Scientific name: Cinnamomum verum, Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Common names: Cinnamon, Cinnamon Bark Tree
Ayurvedic names: Twak
Chinese names: Guizhi
Bangladesh names: Dalchini
Arabic names: القرفة (al qirfah)
Rain Forest names:
Approximate number of species known:
Common parts used: Bark (inner), oil
Height: upto 30 feet
Actions: Aromatic, astringent, carminative, stimulant
Known Constituents: volatile oil (up to 4% with cinnamaldehyde 65-70% and eugenol 4-10%)
Traditionally used in cooking that has been a time honoured remedy for digestive upsets. It has been used to relive gas, and bloating, in addition to nausea and vomiting. Its slight astrigency action has seen it used to help combat diarrhea.
Used to enhance blood circulation.
It has been used recently for its apparent strong impact on the stabilisation of blood sugar levels.
A study determined the blood glucose lowering effect of cinnamon on HbA1c, blood pressure and lipid profiles in people with type 2 diabetes.
58 type 2 diabetic patients (25 males and 33 females), aged 54.9 ± 9.8, treated only with hypoglycemic agents and with an HbA1c more than 7% were randomly assigned to receive either 2g of cinnamon or placebo daily for 12 weeks.
After intervention, the mean HbA1c was significantly decreased in the cinnamon group (8.22% to 7.86%) compared with placebo group (8.55% to 8.68%). Mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures were also significantly reduced after 12 weeks in the cinnamon group compared with the placebo group.
A significant reduction in fasting plasma glucose (FPG), waist circumference and body mass index (BMI) was observed at week 12 compared to baseline in the cinnamon group, however, the changes were not significant when compared to placebo group.
There were no significant differences in serum lipid profiles of total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL and LDL cholesterols neither between nor within the groups.
Intake of 2g of cinnamon for 12 weeks significantly reduces the HbA1c, SBP and DBP among poorly controlled type 2 diabetes patients. Cinnamon supplementation could be considered as an additional dietary supplement option to regulate blood glucose and blood pressure levels along with conventional medications to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Another study study investigated the short-term germ-killing effect of sugar-sweetened cinnamon chewing gum on total and H2S-producing salivary anaerobes.
Fifteen healthy adult subjects were recruited in the double-blind, crossover clinical study. The three test chewing gums included: 1) sugared chewing gum containing cinnamic aldehyde and natural flavors (CinA+); 2) sugared chewing gum without cinnamic aldehyde but with natural flavors (CinA-); and 3) non-sugared chewing gum base (GB) without any flavors and without cinnamic aldehyde.
A three-day “washout” period followed each treatment. Each subject chewed gum under supervision for 20 minutes at 60 chews/minute. Unstimulated whole saliva samples were collected before the subjects chewed the gum and at 20 minutes after expectoration of the gum.
All saliva samples were serially diluted, plated on blood agar or agar plates that select for bacteria producing H2S, incubated anaerobically for three days, and enumerated for viable colony counts of total and H2S-producing salivary anaerobes.
Significant reductions in total salivary anaerobes and H2S-producing salivary anaerobes were observed 20 minutes after subjects chewed the CinA+ gum. The chewing of CinA- gum also significantly reduced total salivary anaerobes and H2S-producing salivary anaerobes.
The commercially available sugar-sweetened cinnamon chewing gum may benefit halitosis by reducing volatile sulfur compounds producing anaerobes in the oral cavity.
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.” 2010 October http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20854384
Zhu M, Carvalho R, Scher A, Wu CD. “Short-Term Germ-Killing Effect Of Sugar-Sweetened Cinnamon Chewing Gum On Saliva Anaerobes Associated With Halitosis.” 2011 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21290983