In an evaluation of the antibacterial activity of 21 plant essential oils against six bacterial species, cinnamon came out on top. The selected essential oils were screened against six bacteria: Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus vulgaris, Bacillus subtilis, and Staphylococcus aureus. Cinnamon oil was found to inhibit all of them, even at low concentrations, and was determined to be a good source of antibacterial agents. 9
- When cinnamon extract was tested against a resistant Candida species in five patients with HIV infection and oral candidiasis, three of the five patients exhibited improvement of their Candida infection. 10
- A recent Chinese study of cinnamon extracts found they were effective in inhibiting the growth of various bacteria including: Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, Enterobacter aerogenes, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Samonella typhymurium, and fungi including yeasts (four species of Candida, C. albicans, C. tropicalis, C. glabrata, and C. krusei), and molds. 11
As an anti-inflammatory agent, cinnamon may be useful in preventing or mitigating arthritis as well as cardiovascular disease. And as scientists increasingly understand the relationship between inflammation and insulin function in Alzheimer’s (causing some to refer to the neurodegenerative disease as “type 3 diabetes”), cinnamon’s ability to block inflammation and enhance insulin function may make it useful in combating that disease as well. 12
“As an anti-inflammatory agent, cinnamon may be useful in preventing or mitigating arthritis as well as cardiovascular disease.”
Helps regulate blood pressure
Many nutrients and nutraceuticals—including cinnamon extract—that enhance insulin sensitivity and/or reduce circulating insulin concentrations are capable of lowering blood pressure. When cinnamon was added to the diets of laboratory animals that included sucrose for 3-4 weeks, their blood pressure was reduced to the same levels as the animals that ate a non-sucrose diet. 13
Cinnamon is found in household spice racks around the world, and you’ve probably enjoyed its flavoring all your life. Now, thanks to scientific research and the nutritional supplement industry, you can also reap its full spectrum of health benefits in the form of an easy to take daily supplement that provides a concentrated form of cinnamon’s water-soluble and fat-soluble phytochemicals.
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This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult with a physician before embarking on a dietary supplement program.
Corn, Charles. The Scents of Eden: A Narrative of the Spice Trade (New York: Kodansha International, 1998), p. 202.
Anderson RA, Broadhurst CL, Polansky MM, Schmidt WF, Khan A, Flanagan VP, Schoene NW, Graves DJ. Isolation and characterization of polyphenol type-A polymers from cinnamon with insulin-like biological activity. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jan 14;52(1):65-70.
Cinnamon spice produces healthier blood, Nov. 24, 2003, Newscientist.com.
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.
Kim W, Khil LY, Clark R, Bok SH, Kim EE, Lee S, Jun HS, Yoon JW. Naphthalenemethyl ester derivative of dihydroxyhydrocinnamic acid, a component of cinnamon, increases glucose disposal by enhancing translocation of glucose transporter 4. Diabetologia. 2006 Oct;49(10):2437-48. Epub 2006 Aug 9.
Subash Babu P, Prabuseenivasan S, Ignacimuthu S. Cinnamaldehyde-A potential antidiabetic agent. Phytomedicine. 2007 Jan;14(1):15-22. Epub 2006 Nov 30.
Kannappan S, Jayaraman T, Rajasekar P, Ravichandran MK, Anuradha CV. Cinnamon bark extract improves glucose metabolism and lipid profile in the fructose-fed rat. Singapore Med J. 2006 Oct;47(10):858-63.
Kim SH, Hyun SH, Choung SY. Anti-diabetic effect of cinnamon extract on blood glucose in db/db mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Mar 8;104(1-2):119-23. Epub 2005 Oct 5.
Prabuseenivasan S, Jayakumar M, Ignacimuthu S. In vitro antibacterial activity of some plant essential oils. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2006 Nov 30;6:39.
Quale JM, Landman D, Zaman MM, Burney S, Sathe SS. 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):1039.
Ooi LS, Li Y, Kam SL, Wang H, Wong EY, Ooi VE. Antimicrobial activities of cinnamon oil and cinnamaldehyde from the Chinese medicinal herb Cinnamomum cassia Blume. Am J Chin Med. 2006;34(3):511-22.
McCarty MF Toward prevention of Alzheimers disease--potential nutraceutical strategies for suppressing the production of amyloid beta peptides . Med Hypotheses. 2006;67(4):682-97. Epub 2006 Jul 7.
Preuss HG, Echard B, Polansky MM, Anderson R. Whole cinnamon and aqueous extracts ameliorate sucrose-induced blood pressure elevations in spontaneously hypertensive rats . J Am Coll Nutr. 2006 Apr;25(2):144-50.