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Health Concerns With Cinnamon

author image Angalar Chi
Angalar Chi started writing professionally in 2008. She has experience in the fields of life science and health and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in genetics and psychology from the University of California at Davis and a Master of Science in public health from Touro University in California.
Health Concerns With Cinnamon
A bunch of cinnamon sticks. Photo Credit: Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images

Cinnamon has been used as a herbal remedy for centuries. Today, nearly every part of the world uses cinnamon, mainly as spice for food, and some people use it for the treatment of such conditions as an upset stomach, gastric ulcers, respiratory ailments, nervous disorders and skin infections. Although cinnamon has many health benefits, you should never overdose on it as this spice can also cause side effects.

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Mouth Irritation

According to a study published in the 2007 issue of "Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Buca" journal, you can develop inflammation in the mouth from food that contains cinnamon. Symptoms of inflammation include redness, swelling, development of grainy tissues, and enlargement of tissue. The patients also exhibited swollen lips and fissured tongue. The doctors noted that once the patients discontinued the use of cinnamon-flavored toothpaste and cinnamon-flavored foods, the symptoms disappeared.

Skin and Liver

Doctors in Finland have documented cases of patients who developed delayed contact dermatitis or allergy-related rashes on the skin and on the hands, face and neck after being exposed to cinnamon. Patients even developed allergic reactions from cinnamon molecules in the air. According to Medline Plus, coumarin, a chemical found in cinnamon, can induce or worsen liver disease in people with coumarin sensitivity. Like peanut allergies, cinnamon allergies can cause a serious health condition.

Interference with Blood Sugar Level

Medline Plus cautions that cinnamon can decrease blood sugar level in people with diabetes, and can affect blood sugar levels during and after surgery. Thus the medical community highly suggests discontinuing the use of cinnamon two weeks prior to surgery. Individuals with diabetes should consult a doctor before using cinnamon.

Interactions with Medications

Medications with potential risks of causing liver damage should not be taken with cinnamon as it can increase the risk of harming the liver, Medline Plus warns. Because anti-diabetic medications in combination with cinnamon can significantly reduce blood sugar level, you should closely monitor your blood sugar if you decided to use any herbal treatments that contain cinnamon.

Interactions with Herbs/ Supplements

Cinnamon can significantly decrease blood sugar levels if you use cinnamon in combination with herbs or supplements that serve to lower blood sugar level. Remember to always consult with your health care provider to help you develop a treatment plan for any medical condition.

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