Side effects of cinnamon, the dangers and contraindications associated with cinnamon
Cinnamon is an excellent spice for your health and has exceptional health benefits. However, in some cases, and like all herbal medicine plants, cinnamon can cause certain unwanted harmful effects, which is why it is important to know what these harmful effects are and when can they occur before consuming them.
The different types of cinnamon
Indeed, two types of cinnamon come from the bark of two very similar, but different, tree species:
•Cinnamomum Verum, known as Ceylon cinnamon, also known as real cinnamon.
•Cinnamomum aromaticum or Cinnamomum cassia, called cinnamon from Indonesia or China, also called false cinnamon.
Let’s be clear, to take advantage of the virtues of cinnamon, the variety does not matter, they have almost the same effect. That said, for high dose or long term use, cassia cinnamon will be more harmful to health.
Indeed, their actions for health are the same, with one exception that makes all the difference: coumarin. It is the coumarin concentration that differs in the two species. Ceylon cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum Verum) hardly contains any, but on the other hand, Chinese cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum cassia) is rich in it.
Except for that coumarin, at a certain dose, is potentially toxic to the liver and kidneys.
The particular case of Chinese cinnamon (cassia) and its side effects
As we just saw, Chinese cinnamon, or cassia cinnamon, is high in coumarin, a potentially toxic compound. Indeed, this natural substance, in high concentration, causes damage to the liver and kidneys.
The maximum daily amount of coumarin in the diet is estimated to be 0.1 mg coumarin per pound of body weight. For example, for a person weighing 60 kg, it should not exceed 6 mg of coumarin per day, which corresponds to about 4 or 5 g of Chinese cinnamon per day.
So my advice is, if you have liver problems, no doubt, take Ceylon Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Verum). If you have a large consumption of cinnamon, that is to say, daily consumption and inconsistent dosages (say 5 g per day), then you should also take Ceylon cinnamon.
If you have neither liver problems nor a heavy consumption of cinnamon, it’s up to you, but Indonesian cinnamon (Cinnamomum Cassia) is cheaper, so… For the rest of the article we will cover of the possible dangers of Ceylon cinnamon.
What are the contraindications for cinnamon?
Ceylon cinnamon is a so-called “safe” spice, however, as a precaution, cinnamon is contraindicated in:
•people with heart disease
•people with stomach ulcers
•people allergic to this plant
•pregnant women and babies (before 6 months)
These people should take advice from their doctor or gynaecologist before taking cinnamon, whether for food or therapeutic use. It is contraindicated in babies under 6 months, but it is possible to start incorporating cinnamon in babies over 6 months.
Note that cinnamon, in the form of essential oil, is dermocaustic, that is to say, it can irritate, even burns of the skin and mucous membranes such as the mouth, eyes, oesophagus, etc. It is therefore important not to use it purely on the skin, but to dilute it to at least 3%, and avoid taking it orally, even diluted.
What are the side effects of cinnamon?
The side effects of cinnamon are rare or nonexistent. According to medical research, the effect of the spice in the diet is safe.
However, in high doses, it can cause some side effects, but without serious consequences, the most common are:
•One-time hypertensive effect
Likely interactions between cinnamon and drugs
Cinnamon is well known for its anti-diabetic properties, it is even called poor man’s insulin, so by combining the spice with taking anti-diabetic drugs, their effects are increased, and this can lead to side effects such as hypoglycemia, excessive sweating, tremors, visual disturbances, dizziness, anxiety, etc.
You should therefore be particularly careful in this case because the effects of cinnamon on blood sugar are very powerful.
Among the most common antidiabetics are biguanides, sulfonylureas, meglitinides, thiazolidinediones, DPP-4 inhibitors, SGLT2 inhibitors, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, bile acid sequestrants. , etc.
Cinnamon has anticoagulant properties, so its consumption, food and therapy, associated with anticoagulant or antiplatelet treatment, must be done with the informed advice of a doctor.
Indeed, the anticoagulant effects of cinnamon will increase the thinning effects of drugs, which can have serious consequences (bleeding, haemorrhaging, bruising, etc.).
Among the most common anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs are aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), clopidogrel (Plavix), dipyridamole (Persantine), AVK (anti-vitamin K), ticlopidine (Ticlid), warfarin (Coumadin) ), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, etc.
Be careful, it is not only drugs that can be anticoagulants, some plants or spices can also have the same properties, among the most common: garlic, ginger, ginkgo, ginseng, tonka beans, etc.
In general, it is not recommended to take cinnamon in parallel with a drug treatment prescribed for cardiovascular diseases without the approval of a doctor.
If you are following a drug slimming treatment, be careful, because cinnamon has slimming properties that can be added to those of drugs.
Likewise, its consumption is not recommended in people undergoing treatment for ulcers.
Cinnamon during pregnancy and lactation
As a precautionary principle, the European Medicines Agency recommends not to take cinnamon during pregnancy or breastfeeding, except for food use. So there is no problem in putting a little cinnamon in the food but a small amount.
Indeed cinnamon is used to treat the absence of menstruation and to help the elimination of stagnant blood, moreover, in India, it is advisable to consume cinnamon milk to accelerate childbirth by stimulating the contractions of the uterus, therefore to be avoided during pregnancy.