Cinnamon: Looking at the Research

While there are many wonderful herbs out there for many wonderful things, not all of them have modern scientific backing for their uses. Cinnamon is a superb herb for everything from lowering blood sugar and blood lipid content (that is fat), to preventing cancer. Ya, there is research showing it helps.

shutterstock_133083593I went searching for some of the good research and came across a review paper on cinnamon. When starting to look at research on herbs it is important to know the different kinds of scientific papers that are out there. A primary research article is what scientists want to see to prove an herb is doing something-the research done in a lab on people or animals. A review paper, that I am going to provide for you here, looks at a number of primary research articles and compares them to each other in attempts to draw some conclusions that might not at first be clear.

I went onto PubMed, a search engine sponsored by the National Institute of Health, and simply searched for cinnamon and diabetes, one of it’s most common uses. You can also use PubMed Central if you want to find only free articles.

I found a simple review article, Cinnamon: Mystic powers of a minute ingredient. Feel free to delve into it yourself and see the more simple end of what clinical herbalists are looking at to support you. I will sum up some of the awesome things about cinnamon that this review paper shows.

‘When taken in a dose of 120 mg/day to 6 g/day for approximately 4 months leads to a statistical decrease in levels of fasting plasma glucose along with an improvement in the lipid profile’

So what does this mean? Cinnamon sticks on a white background

When you take cinnamon, regularly for 4 months, there is both a decrease in blood sugar levels and fat level in the blood. The dose they look at is a very large range (equivalent to 1/2 a capsule to 15 capsules a day). A separate study recommends simply having 1/4 tsp daily for these same wonderful benefits.


‘One animal study suggested that C. cassia can inhibit the survival, viability and proliferation of tumor cells in vitro without having a significant effect on the normal cells. On further detailed analysis, it was found that such an effect could be attributed to the ability of the extract to induce apoptosis in tumor cells’

Simply put, cinnamon reduces tumor cell growth and could even be helpful at killing tumor cells without damaging surrounding cells. Well that is awesome!

Take some time to look through the article I have linked to. I would love to hear in the comments below, how you are doing at learning to read scientific research papers. They can be challenging but it is very rewarding to be able to see what the scientific community is discovering every day about the herbs we all know and love.

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