Bastard Cinnamon, Canela de Cassia, Canela de la China, Canela Molida, Canelero Chino, Canelle, Cannelle Bâtarde, Cannelle Cassia, Cannelle de Ceylan, Cannelle de Chine, Cannelle de Cochinchine, Cannelle de Padang, Cannelle de Saigon, Cannelier Casse, Cannelier de Chine, Canton Cassia, Casse, Casse Odorante, Cassia, Cassia Aromaticum, Cassia Bark, Cassia Lignea, Chinazimt, Chinese Cassia, Chinese Cinnamon, Chinesischer Zimtbaum, Cinnamomi Cassiae Cortex, Cinnamomum, Cinnamomum aromaticum, Cinnamomum cassia, Cinnamomum ramulus, Cinnamon, Cinnamon Essential Oil, Cinnamon Flos, Cinnamoni Cortex, Cinnamonomi Cortex, Cortex Cinnamomi, Écorce de Cassia, False Cinnamon, Fausse Cannelle, Gui Zhi, Huile Essentielle de Cannelle, Kassiakanel, Keishi, Laurier des Indes, Nees, Ramulus Cinnamomi, Rou Gui, Saigon Cinnamon, Sthula Tvak, Taja, Zimbluten, Zimtcassie.
Cassia cinnamon is a type of cinnamon prepared from the dried inner bark of an evergreen tree that grows in areas of southeastern Asia. In addition to cassia cinnamon, Cinnamomum verum (Ceylon cinnamon) is commonly used. The cinnamon spice found in food stores might contain both of these types of cinnamon. But, the most common cinnamon sold in North America is cassia cinnamon.
Some people use it for erectile dysfunction (ED), hernia, bed-wetting, joint pain, menopausal symptoms, menstrual problems, and to cause abortions. Cassia cinnamon is also used for chest pain, kidney disorders, high blood pressure, cramps, and cancer.
People apply cassia cinnamon to the skin to repel mosquitos.
In food and beverages, cassia cinnamon is used as a flavoring agent.
How does it work?
Cassia cinnamon contains hydroxychalcone and similar chemicals. These chemicals seem to improve insulin sensitivity. Cassia cinnamon also contains chemicals that may activate blood proteins that increase blood sugar uptake. These effects may improve blood sugar control in patients with diabetes. Cassia cinnamon also contains cinnamaldehyde. This chemical might have activity against bacteria and fungi. It also seems to stop the growth of some types of solid tumor cells.
Possibly Effective for...
- Diabetes. Some research shows that taking cassia cinnamon daily for up to 3 months helps control blood sugar and reduces cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. Cassia cinnamon does not appear to improve blood sugar control and related symptoms in people with type 1 diabetes.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Mosquito repellent. Early research suggests that applying cassia cinnamon oil cream to the skin can protect against mosquito bites. But, it seems to decrease in effectiveness faster than creams containing citronella and geranium oils or DEET.
- Bed wetting.
- Chest pain.
- Common cold.
- Erectile dysfunction (ED).
- High blood pressure.
- Intestinal gas.
- Joint pain.
- Kidney problems.
- Loss of appetite.
- Menopausal symptoms.
- Menstrual problems.
- Muscle and stomach spasms.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Cassia cinnamon is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in foods and when taken by mouth in medicinal doses for up to 4 months.
Cassia cinnamon is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin in the short-term.
Cassia cinnamon is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts for a long period of time. Taking large amounts of cassia cinnamon might cause side effects in some people. Cassia cinnamon can contain large amounts of a chemical called coumarin. In people who are sensitive, coumarin might cause or worsen liver disease. When applied to the skin, cassia cinnamon can sometimes cause skin irritation and allergic skin reactions.
Children: Cassia cinnamon is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately. One gram of cassia cinnamon daily has been used safely in 13-18 year-old adolescents for up to 3 months.
Diabetes: Cassia cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully, if you have diabetes and use cassia cinnamon in amounts larger than the amounts normally found in food.
Liver disease: Cassia cinnamon contains a chemical that might harm the liver. If you have liver disease, do not take cassia cinnamon in amounts larger than the amounts normally found in food.
Surgery: Cassia cinnamon might lower blood sugar and might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking cassia cinnamon as a medicine at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Medications that can harm the liver (Hepatotoxic drugs)Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.
Taking very large doses of cassia cinnamon might harm the liver, especially in people with existing liver disease. Taking large amounts of cassia cinnamon along with medications that might also harm the liver might increase the risk of liver damage. Do not take large amounts of cassia cinnamon if you are taking a medication that can harm the liver.
Some medications that can harm the liver include acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), amiodarone (Cordarone), carbamazepine (Tegretol), isoniazid (INH), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), methyldopa (Aldomet), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), erythromycin (Erythrocin, Ilosone, others), phenytoin (Dilantin), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), and many others.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Cassia cinnamon might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking cassia cinnamon along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, metformin (Glucophage), pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
The appropriate dose of cassia cinnamon depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for cassia cinnamon. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Chang, K. S., Tak, J. H., Kim, S. I., Lee, W. J., and Ahn, Y. J. Repellency of Cinnamomum cassia bark compounds and cream containing cassia oil to Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) under laboratory and indoor conditions. Pest.Manag.Sci. 2006;62(11):1032-1038. View abstract.
Nahas, R. and Moher, M. Complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Can Fam.Physician 2009;55(6):591-596. View abstract.
Akilen R, Tsiami A, Devendra D, Robinson N. Cinnamon in glycaemic control: Systematic review and meta analysis. Clin Nur 2012;31(5):609-15. View abstract.
Akilen, R., Tsiami, A., Devendra, D., and 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. View abstract.
Allen RW, Schwartzman E, Baker WL, et al. Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Fam Med 2013;11(5):452-9. View abstract.
Altschuler JA, Casella SJ, MacKenzie TA, Curtis KM. The effect of cinnamon on A1C among adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2007;30(4):813-6. View abstract.
Anderson RA, Broadhurst CL, Polansky MM, et al. Isolation and Characterization of Polyphenol Type-A Polymers from Cinnamon with Insulin-like Biological Activity. J Agric Food Chem 2004;52:65-70. View abstract.
Baker WL, Gutierrez-Williams G, White CM, et al. Effect of cinnamon on glucose control and lipid parameters. Diabetes Care 2008;31:41-3. View abstract.
Blevins SM, Leyva MJ, Brown J, et al. Effect of cinnamon on glucose and lipid levels in non insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2007;30:2236-7. View abstract.
Choi, J., Lee, K. T., Ka, H., Jung, W. T., Jung, H. J., and Park, H. J. Constituents of the essential oil of the Cinnamomum cassia stem bark and the biological properties. Arch Pharm Res 2001;24(5):418-423. View abstract.
Crawford P. Effectiveness of cinnamon for lowering hemoglobin A1C in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, controlled trial. J Am Board Fam Med 2009;22:507-12. View abstract.
De Benito V, Alzaga R. Occupational allergic contact dermatitis from cassia (Chinese cinnamon) as a flavouring agent in coffee. Contact Dermatitis 1999;40:165. View abstract.
Drake TE, Maibach HI. Allergic contact dermatitis and stomatitis caused by a cinnamic aldehyde-flavored toothpaste. Arch Dermatol 1976;112:202-3. View abstract.
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182
Felter SP, Vassallo JD, Carlton BD, Daston GP. A safety assessment of coumarin taking into account species-specificity of toxicokinetics. Food Chem Toxicol 2006;44:462-75. View abstract.
He ZD, Qiao CF, Han QB, et al. Authentication and quantitative analysis on the chemical profile of cassia bark (cortex cinnamomi) by high-pressure liquid chromatography. J Agric Food Chem 2005;53:2424-8. View abstract.
Imparl-Radosevich J, Deas S, Polansky MM, et al. Regulation of PTP-1 and insulin receptor kinase by fractions from cinnamon: implications for cinnamon regulation of insulin signalling. Horm Res 1998;50:177-82. View abstract.
Jarvill-Taylor KJ, Anderson RA, Graves DJ. A hydroxychalcone derived from cinnamon functions as a mimetic for insulin in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. J Am Coll Nutr 2001;20:327-36. View abstract.
Khan A, Safdar M, Ali Khan M, et al. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2003;26:3215-8. View abstract.
Kirkham S, Akilen R, Sharma S, Tsiami A. The potential of cinnamon to reduce blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Diabetes Obes Metab 2009;11(12):1100-13. View abstract.
Koh WS, Yoon SY, Kwon BM, et al. Cinnamaldehyde inhibits lymphocyte proliferation and modulates T-cell differentiation. Int J Immunopharmacol 1998;20:643-60. View abstract.
Kwon BM, Lee SH, Choi SU, et al. Synthesis and in vitro cytotoxicity of cinnamaldehydes to human solid tumor cells. Arch Pharm Res 1998;21:147-52. View abstract.
Lee HS, Ahn YJ. Growth-Inhibiting Effects of Cinnamomum cassia Bark-Derived Materials on Human Intestinal Bacteria. J Agric Food Chem 1998;46:8-12. View abstract.
Lu T, Sheng H Wu J Cheng Y Zhu J Chen Y. Cinnamon extract improves fasting blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin level in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes. Nutr Res. 2012;32(6):408-412. View abstract.
Mang, B., Wolters, M., Schmitt, B., Kelb, K., Lichtinghagen, R., Stichtenoth, D. O., and Hahn, A. Effects of a cinnamon extract on plasma glucose, HbA, and serum lipids in diabetes mellitus type 2. Eur.J.Clin.Invest 2006;36(5):340-344. View abstract.
Miller KG, Poole CF, Pawloski TMP. Classification of the botanical origin of cinnamon by solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography. Chromatographia 1996;42:639-46.
Onderoglu S, Sozer S, Erbil KM, et al. The evaluation of long-term effcts of cinnamon bark and olive leaf on toxicity induced by streptozotocin administration to rats. J Pharm Pharmacol 1999;51:1305-12. View abstract.
Press release. Cinnamon capsules to reduce blood sugar are medicinal products! Efficacy has not been scientifically proven - some products contain high levels of coumarin. Federal Institute of Risk Assessment (BfM), Germany, November 11, 2006. Available at: http://www.bfarm.de/nn_425226/EN/press/press-releases/pm2006-14-en.html.
Ranasinghe P, Jayawardena R, Galappaththy P, et al. Response to Akilen et al. Efficacy and safety of 'true' cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) as a pharmaceutical agent in diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabet Med 2013 Apr;30(4):506-7. View abstract.
Solomon TP, Blannin AK. Changes in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity following 2 weeks of daily cinnamon ingestion in healthy humans. Eur J Appl Physiol 2009 Apr;105(6):969-76. View abstract.
Solomon TP, Blannin AK. Effects of short-term cinnamon ingestion on in vivo glucose tolerance. Diabetes Obes Metab 2007 Nov;9(6):895-901. View abstract.
Stoecker BR, Zhan Z, Luo R, et al. Cinnamon extract lowers blood glucose in hyperglycemic subjects. FASEB J. 2010;22:722.1 (Abstract only).
Suksomboon N, Poolsup N, Boonkaew S, Suthisisang CC. Meta-analysis of the effect of herbal supplement on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. J Ethnopharmacol 2011;137(3):1328-1333. View abstract.
Suppapitiporn, S., Kanpaksi, N., and Suppapitiporn, S. The effect of cinnamon cassia powder in type 2 diabetes mellitus. J.Med.Assoc.Thai. 2006;89 Suppl 3:S200-S205. View abstract.
Vanschoonbeek K, Thomassen BJ, Senden JM, et al. Cinnamon supplementation does not improve glycemic control in postmenopausal type 2 diabetes patients. J Nutr 2006;136:977-80. View abstract.
Verspohl EJ, Bauer K, Neddermann E. Antidiabetic effect of Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum zeylanicum in vivo and in vitro. Phytother Res 2005;19:203-6. View abstract.
Wainstein J, Stern N, Heller S, Boaz M. Dietary cinnamon supplementation and changes in systolic blood pressure in subjects with type 2 diabetes. J Med Food 2011;14(12):1505-10. View abstract.