Cinnamon tea, also known as Canela tea, is mainly made by mixing cinnamon bark in hot water. That bark might come in one of many different forms, including crushed powder stored in tea bags and cinnamon sticks.
Types of Cinnamon Tea
The tea itself isn't necessarily stuck to a single region of the world and is quite popular in lots of places. In fact, many different regions have developed their own unique and distinct flavors. The Korean version is known as "gyepi cha" and is often mixed with ginger tea. The Chilean version is "te con canela", and is often in the form of cinnamon sticks and is mixed with regular tea leaves.
Speaking of flavors, cinnamon tea comes in many different types, according to a March 2014 abstract published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. The most common two, however, are the Ceylon cinnamon and the Cassia cinnamon. The Ceylon cinnamon mainly grows in Sri Lanka and the inner bark is used to make cinnamon tea. The Cassia cinnamon grows in China.
Cinnamon Has Plenty of Antioxidants
Cinnamon tea has a very distinct flavor and smell, which can all be traced back to a pervasive compound known as cinnamaldehyde that is found in cinnamon. An April 2014 article published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine noted that cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants such as polyphenols, which are micronutrients we get from plant-based foods.
A September 2018 mini-review published in Frontiers in Nutrition states that polyphenols can help prevent and manage some chronic diseases including neurodegenerative diseases, Type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, lung damage, pancreatitis and gastrointestinal problems.
Cinnamon is Anti-Inflammatory
Inflammation isn't always a bad thing under normal circumstances. While it's uncomfortable, it's one of the mechanisms the body uses to handle tissue damage and rid itself of infections. However, it can turn into a runaway process and become chronic or become self-defeating by getting turned against the body's own processes.
Cinnamon Protects Against Heart Disease
Many scientific studies have linked Canela tea to a substantially reduced risk of contracting heart disease, the most common cause of premature death in the world.
A 2014 study published in The Review of Diabetic Studies showed that having as little as a gram of cinnamon per day has been shown to be massively beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes, as it reduces the levels of LDL cholesterol, also commonly known as "bad cholesterol." It also keeps levels of HDL, or "good cholesterol," fairly stable.
Cinnamon Side Effects
Cassia cinnamon contains a compound called coumarin. In 1954, the Food and Drug Administration banned coumarin as a food additive because it can be toxic. Therefore, it should be consumed within a certain limit. The recommended daily dose is 5 milligrams each day. Stick with Ceylon cinnamon, as it only has trace amounts of coumarin.
A July 2015 study published in The Open Dentistry Journal showed that cinnamon flavoring agents can cause contact stomatitis, or mouth sores. However, these aren't side effects of having normal amounts of cinnamon. They are the side effects of having too much, so it's best to consume cinnamon in moderation.
Additionally, an April 2015 abstract published in The American Journal of Case Reports found that cinnamon supplements taken with a statin can cause hepatitis. Even if you're not taking statins, check with your doctor before taking cinnamon supplements just to be safe.
Can Cinnamon Tea Reduce Weight?
While cinnamon can't directly reduce weight, a December 2017 study published in Metabolism - Clinical and Experimental found that cinnamaldehyde can activate thermogenesis. When your body is in thermogenesis, it creates heat and burns calories. This shows that cinnamon might help reduce weight, but more research is needed on the subject.
- NCBI: "Differentiation of The Four Major Species of Cinnamons (C. burmannii, C. verum, C. cassia, and C. loureiroi) Using a Flow Injection Mass Spectrometric (FIMS) Fingerprinting Method"
- NCBI: "Chemical Composition and In Vitro Antioxidant And Antibacterial Activity of Heracluem Transcaucasicum And Heracleum Anisactis Roots Essential Oil"
- NCBI: "Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Cinnamon (C. zeylanicum And C. cassia) Extracts - Identification of E-cinnamaldehyde And O-methoxy Cinnamaldehyde as The Most Potent Bioactive Compounds"
- CDC: "Heart Disease Facts & Statistics"
- NCBI: "Effects of Cinnamon, Cardamom, Saffron, And Ginger on Markers of Glycemic Control, Lipid Profile, Oxidative Stress, and Inflammation in Type 2 Diabetes Patients"
- NCBI: "Cinnamon-Induced Oral Mucosal Contact Reaction"
- Metabolism - Clinical and Experimental: "Cinnamaldehyde Induces Fat Cell-Autonomous Thermogenesis And Metabolic Reprogramming"
- NCBI: Cinnamon: "A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant"
- NCBI: "The Role of Polyphenols in Human Health and Food Systems: A Mini-Review"
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Coumarin"
- NCBI: "Do Cinnamon Supplements Cause Acute Hepatitis?"