Cinnamon, also known as daar cheeni in Hindi, is a spice commonly used in cooking and baking. It is made from the bark of cinnamon trees and has a sweet, warm flavor. In addition to its culinary uses, cinnamon has also been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. In this article, we will explore the benefits and side effects of cinnamon.
Benefits of Cinnamon
- May Help Control Blood Sugar: Cinnamon has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Studies have also found that consuming cinnamon can help lower fasting blood sugar levels and improve A1C, a measure of blood sugar control over time.
- May Help Lower Cholesterol: Cinnamon has been found to lower total cholesterol levels, as well as LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. It may also help raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
- May Help Fight Infections: Cinnamon has antimicrobial properties that may help fight infections caused by bacteria and fungi. Studies have found that cinnamon can inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus.
- May Help Relieve Pain: Cinnamon has been used as a natural remedy for pain relief for centuries. Studies have found that cinnamon can be effective in reducing menstrual pain and pain caused by osteoarthritis.
- May Help Improve Brain Function: Cinnamon has been found to improve attention, memory and processing speed in people with mild cognitive impairment. Studies have also found that cinnamon can help improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- May Help Fight Inflammation: Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation in the body. This can be helpful in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Side Effects of Cinnamon
- May Interact with Medications: Cinnamon can interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, diabetes medications and medications for high blood pressure. If you are taking any medications, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking cinnamon supplements.
- May Cause Allergic Reactions: Some people may be allergic to cinnamon. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include hives, itching, swelling and difficulty breathing.
- May Cause Mouth Sores: Consuming large amounts of cinnamon can cause mouth sores, also known as cinnamon burn. This is because cinnamon is high in a compound called coumarin, which can be toxic in large amounts.
- May Cause Liver Damage: Consuming large amounts of cinnamon can also cause liver damage. This is because cinnamon is high in a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which can be toxic in large amounts.
- May Cause Diarrhea: Consuming large amounts of cinnamon can also cause diarrhea. This is because cinnamon is high in a compound called tannin, which can be toxic in large amounts.
In conclusion, cinnamon is a versatile spice that has been used for culinary and medicinal purposes for centuries. It has been shown to have many potential health benefits, including controlling blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, fighting infections, relieving pain, improving brain function and fighting inflammation. However, it is important to note that consuming large amounts of cinnamon can cause side effects, including allergic reactions, mouth sores, liver damage, diarrhea and interactions with certain medications. If you are considering taking cinnamon supplements, it is important to talk to your doctor first.