Cinnamon is one of the most common household spices that also has amazing medicinal properties. And studies indicate that there might be some potential benefits to using cinnamon for PCOS symptoms.
Not only have studies shown that cinnamon helps with insulin resistance, but it may also support weight loss, improve ovulation, and it may play a role in lowering androgen levels.
So, if you’d like to learn more about the benefits of this spice, plus how to use it then keep reading!
BENEFITS OF CINNAMON FOR POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME
1. May Regulate Hormones and Menstrual Cycle
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).
These findings may prove to be helpful for PCOS patients since irregular menstrual cycles are quite common for those women.
And those menstrual irregularities are often tied to low progesterone and high androgens (as well as insulin resistance, which we’ll talk about next).
2. Helps Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels
A significant number of women with PCOS have insulin resistance.
This insulin resistance occurs when our cells do not respond to insulin as they normally would.
As the pancreas continue to release insulin, this can lead to elevated blood sugar (glucose) and elevated insulin.
Now, interestingly enough, some studies indicate that cinnamon powder may be able to correct this imbalance because it:
- mimics insulin and therefore, helps to transport glucose into our cells.
- makes our cells more sensitive to insulin, which ultimately helps our natural insulin do its job (i.e. move glucose into our cells).
3. May Support 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 and the amount of menstrual bleeding.
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. May Help With 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 can help with weight loss (much more than counting calories).
7. Can Be Used As A Home Remedy for 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 AS A NATURAL REMEDY FOR PCOS: CEYLON VS. CASSIA
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, it’s important to know which type of cinnamon you should be using.
You see, there are two types of cinnamon that generally available on the market: ceylon and cassia. Of these two, ceylon cinnamon is considered the best type and therefore, that’s the one you should use for PCOS symptoms.
So, why ceylon and not cassia? Well, all cinnamon contains a compound coumarin. If taken in high amounts, coumarin can be toxic to the liver.
And it turns out that cassia cinnamon contains a lot more coumarin than ceylon. Hence, ceylon is considered safer, especially for therapeutic uses.
So, before your purchase cinnamon, take a moment to read the label closely so that you can know which type of cinnamon you’re getting.
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 CAPSULE DOSAGE FOR PCOS
Now, when it comes to internal use of cinnamon, studies show that a little goes a long way. For example:
- one of the studies referenced above 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 about 0.2 tsp of cinnamon.
So, as you can see you don’t need a lot of cinnamon to experience its benefits!
When choosing your cinnamon supplement, please make sure to read the ingredients closely. Some supplements are pure ceylon while others combine ceylon and cassia.
If you don’t feel like doing a whole bunch of research, here’s a ceylon-only supplement that you can use. Each serving of this supplement is 2 capsules and provides 1g of ceylon (which falls within the range that has been shown to be effective in studies).
Lastly, as with all remedies, always check with your doctor to make sure that cinnamon won’t have any negative interactions with other drugs or therapies that you’re already using.
HOW TO MAKE CINNAMON TEA 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 is to add it to turmeric milk (aka golden milk). In this post on the benefits and uses of turmeric for PCOS, you can find my turmeric milk recipe. It combines turmeric, ginger and cinnamon in a powerful herbal blend that can be used for polycystic ovary syndrome.
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.
RELATED QUESTIONS ABOUT CINNAMON AND PCOS
Can ginger help with PCOS?
Research shows that ginger is beneficial for regulating blood glucose levels, soothing cramps and supporting ovulation. As a result, ginger can be a great addition to any natural PCOS care plan. To learn more, read this article on more in this article on how to use ginger for PCOS.
Which spices are good for PCOS?
Some spices that could be helpful for PCOS include turmeric, spearmint, garlic and clove.
Cinnamon is just one of the many natural PCOS remedies that you can add to your diet.
As with all natural remedies, it’s important to be consistent and to follow a balanced diet that is designed to support hormone health.
I hope this post was helpful and has given you ideas for natural solutions that you can explore.