Skin blemishes, or acne, are a common problem, but when your skin has broken out, you may feel as though you're the only one who's suffering and desperate for a cure. While there is some preliminary evidence that cinnamon may help your acne, you may not want to start making it the focus of your diet just yet. No food, including cinnamon, can cure your acne. Consult your doctor to discuss how diet might affect your acne.
Cinnamon and Acne
In the practice of Unani medicine, an Islamic form of philosophical healing, cinnamon is used as a treatment for acne. Due to failures of current antibiotics in the treatment of certain strains of bacteria, a 2013 test-tube study published in the Ancient Science of Life investigated the effects of Unani drugs, including a cinnamon extract, on bacteria known to cause acne. The researchers found that the cinnamon extract was effective at fighting against the bacteria. While it seems that cinnamon may be beneficial in fighting acne, human clinical trials need to be conducted before claims can be made.
Cinnamon Health and Nutrition
Cinnamon is used as a treatment for a number of ailments, including gastrointestinal problems, appetite and diabetes. But the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine says there's no evidence to support any of these uses.
Cinnamon does offer some nutritional benefits to your diet, however. It's a low-calorie spice that contains a number of nutrients you need for good health, including fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium and a some of the B vitamins. One teaspoon of cinnamon has 6 calories, 2 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber and no fat.
Tips and Caution
Cinnamon may not be the acne cure you're looking for, but it makes a tasty addition to your diet. Use it to add flavor to your morning hot cereal or midmorning yogurt snack. Sprinkle some on your evening fruit dessert. You can also add the spice to a cup of hot water and drink it like a tea.
Although cinnamon is considered a safe spice to include in your diet, it's possible to have an allergic reaction. There's also concern that cassia cinnamon may interact with the blood-thinning medication Coumadin. If you want to use cinnamon as an alternative form of medicine, consult with your doctor first.
Diet Tips for Acne
Although the evidence is preliminary, there does seem to be a connection between diet and acne. Limiting your intake of foods with a high-glycemic index may help improve skin health, according to a 2012 report published by the American Academy of Dermatology Association. High-glycemic foods digest rapidly and cause spikes in blood sugar. You should fill your diet with more low-glycemic foods, such as whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, to help improve skin and acne.
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskelatal and Skin Diseases: Fast Facts About Acne
- Ancient Science of Life: The In-Vitro Anti-Acne Activity of Two Unani Drugs
- Medical Dictionary: Unani
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: Cinnamon
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Spices, Cinnamon, Ground
- American Academy of Dermatology: Diet and Acne
- University of Sydney: About Glycemic Index
- Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images