What Is Cinnamon Good For? 9 Uses You Didn’t Know

Cinnamon can do more than flavor your food. The spice can end bug woes, soothe an achy neck, and more.

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Cure acne.

Cure acne.iStock/Thinkstock
Cinnamon helps cell turnover to make acne scars fade faster, and kills bacteria to prevent future breakouts. Mix 1 teaspoon cinnamon with 1 teaspoon nutmeg and 1 tablespoon honey. Apply the mixture to the cleaned area, and let sit for about 20 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water.

Soothe neck pain.

Soothe neck pain.Lightwavemedia/Thinkstock
Cinnamon has aromatherapeutic properties that help ease shoulder and neck soreness. Fill a tube sock three-quarters of the way full with white rice, two cinnamon sticks, and 1 tablespoon of cloves. Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes, then drape around your neck. You can continue reheating and reusing this heating pad until the spices lose their fragrance.

Treat bug bites.

Treat bug bites. iStock/Thinkstock
Mix cinnamon and honey, and apply to an insect bite to moisturize and heal the irritation.

Repel moths.

Repel moths.iStock/Thinkstock
Combine three or four broken cinnamon sticks with 1/2 cup of whole cloves and 1/2 cup of whole black peppercorns, and put the mixture in a sachet. Place the sachet in your closet to help keep moths away.

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Help digestion.

Help digestion.Lightwavemedia/Thinkstock
Cinnamon is a carminative spice, meaning it has chemical properties to relieve bloating and gas. Sprinkle some on your food, or suck on cinnamon sticks after meals to help with digestion.

Get rid of ants.

Get rid of ants.iStock/Thinkstock
Place a cinnamon stick sachet in kitchen cabinets to discourage ants, or try sprinkling some of the ground spice in problem areas or entry points. The cinnamon will leave your kitchen shelves smelling nice while keeping the bugs at bay.

Plump your lips.

Plump your lips.Photodisc/Thinkstock
According to beauty blogger Michelle Phan, “If you’re looking for an easy and inexpensive way to achieve fuller lips, cinnamon makes a great lip-pluming agent.” Rub some moistened cinnamon onto lips before applying lip color.

Freshen your home.

Freshen your home.iStock/Thinkstock
As a substitute for store-bought or chemical air fresheners, stick a handful of cinnamon in a pot of simmering water for half an hour. Alternatively, stick two teaspoons of cinnamon on a cookie sheet and place in an oven at 200° F with the door ajar for 30 minutes.

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Freshen your breath.

Freshen your breath.iStock/Thinkstock
Bad breath often comes from odor-causing bacteria, and cinnamon works as an antiseptic. When bad breath strikes, suck on a stick of cinnamon to end bad breath at its root.

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