Cinnamon (Cassia) Bark
Also known as Cinnamomum cassia, Cassia, Cassia Cinnamon, Chinese Cinnamon, False Cinnamon, and Cassia Lignea
Introduction The word cinnamon, the genus name, probably came from either the Arabic or the Hebrew language, but the species name cassia is from the Greek kassia, meaning to strip off the bark. Its use in Chinese medicine goes back to at least 2700 B.C.E. where it is referred to in several herbal formularies. According to traditional Chinese medicine, it acts to help the body's "fire" and to help "warm" the kidneys and spleen. It is, however, primarily known for the familiar flavor it imparts to any dish that it comes in contact with.
Constituents Cassia bark can contains up to 4% oils, as well as tannins, catechins, proanthocyanidins, resins, mucilage, gum, sugars, calcium oxalate, cinnzelanin, cinnzelanol, and coumarin.
Parts Used Dried bark in sticks, chips or ground.
Typical Preparations Cinnamon can be used as a flavoring agent for most foods, as well as in teas, alcoholic beverages, extracts, and tinctures.
Summary Cinnamon is one of the most recognizable of flavors in the world, and has been used at one time or another in just about every type of food product available, as well as the flavoring for a great many pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. The German Commission Erecommended cinnamon for treating the loss of appetite, as well as gastronomical complaints including cramps, flatulence, and nausea. Cinnamons beneficial effects on the digestive tract are attributed to its antioxidant catechins, which may also help fight bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections. Cassia bark has been used for over a thousand years in both Eastern and Western medicine in treating chronic diarrhea, colds, kidney trouble, abdominal and heart pains, hypertension, and even cancer, among others.
Precautions It has been noted by the German Commission E that some people are, in fact, allergic to cinnamon, with side effects ranging from allergic skin reactions to mucosa. It is not recommended for medicinal uses during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This information courtesy of MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS, with full, written permission for reuse. For further traditional information concerning Cinnamon, please visit this excellent resource from Botanical.com. Used with full, written permission.