Is It Safe To Consume Cinnamon During Pregnancy?

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Cinnamon is a popular spice known for its delectable flavor and a pleasant aroma. The spice is also known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, and anti-diabetic properties (1). Many women may consider having cinnamon during pregnancy. But is the spice safe to consume in pregnancy?

Read on as we tell you about the safety, side effects, and benefits of having cinnamon during pregnancy.

Is Cinnamon Safe During Pregnancy?

Cinnamon is safe during pregnancy when taken in controlled amounts. For instance, you can use cinnamon as a flavoring agent to your beverage or dessert. But if you are adding too much to your recipes or taking a high amount of cinnamon bark or cinnamon oil, it could lead to some adverse effects (2).

Experts say
According to dietitian Candace O’Neill RD, “Cinnamon’s benefits are believed to be due to cinnamaldehyde, an antioxidant compound that helps reduce inflammation and gives cinnamon its rich aroma and flavor (12).

How Much Cinnamon Is Considered Safe When Pregnant?

One to six grams of cinnamon a day is considered safe for adults. However, there is no such daily recommended quantity given for pregnant women. Hence, it is suggested to take less than the normal permissible limits (3).

What Are The Health Benefits Of Cinnamon For Pregnant Women?

Here we can see what cinnamon in less quantity can do in pregnancy:

  1. Gestational diabetes: Certain studies have shown that cinnamon could potentially reduce the insulin requirements for women with gestational diabetes (3). However, this subject is still under clinical trials and need further research to validate the claim.

    Cinnamon could reduce the insulin requirements for women with gestational diabetes

    Image: Shutterstock

  1. Blood pressure: High blood pressure or hypertension during pregnancy is not uncommon. Unless there is a medical condition causing fluctuation in blood pressure, it is fairly manageable. Cinnamon has some favorable effects on lowering the blood pressure, provided it is taken in a limited amount (4).
Point to consider
Cinnamon’s sweet flavor can help limit added sugar intake and mask a recipe’s bitterness (12).
  1. Nausea: Nausea and vomiting are the most common symptoms of pregnancy. Cinnamon used in certain formulations may have some relieving effects on these issues (5)As cinnamon is an unproven treatment, there isn’t a set dose. Some experts suggest two to four grams of powder a day. Some studies have used between one and six grams of cinnamon. Very high doses might be toxic.

Although cinnamon is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, a few studies do not recommend it for expecting mothers.

What Are The Various Ways To Use Cinnamon?

High amount of cinnamon is not advised for pregnant women but you may have it in small quantities in the following ways (6):

  • Drink cinnamon tea (however, not daily) where the cinnamon stick can be used as a flavoring agent.

    You can consume cinnamon in the form of tea during pregnancy

    Image: Shutterstock

  • Use a pinch of cinnamon powder for seasoning desserts and baked goodies.
Quick tip
Add cinnamon to yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothie to add sweetness and enhance their flavor (12).

Do not miss out on the precautions before you head to relish the flavor of this spice.

What Are The Precautions To Follow While Taking Cinnamon?

Some aspects that you need to be careful about are:

  • Avoid cinnamon oil in pregnancy because the safe dosage is not known. High doses may cause burning sensation. Also there are concerns of passing the toxicity to the baby (7).
  • If you are at a high risk of miscarriage, then avoid cinnamon.
  • Do not consume if you have cinnamon allergies.
  • Buy the best quality cinnamon sticks or powder to prevent any harmful additives.

However, every pregnancy is different and so is the recommendation for use. Consult a dietician if you are in doubt about using cinnamon.

What Are The Side Effects Of Cinnamon During Pregnancy?

When cinnamon is taken in exceeding limits, the following side-effects can be experienced.

  1. Cinnamon when taken in high doses works as an emmenagogue and can potentially increase the risk of uterine contractions and premature labor. (8).
  1. If you are taking antibiotics or any medications for medical conditions such as diabetes or heart ailments, then avoid cinnamon as it is known to have a blood thinning effect. This might result in excessive bleeding (9).
  1. Avoid taking cinnamon in supplement form. It could possibly lead to certain risks such as excessive perspiration, stomach disorders, increased heart rate, and fallen blood sugar levels (10).

    Consuming cinnamon in supplement form can pose health risks

    Image: Shutterstock

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can cinnamon cause miscarriage?

Although there is no definitive evidence of cinnamon toxicity during pregnancy, a few studies noted cinnamon overdose might be associated with an aborted pregnancy. Therefore, you may avoid eating cinnamon in excess and consume it in moderation during pregnancy (11).

2. Can a pregnant woman drink cinnamon and warm milk?

Drinking milk and cinnamon (in moderate quantities) is generally considered safe in pregnancy. You may speak to your Ob/Gyn if you are having cinnamon mixed with milk for the first time during pregnancy.

Cinnamon during pregnancy should be consumed in a measured manner. It is best to take a nutritionist’s advice to understand the right quantity that can be taken. However, you must ensure to limit the use of cinnamon to flavoring or seasoning overall to cut down its consumption gradually. But if you figure out that even less quantity of cinnamon is not working for you or causing you concern, then it is better to avoid it completely until delivery.

Infographic: Pregnancy-Safe Cinnamon Recipes For Expecting Mothers

Cinnamon is a flavorful herb that can impart several health benefits to expecting mothers. Our infographic shares easy-to-prepare, healthy cinnamon recipes moms-to-be can enjoy eating as a part of their well-balanced pregnancy diet. Check out these recipes and share them with other expecting moms who share your love for cinnamon!

healthy cinnamon recipes moms to be an relish [infographic]
Illustration: MomJunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Cinnamon in moderate amounts is safe during pregnancy. However, excess intake may trigger some adverse effects.
  • Pregnant women can benefit from cinnamon since it may reduce nausea, blood pressure, and gestational diabetes provided it is taken in limited amounts.
  • You may use cinnamon to temper recipes, season desserts, and add flavor to other food items.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. P. V. Rao and S. H. Gan; Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant; Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2014)
2. G. Bruno; Cinnamon: A Supplement for Diabetes, Body Composition, Cardiovascular Health & Antioxidant Protection; Huntington College of Health Sciences (2009)
3. G. Graham, E. B. Johnson, A. Johnson, R. Anderson, and P. Devine; Cinnamon for glycemic control in gestational diabetes: A randomized double-blind placebo controlled pilot study; American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology (2005)
4. Akilen R et al., Effect of short=term administration of cinnamon on blood pressure in patients with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes (2013)
5. E. Yarnell; The medicinal uses of cinnamon; Integrative Medicine (2010)
6. J. Liu; Is Cinnamon Good For You?; The Whole U University of Washington (2016)
7. Cinnamon; Health Library: Winchester Hospital
8. Inducing a Menstrual Period Naturally with Emmenagogue Foods & Herbs; Health with Food
9. Cassia Cinnamon; The University of Iowa
10. Jeanna Morshead-Metelica; THE IMPACT OF CINNAMON ON GLUCOSE LEVELS AND ALCOHOL CRAVINGS IN EARLY RECOVERY; University of Wisconsin (2012)
11. Ahmad M. Eid and Nidal Jaradat; Public Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice on Herbal Remedies Used During Pregnancy and Lactation in West Bank Palestine; frontiers in Pharmacology (2020)
12. The Benefits of Cinnamon; Cleveland Clinic
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