Cinnamon is a spice used by many different cultures as seasoning for savory and sweet foods. There are different varieties of cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon (also known as Cinnamon zeylanicum) and cinnamon cassia are the most common.
Cinnamon cassia is more common. It may already be in your spice cabinet. But Ceylon cinnamon is different from other varieties. It has a distinctive shape, lighter color, and delicate taste. It also has properties that contribute to many health benefits.
Potential for diabetes treatment
Cinnamon is considered as an alternative treatment for diabetes mellitus. In one study, Ceylon cinnamon brought insulin levels in diabetic rats to close to normal levels. Other studies support the idea that Ceylon cinnamon is useful for diabetes treatment.
Ceylon cinnamon stimulates insulin-like activity. It reduces insulin resistance in the body. This helps glucose metabolize in the liver, according to research. Ceylon cinnamon is a promising treatment for people looking for alternatives to synthetic insulin therapy. To use cinnamon as an insulin stabilizer, at least 120 milligrams per day are recommended.
Contains cancer-fighting enzymes
Ceylon cinnamon contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial effects. These properties mean Ceylon cinnamon supports your immune health. Ceylon cinnamon was part of a study that showed it enhanced antioxidant enzyme activity. This means it may prevent or treat certain types of cancer.
This is good news for people who are looking for dietary supplements that can help prevent their cancer from growing. You shouldn’t experiment with cinnamon to treat your cancer without speaking to your oncologist first.
Helps manage blood pressure
All varieties of cinnamon contain cinnamic acid. It has anti-inflammatory effects. The anti-inflammatory property helps blood flow through the body and puts less strain on the heart.
Research on Ceylon cinnamon dates back to 1975. The research concluded Ceylon cinnamon could help blood pressure. Weakening of the heart due to problems in the cardiovascular system often causes heart disease. Ceylon cinnamon supports cardiovascular function and contributes to healthy heart function.
Aids in Alzheimer’s prevention
Cinnamon appears to improve how the brain responds to insulin. The metabolic effect also makes Ceylon cinnamon useful in neurological conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease, researchers theorize. Studies that show a connection between diabetes and Alzheimer's support the idea Ceylon cinnamon may help halt Alzheimer’s onset.
Ceylon cinnamon may help control high blood glucose levels in the brain. Hyperglycemic episodes happen in people with diabetes mellitus. This can contribute to cognitive decline. Cinnamon’s properties help make sure blood glucose levels don’t rise too fast.
Cinnamon is found in the inner bark of the cinnamon tree. The bark dries into curly segments called “quills.” Quills are identified as cinnamon sticks.
Ceylon cinnamon is available in many products. Most cinnamon supplements on store shelves are the cassia variety. You may have to call manufacturers to see if the cinnamon you’re getting is Ceylon. It’s hard to tell what kind of cinnamon you’re dealing with if its ground cinnamon. A fine spice supplier or upscale culinary store will typically carry powdered Ceylon cinnamon. It’s also available online.
Besides powdered cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon is available in capsules to take by mouth. Some people boil cinnamon sticks in water, add honey or lemon, and drink as a tea. Ceylon cinnamon is good for making “cinnamon water.” It doesn’t carry the toxicity risk of cassia cinnamon.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) states cinnamon supplements should be safe for most people when properly dosed. Cassia cinnamon contains coumarin. This can be toxic to the liver if taken in large amounts or over a long time. Ceylon has a smaller amount of coumarin in it, which makes it safer.
Taking Ceylon cinnamon as a supplement for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects likely will not hurt you. As long as you’re sure the cinnamon supplement you’re taking contains Ceylon cinnamon, you’ll have a very low risk of negative side effects. As with any alternative treatment, talk with your doctor before using Ceylon cinnamon.