Cinnamon is one of the most common household spices that also has amazing medicinal properties. And studies are showing that there are lots of benefits to using cinnamon for PCOS symptoms.
Not only does cinnamon help with insulin resistance, but it also supports weight loss, improves ovulation, and can improve androgen levels…all of which is essential to overcoming PCOS naturally.
So, if you’d like to learn more about the benefits of this spice, plus how to use it and the safest dosage to use, then keep reading!
HEALTH BENEFITS OF USING CINNAMON FOR PCOS
1. Regulates Menstrual Cycle and Hormone Balance
Cinnamon contains an ingredient called cinnamaldehyde, which has been shown to increase progesterone and lower androgens like testosterone and DHEA.
These results were obtained through a test tube study in which human adrenal cells were exposed to cinnamaldehyde (source).
Now, if you’re wondering why adrenal cells were tested, it’s because the adrenals also produce some of our sex hormones (even though the ovaries do most of the heavy lifting).
These findings are very relevant for PCOS since irregular menstrual cycles are very common for many PCOS patients.
And those menstrual irregularities are mainly tied to low progesterone and high androgens (as well as insulin resistance, which we’ll talk about next).
2. Maintains Healthy Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels
A significant number of women with PCOS have insulin resistance.
This insulin resistance occurs when your pancreas releases insulin, but your cells don’t respond to insulin as they normally would.
Eventually this leads to elevated blood sugar (glucose) and elevated insulin.
Some studies show that cinnamon powder can correct this unhealthy state because it:
- can mimic insulin and therefore, help transport glucose into your cells.
- makes your cells more sensitive to insulin, which means your natural insulin is better able to move glucose into your cells.
3. Supports Ovulation and Fertility
One of the major side effects of insulin resistance is that it can trigger the ovaries to make more testosterone and less estrogen.
And once this happens, just about everything related to your menstrual cycle is thrown out of whack.
This means ovulation and even the size (and quality) of your eggs is affected by insulin resistance and elevated testosterone.
Since cinnamon has the ability to improve insulin resistance, that means you can improve irregular cycles, as well as support your fertility in the long-term.
4. Reduces Painful Cramps and Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
A study done with 76 women showed that cinnamon powder can significantly improve:
- period cramps.
- the amount of menstrual bleeding.
- nausea and vomiting
The study also points out that cinnamon is a “safe and effective treatment” for menstrual pain because it doesn’t cause any negative side effects.
5. Fights Off Inflammation
PCOS is sometimes referred to as a low-grade or low-level inflammatory condition.
But where does that inflammation come from?
Well, mainly from our diet and lifestyle.
Cinnamon happens to contain various antioxidants that fight off inflammation.
So, consuming cinnamon powder can be a natural way of lowering inflammation and restoring more balance to your entire system.
6. Supports PCOS Weight Loss
Losing weight with PCOS isn’t just about eating less calories.
Instead, it’s about lowering inflammation, which cinnamon powder is known to do!
Now, here’s why inflammation matters for weight loss/gain:
- Inflammation triggers the adrenals to release more cortisol.
Even though cortisol is great for fighting off inflammation in the short-term, chronically elevated cortisol can create more problem, particularly when it comes to our weight.
- Thyroid function is down-regulated when the adrenals are releasing cortisol. Since the thyroid controls our metabolism, this makes it harder to lose weight.
- High cortisol can increase appetite, causing you to eat more during stressful times.
- When cortisol is high, the liver releases more glucose into your bloodstream. At the same time your cells also become less sensitive to insulin. All of this can increase your appetite and cause you to crave more unhealthy foods.
These are just a few of the ways in which inflammation can contribute to weight gain.
So, doing everything you can to reduce inflammation will help with weight loss (much more than counting calories).
7. Can Be Used As A Home Remedy for PCOS Acne
Acne is basically an external reflection of the inflammation that is occurring within the body.
So, cinnamon is a great way to naturally lower internal inflammation and support healthy skin.
Also, as we saw earlier, insulin resistance in PCOS contributes to high androgens.
And elevated androgens are another major cause of acne.
Therefore, by using cinnamon to improve insulin resistance, you can also improve your androgen levels and acne.
Furthermore, cinnamon has antimicrobial properties, which means that using it topically can kill bacteria that is worsening acne.
HOW TO USE CINNAMON FOR PCOS
To get the benefits of cinnamon for polycystic ovary syndrome, you can use it internally or topically (see the next section for topical application).
But before you start using cinnamon, you should be clear on the type of cinnamon as well as the dosage.
Cinnamon Type: Ceylon vs. Cassia for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
It’s generally recommended that you use ceylon cinnamon and not cassia (which is the most common type).
This is because cinnamon contains a compound coumarin, which can be toxic to the liver in large doses.
And cassia cinnamon contains a a lot more coumarin than ceylon. Hence, ceylon is considered safer.
These days you can find both types of cinnamon in health stores and online.
Just check the label before buying to be sure you’re getting the right type of cinnamon.
Note: if you can’t find ceylon, you can still use cassia. Just go for lower doses (see the next section for dosage suggestions).
Cinnamon Dosage for PCOS
Now, when it comes to internal use of cinnamon, the dosage varies depending on the study.
- one of the studies I referenced in this article used 420mg cinnamon capsules. This is a very small quantity…about 0.08 tsp.
- on the other hand this study used 1000mg capsules. This is just 0.2 tsp of cinnamon.
So, as you can see you don’t need a lot to see results!
Yes, there are studies that have used significantly more than that, but it’s best to avoid going higher without medical supervision.
Also, if you are taking other drug, always check with your doctor before taking high amounts of cinnamon.
This will help you avoid any potential side effects that could result from combining it with other medication.
CINNAMON TEA RECIPE FOR PCOS
To make a basic cinnamon tea, follow the recipe below.
1 cinnamon stick (approximately ½ tsp cinnamon powder)
1 cup boiling water
Raw honey to sweeten (optional)
How to Make
- Boil the water in a small saucepan.
- Add the cinnamon. Cover and steep for up to 10 minutes.
- Remove the cinnamon and sweeten with honey if you’d like.
NOTE: Another way to enjoy cinnamon in a warm drink is to add to a turmeric milk (or tea) recipe. Turmeric provides a lot of healing benefits and you can learn more about it (plus get my turmeric milk recipe) in this post on the benefits and uses of turmeric for PCOS.
DIY CINNAMON REMEDY FOR PCOS ACNE
For a simple DIY remedy for PCOS acne try this mask.
Aside from the benefits that the cinnamon provides, raw honey is also anti-inflammatory and very soothing to the skin.
2 tbsp raw honey
¼ to 1 tsp cinnamon powder (some people are sensitive to cinnamon to start low)
- Stir the honey and cinnamon together until well combined.
- Apply to your face.
- Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes then rinse off with warm water. If needed, use a washcloth to wash off any stubborn bits of the mask that are still on your face.
Does ginger help with PCOS?
Yes, ginger is great for balancing blood glucose levels, soothes cramps and helps with natural ovulation.
Learn more in this article on how to use ginger for PCOS.
Is beetroot good for PCOS?
Beetroot supports liver function, detoxification, fights inflammation and helps to balance hormones (especially regulating estrogen dominance, which occurs a lot with PCOS).
For tips on how to use fresh beets as well as beetroot powder for hormone balance, read these two posts:
Cinnamon is just one of the many natural PCOS remedies that you can add to your diet.
And there are many other practical steps that you can take to start improving your symptoms today.
Here are some additional resources on this blog that you can use:
Also, keep in mind that you can also use cinnamon essential oil for PCOS symptoms like heavy periods and cramps.
For more on how to use cinnamon oil, be sure to read this post on essential oils for heavy periods!
I hope this post helps with your recovery and shows you how small changes can make a huge difference in your health.
If you have any questions or feedback about this topic, feel free to leave a comment below.