Cinnamon tea is a fascinating 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 recognizable cinnamon sticks. These sticks are either steeped in boiling water or ground into a powder used to make the tea.
Cinnamon tea contains 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.
1. Cinnamon tea is loaded with antioxidants
Cinnamon tea contains many 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.
In addition, research shows that cinnamon tea can increase total antioxidant capacity (TAC), which measures the amount of free radicals your body can fight off.
Summary: 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.
2. Cinnamon tea 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.
Studies also report that cinnamon may reduce blood pressure and triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in some individuals.
What’s more, cinnamon may increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels, which helps improve your heart health by removing excess cholesterol from your blood vessels.
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.
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.
However, excessive coumarins may reduce liver function and increase the risk of bleeding, so make sure you consume cinnamon in moderation.
Summary: Cinnamon contains heart-healthy compounds that may decrease inflammation and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It may also reduce your blood pressure, triglyceride, and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
3. Cinnamon may help reduce blood sugar
Cinnamon may provide powerful antidiabetic effects by lowering blood sugar levels.
This spice appears to act like that of insulin, the hormone responsible for shuttling sugar out of your bloodstream and into your tissues.
What’s more, compounds found in cinnamon may further contribute to lower blood sugar levels by lowering insulin resistance, thereby increasing insulin’s effectiveness.
Cinnamon may also help slow the breakdown of carbs in your gut, preventing your blood sugar levels from spiking after meals.
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.
Summary: 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.
4. Cinnamon 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 reduced waist circumference.
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However, few of these studies have adequately 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 taking the equivalent of 5 teaspoons (10 grams) of cinnamon powder daily for 12 weeks.
However, large amounts of cinnamon may contain dangerously high amounts of coumarin. This natural compound may increase the risk of bleeding and cause or worsen liver disease when consumed in excess.
This is especially true for Cassia cinnamon, which contains up to 63 times more coumarin than Ceylon cinnamon.
More research is needed to confirm whether weight loss benefits, such as those found in cinnamon tea, occur at lower dosages.
Summary: Drinking large amounts of cinnamon tea may help you lose body fat, but this beverage could contain high levels of coumarin. More research is needed to establish whether lower dosages also benefit weight loss.
5. Cinnamon 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.
These include common Staphylococcus, Salmonella, and E.coli bacteria, which can cause human illness.
In addition, cinnamon’s antibacterial effects may help reduce bad breath and prevent tooth decay.
However, more research on humans is needed before solid conclusions can be made.
Summary: Compounds found in cinnamon tea may help fight off bacteria, fungi, and mold. They may also help freshen your breath and prevent tooth decay.
6. Cinnamon 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.
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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.
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.
There’s also evidence that cinnamon may reduce menstrual bleeding, vomiting frequency, and nausea severity during women’s periods.
Summary: Cinnamon tea may help alleviate painful menstrual cramps and PMS symptoms. It may also help reduce menstrual bleeding and nausea, and vomiting during menstruation.
7–11. Other potential benefits of cinnamon tea
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.
- May have anticancer properties. Test-tube research has observed that cinnamon extracts may help kill certain cancer cells, including skin cancer cells.
- 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.
- May help fight HIV. Test-tube studies report that cinnamon extracts may help fight the most common strain of the HIV virus in humans.
- May reduce acne. Test-tube research suggests that cinnamon extracts can fight bacteria that cause acne.
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 solid conclusions can be made.
Summary: Cinnamon may offer several additional benefits, including helping reduce skin aging and protecting against HIV, cancer, acne, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. However, more research is needed.
12. Cinnamon tea is 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, you should consult your healthcare provider before adding cinnamon tea to your routine.
Summary: Cinnamon tea is incredibly easy to make. It can be enjoyed as a warm or cold beverage.
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 a beverage worth trying.