J Agric Food Chem 2000 Mar;48(3):849-52 2000. Impari-Radosevich J, Deas S, Polansky MM et al. Regulatino of PTP-1 and insulin receptor kinase by fractions from cinnamon:implications for cinnamon regulation of insulin signaling. Horm Res 1998 Sep;50(3):177-82 1998. Khan A, Safdar M, Ali Khan MM, Khattak KN, Anderson RA. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2003 Dec;26(12):3215-8. 2003. Ouattara B, Simard RE, Holley RA, et al. Antibacterial activity of selected fatty acids and essential oils against six meat spoilage organisms. Int J Food Microbiol 1997 Jul 22;37(2-3):155-62 1997. PMID:12270. Qin B, Nagasaki M, Ren M, Bajotto G, Oshida Y, Sato Y. Cinnamon extract prevents the insulin resistance induced by a high-fructose diet. Horm Metab Res. 2004 Feb;36(2):119-25. 2004. PMID:15002064. Quale JM, Landman D, Zaman MM, et al. In vitro activity of Cinnamomum zeylanicum against azole resistant and sensitive Candida species and a pilot study of cinnamon for oral candidiasis. Am J Chin Med 1996;24(2):103-9 1996. PMID:12530. Takenaga M, Hirai A, Terano T, et al. In vitro effect of cinnamic aldehyde, a main component of Cinnamomi Cortex, on human platelet aggregation and arachidonic acid metabolism. J Pharmacobiodyn 1987 May;10(5):201-8 1987. PMID:12520. Valero M, Salmeron MC. Antibacterial activity of 11 essential oils against Bacillus cereus in tyndallized carrot broth. Int J Food Microbiol. Aug 15;85(1-2):73-81 2003.

About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.

About Kelley Herring

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.


  1. George Tyler says:

    what is the best cinnamon to use

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