Naturopaths can prescribe so many wonderful herbs to support a healthy menstrual cycle. Cinnamon is one that can easily be incorporated into a healthy diet.
Cinnamon is a herb that has been used as a food and medicine for thousands of years as it tastes delicious and also has amazing health benefits. It has traditionally been used as an aromatic digestive remedy and a gentle warming circulatory stimulant but this herb can also support your cycle.
Here are some of the ways cinnamon helps:
- Cinnamon helps reduce blood sugar levels by enhancing insulin sensitivity 蜉(1, 2). Restoring insulin sensitivity is important for women who have PCOS as it can help to promote ovulation and balance hormones.
- It may reduce heavy menstrual bleeding (3)
- Cinnamon is anti-spasmodic. Cinnamon is commonly used to relieve pain, bloating and menstrual cramps in the digestive tract but it can also be used to relieve uterine spasms that are responsible for period pain.
- It improves circulation. Supporting good blood flow to your reproductive organs helps to provide the oxygen and nutrients that they need to function optimally. Cinnamon has a long history of use in traditional medicine systems such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda where it is said to bring warmth to a cold stagnant uterus.
- Cinnamon may help reduce inflammation 蜉(4). Proanthocyanidins found in cinnamon are known to be anti-inflammatory and may help dampen period pain by reducing inflammation.
A few simple ways to add cinnamon to your diet:
- Place a cinnamon stick in a thermos flask with hot water and sip the tea throughout the day.
- Add ½ - 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and a grated apple to you porridge.
- Place cauliflower florettes on a tray, sprinkle with cinnamon, drizzle with olive oil and a little maple syrup. Bake until just soft.
- Add ½ a teaspoon of cinnamon to your smoothies or hot chocolate.
High doses of cinnamon may have a blood thinning effect – do not exceed normal dietary intake if you are taking blood thinning medications. Cinnamon can enhance the effect of hypoglycemic medications.
1. Wang JG, Anderson RA, Graham GM, Chu MC, Sauer MV, Guarnaccia MM, et al. The effect of cinnamon extract on insulin resistance parameters in polycystic ovary syndrome: a pilot study. Fertility and Sterility. 2007;88(1):240-3.
2. Akilen R, Tsiami A, Devendra D, Robinson N. Cinnamon in glycaemic control: Systematic review and meta analysis. Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland). 2012;31(5):609-15.
3. Jaafarpour M, Hatefi M, Najafi F, Khajavikhan J, Khani A. The Effect of Cinnamon on Menstrual Bleeding and Systemic Symptoms With Primary Dysmenorrhea. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal. 2015;17(4):e27032.
4. Gunawardena D, Karunaweera N, Lee S, van Der Kooy F, Harman DG, Raju R, et al. Anti-inflammatory activity of cinnamon (C. zeylanicum and C. cassia) extracts - identification of E-cinnamaldehyde and o-methoxy cinnamaldehyde as the most potent bioactive compounds. Food & function. 2015;6(3):910-9.