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Cinnamon & Diabetes

Does anyone know for a fact if too much cinnamon can be toxic to the body in any way? How much is too much? Is there homeopathic remedy for this? Does it work in the same way for blood sugar?
  joy50 on 2005-09-22
This is an internet forum. Assume posts are not from medical professionals.
Cinnamon was first mentioned by the New Scientist in November 2003 in an article that I shall copy below.

I have recently discovered that Arnica 30c taken in the Split Dose twice daily can even replace the standard tablets that are prescribed for Diabetics especially if they use this remedy together with the Cinnamon which should not exceed 1/2 teaspoonful per day divided into 2 doses which can be mixed in food.

I would not recommend that you overdose with Cinnamon which is grown extensively in Sri Lanka where I live.

Cinnamon spice produces healthier blood

NewScientist.com news service
Just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day significantly reduces blood sugar levels in diabetics, a new study has found. The effect, which can be produced even by soaking a cinnamon stick your tea, could also benefit millions of non-diabetics who have blood sugar problem but are unaware of it.

The discovery was initially made by accident, by Richard Anderson at the US Department of Agriculture's Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland.

"We were looking at the effects of common foods on blood sugar," he told New Scientist. One was the American favourite, apple pie, which is usually spiced with cinnamon. "We expected it to be bad. But it helped," he says.

Sugars and starches in food are broken down into glucose, which then circulates in the blood. The hormone insulin makes cells take in the glucose, to be used for energy or made into fat.

But people with Type 1 diabetes do not produce enough insulin. Those with Type 2 diabetes produce it, but have lost sensitivity to it. Even apparently healthy people, especially if they are overweight, sedentary or over 25, lose sensitivity to insulin. Having too much glucose in the blood can cause serious long-term damage to eyes, kidneys, nerves and other organs.

Molecular mimic

The active ingredient in cinnamon turned out to be a water-soluble polyphenol compound called MHCP. In test tube experiments, MHCP mimics insulin, activates its receptor, and works synergistically with insulin in cells.

To see if it would work in people, Alam Khan, who was a postdoctoral fellow in Anderson's lab, organised a study in Pakistan. Volunteers with Type 2 diabetes were given one, three or six grams of cinnamon powder a day, in capsules after meals.

All responded within weeks, with blood sugar levels that were on average 20 per cent lower than a control group. Some even achieved normal blood sugar levels. Tellingly, blood sugar started creeping up again after the diabetics stopped taking cinnamon.

The cinnamon has additional benefits. In the volunteers, it lowered blood levels of fats and "bad" cholesterol, which are also partly controlled by insulin. And in test tube experiments it neutralised free radicals, damaging chemicals which are elevated in diabetics.

Buns and pies

"I don't recommend eating more cinnamon buns, or even more apple pie - there's too much fat and sugar," says Anderson. "The key is to add cinnamon to what you would eat normally."

The active ingredient is not in cinnamon oils. But powdered spice can be added to toast, cereal, juice or coffee.

Anderson's team were awarded patents related to MHCP in 2002. But the chemical is easily obtained. He notes that one of his colleagues tried soaking a cinnamon stick in tea. "He isn't diabetic - but it lowered his blood sugar," Anderson says.

The group now plans to test even lower doses of cinnamon in the US, and also look at long-term blood sugar management with the spice.

Journal reference: Diabetes Care (vol 26, p 3125)
Joe De Livera last decade

To Joy:
You may take cinnamin tea (made by 1/2 tea spoon of cinnamin powder)twice or thrice daily after meal. Cinnamin is good tool if there is a daily phisical activity such as fast walking or swimming, or any sports activity for atleast half an hour (30 minutes) is essential. As well as proper diet (low in fats and carbohydrates, rich in fiber and protin) suppose to be taken. Taking a bowel of fresh salad, and mix furits (low in sweet) is also helpful. Avoid eating rice and white bread, instead use whole bran bread.
Beside cinnamin, Bitter melon which is called Karela in India, is also helpful to reduce suger level, you can take a few slices of bitter melon with salad before taking your lunch or dinner. Taking fersh lemonade (without adding sugger) before meal also help. Avoid all Industrial oils and fats, instead use of natural fats, such as animal fat, olive oil, fish oil, coconut cream, avacardo BUT IN LITTLE Quantities is haltheir. I must add these are options for diebetic people, and you need to choose and adobt as they suit you most. Please keep it mind, above mentioned items may be helpful to you to live better with diebetes, but these are not the cure of deibetes. You may find more natural items if you search in google by using key words "natural aid for diebetes" and similar, you will find the link with more details.

TO JOE: I'm not against using Arnica or any remedy, but there is suppose to be some theory or logical reason, for suggesting such homeo remedy for diebetes. Is there any classical homeopathy background for successful and proven use of Arnica, as you are suggesting Joy, that Arnica 30c can take place of deibetic medicine for contolling blood suger level. Deibetic cases are very sensitive and could be crucial, if administrated with food for thought. Homopahty recomend each remedy to the individual petient under personal and by professional supervison, because every persons physics, chemistry and living enviorment is different from other, thus the causes of complains are different. If Arnica 30 has been successful to some of your petients or friends, does't prove it will work for every diebetic petient, unless it is proven by research methods of homeopaty.
zeek2005 last decade

To JOY: I also like to add regarding your question, whether how much cinnamin is too much?
Cinnamin is food additive, and has been used since many years in South Asia, Europe and Americas, as spice item.
You may try for twice or thrice, and see whether you are not having any stomach discomfort or laosy feelings. If not, there is no harm.
Beside that, any thing if taken too much, is harmful. However, cinnamin does not contains any toxic contents.
zeek2005 last decade

To Joy: Taking 3 or 4 times cinnamin tea of half tea spoon cinnamin powder, may be just fine for you. But it does not mean if you find cinnamin helpful, to take it so many times. Just use it gradually for upto 3 or 4 times daily.
If you want to reduce your diebetic medicine dose, reduce it gradually, as you go on with cinnamin benefits, without any discomfort.
You may find more information by visiting which gives you more details and other information about diebetes and items which may help. Good luck and all the best. Zeek
zeek2005 last decade

Cinnamon !?! !?! !?!, you may as well take Anise, Cumin, Clove and so on. All are literally useful for their aromatic properties unless and untill, laboratory'cally the active ingredients are extracted and then used for therapeutical uses. Besides the good compound "proanthocyanidin" which is really very negligble therapeutically, Cinnamon also contains active compounds like "coumarin" and "cinnameldehyde", which are toxic to the human body, when persistently used daily or for long durations.

It is okay to use Cinnamon, for occasional culinary adventures (like adding in food, tea, toothpaste ......). Therapeutically, for human body, Cinnamon can be used ONLY after laboratory'cally extracting the active ingredients otherwise pharmacologically Cinnamon is an inactive substance.

In its normal organic form, Cinnamon, at the most acts only as a palliative or as a placiebo. Interestingly. It can easily be called a hare-brained mass HYPED idea of the ayurvedic & herbal faternity to justify cinnamon for diabetes.

Cinnamon bark is also used in witch-craft, by burning the cinnamon wood during rituals.

Homeopathic name = "Cinnamonum". Homeopathically there is no indication (even remotely) for Cinnamonum, being used for diabetes.

1. A healthier blood has got no relevance to pancreas malfunctioning (diabetes)
2. Ample amount of sun-shine exposure, also reduces blood-sugar levels.
3. Ample of Sweating (sauna bath, steam bath), also reduces blood-sugar levels.
4. Appropriate diet changes, and inclusion of high fiber foods, gradually induce changes in diabetic tendency.

"zeek2005" --- If you are referring to "KARELA" that's called "BITTER GOURD". IS IT also called as "bitter melon" ?!?. ALSO Can other bitter substances like Neem (azadirachta), be given for diabetes ???

"joy50" --- Just in case, if you don't like my answer, Please ignore them. BUT do not complain to the Father-Moderator of this forum, to have me blocked / banned.

Homeopathy prescribed conveniently - THIS FOR THAT
Diabetes insipidus = Alfalfa, Phosphoric acid.
Diabetes mellitus = Abroma augusta radix, Ars bromatum, Syzygium jambolanum, Uranium nitricum.
Diabetes Mellitus = Gymnema Sylvestre
Diabetes = Nat.Sulph-6X

Also consider reading : http://www.abchomeopathy.com/forum2.php/35254

Seems, the obsession with ARNICA, has cataract'ed in the eyes of the prescriber.

"Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome" ... Nisha
Nesha-India last decade

To Nesha:
Yes, it is called bitter melon.
Neem is commonly used for skin ailment, perhaps Ayuverdha use it for diabetes, I'm not sure.
I will appreciate if you kindly list the references of those contents of cinnamin which are considered toxic, becuase I daily take tea of cinnamin 4 times and it helps controlling blood suger. Thanks. Zeek
zeek2005 last decade

To Nesha-India, Joe De Livera and Zeek2005, I do appreciate your comments. I see 1000 or 1500 mg. cinnamon capsules in the vitamin store, but I am suspicious since I've heard too much cinnamon may not be good.

I have personally experienced lower blood glucose readings using the spice in my food 1/2 tsp per day, but for me not low enough. I just really enjoy the flavor.

I have also once experienced a big dip in blood glucose readings using Arnica. I was using Arnica for something else and noticed the effect. So these things are real. But diabetes control takes more than a "magic pill". Diet, exercise, along with homeopathic and any other helpful alternative therapy is my prescription. Wellness and healing is my goal. Right now allopathic med is necessary for me. Hopefull not forever...

The contributors to this forum have all helped so much.

Joe, don't let anyone keep you from sharing your experiences.

Regards, Joy
joy50 last decade

Thank you for confirming that you did notice that Arnica brought your blood sugar level down with a bang. This is exactly what my first patient who was a type 1 Diabetic and also a MD noticed and this put him off Arnica for good as he just could not believe that his sugar level could have dropped to zero with his second dose of Arnica 30c which had never happened before.

All you have to do in your case is to control your sugar level with the Arnica and Cinnamon therapy and use your Metformin or equivalent tablets in small fractions to keep your sugar at a comfortable level. It is possible that you may be able to wean your dependence on the tablets and change over to the Arnica Cinnamon therapy in a few weeks.

Please record your response from time to time as all of us on this forum wish you well and hope that Homeopathy and Cinnamon can help you.

You may also consider using Bitter Gourd juice as this too is used in Ayurvedha for diabetes.
Joe De Livera last decade

"zeek2005" : Cinnamon, in its natural state contains active toxic compounds like "coumarin" and "cinnameldehyde", which are toxic to the human body, when persistently used daily or for long durations. These compounds can easily be released on heating them (via tea making, food, extraction and so on). You may look up a book called "Toxicology Compounds", authored by Dr. Van Schultze. Alternatively google search toxicity of cinnamon.

Cinnamon is a exotic spice, logically not to be used as a food ingredient / supplement. Occasional THERAPEUTIC usage is okay, but daily persistent usage, brings about hormonal changes and mental cravings. Pathologically, the stools are not moisturised enough, resulting in hard / semi-hard stools. The sweat is more smelly, the urine is more thicker and yellowier. Longterm daily usage will result in person gradually reducing his fat cells and person becomes thinner (very gradually). Skin wrinkling takes place. Has its affections on the Liver too.

Experiment : Take about 8 capsules of "1500 mg. cinnamon", spread out in from 7'clock morning till 10'clock night. For 3 days. Simultaneously, check Blood sugar every 6th hour with a electronic kit.. Does the blood sugar drop to near dangerous level. If Cinnamon reduces blood sugar level, it will prove it now. As a precaution, Keep Sugar + Salt + water solution ready, when on above experiments. Let's all know, whether Cinnamon works as a grandma's pallative to reduce blood sugar or ???????

A Proverb : "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment."
Nesha-India last decade

To Nesha.
Thanks for your references and comments on toxicity of cinnamin. However, I do not find any link which validate the toxicity of cinnamon you emphisized.Neither I get any by searching through google. Perhaps you may have the weblinks available which you can list here, if available with you. I don't know where to find Dr. Van Schultze book, is it a new or old book.
If the cinnamon has any considerable toxicity, then the it would have been on internet to alert and warn people, spcifically by FDA and similar medical and food authorities, which is not the case.
For your kind information, Cinnamon has been used since centeries in Asia, especially in India, as food additive, such as in very famous dishes of India like Biryanni, Qourma, beans plaow, etc [in which cinnamon applied in food cooking (heating) process, but I can not find a single case in India due to cinnamon.
As well as it has been used by Ayoverdhic medicines.
I hope you will come again with some considerable and accessible references about cinnamon toxicity.
zeek2005 last decade


Couple of days ago I went to an Uncle of mine. He had diabetes. He said that it is much controlled after eating 2 leaves from the INSULIN plant. I thought it must be a gimmick. Anyway I took a root and planted it at my home. It has grown up a bit.

The the other day, while passing a Plant nursery, there was a banner hung outside informing about the INSULIN plant and that it was available there and it was from Florida.

I have also been advised by my uncle that not to eat the leaves unless diabetic else it gets the blood sugar down.
All he does is eat daily 2 leaves from the plant and drinks plenty of water.

Somebody would have to check and post the results for confirmation.

Best Wishes...Mathew
pimathew last decade

"zeek2000" - The book by Dr. Van Schultze, was purchased by me in England about in 1995, which THEN costed about 200 GBpounds for a book containing more than 2500 pages. Such type of books are used by lab. researchers, analysts and medico formulators. You may read this book in most medical colleges with teaching subjects of Toxicology and pharmacology.

It seems that you do not read the entire posting entirely, but resort to reading the headlines which suits you the most, as you did in another earlier post. In my last post, I have mentioned that Cinnamon is used for occasional culinary adventures, ONLY & ONLY for its aromatic properties. I have also mentioned that Cinnamon compounds like "coumarin" and "cinnameldehyde", ARE TOXIC TO THE HUMAN BODY, "O-N-L-Y" WHEN PERSISTENTLY USED DAILY FOR "L-O-O-O-N-G" DURATIONS.

Cinnamon is not used as a food additive or a food supplement, but only as a aromatic food food agent, due to its capacity to mimic sweet n hot compounds like sugar and pepper.
It is outside the scope of FDA and similar medical and food authorities, to warn people about Cinnamon toxicity, due to the fact that Cinnamon is not a Food supplement. Whatever Cinnamon bread or biscuits or confectionary you get in the food stores / bakeries do not actually contain Cinnamon in any significant toxic quanitity, and they do really contain the synthetic version of Cinnamon aroma oil OR THE POWDER OF CINNAMON, from which the oil has already been extracted / processed.

BY THE WAY, do you DAILY eat "Biryanni, Qourma, beans plaow", with Cinnamon laced in it. I would bet a thousand virtual US dollars, that you don't. Kindly confirm, since in your last post you have said that "I can not find a single case in India due to cinnamon. As well as it has been used by Ayoverdhic medicines". Ayurvedic medicines are not eaten for long periods. As it is, anything in excess routine, is not acceptable to the body.

FOR your satisfaction, kindly do the experiment, which I described in the earlier post and let us all know of the results. Who knows your body may prove it to you.

It is not possible for me to spoon-feed you with Cinnamon toxicity information and references. You will have to do your own RE-search. Try the following keywords :-
You can search google for "toxicity of cinnamon" or "what are the toxic effects of cinnamon".

Generally people follow age-old Grandma food traditions, without understanding anything on the toxicity effects of the food ingredients. Similarly, very few people know that the powder of whole dried Indian household Lizard, in more intoxicating than pure Heroin.

A THOUGHT : "Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome"
Nesha-India last decade

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