Friday, November 8, 2013

PHARMACY FRIDAY -- Cassia Cinnamon Dangers

  CINNAMON - - People use it for a variety of home and herbal remedies. And now, we are entering into that beloved baking season of the year where people will be using loads of the scrumptious smelling, rustic brown stuff in their baking and holiday cooking. On both of these notes, I thought it was time to discuss with you the possible down side of Cassia Cinnamon, the most common cinnamon used (here in the US, anyway).

 Cassia Cinnamon ISN'T actually REAL cinnamon! It certainly isn't the cinnamon I remember from when I was a very small little girl. Cassia Cinnamon is the 'cinnamon' most commonly found on today's grocery store shelves because it is much cheaper to produce than the real, Ceylon Cinnamon, and therefore, can be sold for a much lower price. The flavor is similar, but not really anywhere near the same, and the properties can be very different.

Cassia Cinnamon naturally contains a chemical called coumarin, which has been linked to liver damage. Although Ceylon cinnamon does contain a very minute amount of coumarin, Cassia Cinnamon contains several times more. When consuming large amounts of cinnamon laden foods, or consuming the foods over a lengthy period, serious health issues can arise, even death in the most extreme of cases.

Besides being used in cooking, many of the cinnamon health supplements you purchase over the counter may contain the Cassia form of cinnamon, rather than the Real cinnamon (which is the one that you actually want for the desired health benefits). Taking these supplements (containing the wrong form of cinnamon) on a daily basis could quickly get you into some serious health problems, rather than help your health improve.

Besides Cassia cinnamon being potentially damaging to your liver, it is also an anti-coagulant. Besides the problems this alone could cause when consumed in large amounts, this property of the brown herb could be devastating to a person that is taking blood thinners! Oh, yes, and be careful about consuming Cassia cinnamon before you go to have dental work, or any invasive medical procedure done, as bleeding could be difficult to get stopped.  It has also been noted that Cassia Cinnamon may be a potential carcinogen. The European Food Safety Authority has noted that just three small cinnamon cookies could potentially harm the liver of a small child. Think.... Snickerdoodles and children's Christmas parties!!! Would you want that responsibility?  I shudder as I think of the number of Snickerdoodle cookies I made over the years for my children and their friends (made from the cheap grocery store cinnamon to stay within our large family's budget).

Yes, the true, Ceylon Cinnamon may be more difficult to locate, and cost considerably more, but the end result of your time and effort to acquire and switch to it, could mean much savings in medical expenses later down the line, and a better quality of life. Please think about this before you begin your cinnamon laden holiday baking this season.

We will discuss the upside of Ceylon Cinnamon in a future post! STAY TUNED!!!

Here are some more great articles on the subject:
 The Hidden Dangers of Cinnamon (several pop-ups to knock off, but a great article once you get to it)
from LiveStrong - Very good article!

from Ezine Articles - discusses associations with breathing & heart rates & interactions with other meds

from Digital Journal - short and to a very good point.

This post was not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease or illness. It is not intended to replace the medical advice of your medical health care provider.


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