Cinnamon tea is made from cinnamon, which is a spice from the branches of the cinnamon tree of genus Cinnamomum, found commonly in Southeast Asia, particularly Sri Lanka and Indonesia, Caribbean and South America.
There are basically two common kinds of cinnamon. One is called the cinnamomum verum, or true cinnamon, from the Ceylon cinnamon tree, a small evergreen tree belonging to the family Lauraceae, native to Sri Lanka. The other kind of cinnamon is cassia, or called Chinese cinnamon, which is cheaper and grown in China. The cassia version contains significant amounts of coumarin, a compound believed to be harmful in large doses, so be wary.
Cinnamon is a very versatile and popular spice, and is used to mix with other flavours and foods. It is most suitable for desserts, foods and especially tea.
Cinnamon tea, a sweet, soothing and exotic blend, is made from the inner bark of the cinnamon tree which curls into rolls while drying, and they are either steeped in boiling water, or grounded into a powder that can be used to make the tea.
It is very easy to make and integrate this spice into your diet. Drink it warm, cold or just make it into homemade iced tea, everyone from children to seniors can also take it just like that as it is naturally caffeine-free and can be enjoyed anytime throughout the day.
Cinnamon tea has tons of health benefits, such as helping in weight loss, improving heart health, reducing inflammation and alleviating menstrual cramps. Here are some science-based health benefits of cinnamon tea.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon Tea
1. Loaded with Antioxidants
Cinnamon tea contains lots of antioxidants, which help keep you healthy and fight off oxidation caused by free radicals that damage your cells and lead to diabetes, cancer and heart diseases.
Cinnamon on its own is rich in polyphenol antioxidants, ranking above cloves and oregano in terms of its strength. Research also shows that cinnamon tea can increase total antioxidant capacity, which measures the amount of free radicals your body can fight off.
2. Lowers Inflammation and Helps Heart Health
Chronic inflammation can be dangerous. It has been proven that cinnamon tea may reduce inflammation, and this is critical as inflammation is thought to be the root of many chronic diseases, including heart problems, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Research has shown that cinnamon extracts may help kill certain types of cancer cells, including skin cancer cells.
Cinnamon tea also helps to relieve various pains as it acts as a natural anesthetic, relieving arthritis, pain and rashes caused by fibromyalgia.
3. May Help Reduce Blood Sugar
Cinnamon tea may help lower blood sugar levels, as it is reported to be similar to insulin, the hormone that is responsible for shuttling sugar out of your bloodstream and into your tissues.
Compounds found in cinnamon may further help to lower blood sugar levels by lowering insulin resistance insulin resistance, thereby increasing insulin’s effectiveness. It may also help slow the breakdown of carbs in your gut, preventing your blood sugar levels from spiking after meals. In particular, if you have Type 2 diabetes, drinking cinnamon tea on a daily basis to balance your blood sugar levels will be quite helpful.
4. May Promote Weight Loss
Cinnamon tea is often reported to help with weight loss, as studies have shown that cinnamon intake help in fat loss or reducing waist circumferences. But most of these studies have failed to properly control calorie intake, and didn’t differentiate between fat loss and muscle loss, making it difficult to attribute the weight loss effects to only cinnamon.
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.
However, such large amounts of cinnamon may contain dangerously high amounts of coumarin, which increases the risk of bleeding and worsen liver diseases. More research is needed before cinnamon tea can be confirmed to assist in weight loss.
5. Fights off Bacteria and Fungi
Cinnamon has some potent antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. In particular, cinnamaldehyde, the main active component in cinnamon, prevents the growth of various bacteria, fungi, and molds including common Staphylococcus, Salmonella,and E.coli bacteria.
Cinnamon’s antibacterial effects may also help reduce bad breath, protecting your mouth from germs and prevents gum diseases and tooth decay.
6. May Reduce Menstrual Cramps and Other PMS Symptoms
Cinnamon tea may help relieve some menstrual symptoms, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and dysmenorrhea.
There’s also research evidence that cinnamon may reduce menstrual bleeding, vomiting frequency, and nausea severity during women’s periods.
7. Helps to Lower Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
Cinnamon tea is also reported to reduce triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in some people, with fibre that prevents bad cholesterol from being absorbed by the body. In some cases, it can even help to increase your good levels of cholesterol.
Cinnamon’s eugenol feature is also effective in reducing hypertension or high blood pressure, though the potential impact of cinnamon on blood pressure has not been fully scientifically proven yet.
8. Helps In Indigestion and Stomach Pain
Cinnamon tea contains catechin, a type of antioxidant that helps to relieve stomach discomfort, swelling, gas and indigestion. It can help to reduce gastric acid which causes reflux. Adding honey to your cinnamon tea will help you achieve the best results in relieving indigestion and stomach pain, as it will create a hydrogen peroxide effect.
This tea also helps to kill the bacteria that causes irritable bowel syndrome and with a bit of ginger added to it, can help prevent nausea.
9. May Help Preserve Brain Functions
Cinnamon tea has been proven to protect brain cells from Alzheimer’s disease and improve the motor functions of patients with Parkinson’s disease. Cinnamon tea helps to improve brain functions and reduces the level of insulin in the body due to an improved memory power.
10. Helps for Colds and Flu
A cup of hot cinnamon tea is best to soothe sore throat, colds and nasal congestion because of its anti-bacterial properties. It also relieves throat irritation, and helps with phlegm and passive coughs.
Although all these research on cinnamon is promising, there is currently no evidence that drinking this tea will provide these benefits. More research is needed before strong conclusions can be made.
If you’re currently taking blood-sugar-lowering medication, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider before adding cinnamon tea to your routine.
How to Make Cinnamon 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.
You can add a block of sugar, some lemon juice, honey, ginger or turmeric if you want.
Other Uses of Cinnamon Tea
Besides tons of health benefits, other uses of this refreshing tea includes using it as incense to ward off insects and freshen up the room, adding it to liqueurs and sweets, using it as a room spray, adding it to any kinds of rice, or using it to make toothpicks.
The Dangers of Cinnamon Tea
Cinnamon tea is generally safe, but overdose may cause nausea, dizziness and vomiting. It may even cause allergic reactions in some cases, so do be very careful and take a bit to start off. In general, do not exceed 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon in a day and do note that cassia cinnamon has a high proportion of coumarin, which can cause some health problems such as allergic problems that affect the liver.
Since cinnamon has a blood thinning feature, do not consume it if you are using blood thinner medication. Avoid it too if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, as it is known to cause uterine contractions too. Most importantly, stop all intake of cinnamon if you are going to have a surgery, at least two to three weeks before the surgery.
If you can’t take cinnamon tea now due to certain reasons above, why not try some berry smoothies instead?