In these pre-Xmas days, many homes will smell of cinnamon. It’s certainly a wonderful spice for creating an atmosphere. But ther are also other uses for ciannamon.
Current treatments for overactive bladder (OAB) have limited efficacy, low persistence and a high rate of adverse events commonly leading to treatment cessation in clinical practice. Clinicians in Asia commonly use traditional Chinese medicine as an alternative for OAB treatment despite it having uncertain efficacy and safety. To evaluate the efficacy and safety of cinnamon patch (CP) treatment for alleviating symptoms of OAB, this double-blind randomized, placebo-controlled trial was conducted.
The 6-week study was conducted in an outpatient setting; 66 subjects diagnosed as having OAB were enrolled and treated with a placebo (n=33) or CP (n=33). The OAB symptom score (OABSS) was selected as the primary end point, and a patient perception of bladder condition (PPBC), an urgency severity scale (USS), and post-voiding residual urine (PVR) volume were selected as secondary end points.
In total, 66 participants (40 women and 26 men), 60 years of age, were included in the intention-to-treat analyses. Baseline characteristics were comparable between the CP and placebo groups. Treatment with a CP showed statistically significant differences in reductions in OABSS scores, PPBC scores, and USS scores.
The authors concluded that compared to a placebo, treatment with CP might be considered an effective and safe complementary therapy for OAB. Further studies employing a positive control, different dosage forms, larger sample sizes, and longer treatment periods are warranted.
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum and Cinnamon cassia)belongs to the Lauraceae family. It contains manganese, iron, dietary fiber, and calcium as well as cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, cinnamate, and numerous other components such as polyphenols and antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anticancer effects. Several reports have dealt with the numerous properties of cinnamon in the forms of bark, essential oils, bark powder, and phenolic compounds, and each of these properties can play a key role in human health.
The new study is interesting and prompts me to ponder:
- Do the pharmacologically active ingredients of cinnamon pass the skin barrier in sufficient amounts to have any effect at all? Or perhaps it was the scent? In which case, this would have been a study of aromatherapy.
- Considering the typical scent of cinnamon, I find it hard to imagine that this study was truly double blind.
- Cinnamon is alleged to have antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant, antitumor, antihypertensive, antilipemic, antidiabetic, gastroprotective, and immunomodulatory effects. I do wonder which, if any, of these are responsible for the observed clinical results of this trial.
- Cinnamon is known to sometimes lead to allergic reactions. I wonder whether this could be a problem when it is applied in patches.
So, for the time being, I think, I prefere cinnamon, the spice, to cinnamon, the medicine.