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August 2013

Cinnamon May Reduce Blood Pressure

Cinnamon may reduce blood pressure in the short-term for people with diabetes, according to a new study.

Cinnamon has been used as a spice around the world for centuries. It has also been used for its possible healing benefits. It has been used to improve stomach health and gas prevention. The only two species that are approved as medicinal herbs in the genusCinnamomum are Cinnamomum zeylanicum and C. cassia. The bark is used as a spice and is called cinnamon bark.

Early studies suggest that cinnamon may affect insulin and blood sugar levels. Benefits have been found in type 2 diabetics in terms of reduced blood sugar and cholesterol. However, results are inconsistent. More research is needed in this area.

In a new study, researchers conducted a comprehensive literature search for well-designed clinical trials evaluating the effects of cinnamon on blood pressure in people with diabetes.

Three trials published between January 2000 and September 2012 were ultimately identified for inclusion. Through data analyses, the researchers found that cinnamon significantly decreased both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 5.39 and 2.6 millimeters of mercury, respectively. The authors noted that these reductions were only seen in the short-term.

The authors concluded that cinnamon may reduce blood pressure in the short-term for people with diabetes; however, well-designed, long-term trials are needed before any firm conclusions can be made.

In addition to cinnamon, many other integrative therapies have been studied for their potential to reduce blood pressure. Numerous human studies report that garlic may lower blood pressure, particularly systolic blood pressure. It is unclear if effects are more pronounced in people with high blood pressure vs. normal blood pressure. Additionally, many studies report that omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce blood pressure. However, effects have generally been small, and other trials reported no benefit. Effects may be greater in people who have higher blood pressure and may depend on the dose.

For more information about integrative therapies for high blood pressure, please visit Natural Standard's Comparative Effectiveness Database.

For more information about cinnamon, please visit Natural Standard's Foods, Herbs & Supplements Database.

To comment on this story, please visit Natural Standard's blog.


  1. Akilen R, Pimlott Z, Tsiami A, et al. Effect of short-term administration of cinnamon on blood pressure in patients with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Nutrition. 2013 Jul 15. pii: S0899-9007(13)00191-3. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2013.03.007. 
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. 

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