Cinnamon is a tasty spice that can be used for virtually anything. From toppings (think: lattes and toast) to becoming an integral part of your grandmother’s famous gingerbread cookie recipe, cinnamon is a great way to give your dishes a boost. The best part? Cinnamon is actually healthy for you. According to Healthline, cinnamon has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. Even so, too much cinnamon can go a long way — and not just taste-wise.
Cinnamon spice comes in two varieties: Cassia and Ceylon (via the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research). Although both come from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree (via Healthline), Cassia cinnamon is more commonly used and can be found in most supermarkets in the U.S. and Canada (via Mind Body Green). When taken in moderation, cinnamon may help to balance blood glucose levels (via Pharmacological Research) and may even slow down the growth of cancerous cells (via BMC).
How much cinnamon is too much?
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), the chemical coumarin — which can be found in most variations of Cassia cinnamon — may cause or worsen liver disease. In addition, those who take warfarin or other blood-thinning medications should also be wary of consuming large amounts of cinnamon as high levels of coumarin can affect blood clotting (via Pharmacological Research).
If you have a cinnamaldehyde allergy (aka a cinnamon allergy), you may experience itching, tingling, or swelling of the lips, in addition to other symptoms (via Healthline) after touching, eating, or simply breathing in the spice. To catch a potential reaction before it happens, be sure to read the labels on any food or personal care products before purchasing them.
With that being said, taking cinnamon pills isn’t necessarily dangerous unless you have one of the conditions above or take too many of them (via the NCCIH). Because there isn’t an “official upper limit” on how much cinnamon to take, you should consult your doctor before adding cinnamon supplements (or any other type of dietary supplement) to your daily routine (via Livestrong).
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