The cinnamon challenge has become a popular internet fad over the past few years. It’s a simple prospect: swallow a spoonful of cinnamon without the aid of a drink. It seems rather easy, except for the fact that it’s impossible for the vast majority of people since their bodies cannot produce an adequate amount of saliva to wash down the powdery spice.
Instead, the fine powder becomes caught on the individual’s tongue, causing them to inhale some of it, which then leads to coughing or sneezing as the cinnamon irritates the back of the person’s throat. The cough pushes the remaining cinnamon out in a huge cloud dubbed “dragon breath” and the challenge is failed.
The challenge has become a YouTube sensation, with several thousand videos posted to the site.
However, doctors now advise people not take the cinnamon challenge after discovering its dangers. Many children have been hospitalized after attempting it. The American Association of Poison Control Centers has received reports of at least 30 people who have needed medical attention after attempting the cinnamon challenge. Cinnamon fibers are easily inhaled and can become trapped in the lungs which can cause serious irritation and even tissue scarring. There is also the danger of vomiting, and then inhaling some of the cinnamon-infused vomit into your lungs, which can have a dangerous, corrosive effect.
The takeaway here is to never attempt the cinnamon challenge. Try watching some of the myriad videos available online instead!