Health Benefits of

Cinnamon

One of the oldest spices known to the world, cinnamon is obtained from the bark of trees that belong to the genus Cinnamomum. Different types of cinnamon include Mexican (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), Indonesian (Cinnamomum burmanni), Vietnamese (Cinnamomum loureiroi), and Chinese cinnamon (Cinnamomum aromaticum). Not only does cinnamon imparts taste and aroma to the food, but this spice is also known for treating various health ailments. [1] The topical benefits of cinnamon are listed below.

Picture1.jpg

Antioxidant Effect of Cinnamon

Ultraviolet radiation-induced skin damage involves the production of reactive oxygen species, damage of cellular DNA, and degradation of components in the extracellular matrix of the skin. The changes contribute to accelerated aging and an increased risk of skin cancer. Cinnamaldehyde is an important constituent of cinnamon that has antioxidant properties. This compound reduces reactive oxygen species, prevents DNA damage, and upregulates the gene expression and production of antioxidative enzymes. Cinnamaldehyde suppresses the activity of matrix metalloproteinase, the enzyme responsible for the degradation of collagen and other matrix components. Hence, the antioxidant properties of cinnamon are useful in preventing photoaging of the skin. [2

Antibacterial Activity of Cinnamon

The antibacterial activity of cinnamon can be attributed to cinnamaldehyde, transcinnamaldehyde, and flavonoids. Cinnamon inhibits the formation of biofilm, bacterial growth, and also reduces the bacterial load. Cinnamon is also effective in treating a bacterial infection in otitis externa, also called swimmer's ear. [3, 4]

Cinnamon Promotes Wound Healing

Cinnamaldehyde present in cinnamon accelerates the healing of the wound and its antimicrobial properties aid in resolving wound infections. Cinnamaldehyde promotes wound healing by improving blood flow and clearing the wound site of inflammatory cells and toxins. It also inhibits the biofilm formation of gram-negative bacteria at the wound site, thus speeding up the recovery process. Cinnamaldehyde suppresses inflammation by blocking the production and release of inflammatory mediators. [5]

Picture2.png

Figure 2 The graph depicts the effects of cinnamaldehyde on the concentration of inflammatory mediators in the control group vs wound infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6515316/

Antifungal Activity of Cinnamon

Dermatophytoses is a common fungal infection of skin, hair, and nails. Cinnamon treats fungal infections by inhibiting fungal growth, damaging fungal cell membranes, and preventing their spread. Cinnamon eradicates Microsporum and Trichophyton, the main culprits responsible for dermatophytoses. [6