How much: Doses range between 1g daily of cinnamon powder (approximately 1 level teaspoon) to 6 g. However, data emerged from a study that 6g daily was no more effective than the 1g which effectively reduced blood glucose and blood lipid levels for the sustained period during the testing. It is possible that even lower doses are just as effective. This is particularly interesting because the higher the dose the more coumarin – which is a particular concern when consumers are being sold much cheaper cassia and not true Ceylon cinnamon.
Tea: It can be taken as a tea but to make it more bio-available, consuming a little fat/oil with it is suggested. To this effect a classic ‘Yogi Tea’ is a good idea as it is made with hot milk (use real milk – not the non-fat stuff).
Capsules: There are capsules available for those who do not like the cinnamon flavour.
Food: A great way to take it, a type of curry that calls for a serious amount of cinnamon is perhaps the best food method. However, I have added cinnamon throughout the day in my yoghurt, muesli, Moroccan dishes, smoothies and desserts. It has a great affinity for hot cocoa or hot milk at night. Italians sprinkle cinnamon over slices of orange as a dessert – wonderful. Goes well with cherries and other berries. Cinnamon and mango is heaven!
Fat/oil: My favourite way is simply stirring my cinnamon into a little coconut oil and taking it straight as a serious dose. Coconut oil, cinnamon and honey and allowed to chill slightly makes a wonderful spread on a piece of rye bread!
Caution regarding therapeutic doses:
- Cinnamon in high doses may have an estrogenic effect.
- Pregnant and lactating women should avoid cinnamon in high doses.
Any warnings I have found have been suspected to be due to using cassia powder or oil in high amounts. One patient had developed a lip and mouth ulcer from cinnamon, however this proved to be due to the cinnamon oil in the chewing gum she used constantly. Another developed acute stomachitis and dermatitis after using a common cinnamon oil flavoured toothpaste. The offending oil turned out to be cassia oil.
For more information about cinnamon and its health benefits, click here.
Be sure to purchase your herb and spices from non-irradiated, organic and reliable sources for the full health benefit and be certain that it is NOT cassia but true organic Ceylon cinnamon – Cinnamomum zeylanicum. Grocery store herbs are good enough for seasoning but most likely have been radiated or in this case, most likely the cheaper cassia.
Read more about cinnamon benefits Spice: Cinnamon – A Major Cin
Therapeutic doses of most any herbal preparation is seldom intended for long term use and were never intended to be used in that way. Obviously, long term chemical ‘solutions’ have also negative effects. Many herbalists and Naturopathic practitioners recommend taking breaks of a few weeks from any long term herb use. However, some people eventually ease themselves off of pharmaceuticals and are happy with the results using natural methods and just as importantly, a healthier lifestyle. Your health practioner (read my interpretation of that and my disclaimer here) should be consulted.