Honey and cinnamon have been used as flavorings for food and for medicinal purposes, both individually and together, throughout the history of humankind. Ground cinnamon comes from the bark of certain evergreen trees. Raw honey is produced from nectar and honeybee saliva. Both honey and cinnamon are considered safe, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, but there are potential side effects for both foods. Talk with a qualified professional before using any home remedy.
The cinnamon you are most likely to find at grocery stores is cassia and not true cinnamon. The two are similar but some people prefer the taste of true cinnamon. Some cassia may have higher concentrations of coumarin, a component that may act as a liver toxin when ingested in large doses, according to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The blood-thinning medication warfarin is derived from coumarin. Cinnamon may have an additive and adverse effect when taken with other anticoagulants, such as aspirin.
Cinnamon extract is much more concentrated than ground cinnamon but is fat soluble, and won't dissolve in water. No maximum safe dosage information has been set for cinnamon, although German officials advise pregnant women not to take large doses. Cinnamon may have an additive and adverse effect along with diabetes medications. Hormone-sensitive cancer patients should avoid cinnamon due to the potential for harmful estrogenic activity.
Children 1-year-old and younger should not eat honey due to a risk of infant botulism, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Individuals with pollen allergies rarely suffer adverse reactions to honey, but some pollen may be present in unprocessed honey. Honey’s healthful components vary widely depending on botanical and environmental factors. Some honeys contain propalis, an antibacterial phytochemical, along with other healthful components that may degrade during processing. Raw honey retains more of its healthful properties.
Studies suggest that cinnamon may help lower blood sugar and total cholesterol levels, according to the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Results suggest that cinnamon improves insulin function in people with pre- and type 2 diabetes. Results are conflicting, however, and research is ongoing. Studies also suggest that honey may have a positive effect on blood sugar chemistry, according to a 2007 edition of “Journal of the American College on Nutrition.”