Last updated January 12, 2017 by Lisa Richards, CNC

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 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 albicans 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 had 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.

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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 over the past few decades it has become 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 may help with your Candida treatment too.

Other Benefits Of Cinnamon

There is another great reason for Candida sufferers to take cinnamon, besides its status as a Candida-fighting food. 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 albicans. 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. Get fresh cinnamon if you can, and ask your health food store for a brand that has not been irradiated. Look for ‘real’ cinnamon if you can – this is often known as Ceylon Cinnamon. This form of cinnamon tends to be sweeter and less spicy than the more common ‘cassia’ cinnamon, and according to some sources has more powerful antifungal properties.

Cinnamon is a really versatile spice that can be used in lots of recipes. You could make some French toast with coconut bread and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Try these cinnamon pecan crumb cakes for a tasty dessert. Add some cinnamon to a yogurt parfait (using plain yogurt of course). Or use some coconut flour and cinnamon to make coconut pancakes.

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

Filed under: Antifungals, Diet Tips
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  1. Kathy says:

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

    1. 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

    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 ( 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?

  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?

    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.

  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. 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:

      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 . . .

  6. Laura says:

    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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. Angela says:

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Liza says:

    Cinnamon (and cloves) definitely has a potent antifungal property:

  14. jackey says:

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

  15. 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. 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?

  16. 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 🙂

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