The Cinnamon Challenge: You can eat cinnamon, but you shouldn't inhale it
The “Cinnamon Challenge” is an attempt to swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon powder in less than 60 seconds without liquids. You might assume this dare is relatively harmless, since cinnamon is an edible spice used to flavor a variety of foods and beverages. Cinnamon has even been used as a homeopathic treatment for improving health and metabolism. However, even though cinnamon is typically harmless, and possibly even beneficial, the Cinnamon Challenge is more dangerous than you might think. Cinnamon powder is a caustic substance that can potentially damage the lungs. Ingesting pure cinnamon powder inevitably stimulates the body’s natural gag reflex, which then causes the powder to be inhaled and stuck inside the mouth and throat.
Just because cinnamon can be safely consumed as a food additive does not mean it can be safely inhaled. Cinnamon is made from ground-up tree bark, which can bind to and damage the delicate tissues of the lungs. The one-and-done nature of the Cinnamon Challenge doesn’t make it any less dangerous. Inhaling cinnamon powder, even once, can potentially trigger an asthma attack.
Photo Source: Toronto Star.