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Raw Honey and Cinnamon Mix --
Hoax, Hype or Healthy?
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March 26, 2016
By H. Sims, Contributing Columnist
There are numerous accounts floating around the internet of
the so-called miracle mixture of raw honey and cinnamon.
These claims include that the mix can fight diabetes, arthritis,
cholesterol and even cancer, to name but a few. In truth,
there are health benefits to both honey and cinnamon
individually, however, the extent of the hype over this
concoction is questionable.
According to proponents of the mixture, it must be made in
equal parts to make an impact on all of these diseases and
conditions. The mixture can be consumed orally mixed with a
glass of water, or applied topically on the skin, depending on
the condition. They also emphasise that it should be Ceylon
cinnamon, although do not specify a kind of honey. Honey
and cinnamon have been used for thousands of years in
Chinese and ayurvedic medicines and are long established
And they are gaining popularity. According to the US
Department of Agriculture, honey imports have been steadily
and significantly increasing since the 1990s, and this is
probably because of the increasingly popular knowledge of
the health benefits of honey and cinnamon.
Read on to find out which of the popular health claims for
this mixture are true and which can be discarded as fantasy:
1. Raw Honey and Cinnamon Can Cure Arthritis? --- True!
One of the claims out there is that honey and cinnamon can
work wonders for arthritis. While the mixture is not a "cure",
it does greatly help to reduce symptoms of arthritis.
In fact, cinnamon contains manganese, which has been
proven to work as an anti-inflammatory.
Just one tablespoon of cinnamon provides 1.4mg of
manganese – the daily allowance is 2.3mg for men and 1.8mg
for women. Manganese can be useful for a number of things
in the body, but one study in 1999 at the Medical Department
of the Naval Amphibious Base in Little Creek, Virginia, found a
strong link between taking manganese supplements and
reducing arthritis of the knee and lower back.
Here's what happened. A group of 34 male naval officers
suffering from pain in the knee or lower back was treated
with a combination of glucosamine, chondroitlin sulfate and
manganese ascorbate in a trial over the course of 16 weeks.
At the end of the 16 weeks, the participants were physically
examined. What the scientists discovered was that the
osteoarthritis symptoms were significantly relieved with the
combination, including manganese.
What this suggests is that cinnamon, used in a combination
with other supplements, could indeed help with arthritis.
Now for the honey part. Honey has also been shown to have
an anti-inflammatory effect. A study in Nigeria at the
University of Ilorin in 2011, led by Dr Owoyele, tested the
anti-inflammatory effects of honey on rats with arthritis.
Groups of five rats were orally administered honey, while the
control group was given water.
Result? Honey significantly reduced the arthritis, due to its
anti-inflammatory effect. The study concluded that honey
may be used to treat certain acute and chronic inflammatory
So, although there may be an element of hype about the
honey cinnamon mix, both ingredients do have fantastic anti-
inflammatory properties for tackling that arthritis!
2. Fight Diabetes with Honey and Cinnamon? --- True!
There have been positive indications that cinnamon can help
with diabetes – also due to its manganese content.
A study at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake
City, Utah, in 2013 led by Dr. Lee, set out to evaluate the
effect of a manganese supplement on diet-induced diabetic
The mice were given a high-fat diet for 12 weeks and for the
final 8 weeks, half the group were given manganese and the
other half were not.
The results showed that the group treated with manganese
had improved glucose tolerance and improved insulin
What we can conclusions drawn from this study and others
like it is that cinnamon could be a useful natural remedy to
help prevent and control diabetes.
Likewise, honey also helps to control diabetes, by making is
easier to control blood sugar levels.
A study in 2011 at the Jinnah Medical College Hospital in
Karachi, Pakistan, led by Dr Nazir, compared the difference in
glycemic effect between natural honey and glucose.
The trial consisted of 97 Type II diabetic patients who were
randomly divided and given 75 grams of honey, 30 grams of
honey or 75 grams of glucose.
All patients were told to fast and blood samples were taken
after 1 and 2 hours of fasting. The scientists reported a
significant difference, with the blood sugar levels of
participants significantly lower 2 hours after taking honey,
and concluded that a low dose of honey can be a valuable
sugar substitute for patients with diabetes.
From this, we can see that cinnamon can help with boosting
insulin secretion and honey can help with glycemic control – a
So count this claim as "fact" -- the honey and cinnamon mix
is quite healthy for diabetes.
3. Treat Skin Infections with Raw Honey and Cinnamon?
In this case, honey and cinnamon do not work well together,
despite some benefits of honey. In fact, honey has been
proven to have anti-microbial properties and studies have
shown that it can help conditions such as acne and open
A 2016 study by Drs. Oryan, Alemzadeh and Moshiri at
Shiraz University in Iran discussed the therapeutic properties
of honey in relation to skin conditions.
This study found that honey can be an effective and
economical way to treat wounds because it stimulates tissue
growth while also acting as an anti-inflammatory.
One of the properties of honey that helps in wound healing is
nitric oxide, which has been suggested by another study to
be a promising treatment for acne. This study, led by Dr.
Aslam at the Wake Forest School of Medicine of North
Carolina in 2015, tested a number of different emerging
alternative treatments for acne, and found that nitric oxide
was a strong option.
While this is true of honey, cinnamon should not be used
topically on infected skin, as studies have shown that it can
be an irritant. A study by Dr. Meding from 1993 at the
University of Goteberg in Sweden examined reports of skin
symptoms of workers in a Swedish spice factory.
Half of the factory workers reported skin conditions and they
were tested with patch and prick testing, and were commonly
a caused by cinnamon. So, while you may find relief with
honey, the combination of honey and cinnamon may be more
hype than healthy in this case.
So the fact of the matter is that honey and cinnamon have
some remarkable properties individually. But as a mix,
sometimes they complement each other and sometimes they
don’t. Our bottom line on the raw honey and cinnamon
combo is that the mix , while not magic, is not necessarily a
There are at least 3 proven health benefits to honey and
cinnamon in combination.
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|Raw honey and cinnamon help to
reduce arthritis symptoms.