Cinnamon Tea: Are There Health Benefits?

Cinnamon is one of the world’s favorite spices. It was once considered a precious gift for kings and monarchs, and the ancient Egyptians used it to embalm mummies. 

The aromatic flavoring comes from the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees, but spice traders kept its origins a secret well into the middle ages to keep prices high. The bark is often ground into powdered cinnamon, but it’s steeped whole to make medicinal tea.

Nutrition Information

On top of antioxidants, cinnamon tea provides small amounts of nutrients such as calcium, iron, and potassium.

One teaspoon of cinnamon powder provides:

  • 6 calories
  • 2 grams of carbohydrates
  • 0 grams of protein
  • 1 gram of fiber
  • 0 grams of fat

Potential Health Benefits of Cinnamon Tea

Cinnamon tea is a flavorful and warm concoction that provides various health benefits. It may: 

Ease menstrual symptoms. Research indicates that cinnamon tea may help reduce menstrual symptoms such as bleeding, pain, nausea, and vomiting. One study found that women who drank cinnamon tea reported significantly less menstrual pain than women who drank a placebo. Another study found that cinnamon helped to reduce menstrual bleeding, nausea, and vomiting. Based on the science, drinking cinnamon tea may help make symptoms like menstrual cramps and nausea more bearable.

Help your heart. Several studies have found that cinnamon can ease inflammation, lower blood pressure, and removing excess cholesterol from blood vessels. Specifically, cinnamaldehyde and cinnamophilin, two components in the spice, have been shown to lower blood pressure, expand vascular tissue, and reduce triglycerides and LDL (“bad cholesterol).

Ease chronic inflammation. It's associated with diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Cinnamon helps to reduce markers of inflammation, which in turn lowers the risk of disease. Antioxidants in cinnamon tea also help to fight against free radicals, which damage your cells and make things like heart disease and cancer more likely.

Help control your blood sugar. Studies suggest that powdered cinnamon and cinnamon tea can both be helpful when trying to control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Research has shown that cinnamon can lower serum lipids and blood glucose levels, as well as fasting plasma glucose and triglycerides. Although more research is needed before we can draw definitive conclusions, the initial results are promising.

Potential Risks of Cinnamon Tea

Cinnamon contains a chemical called coumarin. Eating too much can cause liver damage, cancer, low blood sugar, or breathing problems. Adults shouldn’t have more than one teaspoon of cinnamon per day — children should eat even less.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on December 13, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

Annals of Family Medicine: “Cinnamon Use in Type 2 Diabetes: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.”

Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice: “The effect of Cinnamon on primary dysmenorrhea: A randomized, double-blind clinical trial.”

ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon.

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: “Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Cinnamomum cassia Constituents In Vitro and In Vivo.”

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: “Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant.”

Harvard Men’s Health Watch: “Understanding acute and chronic inflammation.”

Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal: “The effect of cinnamon on menstrual bleeding and systemic symptoms with primary dysmenorrhea.”

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: “Antioxidant capacity of 26 spice extracts and characterization of their phenolic constituents.”

New World Encyclopedia: “Cinnamon.” 

NutritionValue.org: “Spices, ground, cinnamon”

The Scientific World Journal: “Assessment of Coumarin Levels in Ground Cinnamon Available in the Czech Retail Market.”

UCLA History & Special Collections Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library: “Cinnamon.”

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