Hypertension and Cinnamon
Although we may typically think of cinnamon as a spice, it has been used for centuries as a treatment for numerous health issues and is especially popular in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Recently it has received attention for helping to control blood sugar in diabetics. Research suggests that it might also be helpful for controlling high blood pressure.
Effect of Cinnamon on Hypertension
Cinnamon has shown some potential to lower blood pressure and high cholesterol, and help control glucose levels in the blood. How it does this is not yet fully understood.
Research Evidence on Cinnamon
In a randomized study involving 58 people with type 2 diabetes, 2 g of cinnamon daily reduced high blood pressure levels, as well as HbA1c levels (a measurement of blood sugar levels over time).144
How to Use Cinnamon
In the study discussed here, the effective dose of cinnamon was 2 g daily. Typical recommended dosages of ground cinnamon bark are 1 to 4 g daily. Cinnamon oil is generally used at a dose of 0.05 to 0.2 g daily.13
Cinnamon is widely available in its most familiar form--as a powdered spice--and can also be found in supplement form, usually as capsules of cinnamon powder or oil. Cinnamon supplements are typically available in drug stores and natural food stores, or wherever supplements are sold.
Types of Professionals That Would Be Involved with This Treatment
- Naturopathic doctor
- Integrative MD
- Nutritionist or dietitian
Side Effects and Warnings
As a widely used food spice, ground cinnamon bark is believed to be safe. However, cinnamon's essential oil is much more concentrated than the powdered bark commonly used for baking. There is some evidence that high doses of cinnamon oil might depress the central nervous system. ^ Germany's Commission E recommends that pregnant women should avoid taking cinnamon oil or high doses of the bark. ^ Maximum safe doses in young children, nursing women, or individuals with severe liver or kidney disease have not been determined.
When used topically, cinnamon bark oil may cause flushing and a burning sensation. ^ Some people have reported strong burning sensations or mouth ulcers after chewing cinnamon-flavored gum or candy. ^ However, these reactions disappeared within days of discontinuing the gum.
- Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Wiley; 1996: 168.
- Akilen R, Tsiami A, Devendra D, Robinson N. Glycated haemoglobin and blood pressure-lowering effect of cinnamon in multi-ethnic Type 2 diabetic patients in the UK: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial. Diabet Med. 2010;27(10):1159-1167.