Does Cinnamon Have Antifungal Properties?


Many of us have an underused spice rack sitting in the corner of our kitchens. But those herbs and spices can do much more than liven up your food – many of them actually have tremendous medical benefits too.

One such spice is cinnamon. Research over the past few years has tested it against several types of Candida, including Candida Albicans (the yeast that causes Candida overgrowth). Those research studies have shown that cinnamon has powerful antifungal properties. If you’re not adding it to your food already, it could be a useful addition to your Candida treatment plan.

In this post I’ll share with you some of the research that has gone into Candida and cinnamon, explain some of the other benefits that cinnamon has for your health, and list a few recipe ideas for adding cinnamon to your diet.

Cinnamon and Candida

A Chinese study in 2012 looked at the effect of cinnamon oil on Candida Albicans both in the laboratory and in patients suffering from intestinal Candida. The results were dramatic. When the researchers examined the Candida cells after they were treated with cinnamon oil, they noted that “Irregular hollows appeared on the surfaces, inside organelles were destroyed and the cells burst after treatment”.

In the second part of their study they took 60 patients infected with intestinal Candida. The patients were suffering from chronic digestive problems, had already been treated with antibiotics, and were eventually been diagnosed with Candida using a stool test. They were treated with a capsule containing both cinnamon oil and pogostemon oil (an Asian herb). After 14 days of treatment, 72% of the patients were found to have no Candida at all in their stool, and the remaining 28% had seen a significant reduction.

Another study in 2011 looked at the use of cinnamon oil in hospitals. Candida infection can be extremely dangerous among those with severely weakened immune systems, and it is becoming increasingly common in hospitals. This study looked at the effectiveness of sixteen different essential oils against another type of Candida yeast, and found that “The most active essential oil was cinnamon oil, which showed anticandidal activity”.

More research needs to be done, but all the signs so far are suggesting that cinnamon is a useful antifungal agent. Integrating it into your diet will not just make your food taste better – it will help with your Candida treatment too.

Other benefits of cinnamon

There is another great reason for Candida sufferers to take cinnamon, besides its antifungal properties. Several research studies have shown that it regulates blood sugar, and can prevent the spikes in blood sugar that can lead to a Candida overgrowth. In fact, cinnamon is gaining acceptance as a possible treatment for Type 2 Diabetes, as part of a broader set of lifestyle changes.

In a recent post I discussed the link between inflammation and Candida, and how conditions like joint pain and arthritis can be caused or worsened by the byproducts of Candida. Well, cinnamon can help with that too. A Korean study in 2011 found that cinnamon extract suppressed the cytokines that regulate inflammatory responses and have been linked to arthritis. So adding cinnamon to your diet could provide some relief from your aches and pains.

Adding cinnamon to your diet

There are lots of different supplements containing cinnamon extract and cinnamon oil, but the easiest (and tastiest) way to consume it is by adding it to your food. It is particularly good for breakfast recipes.

You could make some French toast with coconut bread and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Add some cinnamon to a yogurt parfait (using plain yogurt of course). Or use some coconut flour and cinnamon to make coconut pancakes.

My Ultimate Candida Diet program contains a number of recipes that use cinnamon, and it also has a list of the herbs and spices that are safe to use during your Candida treatment.


A 5-Step Program to Beat Candida

From Lisa Richards

If you're looking for a more comprehensive Candida treatment plan, check out Lisa Richards' new program, the Ultimate Candida Diet.

Lisa's plan is based on the latest research into Candida, and contains everything you need to know to beat your Candida overgrowth.

What the program includes
A 60-day plan to eliminate your Candida
A clear 5-step timeline
The latest research into Candida
Shopping lists you can take to the store
My 25 favorite Candida-fighting foods
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Lots of tasty anti-Candida recipes
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  1. Kathy says

    Can you confirm which cinnamon works on Candida? Most of us consume cassia which is not cinnamon.

    • says

      Hi Cathy, the study was on Chinese cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia). As you say, this is the cinnamon most often found in kitchens. The ‘true cinnamon’ (Cinnamomum verum) you mention can be pretty difficult to find.

  2. louise says

    Hi interesting article, thanks. Would i be right in saying that the most effective way to take cinnamon would be in its oil form? I have heard that most of our herbs are irradiated and therefore pretty useless medicinally? any views on this?

    thanks, Louise

    • says

      The study found that cinnamon oil was effective, but cinnamon powder wasn’t tested so it’s difficult to say. You can find non-irradiated cinnamon in health food stores. As far as I know, irradiated cinnamon may have lower vitamin C and carotenoid content, however a 2004 study ( found that irradiation did not affect cinnamon’s antioxidant properties. We don’t know how it affects the antifungal properties. Sorry I can’t give a more definite answer!

  3. Cheryl says

    Your information on your website has helped me so much and this article is just another example of that help you are putting out there for us. Thank you so much! I have made many changes to my diet and need to make many more, primarily to be determined not to cheat.

    I live in Mexico and they sell a Cinnamon tea here which I’ve been drinking. Fresh cinnamon is abundant too. In your opinion, is this tea a good source of the cinnamon?

    I didn’t even know there were different types of cinnamon. I just looked at my McCormick ground cinnamon (canela) I bought here in Mexico and it doesn’t say what it is. McCormick’s website from the US says it is cassia. Their Mexico site doesn’t have that information. Very interesting.

    Also, with ground spices, the shelf life needs to be considered too, doesn’t it? For instance, this cinnamon is a very large (Costco) size and I have had it several years. How do I know if it is any good at all?

  4. Karen says

    Hi Lisa, was wondering if adding cinnamon to my greek yogurt would kill or harm the probiotics? How about honey? Thank you for your knowledge and time, Karen

  5. Graham Ansell says

    I just eat raw cinnamon sticks, lovely and sweet, have water on hand as it burns your tongue at first, but you get used to it. It burnt away the coating on my tongue too,, go cinnamon, delicious raw.

  6. says

    Hey guys please order Ceylon Cinnamon by mail, and be careful to eat well or you may experience low blood sugar. Sorry for any typos as I can’t see what I’m posting on this phone! 😉 Cassia cinnamon is supposed to be a potent blood thinner, so you don’t want to overdo it; also hard on the detox organs. Not sure about how Ceylon cinnamon affects beneficial bacteria; always best to err on the side of caution though and consume extra probiotics for gut health!

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