The inner bark which is obtained from several trees, belonging to the genus Cinnamomum is called cinnamon. Only the bark obtained from Cinnamomum verum is regarded as true cinnamon. True cinnamon is also called Ceylon cinnamon. Cinnamon is a spice that has been around for centuries now, and is used for a variety of purposes. This spice was first utilized by ancient Egyptians as an ingredient in their embalming mixtures.
Today, it is widely used in the production of wines, drinks, fragrances, perfumes, and of course, as a spice in many food items and dishes. It is known to possess many benefits for a person's health. However, under certain circumstances, this beneficial spice may cause a few unpleasant side effects as well.
Why Cinnamon May not Be Good for Some People
▶ Excessive intake of cinnamon could irritate the lining of the stomach. This is specially true for people who are already suffering from stomach ulcers or other gastrointestinal problems.
▶ Cinnamon essential oil is very potent and if it is applied undiluted, it can cause burning and inflammation of skin.
▶ Cinnamon contains the chemical compound coumarin, which can cause liver disease or it can worsen the condition of people already suffering from liver diseases. However, it is important to note that compound coumarin is present in Cassia Cinnamon in large amounts, and is found in very less amounts in true cinnamon or Ceylon cinnamon. The intake of cinnamon powder, that contains significant amounts of coumarin, should not exceed more than 2-5 grams per day. According to a Norwegian study, the Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) for coumarin is 0.07 mg per kilogram of bodyweight.
▶ Cinnamon contains an active component known as cinnamaldehyde which has anti-clotting properties. So people who take blood thinners, should avoid consuming too much of this spice. People who are scheduled to undergo any type of surgery should also limit the use of cinnamon.
▶ People who have ulcers in their mouths, may experience a burning sensation and pain right after consuming cinnamon.
▶ Excess consumption of cinnamon may also lead to an increased heart rate.
▶ People who take medications for regulating blood sugar levels should consult their doctor before consuming cinnamon. This is because cinnamon is believed to lower blood sugar. If both blood sugar lowering medication and cinnamon is taken together, it can cause blood sugar to drop too much.
▶ According to some studies, use of oral products like toothpaste, mouthwash and chewing gum that contains cinnamon extract has been associated with plasma cell gingivitis.
▶ Excess intake of concentrated levels of cinnamon oil can cause shortness of breath and dizziness.
▶ In high concentration, cinnamon is believed to cause kidney diseases. However, there are no specific studies done that proves that consuming cinnamon causes kidney diseases.
▶ Cinnamon oil can also irritate the mucous membrane, so it should not be used undiluted.
▶ Cinnamon can also interact with certain antibiotics.
Pregnant and breast-feeding mothers should also avoid excessive use of cinnamon or products that contain cinnamon. The best way to avoid any side effects is to consume cinnamon in moderation. People who take cinnamon supplements in the form of pills or capsules, should only take them under the recommendation of a doctor. Some people might have an allergy to cinnamon or food products that contain cinnamon. If such is the case, then it is best to avoid taking this spice altogether. If you are taking any prescriptive drugs, then make sure that cinnamon does not interact with it. Some herbs or medicines can have an adverse reaction with cinnamon, and leave you with a variety of problems to deal with. It is important to note that the above mentioned side effects of cinnamon do not affect every single person but only those who have certain medical conditions or have highly sensitive immune and body systems.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for expert medical advice.