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Cinnamon (rou gui / gui xin)
What is cinnamon? What is it used for?
Cinnamon is one of the worlds most popular spices.
It is also one of the oldest herbal medicines: some Chinese
texts have mentioned its use in herbal remedies more than
4,000 years ago.
Cinnamon comes from the cinnamon tree, which grows in tropical
areas, including parties of India, China, Madagascar, Brazil
and the Caribbean. The trees inner bark and essential
oil are used to make herbal products. Pieces of the bark may
be sold individually, or the bark may be crushed and sold
in a powdered form.
The medicinal effects of cinnamon are attributed to terpenoids,
substances found in the trees essential oil. Small studies
conducted on AIDS patients have found that cinnamon oil as
a potent anti-fungal, helping rid the body of oral candida
infections. Cinnamon has also been shown to fight the bacteria
that causes most ulcers. Test-tube studies have found that
other substances in the essential oil, diterpenes, may help
How much cinnamon should I take?
The German Commission E suggests taking 2-4 grams of cinnamon
powder daily. No more than a few drops of essential cinnamon
oil should be taken per day, and then only for a few days
at a time. Some practitioners also recommend 2-3 ml of cinnamon
tincture three times per day.
What forms of cinnamon are available?
Cinnamon powder and cinnamon sticks are widely available;
they can be found at supermarkets, health food stores and
specialty stores. Many stores also sell cinnamon oil and cinnamon
What can happen if I take too much
cinnamon? Are there any interactions I should be aware
of? What precautions should I take?
Chronic use of cinnamon may cause inflammation in the mouth.
Some individuals may develop allergies and skin conditions
after exposure to cinnamon; therefore, it should initially
be used in small amounts, and then for only a few days at
a time. The German Commission E does not recommend cinnamon
for use by pregnant and lactating women.
At this time, there are no well-known drug interactions with
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Akira T, Tanaka S, Tabata M.
Pharmacological studies on the antiulcerogenic activity of
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Azumi S, Tanimura A, Tanamoto K. A novel inhibitor
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Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds)
The Complete Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to
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Quale JM, Landman D, Zaman MM, et al. In vitro
activity of cinnamomum zeylanicum against azole resistant
and sensitive candida species and a pilot study of cinnamon
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