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Cinnamon Powder Side Effects

author image Kristie Jernigan
Kristie Jernigan is a health writer with over 17 years of experience as a medical social worker. She has worked mainly with the elderly population and with children. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and early childhood from East Tennessee State University and a Master of Science in health care administration and gerontology from the University of Phoenix.
Cinnamon Powder Side Effects
Cinnamon sticks and powder Photo Credit: Antonio Gravante/iStock/Getty Images

Cinnamon powder is commonly used in cooking, but you can also use it in some home remedies. It is usually harmless; however, the powder can cause side effects that you may not even expect. Cinnamon powder can cause allergic reactions and breathing problems, and if it is ingested it can lead to serious burns. Some of these side effects can lead to life-threatening medical emergencies.

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Coughing and Breathing

Cinnamon powder can sometimes be very fine, leading to accidental inhalation. If you inhale it into the throat, the throat can become irritated and this can lead to coughing. The coughing can become so severe that you may have difficulty catching your breath. This can be very serious for people who already suffer from breathing problems such as asthma or COPD. In fact, according to the University of Michigan Health System, cinnamon powder can lead to a bronchial constriction, which can be life threatening. If you suffer from an underlying medical condition that may cause problems with breathing, you should be very careful when handling cinnamon powder.


Cinnamon powder can be very dangerous if you accidentally ingest it by mouth. For example, small children who like to play in the cabinets can easily get into the spice cabinet and ingest the cinnamon powder. This can cause severe burning of the mouth and throat and require immediate medical attention. The burning may be so severe that the child can suffer from swelling of the mouth or throat, which can be life threatening.

Allergic Reaction

According to the University of Michigan, an allergic reaction can occur if you have not previously used cinnamon powder. This is especially true for young babies or children that are being introduced to cinnamon for the first time. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, cinnamon can cause an allergic reaction that can even lead to anaphylactic shock, which is a life-threatening medical condition. An allergic reaction can also occur on your skin. Sometimes when cinnamon powder gets on the skin it can cause reddening or even a rash.

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