Cinnamon Increases Survival From Melanoma (Skin Cancer) 130% In Vivo

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Cinnamon Increases Survival From Melanoma 130 In Vivo
Cinnamon Increases Survival From Melanoma (Skin Cancer) 130% In Vivo. Graphic © Photo – Pixabay (PD)

Melanomas are considered one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer. This dreadful tumor is formed when unrepaired DNA damage to the skin cells, often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunlight, triggers mutations that makes the skin cells multiply rapidly. It forms cancerous tumors that resembles moles, or develop from moles. A tumor might be black, brown, or skin-colored, but it could also be pink, purple, red, white, and even blue.

This is why too much UV exposure is dangerous to your health. If discovered early on, melanoma can be treated and could even be cured, but it can be a matter of life or death to catch the cancer before it spreads (metastasizes) to the different parts of the body. [1]

And this is where herbal science has taken an interesting step forward. A study conducted in 2010 by Kwon, et. al. found that cinnamon extract, specifically Cinnamomum cassia or “Chinese cinnamon”, was able to drastically improve survival rates of actual test subjects affected with melanoma. The researchers focused on the Cassia extract and used it in vitro on the cancerous cells. After 48 hours of administration of the extract, there was a significant decrease in the proliferation of the cancer cells. By 72 hours, the cancer cells were floating from the plates, detached — inhibiting the grown of the cells by 70 percent.

This is a potential game changer. There are many studies showing anti-cancer effects of various compounds – in other words in glassware in the laboratory, tested against cell strains. But actual performance of the substance in living beings may not be the same – for there are the issues of how it will target the actual cancer in the body; it may not even reach it. In vivo (in living being) studies are regarded as having much greater overall significance.

The same study also found that oral intake of the extract showed similar melanoma fighting properties. Not only was the extract safe (non-cytotoxic), it was able to reduce the size of the tumor (slow the progression of the cancer) compared to the study’s control group. After 30 days of treatment with Cassia extract, the researchers concluded that survival rate from melanoma was boosted by as much as 130 percent! Out of all the test subjects, 70 percent of the experimental group treated with cinnamon survived compared to the 30 percent of the control group. [2]

Cassia vs. Ceylon Cinnamon – An Important Difference

You might be extremely familiar with cinnamon – whether it’s the well-loved cinnamon rolls or cinnamon tea. Don’t forget the infamous pumpkin spice latte that uses cinnamon as well! Its unique flavor and scent is delicious, uplifting and soothing and is not just used in foods but in aromatic products such as candles and incenses. The bark of the Cinnamon plant is the part that is used, and is sold in powdered, extract, or as whole strips. [3]

Kwon, et. al.’s 2010 study used a type of cinnamon typically called “Chinese cinnamon”, which is most likely the cinnamon bought from your local grocery. It is hotter and spicier than the Ceylon kind and is the most commonly found cinnamon in the US. Chinese cinnamon is native to southern China and grown all over Southeast Asia. Another kind of cinnamon called “Ceylon cinnamon” or simply “True Cinnamon” (which comes from Cinnamomum verum or zeylanicum) is very popular in Europe and is grown in Sri Lanka. It has a milder taste and is lighter in color, as in the image. While the two spices are very different, they do belong to the same Cinnamomum family. However, often Chinese cinnamon is often mislabeled as simply “Cinnamon” instead of “Cassia”. Ceylon cinnamon is widely referred to as just “Cinnamon”. [4]

Cinnamon has been reported to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antitumor, cardiovascular, cholesterol-lowering, and immunomodulatory effects. It contains cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, cinnamate and flavonoids which are all regarded as beneficial to health. [2]

The extracts of the cinnamon bark contains several active components such as essential oils (cinnamic aldehyde and cinnamyl aldehyde), tannin, mucus, and carbohydrates. These components perform many biological functions like anti-diabetic and anti-tumor activity, and was the basis for Kwon, et. al.’s study on cinnamon extract. [2]

Eating food flavored with cinnamon can help protect the skin while you’re under the sun and reduce your risk for skin cancer. Its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties also reduce swelling, pain, and redness caused by sun exposure and sun damage. You might even find cinnamon helpful in managing sun burn! [5]

Other Cinnamon Health Benefits

If you love cinnamon, then it would not be difficult for you to incorporate it in the foods that you eat. Eating cinnamon has many other health benefits, such as:

1. Maintaining a healthy heart. Cinnamon reduces the body’s cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and lowers high blood pressure. [5]
2. Preventing diabetes. It helps lower the blood sugar levels and increases insulin sensitivity. [6]
3. Keeping the mouth clean. Cinnamon extracts were found to fight bacteria that cause bad breath, tooth decay, and mouth infections. [5]
4. Reducing free-radical damage. The antioxidants in melanoma helps reduce free-radical damage and slows the aging process. [7]
5. Protecting the brain against neurological disorders. Cinnamon also protects the brain against diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. [8]


[1] Melanoma.

[2] Kwon, H. ,et. al. (2010). Cinnamon extract induces tumor cell death through inhibition of NFκB and AP1.

[3] Gruenwald, J. et al. 2010. Cinnamon and health.

[4] Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. Cassia and Cinnamon.

[5] Axe, J. Health Benefits of Cinnamon & Nutrition Facts

[6] Kirkham, S. et al. 2009. The potential of cinnamon to reduce blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.

[7] Dhuley, J. 1999. Anti-oxidant effects of cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) bark and greater cardamom (Amomum subulatum) seeds in rats fed high fat diet.

[8] Rao, P. et al. 2014. Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant

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