Could Cinnamon Help Treat Multiple Sclerosis?

Could cinnamon be used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS)? That’s what scientists at Rush University Medical Center want to know, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has committed $750,000 over two years to fund research into the issue.

“Since medieval times, physicians have used cinnamon to treat a variety of disorders including arthritis, coughing and sore throats,” said Kalipada Pahan, PhD., Floyd A. Davis professor of neurology at Rush and leader of the study. “Our initial findings in mice indicate that cinnamon may also help those suffering from MS.”

Researchers have yet to pinpoint the cause of MS. The most common theories point to a virus or genetic defect, or a combination of both. Geographic differences also indicate an environmental factor.

In earlier published studies, Pahan has been able to show that sodium benzoate, a metabolite of cinnamon, can inhibit the expression of various pro-inflammatory molecules in brain cells and block the disease process of MS in mice.

Different doses of sodium benzoate were mixed into drinking water, since it is highly soluble and non-toxic, and given to the mice. Sodium benzoate suppressed the MS clinical score by more than 70 percent and inhibited incidence of MS by 100 percent in the animal model. The Journal of Immunology previously published the results of the initial studies.

The drugs currently available to treat MS cost thousands of dollars a month and have many drawbacks. According to Pahan, “These medications are expensive, have many side effects, and are only 30-40 percent effective in patients. If our study is successful, there may be a day when just a teaspoonful of ground cinnamon per day with milk, tea or honey, may help MS patients manage the disease process and significantly cut down the drug cost drastically to $10 per month per patient.”

Cinnamon is safe and has a few advantages over currently approved MS drugs. It is non-toxic and can be taken orally, rather than through painful injections.

“The most devastating nature of this disease is that it affects young people just starting their careers and families,” said Pahan. “There is no other disease in the world that has such an impact on the quality of lives of young, vibrant adults. This is what motivates me to study this disease.”

Related reading:
Shingles May Increase Risk of MS, Says Study

Source: Rush University Medical Center

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of “No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis,” a memoir. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and The Author’s Guild, and a regular contributor to Care2 Healthy & Green Living and Care2 Causes. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo


Monte Mitchell
Monte Mitchell3 years ago

goodevening to all...

i take about an ounce of honey before bedtime as this will usually smooth out those leg spasams while im going to sleep.
ive has m.s. for many years and dont take any meds... diabetics should know honey can spike blood sugar

Tammy K.
Tammy K5 years ago

Tea sounds good right now...

Mary Beth M.
MaryBeth M5 years ago

Whether it is actually helpful or not, it certainly can't hurt. Worth a try. Cinnamon seems to have many powerful attributes.

Jennah Ferrara
Jennah F5 years ago

Hmm. Although I'm skeptical about this study, I'm glad to know about it. (I have MS and already cook with daily tablespoons of cinnamon anyway!)

Jennifer C.
Past Member 6 years ago

Thank you.

Mel M.
Past Member 6 years ago


Chris Ray
Chris R6 years ago

Interesting, thanks!~

jf F.
jf F.6 years ago

"“There is no other disease in the world that has such an impact on the quality of lives of young, vibrant adults."

Makes you wonder if this health researcher has ever heard of AIDS.

I'm also a little put off by a grandiose promise of managing MS for $10/month, when they've only started doing initial studies on mice.

KrassiAWAY B.
Krasimira B6 years ago

Noted with great interest.

Nanette Aldana
Nanette a6 years ago

How wonderful if this does the trick. I believe that natural is the best way to go. I think drug companies are out to make a buck at any cost.