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Why Cinnamon Burns

Eat cinnamon gum and your mouth gets sore, throat closes, tongue swells and goes numb? This is why. And it is not usually an allergy.

Cinnamon is actually a word that refers to a number of closely related spices, which are often used interchangeably and referred to by the same moniker. For our purposes, the difference that is important is the amount of a chemical called eugenol that is present in varying amounts, depending upon the type of cinnamon one is talking about.

As a consumer, you will never know which cinnamon was used, so it is rather a moot point for most of us.

Eugenol is an anesthetic, among its other properties. So if you tongue goes numb, or your throat, it is no surprise. The other main ingredient in any cinnamon is cinnamic aldehyde. It burns skin. So again; why are we so surprised that eating a concentrated cinnamon product like cinnamon gum named Fire, or Big Red, or mowing down handfuls of cinnamon hearts is going to eventually result in anything other than pain or, if we are lucky, numbness.?

Critical mass people.

Eat enough, and you have burned yourself or anesthetised the heck out of your mouth or throat. It is not usually an allergic reaction, but rather, the expected and obvious reaction to being exposed to too much eugenol and cinnamic aldehyde.

Cinnamon is extremely beneficial to many people, eaten in small amounts. Not concentrated.

If you want to feel the burn, try running!

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