12 Impressive Health Benefits of Cinnamon Tea
By Alina Petre, MS, RD (NL) — Updated on July 3, 2019
Cinnamon tea is an interesting beverage that may offer several health benefits.
It’s made from the inner bark of the cinnamon tree, which curls into rolls while drying, forming the recognizable cinnamon sticks. These sticks are either steeped in boiling water, or ground into a powder that can be used to make the tea.
Cinnamon tea is full of beneficial compounds that may offer various health benefits, including aiding weight loss, improving heart health, alleviating menstrual cramps, and reducing inflammation and blood sugar levels.
Here are 12 science-based health benefits of cinnamon tea.
- Loaded with antioxidants
Cinnamon tea contains lots of antioxidants, which are beneficial compounds that help keep you healthy.
Antioxidants fight off oxidation caused by free radicals, which are molecules that damage your cells and contribute to diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Cinnamon is particularly rich in polyphenol antioxidants. A study comparing the antioxidant activity of 26 spices reported that cinnamon is only outranked by cloves and oregano (1Trusted Source, 2, 3Trusted Source).
In addition, research shows that cinnamon tea can increase total antioxidant capacity (TAC), which is a measure of the amount of free radicals your body can fight off (2, 4Trusted Source, 5).
Cinnamon is one of the spices richest in antioxidants. Cinnamon tea may increase your body’s ability to fight off free radicals, keeping you healthy and protecting you from disease.
Lowers inflammation and may improve heart health
Test-tube studies suggest that compounds in cinnamon may reduce markers of inflammation. This may be immensely beneficial, given that inflammation is thought to be at the root of many chronic diseases, including heart disease (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).
Studies also report that cinnamon may reduce blood pressure, as well as triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in some individuals (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).
What’s more, cinnamon may increase levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, which helps improve your heart health by removing excess cholesterol from your blood vessels (5, 9Trusted Source).
A review of 10 studies found that consuming as little as 120 mg of cinnamon — less than a 1/10 teaspoon — each day may be sufficient to help you reap these benefits (9Trusted Source).
Cassia cinnamon, in particular, contains high amounts of natural coumarins, a group of compounds that helps prevent the narrowing of blood vessels and offers protection against blood clots (10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).
However, excess intake of coumarins may reduce liver function and increase the risk of bleeding, so make sure you consume cinnamon in moderation (9Trusted Source).
Cinnamon contains heart-healthy compounds that may decrease inflammation and raise levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. It may also reduce your blood pressure and triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
- May help reduce blood sugar
Cinnamon may provide powerful antidiabetic effects by lowering blood sugar levels.
This spice appears to act in a manner similar to that of insulin, the hormone responsible for shuttling sugar out of your bloodstream and into your tissues (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).
What’s more, compounds found in cinnamon may further contribute to lower blood sugar levels by lowering insulin resistance, thereby increasing insulin’s effectiveness (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).
Cinnamon may also help slow the breakdown of carbs in your gut, preventing your blood sugar levels from spiking after meals (17Trusted Source).
Most studies observed benefits when people took concentrated doses ranging from 120 mg to 6 grams of powdered cinnamon. However, there’s evidence that cinnamon tea may also offer blood-sugar-reducing benefits (4Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).
Cinnamon may help reduce your blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, thereby increasing insulin’s effectiveness. These effects may offer protection against type 2 diabetes.
- May promote weight loss
Cinnamon tea is often touted to help with weight loss, and several studies have linked cinnamon intake to fat loss or reductions in waist circumference (18Trusted Source).
However, few of these studies have properly controlled for calorie intake, and most have failed to distinguish between fat loss and muscle loss. This makes it difficult to attribute the weight loss effects to cinnamon alone.
The only study that controlled for these factors reported that participants lost 0.7% of fat mass and gained 1.1% of muscle mass after they took the equivalent of 5 teaspoons (10 grams) of cinnamon powder per day for 12 weeks (19Trusted Source).
However, such large amounts of cinnamon may contain dangerously high amounts of coumarin. When consumed in excess, this natural compound may increase the risk of bleeding and cause or worsen liver disease (9Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).
This is especially true for Cassia cinnamon, which contains up to 63 times more coumarin than Ceylon cinnamon (12Trusted Source).
More research is needed to confirm whether any weight loss benefits occur at lower dosages, such as those found in cinnamon tea.
Drinking large amounts of cinnamon tea may help you lose body fat, but this beverage could contain dangerously high levels of coumarin. More research is needed to establish whether lower dosages also provide weight loss benefits.
- Fights off bacteria and fungi
Cinnamon has some potent antibacterial and antifungal properties.
For instance, test-tube research shows that cinnamaldehyde, the main active component in cinnamon, prevents the growth of various bacteria, fungi, and molds (21Trusted Source, 22).
These include common Staphylococcus, Salmonella,and E.coli bacteria, which can cause illness in humans.
In addition, cinnamon’s antibacterial effects may help reduce bad breath and prevent tooth decay (23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source).
However, more research in humans is needed before strong conclusions can be made.
Compounds found in cinnamon tea may help fight off bacteria, fungi, and mold. They may also help freshen your breath and prevent tooth decay.
- May reduce menstrual cramps and other PMS symptoms
Cinnamon tea may help make some menstrual symptoms, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and dysmenorrhea, more bearable.
One well-controlled study provided women with 3 grams of cinnamon or a placebo each day for the first 3 days of their menstrual cycle. The women in the cinnamon group experienced significantly less menstrual pain than those given the placebo (25Trusted Source).
In another study, women were given 1.5 grams of cinnamon, a pain-relieving drug, or a placebo in the first 3 days of their menstrual cycle.
The women in the cinnamon group reported less menstrual pain than those given the placebo. However, the cinnamon treatment wasn’t as effective for pain relief as the pain-relieving drug (26Trusted Source).
There’s also evidence that cinnamon may reduce menstrual bleeding, vomiting frequency, and nausea severity during women’s periods (27Trusted Source).
Cinnamon tea may help alleviate painful menstrual cramps and PMS symptoms. It may also help reduce menstrual bleeding, as well as nausea and vomiting during menstruation.
7–11. Other potential benefits
Cinnamon tea is touted to offer several additional benefits, including:
May fight skin aging. Studies show that cinnamon may promote collagen formation and increase skin elasticity and hydration — all of which may reduce the appearance of aging (28Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source).
May have anticancer properties. Test-tube research has observed that cinnamon extracts may help kill certain types of cancer cells, including skin cancer cells (30).
May help preserve brain function. Test-tube and animal research suggests that cinnamon may protect brain cells from Alzheimer’s disease and improve motor function in those with Parkinson’s disease (31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source).
May help fight HIV. Test-tube studies report that cinnamon extracts may help fight the most common strain of the HIV virus in humans (33Trusted Source).
May reduce acne. Test-tube research suggests that cinnamon extracts can fight bacteria that cause acne (34Trusted Source).
Although this research on cinnamon is promising, there is currently no evidence that drinking cinnamon tea will provide these benefits. More research is needed before strong conclusions can be made.
Cinnamon may offer several additional benefits, including helping reduce skin aging and protecting against HIV, cancer, acne, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. However, more research is needed.
- Easy to add to your diet
Cinnamon tea is incredibly easy to make and incorporate into your diet.
You can drink it warm, or cool it to make homemade iced tea.
The easiest way to make this beverage is to simply add 1 teaspoon (2.6 grams) of ground cinnamon to 1 cup (235 ml) of boiled water and stir. You can also make cinnamon tea by steeping a cinnamon stick in boiling water for 10–15 minutes.
Alternatively, cinnamon tea bags can be found online or at your local supermarket or health food store. They’re a convenient option when you’re short on time.
Cinnamon tea is naturally caffeine-free, so it can be enjoyed anytime throughout the day. However, if you’re specifically interested in its blood-sugar-lowering effects, it may be most effective to consume it with your meals.
If you’re currently taking blood-sugar-lowering medication, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider before adding cinnamon tea to your routine.
Cinnamon tea is incredibly easy to make. It can be enjoyed as a warm or cold beverage.
The bottom line
Cinnamon tea is a powerful beverage.
It’s filled with antioxidants and offers several health benefits, including reduced inflammation and blood sugar levels, improved heart health, and perhaps even weight loss. Cinnamon tea may also fight off infections and reduce PMS and menstrual cramps.
Whether you enjoy cinnamon tea warm or cold, it’s definitely a beverage worth trying.
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