Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the branches of wild trees that belong to the genus "Cinnamomum" - native to the Caribbean, South America, and Southeast Asia.
There are two main types of cinnamon:
Cinnamomum verum (Ceylon cinnamon), most commonly used in the Western world
Cinnamomum aromaticum (Cassia cinnamon or Chinese cinnamon), which originates from southern China, is typically less expensive than Ceylon cinnamon.
Cinnamon has been consumed since 2000 BC in Ancient Egypt, where it was very highly prized (almost considered to be a panacea). In medieval times doctors used cinnamon to treat conditions such as coughing, arthritis and sore throats.
Modern research indicates that this spice may have some very beneficial properties.
This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Cinnamon is used to help treat muscle spasms, vomiting, diarrhea, infections, the common cold, loss of appetite, and erectile dysfunction (ED).
Cinnamon may lower blood sugar in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, according to Diabetes UK.1 However high quality research supporting the claim remains scarce.
Fungal infections - according to the National Institutes of Health2, cinnamaldehyde - a chemical found in Cassia cinnamon - can help fight against bacterial and fungal infections.
Cinnamon sticks or quills.
Diabetes - cinnamon may help improve glucose and lipids levels3 in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in Diabetics Care.
The study authors concluded that consuming up to 6 grams of cinnamon per day "reduces serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes." and that "the inclusion of cinnamon in the diet of people with type 2 diabetes will reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases."
In addition, a certain...