Does Cinnamon Have Health Benefits?
Cinnamon is a spice that is made from the inner bark of trees scientifically known as Cinnamomum. It has been used as an ingredient throughout history, dating back as far as Ancient Egypt. It used to be rare and valuable and was regarded as a gift fit for kings. These days, cinnamon is cheap, available in every supermarket and found as an ingredient in various foods and recipes. Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of cinnamon trees. The inner bark is then extracted and the woody parts removed. When it dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls, called cinnamon sticks. These sticks can be ground to form cinnamon powder. The distinct smell and flavor of cinnamon are due to the oily part, which is very high in the compound cinnamaldehyde. Scientists believe that this compound is responsible for most of cinnamon’s powerful effects on health and metabolism.
Cinnamon is a condiment well known for its flavour, but did you know it can help treat certain hair issues too?
- Antioxidant And Antimicrobial Properties - Cinnamon’s polyphenols act as natural antioxidants. Their antimicrobial properties may help prevent scalp infections.
- Improves Hair Length, Density, And Growth - The topical application of cinnamon essential oil improved hair length and diameter in rat studies. Cinnamon essential oil contains cinnamaldehyde that dilates blood vessels and boosts blood flow to the scalp. This may stimulate hair growth.
- Prevents Hair Damage And Increases Anagen Phase - Cinnamon contains procyanidins that possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antifungal properties. These may help protect the scalp and hair from free radical damage, irritation, and inflammation, and prevent dandruff. Procyanidins were found to induce the anagen (active growth) phase of hair in rats. They also showed significant hair growth in men with alopecia.
- Reduces/Treats Head Lice - Research suggests that cinnamon oil mixed with shampoo can help reduce head lice.
- Contains Vitamins, Protein, And Minerals - Cinnamon also contains vitamin C and minerals that improve hair health.
- It has riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, vitamin A, and protein, which may also enhance hair health.
- Antifungal Properties - In a study, cinnamon oil showed antifungal properties against Malassezia furfur, which may cause seborrheic dermatitis or chronic dandruff.
- Alopecia In Chemotherapy Patients - Another study showed that cinnamon bark extracts taken orally in a capsule form (400mg) helped in alopecia in chemotherapy patients with breast cancer.
While research shows that cinnamon can help stimulate hair growth and reduce hair loss, it does not happen instantly. The spice is not a miracle cure for hair loss. You need to use it for a certain period to see any results.
Side Effects Of Cinnamon
Using cinnamon powder or oil topically is considered safe. But it may cause allergic reactions, irritation, or redness in some people. It is advisable to perform a patch test before applying cinnamon for the first time. Cinnamon consumption is safe in the right dosage. Over-consumption may lead to liver damage, low blood sugar levels, allergies, and issues during surgery.
It is important to realize that cinnamon as with any spice is only part of the total picture in regulating hair growth. But its fair to say that a well formulated vitamin and supplement product can truly aid promoting hair health and Cinnamon may be part of those ingredients.