Especially in winter, nothing is quite as cozy as a cinnamon-topped chai latte or freshly baked cinnamon rolls for breakfast.
But for people with cinnamon allergies, this flavor-filled spice might be causing complications for your overall health, whether you’re coping with mild itching in the mouth or more severe abdominal pain and tongue swelling.
If this sounds familiar, don’t fret! Throughout this post, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about:
- Why some people are allergic to cinnamon, and how an allergic reaction works
- The key symptoms of a cinnamon allergy
- How to treat and prevent skin irritations caused by cinnamon
Keep reading to learn more about whether you or your loved one might have a cinnamon allergy, helping you to identify the early signs, avoid trigger foods, and relieve symptoms today.
What is Cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a natural spice derived from the bark of Cinnamomum trees native to China, India, and Southeast Asia.
Known for its traditional medicinal properties, health benefits, and delicious flavor, cinnamon forms a staple ingredient in many sauces, herbal teas, breakfast cereals, cinnamon toast, and curries.
Artificial cinnamon flavor is often added to chewing gum, toothpaste, and mouthwash products.
Why Am I Allergic to Cinnamon?
Although it is rare, it is possible to be allergic to cinnamon. In fact, spice allergies account for 2% of all food allergies worldwide.
When antibodies in your immune system detect the presence of cinnamon, they trigger an inflammatory response, flooding your bloodstream with histamine and other defensive chemicals responsible for your allergic reaction.
If you have a cinnamon allergy, allergic symptoms may be triggered by inhaling, touching, or eating cinnamon.
Cinnamon Allergy Symptoms
Most typically, if you have a food allergy, you will notice allergic symptoms immediately after exposure to cinnamon or flavor.
However, in the case of a rare delayed allergic reaction, it may be four to six hours before you notice the impact.
Some of the most common cinnamon allergy symptoms include:
- Tingling, itching in the mouth, lips, and tongue
- Swelling of the throat, lips, face, and other parts of the body
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, and sickness
- Skin reactions including itchy skin, hives, contact dermatitis, blotching, and increased sensitivity, particularly on or around the mouth
- Nasal congestion and a runny nose
- Itchy and watery eyes
In severe cases, you may also experience symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction, which include difficulty breathing, a sudden drop in blood pressure, and possible loss of consciousness.
If you believe that you or a loved one are experiencing any severe allergic reaction symptoms, we urge you to seek emergency medical help.
In the case of anaphylactic shock, your doctor may be able to prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector, which can help reverse life-threatening symptoms in emergencies.
How To Diagnose Cinnamon Intolerance
If you suspect that you or your loved ones might be allergic to cinnamon, we’d recommend consulting an allergist for specialist guidance.
To get to the bottom of your symptoms, your allergist will typically run some tests, including:
- Blood tests
- A skin patch test
Your healthcare provider can prescribe antihistamine medication to help you keep your allergic reactions in check.
Keep A Food Diary
One of the best ways to help you determine whether or not cinnamon is causing your body trouble is to keep a food diary, keeping track of all the different foods and liquids you consume throughout the day and making note of any symptom flares.
This will help your doctor to get to the root of the problem faster.
Treating A Cinnamon Allergy
Healing the symptoms of a cinnamon or spice allergy is two-fold. Firstly, treatment involves limiting exposure to cinnamon in your diet to allow your body to recover and prevent further reactions. And secondly, you’ll need to soothe any pre-existing allergic symptoms, such as itchy skin rashes.
If cinnamon is wreaking havoc with your health, we’ve got some tips to get you started on the path to recovery:
Try An Elimination Diet
If your allergic symptoms are severe, try an elimination diet, cutting trigger foods out of your daily routine. Be sure to read food labels carefully, as well as the labels of hygiene products such as toothpaste, which may include artificial cinnamon flavor.
However, we recognize that this can be tough, especially as cinnamon is often the go-to spice in many of our favorite sweet and savory dishes. And enforcing restrictive diets is certainly not the goal here!
Instead, to find creative ways to navigate your cinnamon allergy while still enjoying a diverse, nutritious, and satisfying diet, we’d recommend talking with a dietitian to support you in creating delicious meal plans.
Use An Anti-Itch Moisturizer
Cinnamon may sometimes trigger adverse skin reactions, including eczema flares such as contact dermatitis or a break-out in itchy hives.
If this has been the case for you, we’d suggest profoundly moisturizing your skin regularly with a nourishing, anti-itch moisturizer.
This Hot Skin Soother has been specially designed using Chinese herbs to soothe even the most red and angry eczema flare-up. It also helps treat topical bacteria, yeast, and fungus to protect you from secondary skin infections, particularly if you have weeping or crusty dermatitis.
Wear Hypoallergenic Clothing
If you’re having an allergic skin reaction, there’s nothing worse than wearing tight or itchy clothing that could further irritate your skin. Instead, opt for breathable, comfortable, hypoallergenic clothing to aid your skin’s natural healing process.
If your chest has broken out in hives, we recommend the Remedywear™ Long Sleeve Shirt for Adults or Kids. Made with TENCEL and anti-inflammatory zinc, these shirts offer anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, making them the perfect treatment for skin rashes.
Heal Your Cinnamon Allergy Symptoms Today
Follow these tips to help you recognize how your cinnamon food allergy may be impacting your overall health, helping you decide which lifestyle changes or natural treatment options might be best for you.