Cinnamon gum is a type of chewing gum that is usually red in color and has a spicy hot flavor. Most commercial cinnamon gum brands on the market are made with artificial flavorings that simulate the taste of cinnamon. Popular brands such as Wrigley's Big Red, Trident, and Orbit contain synthetic rubbers specifically designed to retain flavor longer. Some brands of cinnamon gum marketed as "all-natural" contain pure cinnamon oil with no added sugars or artificial flavors. These can generally be obtained only from health food markets.
The herb cinnamon has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Cinnamon is often used as a food preservative because it slows the growth of bacteria, including E. coli. Known as a powerful immune system booster, it can also stimulate the brain and improve memory. Cinnamon is recommended by many holistic physicians to treat acute candida infections that are resistant to antibiotics. It has tested well in clinical trials at Copenhagen University for providing relief to arthritis sufferers. A U.S. Department of Agriculture study found that cinnamon greatly reduced the proliferation of certain types of cancer cells.
Chewing cinnamon gum can neutralize bad breath, and it may have other health benefits as well. According to a 2004 study by researchers at the University of Illinois, cinnamon gum also has antibacterial properties. When chewed, the gum reduces bacteria in the mouth and may prevent dental plaque and cavities. Because most commercial cinnamon chewing gum products contain refined sugars or artificial chemical sweeteners such as aspartame, these types of gum are unlikely to produce any kind of measurable benefit. Some health experts say that these commercial chewing gums can actually have adverse effects on human health because the chemicals contained within disrupt the body's metabolism.
Consumers are also cautioned when touching raw cinnamon or ingesting cinnamon oil to stop using the herb immediately if burning or discomfort occurs. Some people experience contact dermatitis, red bumps and rashes after coming in contact with cinnamon. While cinnamon allergies are quite rare, cinnamon sensitivity is relatively common. It is widely believed that people may develop cinnamon allergies after an overdose in childhood. Individuals who are sensitive to cinnamon frequently report a burning tongue, swelling, and painful bumps inside the mouth or throat after chewing cinnamon gum. This usually disappears within 24 hours but sometimes can last for several days. In such cases where the reaction is severe and the ability to breathe is affected, a trip to the emergency room may be necessary.