Many natural and herbal remedies could lower your cholesterol levels, and honey and cinnamon are two such remedies that have this potential. Both honey and cinnamon also have a variety of other possible medicinal uses. But before you begin taking either honey or cinnamon to lower your cholesterol, talk with your doctor about possible risks and proper dosage.
Both honey and cinnamon appear to have cholesterol-lowering properties, says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Honey also seems to have antimicrobial properties due to its high sugar content, which may help to prevent or treat infections. Honey could help stimulate wound healing, fight periodontal disease or gingivitis, regulate blood-sugar levels and provide laxative effects. In addition to lowering cholesterol, cinnamon contains terpenoids in its volatile oil that appear to have antifungal, antibacterial, anti-allergic and insulin-stimulating functions, notes the University of Michigan Health System.
Both honey and cinnamon appear to reduce high cholesterol levels, says The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center agrees that both honey and cinnamon appear to reduce high cholesterol levels. For both remedies the scientific evidence is promising, while preliminary. For example, a double-blind clinical trial conducted in Pakistan found that type 2 diabetics who took 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon each day significantly lowered their total cholesterol, LDL or "bad cholesterol" and triglyceride levels, according to a 2003 report in "Diabetes Care." Another study observed that taking honey improved cholesterol profiles and helped regulate blood-sugar levels in diabetics with high cholesterol, according to a 2004 issue of the "Journal of Medicinal Foods." However, little other medical research exists to support the use of honey and cinnamon for treating high cholesterol.
Both honey and cinnamon are sometimes also recommended for treating various gastrointestinal problems, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Specifically, cinnamon is used to stimulate appetite and treat indigestion and stomach ulcers, while honey is used to treat constipation. Honey also has a long history of topical use in treating burns and wounds, as well as oral use in treating gingivitis, allergies and alcohol intoxication. Cinnamon may help in treating type 2 diabetes, heavy menstruation or "menorrhagia," yeast infections and colic, notes the University of Michigan Health System. Cinnamon could also help treat polycystic ovary disease and heartburn.
To lower your cholesterol levels, you might take 1/2- to 3/4-teaspoon of cinnamon powder daily or 1/2-teaspoon of cinnamon oil tincture three times per day, says the University of Michigan Health System. This is the equivalent to 2 to 4 grams of cinnamon powder each day or 2 to 3 milliliters of tincture three times daily. Alternatively, you could take 1 to 5 tablespoons of honey several times per day to treat high cholesterol, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Ask your physician about the dosage of honey or cinnamon that's right for you to lower you cholesterol.
Both cinnamon and honey are considered very safe for consumption, because they've been used in cuisine and as foods for thousands of years, says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Although rare, allergic reactions to honey sometimes occur to people with pollen allergies. Honey is also unsafe for infants less than one year of age due to the possibility of infant botulism. Cinnamon can also produce allergic reactions in certain people, and sometimes causes airway constriction or skin rashes, warns the University of Michigan Health System. Avoid using cinnamon while you're pregnant, and avoid excessive use of cinnamon oil to prevent mouth inflammation or irritation.