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Cinnamon

Also indexed as:Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Cinnamon: Main Image© Steven Foster
Botanical names:
Cinnamomum zeylanicum

How It Works

Various terpenoids found in the volatile oil are believed to account for cinnamon’s medicinal effects. Important among these compounds are eugenol and cinnamaldehyde. Both cinnamaldehyde and cinnamon oil vapors are potent anti-fungal compounds.15 Preliminary human evidence confirms this effect in a clinical trial with AIDS patients suffering from oral candida (thrush) infections that improved with topical application of cinnamon oil.16 Antibacterial actions have also been demonstrated for cinnamon.17 The diterpenes in the volatile oil have shown anti-allergic activity18 as well. In addition, water extracts may help reduce ulcers.19 Test tube studies also show that cinnamon can augment the action of insulin.20 However, use of cinnamon to improve the action of insulin in people with diabetes has yet to be proven in clinical trials.

How to Use It

The German Commission E monograph suggests 1/2–3/4 teaspoon (2–4 grams) of the powder per day.21 A tea can be prepared from the powdered herb by boiling 1/2 teaspoon (2–3 grams) of the powder for ten to fifteen minutes, cooling, and then drinking. No more than a few drops of volatile oil should be used and only for a few days at a time. A tincture (1/2 teaspoon or 2–3 ml) may also be taken three times per day.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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