Last updated March 30, 2019 by Lisa Richards, CNC   Reviewed by Katie Stone, ND.

6 Health Benefits of Cinnamon (Plus Some Tasty Recipes!)

cinnamon

When most of us think of cinnamon, we think of sweet treats such as cinnamon buns or festive candy! But there’s much more to this fragrant spice than desserts. In fact, it’s a medicinal remedy that has a huge variety of health benefits, particularly for Candida overgrowth.

Numerous studies have shown that Cinnamon has powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties. It’s been found to help stop Candida albicans in its tracks and prevent it from spreading. It’s also an effective circulatory booster, which can be highly beneficial to a Candida recovery plan. If you’re not adding it to your food already, it could be a useful addition to your Candida treatment.

In traditional medicine, cinnamon has been used as an anti-inflammatory, antiemetic, mosquito larvicidal, insecticidal, antimycotic, and anticancer agent. Some cultures also use it as a tooth powder and to treat toothaches, dental problems, oral microbiota, and bad breath.

Let’s take a look at some of the research involving Candida albicans and cinnamon, and the many other benefits that cinnamon has for your health. We’ll also show you a few recipe ideas for adding cinnamon to your diet!

1. Cinnamon Fights and Prevents Candida

Of all the Candida-fighting foods on the planet, cinnamon is probably the most pleasant! However, it’s also one of the most powerful. Cinnamon’s amazing antifungal properties have been found to treat and prevent the spread of Candida in the digestive tract.

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One study published in 2011reported that Cinnamon oil was able to break down the biofilm of Candida albicans in the gut. As a result, treatment with cinnamon helped to reduce significant amounts of the yeast and help restore normal health. After just 14 days of treatment, 72% of the patients were found to have no Candida at all in their stool. The remaining 28% showed a significant reduction in the yeast. (1)

Another study found that cinnamon oils demonstrate antimicrobial action against yeasts including Candida albicans. Researches have shown that cinnamon can fight harmful oral microflora, and may even be more potent than other tested plant extracts. (2)

Another study in 2011 investigated the use of cinnamon oil in hospitals. Hospital patients are extremely vulnerable to Candida infection as they tend to have severely weakened immune systems. In the past few decades, infection from Candida yeast has become increasingly common in hospitals. When researchers compared the effectiveness of sixteen different essential oils against another type of Candida yeast, they found that the most active essential oil was cinnamon. Cinnamon appears to kill off the Candida yeast and prevent it from spreading. (3)

2. Cinnamon Balances Blood Sugar Levels

Besides its efficacy in stopping the Candida yeast from growing, cinnamon has also been found to support your Candida recovery in several other ways. One of the most important of these is helping keep your blood sugar levels in check.

Several research studies have shown that cinnamon is useful for regulating blood sugar and helping to prevent spikes that can lead to a Candida overgrowth. Cinnamon is believed to work by improving your glucose tolerance and lowering insulin resistance, or else by reducing systemic inflammation. It’s also been found to lower postprandial blood glucose in several small, human trials. (4)

Both of these are considered risk factors for metabolic disease and diabetes, but can also play a part in predisposing you to Candida. Inflammation weakens the immune system, while high blood sugar levels allow Candida yeast to thrive more successfully. Including cinnamon in your daily diet could help to reduce the amount of glucose floating around in your bloodstream, thus keeping yeast overgrowth at bay.

3. Cinnamon to Reduce Inflammation

It’s not uncommon for Candida to be linked to inflammation. Symptoms such as joint pain and arthritis can in fact be caused or worsened by the byproducts of Candida albicans.

Cinnamon may help to reduce these inflammatory symptoms by suppressing cytokines, which work by regulating your body’s inflammatory response. Cytokine release has also been linked to arthritis. In this way, adding cinnamon to your health regime could provide some relief from your aches and pains.

By lowering inflammation, cinnamon may also help to lower your risk of heart disease, cognitive decline, cancer and more. The many different types of flavonoids in cinnamon make it a useful means of reducing chronic inflammation levels throughout the body. It may also reduce the severity of allergic reactions and help relieve other age-related symptoms of pain as well. (5)

4. A Powerful Antioxidant

Cinnamon provides antioxidant protection by neutralizing free radicals.  Candida yeast releases a number of toxins that may increase the level of free radical activity in your body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can speed up the aging process while also increasing your risk of chronic degenerative diseases.

Fortunately, cinnamon harbors an estimated 41 different protective compounds that help to shield your cells from free radical damage. In fact, cinnamon is ranked at number 7 on the ORAC scale (used to measure the concentration of antioxidants) when compared to other herbs and spices. Garlic, thyme, rosemary and oregano are also powerful antioxidant herbs, and are great when used in combination with cinnamon to fight Candida.

Cinnamon’s antioxidant powers are attributed to its high content of polyphenols, phenolic acid and flavonoids. These compounds help to clear away oxidative stress reduce the risk of chronic disease.  They also help to reduce the build-up of nitric oxide in the blood and prevent fat peroxidation, both of which are associated with brain disorders, cancer and heart conditions.

5. Cinnamon Protects Against Infection and Viruses

Candida yeast can lead to dysbiosis in your gastrointestinal tract, where up to 80 percent of your immune cells reside. When this happens, your levels of healthy probiotic bacteria are less efficient in overcoming harmful bacteria, fungi or viruses that enter your body. This can make you more susceptible to illness.

Cinnamon’s antimicrobial benefits are one of the many reasons it has been used for so long in traditional medicine. Studies have shown that it contains natural antimicrobial, antifungal, antibiotic and antiviral properties. Cinnamon’s essential oils are also high in powerful immune-boosting compounds.

Cinnamon oil alone is often used as a protective remedy for those with weakened immune systems, in order to ward off common bacterial infections such as the common cold, strep throat and pneumonia. (6)

6. Cinnamon Improves Oral Health

Candida albicans lives naturally in the mouth and is usually kept under control by other bacteria. However, in the case of Candida yeast overgrowth, oral candidiasis can develop.

This kind of infection occurs when Candida albicans accumulates throughout the lining of your mouth. Also known as oral thrush, it can cause nasty white lesions to appear on your tongue or inner cheeks. If left untreated, the thrush may spread to the gums, roof of your mouth, or even the back of your throat. Oral thrush occurs most commonly in those with reduced immunity, such as babies and older adults.

Cinnamon may be an effective way to keep oral thrush at bay. It’s been suggested that cinnamon oil can also protect against certain strains of bacteria that cause halitosis (bad breath) and also tooth decay, cavities and fungal mouth infections. This again is due to the powerful antibacterial and antifungal components of cinnamon which can naturally combat pathogens in the mouth.

This is why you’ll often see cinnamon may be used in natural mouthwashes or even in chewing gum. Traditionally, cinnamon is often used in tooth powders and pastes, and is a gentle solution for toothaches, dental problems and mouth sores.

Real vs ‘Not Real’ Cinnamon

Pure cinnamon is known as Ceylon Cinnamon, and tends to be little sweeter and less spicy than the more common ‘cassia’ cinnamon.

Some sources say that Ceylon cinnamon has a higher content of antifungal properties. Cinnamomum verum is the ‘true’ cinnamon, but the one you’ve probably used up until now is cassia. In fact, cassia is the type cinnamon you’ll usually find in supermarkets. It’s more common than you might realise:  more than 90% of the cinnamon imported into the US is cassia.

The difference between the two really comes down to the composition. The medicinal properties of real cinnamon include cinnamyl alcohol, cinnamaldehyde, and cinnamyl acetate.  Cinnamyl alcohol is usually used in cosmetics and fragrances, while cinnamyl acetate is more for hair conditioners and shampoos.

All three of these elements are present in Ceylon cinnamon and harbor the antifungal and antibacterial properties that make ‘real’ cinnamon so powerful.

How To Add Cinnamon To Your Diet

Cinnamon is such a versatile spice that it should be an easy addition to your daily diet. There are many options for taking cinnamon supplements (in the form of tinctures or capsules), but most people are happy to indulge in the taste as well!

Like adding salt or herbs, cinnamon is a wonderful flavor you’ll enjoy adding to everyday meals and treats. It’s great in oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, baking (sugar-free, of course!), and even savory dishes such as curry. As a spice, it adds warmth and a natural sweetness to food.

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Be sure to seek out fresh Ceylon Cinnamon where possible, and make sure that the brand you use is organic, or at least free from radiation.

Here are some great ways to use cinnamon in your Candida diet:

  • Add to drinks such as smoothies (avocado and almond milk is great!) or turmeric lattes
  • Blend with stevia or xylitol in place of sugar for cookies or crumbles
  • Dust almonds with cinnamon powder and roast in the oven
  • Mix cinnamon powder into natural (unsweetened) or Greek yogurt
  • Add to marinades for an amazing Middle Eastern flavor to meats, especially roast lamb
  • Add whole cinnamon quills to casseroles and curries
  • Mix into rutabaga pie

And here are some of our favorite cinnamon recipes for you to try:

Cinnamon: The Tasty Anti-Candida Spice

Whichever way you use it, cinnamon is a fantastic way to bump up your body’s Candida-fighting powers. It can help to weaken the yeast during your Candida cleanse, and also strengthen your immune system against other opportunistic pathogens.

At the same time, you’ll be helping to lower any inflammation in your body that may also be affecting your overall health.

Just as importantly, cinnamon will be keeping your erratic blood sugar levels in check so that you aren’t unintentionally feeding that Candida yeast. This can also help to ward off those unwanted sugar cravings!

Do some research before purchasing a bulk lot of cinnamon: make sure it’s the ‘true’ Ceylon version that will provide the health benefits you need. And get creative with all the tasty ways you can add it to your daily life!

Also remember that our Ultimate Candida Diet program contains lots more food-based antifungal treatments, as well as a number of recipes that use cinnamon.

Filed under: Antifungals, Diet Tips
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Comments

  1. 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

    1. 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 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969806X04001896) 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!

      1. jackey says:

        Hi,I’m taking cinnamon(cassia)In my hot drinks,Like tea,cocco and coffee,I’m also diabetic,I’ve noticed that my candida vanished after taking cinnamon,I’ve been through several antibiotics with no help at all,Cinnamon really helped me,That raw sore feeling at times bleeding,Is gone,I’m still enjoying my cinnamon coffee right now…This is from a greatfull cinnamon user….

        1. Stefanie says:

          Thats wonderful! What type/brand cinnamon are you using?

        2. Andre says:

          Candida is not a bacteria so using anti-biotics on it won’t do anything but kill your good bacteria and allow the situation to get worse.

  2. Cheryl says:

    Lisa,
    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?

    1. Hi Cheryl. I’m glad you’re finding the site helpful! And I agree with you that fresh cinnamon will always be better if you can find it.

  3. 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

  4. BMP says:

    Karen, just my 2 cents but, from what I understand honey is a contributor to mold which leads to candidiasis.

    1. Denise says:

      http://www.realfoodforlife.com/health-benefits-of-honey/

      That is weird, because I have read in a few places that honey is actually antifungal, due to bees adding an “enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide. ” Please see the address I shared above. I am not sure of the validity of the statement, but this is one of several that states it.

        1. loRen says:

          My question was about the cinnamon as well, not the honey . . .
          so it is not good to add to foods because it needs to be an hour before the probiotics?

          Also to the person eating Fage yogurt, which plain has 7 grams of sugar a cup and dairy, both which feeds candida, I don’t understand how that works . . .

  5. Laura says:

    Lisa,
    I recently bought cinnamon capsules. I am hoping that will work as well

    1. Ina Vogel says:

      I have a bad Candida infection at the moment and was talking to my husband about getting fluzol in the morning. He remembered about cinnamon. I have capsules and have taken 2 at 4 hrs apart. I can feel a huge improvement! I will continue the cinnamon treatment. Hallelujah!

  6. 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.

  7. Mel 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!

  8. Angela says:

    Hi, how many drops per day would you recommend when taking this for Candida?

  9. Paul says:

    Just chewing on a Ceylon stick right now.., they are more flakey and sweet as apposed to cassia which is hard and not so layered by all accounts.., they should sell them in most health food shops.. Been battling candida and gall stones the last year cut out sugar consume coconut oil in everything.. ACV tonic .. There are a lot of methods and of course rest and relax

  10. Sharon says:

    Great topic. My research is that Ceylon Cinnamon is the best and more beneficial. The Cassia may cause heart palpitations. I love, love, love the Ceylon Cinnamon. I didn’t know you could get it in oil form. I will look for that. I also didn’t know it was good for candida. I am a cinnamon
    lover, the good one, that is. Thanks.

    1. edward says:

      hie there l need yr help im suffering from throat infection as they said but when time goes on they noticed that it s candida ,so l need to know did you use it to heal you

  11. Rich says:

    Apparently cinnamon is a mild antibiotic, so take it at least an hour before probiotics. I have discovered Fage natural (plain) yogurt is absolutely fantastic for my candida, been eating it every day for about a month and my tummy feels so much more settled and generally “clean”, the bubbling has stopped and I can eat normal foods again without an instant flare-up.
    Also, thank you thank you thank you TCD for changing my life. A chance random conversation with someone on the other side of the world who was reading a magazine article about candida, was how I even heard about the condition. Then I found your website, and the information you’ve shared has helped to fix me up. I cheat all the time but at least I know how to balance it out and repair the damage. Thank you, again.

  12. jackey says:

    GO CINNAMON GO!!!!!!!HAPPY USER,Liza,I’ll try it with the cloves,Thanks,This page ROCKS LISA RICHARDS

  13. Doug Thornton says:

    For years I have been using cinnamon sticks in water. When you boil the water, it turns to a clear amber color as I think the hot water extracts the cinnamon into liquid form. 5-6 sticks in a coffee pot is the amount I use. When left as a pure solution, it remains crystal clear for weeks and weeks. When using some of it in coffee or esp tea, the container can be refilled over and over. After 2 months the “used” canella (Spanish) can be replaced. A recent problem with albans is being tested by dipping finger in the cinnamon with some vinegar and lemon drops added. I’m sure the problem was instigated due to overuse of sugar, so cutting back the sugar will help also for sure. I don’t know if a diet with mushrooms is also a problem due to fungal content. It’s all part of a balanced approach. Btw, the cinnamon is called “round cinnamon” sold by Cashi www. aslifinefoods.com. The sticks are small in diameter, straight and very hard. Be careful not to use the solution if you are having sleep problems, since cinnamon also helps to keep the mind alert. I use valerian tea from time to time to help with sleep. Every sword has 2 edges right?

  14. Olivia says:

    You probably won’t believe this but…..
    I’ve had candida rash for months now. Awful! Tried everything….I mean everything. Very little success in killing this off. Just yesterday brought home some Red Hots, candies from my childhood which I had not seen in ages, and thought, I know I should not have these because it’s sugar and will only aggravate the candida, but I caved and did it anyway. In the next 24 hours I noticed I did not have much itching at all. I said, wait, it’s sugar, why not? Then I thought about the cinnamon. I mean these candies are loaded with cinnamon and made to taste hot. I ate more of them. Still not much itching compared to prior days and months of this…..I’m going to take some decent doses of cinnamon pills now and see how it goes.

    1. Sydney says:

      Unfortunately there is zero cinnamon used to produce RedHots. Perhaps another agent to look for 🙂

  15. Laura says:

    Hi Lisa
    Thank you so much for your program
    the emails are very helpful. This article on Cinnamon awexome. I use organic cinnamon now on powder form. I eill be researching Ceylon cinnamon. I completed your Ultimate Candida Diet in Oct 2017
    I am feeling so much better. I love your recipes.
    I can’t have Garlic or any type of onion so substitute with other herbs and spices. The zucchini muffins are delicious my son loved them.

    Thanks again
    Laura

  16. Oswald Uruakpa says:

    I’m amazed reading these testimonies of how cinnamon has helped many through, I will give it a trial, thanks

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