Cinnamon is a popular spice which can be used as a powder, stick to flavor recipes or as cinnamon oil. Cinnamomum zeylancium or Ceylon cinnamon is the most popular variety although Cassia or Chinese cinnamon – Cinnamomum aromatica is more widely used in North America. Cinnamon powder is used to garnish teas, flavored milk, combined with sugar to make toast, muffins, cakes or a variety of desserts. Apart from its flavor, cinnamon also offers many medicinal benefits and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.
Cinnamon powder or cinnamon quill (as the bark is referred to) can be used to make fragrant and spicy tea.
Cinnamon Tea Benefits
The benefits of cinnamon tea are got from its ingredients. Cinnamon contains chemicals like eugenol and cinnamaldehyde. Eugenol has antiseptic properties that can fight infections caused by bacteria and fungi like Candida albicans. It can even heal wounds.
Eugenol also aids with digestion by preventing stomach pain and nausea. Fats which are hard to digest get broken down and then digested by enzymes whose production may increase with eugenol. Consuming cinnamon tea could also prevent pain caused by fibromyalgia, arthritis, and toothache or gum disease.
Cinnamon also offers antimicrobial, antifungal, astringent, antibacterial and anti-clotting properties. It contains good quantities of iron, calcium, manganese and fiber. Consuming cinnamon tea can help with blood purification. Since it has blood thinning properties, this can help with blood circulation, ensure better metabolic activity and clear the body of impurities, preventing pimples and other skin blemishes.
Cinnamon is said to improve brain functioning by relieving tension. Regular consumption of cinnamon tea could improve memory, recognition, visual motor response etc. Cinnamon could control blood sugar levels and help patients with type-2 diabetes. This is due to the presence of MHCP, a polyphenol compound found in cinnamon, which could help the body utilize insulin more efficiently. Internal infections that attack the gallbladder and staph infections can be treated with cinnamon. Drinking cinnamon tea regularly also offers benefits for the heart, reduces the risk of colon cancer, and helps heal common cold, sore throat, influenza and bronchitis. Cinnamon could help with dealing with menstrual cycle, increase production of breast milk and be used for infertility. Cinnamon tea could also act as a diuretic and an aphrodisiac.
Cinnamon Tea Recipes
Cinnamon tea can be drunk hot or cold. Here are some great ways to include this flavorful spice in your daily diet.
- Cinnamon stick – 1
- Water – 1 cup
- Black teabag (or any other favorite tea) – 1 (decaffeinated or regular)
Place the cinnamon stick in a pan with the water and bring to the boil. Cover and let it steep for 10 minutes. Add the teabag and steep for 1-3 minutes. Sweeten if required and drink.
Herbal Cinnamon Tea with Lemon
- Water – 4 cup
- Cinnamon stick – 1
- Tea – 2 tsp
- Lemon – 1
Boil the water. Steep tea and cinnamon in it for at least 5 minutes. Next strain and serve with a lemon wedge. This tea tastes good both hot and cold.
Iced Cinnamon Tea with Orange
For the tea:
- Orange peel – 2 large pieces
- Orange slices – few for garnishing if desired
- Cinnamon stick – 1
- Black tea bags – 8
For the syrup:
- Ginger – 6 small pieces, peeled and chopped
- Mint leaves – 6 fresh sprigs.
- Sugar – to taste
To make the tea, mix together 8 cups water, cinnamon stick and orange peel in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then add the tea bags and turn off the flame. Let it steep for at least 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and chill the concoction.
Now make the syrup by combining 1 cup water, ginger and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn off the flame and add mint sprigs. Let this cool until it reaches room temperature. Strain and discard the mint and ginger. Now strain the cooled tea into a pitcher and add the syrup. Serve chilled in tall glasses, garnishing with cinnamon sticks or orange peel as desired.
Cinnamon and Thyme Tea
Combining these two herbs to make tea offers health benefits when we have a cold, flu, sore throat, to aid digestion or simply to strengthen the immune system.
- Cinnamon sticks – 2
- Water – 4 cups
- Dried thyme – 4 tsp
- Sweetener of choice
Boil the water in a saucepan, remove, add cinnamon sticks and thyme and allow it to steep for 15 minutes. Strain this, add a sweetener of choice and drink hot. For any illness, this cinnamon tea can be drunk 2-3 times a day.
Cinnamon Tea Ready mixes
There are many online stores and even health food stores where you can get readymade cinnamon tea mixes. These come in many delicious flavors. For example, ‘Cinnamon Apple Spice Herbal Tea’ from Celestial Seasonings is an invigorating herbal tea. It contains cinnamon, apple flavors, hibiscus, chamomile, natural cinnamon, roasted carob, orange peel, natural flavors and roasted chicory. This product is gluten free and naturally caffeine free and can be purchased online.
Another cinnamon tea is available from Harney and Sons. This ‘Hot Cinnamon Spice’ is a popular flavored tea that is made using 3 types of cinnamon, a blend of different varieties of black tea, sweet cloves and orange peel. This can also be purchased online
You can now enjoy whole new delicious flavors of cinnamon tea with these and other recipes.
Dosage and Precautions
The daily dose of cinnamon should not be more than 1-6g. While both Cassia and Ceylon cinnamon health benefits, there are some differences that we need to be aware of. Cassia cinnamon has higher levels of coumarin that could cause some health problems. Ceylon cinnamon is not easily available in North America – although you can purchase it online. Ceylon cinnamon is light colored and its bark breaks off easily. Hence, if you buy cinnamon which is tough and not easy to break, you have bought Cassia cinnamon.
Coumarin in Cassia cinnamon could affect the liver and cause allergic skin reactions. Those who require surgery must stop using it at least 2 weeks before the date for it could prevent control of blood sugar levels. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised to avoid Cassia cinnamon.
‘True’ or Ceylon cinnamon usually does not cause side effects unless taken in excess. Then you may develop sores around the mouth and lips. Those with breast and other hormonal cancers or taking diabetic drugs, antibiotics, heart medicines or blood thinners must consult their doctor before drinking cinnamon tea regularly.