Spices are as old as the time the human race roamed the earth, and spices are associated with most traditional cuisines. Various traditional medicines also use extracts of spices to make use of the medicinal properties of certain spices. Cinnamon available in various forms is a part of cuisine worldwide, and is presently also available in supplement form. Typically used in cooking, baking and as flavoring agent in certain food preparations, the bark comes with a long list of benefits.

However, there is the possibility of certain unwanted outcomes, and it is important for potential users to be aware of possible side effects of cinnamon. Here is a detailed in-depth look at the possible undesirable effects. Before we look at the possible unwanted effects, here is a quick overview of the benefits associated with cinnamon. The four major types of cinnamon are known to have positive effects on individuals with heart disease, and patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. In addition to the above, the mechanism of action of cinnamon is known to have positive effects on individuals with dental issues, infections and individuals fighting certain types of allergies. It is also known to have limited positive effects on individuals with cancer, and is often used as part of holistic treatment.

Side effects of cinnamon that most individuals be unaware

There are side effects of cinnamon supplements and products that users are generally aware, and this helps in taking precautions against side effects. However, there are certain undesirable effects that many individuals may be unaware of, resulting in lesser caution. Here is a compilation of undesirable or unwanted side effects of cinnamon that are a possibility. It is important to add here that this is a compilation of possible effects and is not to be misconstrued as effects that will be experienced by all users. The possibility of these effects being experienced are generally limited to a section of users.

Possibility of going into labor prematurely

Cinnamon is known to facilitate uterine contractions. As a result of this action, there is a possibility of pregnant women ending up with premature labor. This is precisely the reason for doctors to advice pregnant women or women planning a pregnancy to avoid taking cinnamon during certain stages of pregnancy. Cinnamon has certain known outcomes, and is used to help deal with indigestion related gas and pain in the stomach. However, pregnant women are cautioned against using cinnamon for these reasons and advised to look at alternative options.

Increase in levels of toxins

There is a possibility of spike in levels of toxins due to continued use of cinnamon. This I because of the high levels of coumarin in cinnamon. This organic chemical compound has multiple properties that make it useful in handling certain conditions. However, it also comes with a downside, as its continued use can result in liver failure. There are certain varieties of cinnamon that are known to have relatively high levels of coumarin and it is important to look for varieties that have lesser coumarin, especially if the individual plans to take cinnamon for longer periods, or in high dosages. Some of the properties of coumarin include anticonvulsant, neuroprotective, antifungal, and antioxidant properties.

In addition to the above, coumarin is also known for being effective as an antihypertensive, anticoagulant, and antibacterial. This explains the reasons for its use in helping manage specific conditions. Coumarin is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and its use as an antiviral, with strong antihyperglycemic, anticancer, antitubercular and antiadipogenic properties. Individuals who take a higher daily dose of cinnamon are likely to end up with increased toxins in the body. Typically, the ideal dosage is 6 grams of cinnamon when it is intended to be taken for lesser than two months. Most specialists urge individuals to give a gap of one week after a period of supplement use. This will help cleanse the system, thereby reducing the level of toxins in the body.

Possibility of decrease in blood sugar levels

There is a possibility of a decrease in blood sugar levels when cinnamon is taken in higher quantities. While the effects are unlikely to manifest or be experienced when cinnamon is taken in reasonable quantities, or when the intake is occasional, certain concentrations have strong effects. For instance, certain types of the oil are known to result in quick and strong results. This is best indicated by  a possible light headed feeling, that could sometimes also be accompanied by behavior that is typically seen in an intoxicated person.

Effects of cinnamon include possible blood thinning effect

Cinnamon is also known to possess blood thinning properties, which make it necessary for individuals on certain medications to exercise caution. Certain varieties of cinnamon are known to have a strong blood thinning effect and it is therefore essential for patients on blood thinners to avoid cinnamon in supplement form. One of the reasons for its widespread use is its ability to work as an anti-coagulant. However, this goes against the interests of individuals on medications that already thin the blood.

Possible spike in heart rate especially among young users

Another possible side effects of cinnamon is a rapid increase in heart rate among small sections of users. This is not a condition that may be experienced by many users, but is limited only to a very small section. This could also have an effect on children due to its potency. Cinnamon when taken in oil form is relatively stronger and it is important for users to dilute it adequately and ensure that it has an effective strength of lesser than 2% before it is used. This will make it safe for use without the possibility of adverse effects including the possibility of spike in heart rate.

Possibility of outbreak of allergies and rashes on the skin

There is also the possibility of allergies or outbreak of rashes on the skin of users. This is again limited to users who have already been sensitized to cinnamon, or individuals who are allergic to specific compounds in cinnamon. Cinnamon allergies are similar to most allergies and present certain symptoms that help to easily identify an allergic reaction. For instance, individuals who experience some kind of swelling on the face or hands, or eye sore, or watery discharge from the eyes are to consider the effects as possible allergic reactions.

Other indications include a sudden dip in blood pressure levels, or unusual shortness of breath, and nausea. Symptoms could also be atypical such as an upset stomach, dizziness or confusion. Allergic reactions that are considered as serious and requiring medical attention include anaphylactic shock. Users, especially the younger age groups are to be monitored during the initial stages for any signs of reactions. There is also the possibility of cinnamon oil causing irritation on the skin, which could include a burning sensation. Skin on sensitive parts of the body may trigger stronger burning sensations if the oil comes in touch directly. It is therefore necessary to dilute the oil sufficiently and also ensure that the oil is not used on sensitive parts of the body.

Possibility of unsafe manufacturing practices and added ingredients in tablet forms

Another possible undesirable outcome of cinnamon is attributed to unsafe manufacturing practices and the possible use of ingredients that are not healthy. While cinnamon in it is natural form may be free from these possible effects, the tablet forms need to be procured only from reputed sources. For instance, manufacturers are known to include silicon dioxide during the processes and this could have an undesirable impact. It is necessary choose a good source, and diligently check the label for ingredients. While silicon dioxide in food has till date not known to cause side effects, exposure to silica dust over a long period is known to be detrimental to health.  It is essential to take suitable precautions and avoid long term health hazards.

Drug interactions and possible impact

Without exception all medications, supplements and herbal remedies come with the possibility of interactions with other medications or substances. This includes similar mechanisms of actions of two products, that may result in outcomes that are beyond the desired or calculated outcomes. For instance, cinnamon is known to deliver effects that are similar to antibiotics. Individuals on other antibiotics will therefore end up with double the effects, albeit unintentionally. This may not be the best course of action as it could result in other possible unwanted effects in the body. Users who intend to take cinnamon regularly are advised to seek medial advice before combining it with prescription antibiotics.

Possibility of implications from creation of excess body heat

Cinnamon is known to generate body heat when consumed in certain quantities. Certain traditional forms of medicine are always focused on eliminating body heat. This is because when the amount of heat in the body increases to levels that are considered as excessive or abnormal, the body’s natural response is a release of body heat. This is typically through certain manifestations that may cause discomfort or could aggravate. For instance, the formation of boils beneath the tongue, on the insides of the mouth, cracking of lips and the outbreak of certain pimples are attributed to the body’s response to excess body heat. Discharge from the eyes is also sometimes attributed to excess body heat.

It is therefore necessary to avoid taking cinnamon if certain other food products that are known to generate heat have also been consumed. This is because the combination of the two can result in the more body heat and which in turn may trigger a response that could be discomforting in nature.

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