So I’ve been hearing about this thing for a while where people challenge each other to digest a teaspoon of raw cinnamon without any beverage. It sounds like quite a “manly” thing to do with the exception that this can actually damage your lungs and airways. This isn’t as simple as eating a jar of jalapeños, lighting farts or drinking a gallon of milk. Most takers on this challenge might cough, cry and spew out cinnamon dust – but those of us with pre-existing lung conditions could really screw ourselves over.
Cinnamon is derived from the bark of trees from the genus cinnamomum. This bark, or cinnamon sticks, is then ground up into what most of us know as that spice added to many desserts and drinks. Because it derives from tree bark, cinnamon is largely composed of cellulose fibers which do not break down within the lungs once inhaled. The oils contained within the spice can cause allergic or toxic reactions. The reactions plus the lingering materials can cause tissue scarring and long term damage.
This is nothing to laugh at unless you’d like to end up in a hospital for a week. I know I’m totally sounding like a parent here, which I am, but please find something else stupid to impress your friends. It’s not worth it for those of us with existing respiratory illnesses to further mess up what lung function we still have left. If you’ve ever been in the hospital for respiratory problems before and experienced an arterial blood gas test in your wrist, you might want to put the cinnamon back on the spice rack.