Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Is Cinnamon Dangerous?

Friday, 16 July 2010 11:30 AM

Question: Is cinnamon dangerous? Someone told me that cinnamon had the same ingredients as Coumadin. Is this true?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Used in small amounts as a spice and as a fragrance, cinnamon is safe.

Cinnamon oil contains trace amounts of coumarin, a blood thinner, in various small concentrations depending upon the source of the cinnamon. True cinnamon from Ceylon has very little coumarin, but the cassia variety, which is the most common variety of cinnamon sold in grocery stores in the USA, contains considerably more. There is not enough of this substance contained in the usual use of cinnamon to create a risk for bleeding.

Coumarin is a relative of the blood thinner Coumadin. Coumadin is used as a rat poison and as a potent blood thinner in very small doses.

European health agencies have issued an alert to avoid excessive consumption of the cassia variety of cinnamon due to reports of liver and kidney toxicity. The claims of the cassia variety of cinnamon related to lowering blood sugar and improving cholesterol come from a Pakistani study and are yet to be fully validated. Excessive consumption of cinnamon of the cassia variety should be avoided by those with blood disorders and especially those on blood thinners such as Coumadin.

© HealthDay

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