Cinnamon Tea for Diabetic Patients
Cinnamon Trees in Indonesia

Diabetes and cinnamon?

Type 2 diabetes is the most common metabolic disease worldwide, with a prevalence estimated to rise from 171 million in 2000 to 366 million in 2030 (1). Although the cause of type 2 diabetes appears to be multifactorial, it has been firmly established that diet can play a major role in the incidence and progression of the disease (2). Dietary interventions were shown to represent an effective tool to prevent and/or treat insulin resistance and/or type 2 diabetes (3,4).

We have addressed in another article how some constituents of Cannabis, particularly CBD and THCV, can help diabetic patients prevent secondary symptoms and further disease progression: Medical Cannabis & Diabetes: a review of the evidences”

But there are other therapeutic approaches to diabetes as well. One is through compounds that mimic the effects of insulin, such as MHCP (methylhydroxychalcone polymer), a constituent of cinnamon.

The bioactive compound isolated from cinnamon was first classified as a methylhydroxychalcone polymer (MHCP), which acts as a mimetic of insulin (5).


Cinnamon Trees in Indonesia

Cinnamon is one of the spices claimed to be a natural insulin sensitizer (6). The insulin-sensitizing effect of cinnamon was established in in vitro cell line studies with adipocytes (fat cells) (6–8) as well as in in vivo animal studies (9).

Qin et al. (8) reported that oral administration of MHCP in rats increased the rate of plasma glucose disposal into skeletal muscle by improving the insulin-signaling cascade through tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1).

Recently, Khan et al. (9) presented the first data on the effects of cinnamon supplementation in vivo in humans. In their study, 10 patients with type 2 diabetes (aged 52.2 ± 6.3 y) consumed 1, 3, or 6 g of cinnamon or placebo daily for a period of 40 days. Cinnamon consumption led to a major reduction in fasting serum glucose (18–29%), triacylglycerol (23–30%), LDL (7–27%), and total cholesterol (12–26%) concentrations in each of the cinnamon supplementation trial.

A controversy on this topic started, as another study did not find such correlation. This research examined the use of cinnamon in postmenopausal women suffering with diabetes type 2. The authors speculate that this difference might be given by the specific group of people (females, mean age 62.5),  as well as from the type of cinnamon being used (Ceylon vs Cassia). (10)

Changing diet as starting point for any effective treatment

Interestingly, none of the patients examined in the studies cited above have been recommended specific dietary interventions, despite it has been widely documented how switching to a plant-based diet (comprising of whole foods such as fruit, vegetables and grains), and cutting out the major sources of dietary fats (animal products and vegetable oils) can be a standalone practice in order to stabilise blood sugar levels and even reverse diabetes. (11)

We recommend checking these recipes to start exploring some delicious plant-based options:

“An Ancient recipe to reduce the effects of ageing: Dolmades”, “Indian Porridge to protect your Cardiac function”, “Epic cholesterol-lowering birthday cake”.


Haemoglobulin 1AC is considered the best measure for blood sugar control. Below 6 is normal non diabetic, above 7 is uncontrolled diabetic. After having diabetes for an average of more than 7 years, the mean starting point is at 8.2. After 7 months of a plant-based diet comprising of an abundance of fruit and vegetables, grains & starch and some seeds and nuts as dietary fats, their H1Ac level dropped down to a mean of 5.8, hence non diabetic blood glucose level (and that is whilst dropping out most medication).

Ayurvedic After-Meal Tea

We suggest you to make this tea after your meals, as it can ease digestion and lower blood glucose levels. seeds have many health benefiting nutrients such as calcium and potassium, essential compounds, anti-oxidants, fibre, minerals and vitamins. Most importantly, their anti-inflammatory effects ease digestion and help cleaning the colon. (12, 13)

Cloves offer also many benefits: providing aid for digestion, having antimicrobial properties, fighting against cancer, protecting the liver, boosting the immune system and controlling diabetes. (13, 14)

Black pepper, containing a dietary cannabinoid, namely the essential oil Beta-Caryophyllene, is a great anti-inflammatory which can work sinergistically with the bioactive compounds from the other spices. (13)

This tea is the perfect Ayurvedic blend: mixing in nice and balanced taste by combining the sweetness of cinnamon, sour of fennel seeds, salty of cloves and pungent of pepper.


3 teaspoons of fennel seeds

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

3 cloves

1 peppercorn

Mix these ingredients in a grinder and use 1 teaspoon for cup

Enjoy your tea!

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  1. Carter JS, Pugh JA, Monterrosa A. Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in minorities in the United States. Ann Intern Med. 1996;125:221–32.
  2. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Augustin LS, Franceschi S, Hamidi M, Marchie A, Jenkins AL, Axelsen M. Glycemic index: overview of implications in health and disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002;76:266S–73
  3. Willett W, Manson J, Liu S. Glycemic index, glycemic load, and risk of type 2 diabetes. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002;76:274S–80.
  4. Jarvill-Taylor KJ, Anderson RA, Graves DJ. A hydroxychalcone derived from cinnamon functions as a mimetic for insulin in 3T3–L1 adipocytes. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001;20:327–36.
  5. Khan A, Bryden NA, Polansky MM, Anderson RA. Insulin potentiating factor and chromium content of selected foods and spices. Biol Trace Elem Res. 1990;24:183–8.
  6. Broadhurst CL, Polansky MM, Anderson RA. Insulin-like biological activity of culinary and medicinal plant aqueous extracts in vitro. J Agric Food Chem. 2000;48:849–52.
  7. Jarvill-Taylor KJ, Anderson RA, Graves DJ. A hydroxychalcone derived from cinnamon functions as a mimetic for insulin in 3T3–L1 adipocytes. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001;20:327–36.
  8. Qin B, Nagasaki M, Ren M, Bajotto G, Oshida Y, Sato Y. Cinnamon extract (traditional herb) potentiates in vivo insulin-regulated glucose utilization via enhancing insulin signaling in rats. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2003;62:139–48
  9. Khan A, Safdar M, Ali Khan MM, Khattak KN, Anderson RA. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2003;26:3215–8.
  10. Vanschoonbeek K, Thomassen B.J. W, Senden J.M, Wodzig W.K.W.H, and Luc J. C. van Loon. Cinnamon Supplementation Does Not Improve Glycemic Control in Postmenopausal Type 2 Diabetes Patients.J. Nutr. 2006 vol. 136 no. 4 977-980
  11. D. M. Dunaief , J. Fuhrman, J. L. Dunaief , G. Ying Glycemic and cardiovascular parameters improved in type 2 diabetes with the high nutrient density (HND) diet. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine 2 (2012) 364-371
  12. Anwar, F., Ali, M., Hussain, A. I., & Shahid, M. (2009). Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of essential oil and extracts of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) seeds from Pakistan. Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 24(4), 170-176.
  13. Samy, R. P., Pushparaj, P. N., & Gopalakrishnakone, P. (2008). A compilation of bioactive compounds from Ayurveda. Bioinformation, 3(3), 100.
  14. Adefegha, S. A., Oboh, G., Adefegha, O. M., Boligon, A. A., & Athayde, M. L. (2014). Antihyperglycemic, hypolipidemic, hepatoprotective and antioxidative effects of dietary clove (Szyzgium aromaticum) bud powder in a high‐fat diet/streptozotocin‐induced diabetes rat model. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 94(13), 2726-2737.


Viola Brugnatelli

Viola Brugnatelli is a Neuroscientist specialised in Cannabinoid circuitry & GPCRs signalling. Her academy and research training let her gain extensive experience on medical cannabis and terpenes both from preclinical as well as clinical perspective. In her vision, collective human knowledge behold the power for overall improvement of life, thus, it should be accessible and shareable. Viola is Founder of the science online magazine Nature Going Smart, and works as a consultant for companies & individual patients, as a speaker at seminars and workshops and as a lecturer in a CME course on Medical Cannabis in Italy, at the University of Padua.

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1 Response

  1. Judy ' says:

    If you are taking powdered cinnamon rather than a water extract, be sure to use True cinnamon NOT cassia! Cassia contains a toxin called coumarin. (The one pictured above is cassia.) Read about it and learn how to tell the difference here:

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