Cinnamon bark is associated with many health benefits. Not only is this spicy-sweet herb a potent antioxidant, but it also demonstrates promise as a holistic treatment option for medical conditions including diabetes, high cholesterol, intestinal problems and poor appetite.
Although cinnamon is very safe when used in food and somewhat safe when taken as a supplement, there are some cinnamon bark contraindications. Some peole should not take cinnamon. Avoid all supplements containing cinnamon bark if you fall into any of these hig-risk categories.
No studies have evaluated cinnamon’s safety for pregnant women, and there is not enough evidence to suggest that it is beneficial as a supplement for expectant mothers. Pregnancy is considered to be a cinnamon bark contraindication. In theory, it may trigger contractions in the uterus, leading to an increased risk of miscarriage and preterm labor. It is not known if cinnamon contributes to birth defects of any kind.
People with Liver Disease
Cinnamon bark is contraindicated for people with liver diseases such as fibrosis, hepatitis and cirrhosis. Compounds in cinnamon bark are metabolized by the liver and may worsen these conditions. The body may be unable to filter the mildly toxic by-products involved in metabolizing cinnamon, and this could lead to serious consequences. Avoid cinnamon bark supplements in you have a history of any liver condition.
People Taking Hepatotoxic Drugs
Certain drugs can increase the possibility of liver problems in people taking cinnamon supplements. Experts advise patients to avoid taking cinnamon supplements, especially in large doses, if they are using any medication that is hepatotoxic, or potentially harmful to the liver. Hepatotoxic drugs include Tylenol, Cordarone, Tegretol, Rheumatrex, Aldomet, Diflucan, Sporanox, Erythrocin, Dilantin, and statin drugs such as Mevacor, Pravachol, and Zocor. If you are uncertain about your potential risks, check with your health care provider to see if you are using a hepatotoxic drug.
Visit the National Institutes of Health for more information about cinnamon’s contraindications.