Medically reviewed by Angela Sheddan, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 5/8/2023
Are there any cinnamon benefits, sexually speaking? We have answers.
An exotic spice that can add more flavor to so many dishes and beverages, cinnamon has been used for thousands of years — even as a traditional medicine in some parts of the world.
Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of cinnamon trees, and when the inner cinnamon bark dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls called cinnamon sticks. These sticks can be ground up to form cinnamon powder.
The medicinal properties of cinnamon have been used as an alternative medicine to treat several health conditions, from diabetes to gastrointestinal problems. Cassia cinnamon — the most common type of cinnamon sold in North America — is even used as an insect repellant.
But could the benefits of cinnamon even extend to the bedroom?
We’ll explore whether there are cinnamon benefits sexually, as well as other ways the health benefits of cinnamon might improve sexual function.
If you struggle with a form of sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction (ED), you’re not alone — 30 million men in the U.S. alone have ED.
While medications like sildenafil (generic Viagra®) are among the most common treatments for ED, habits and lifestyle — including diet choices — can also play a role in sexual function.
It’s important to note that there can be several causes of erectile dysfunction, and ED can vary in severity. In cases of mild or moderate ED, diet changes along with health improvements could improve your sexual dysfunction. More severe erectile dysfunction may need science-proven medication rather than diet alone.
There’s also not one single food or spice that can instantly improve sexual performance or boost your sex drive (as simple as that would be).
But while the studies on cinnamon benefits sexually are very limited, adding ground cinnamon or using cinnamon sticks could provide you with other health benefits — some of which may even benefit you in the bedroom.
You might already add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to your coffee, drink cinnamon tea or use cinnamon products like cinnamon essential oil. Keep reading to learn how the benefits of cinnamon might improve sexual activity.
Cinnamon has powerful antioxidant effects due to its high levels of antioxidant properties, including polyphenols. Antioxidants can protect your body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
One study found that cinnamon supplementation could significantly increase antioxidant levels in the blood.
Another small study of 100 infertile men suggests that antioxidant activity not only improves sperm quality parameters but also increases hormone levels.
However, the connection between antioxidants and sexual activity — including the relationship between the herbal antioxidants found in cinnamon and sexual function — hasn’t been studied in-depth.
Inflammation is what helps our bodies heal and repair, both internally and externally. But chronic or long-term inflammation can actually be harmful and lead to a number of health conditions, such as heart disease, liver disease and neurodegenerative diseases, among others.
Inflammation may also be connected to erectile dysfunction, potentially as a result of eating an inflammatory diet. The anti-inflammatory property of cinnamon extract may help reduce inflammation.
More studies are needed to know if cinnamon improves erectile function and other sexual functions, but the anti-inflammatory effects of this spice can still benefit you in other ways.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, cinnamon may also have some serious heart health benefits that could potentially reduce the risk of heart disease.
When combined with regular exercise, cinnamon supplements were found to reduce LDL cholesterol (or bad cholesterol levels) and improve HDL cholesterol — both of which can affect heart health. Cinnamon supplementation was also found to reduce blood pressure, another factor of heart disease.
Those with heart disease, especially people facing more severe cardiovascular disease, have been found to have reduced sexual desire, frequency of sexual activity and greater dissatisfaction with sex.
However, the first study was an animal study, and the second was a small trial study on only 40 participants. More studies need to be conducted on humans to know the connection between cinnamon and heart health. In other words, cinnamon won’t be replacing heart medicines anytime soon.
Adding cinnamon to your bowl of oatmeal could not only add some flavor but also potentially reduce insulin resistance, a characteristic of conditions like type 2 diabetes. Insulin is a key hormone that regulates metabolism and blood sugar levels.
One study suggests that cinnamon supplementation can reduce insulin resistance.
Why are insulin levels important for sexual activity? The effects of insulin have an impact on sex drive and sexual function, so diabetes can be a cause of erectile dysfunction.
While more research is needed, cinnamon could have an impact on insulin levels — a factor that can affect sex.
In addition to possibly reducing insulin resistance, cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels — another health benefit that impacts your sex life.
Cinnamon can decrease the amount of sugar that enters your bloodstream after a meal by interfering with numerous digestive enzymes. This slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in your digestive tract.
Studies have shown the beneficial effects of cinnamon, suggesting that it can lower the fasting blood sugar levels of those with diabetes.
A popular spice in the kitchen, cinnamon has been used for centuries as both a way to add flavor to food and as an alternative medicine. But are there cinnamon benefits sexually?
Research on how cinnamon affects sex is minimal. But there are other health benefits of this versatile spice that could help improve sexual performance.
A few grams of cinnamon may help lower blood sugar levels, improve heart health and reduce inflammation — all of which not only help improve your overall health but offer benefits in the bedroom as well.
Having said that, cinnamon shouldn’t be used as a sole treatment for sexual dysfunction. Truthfully, no single food can boost sex drive or cure erectile dysfunction. Rather, healthy habits and lifestyle changes like maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, quitting smoking and more can help reduce ED.
Learn about more science-backed ways to maintain an erection and ways to improve your erectile dysfunction or talk to a healthcare provider about ED treatments.