Cinnamon is a plant belonging to the Lauraceae family. There are two main types – True or Ceylon Cinnamon and Cassia Cinnamon. The bark of the aromatic and fragrant plant is used as a spice in flavoring food, dishes, cereals, bread-based dishes, and alcoholic beverages. It is also used to prepare herbal tea, coffee, and liqueurs. It is also an ingredient in apple pie, doughnuts, chocolates.
Cinnamon quills, ground powder, leaf oil, bark oil are used. It has health benefits such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antibacterial, antifungal, antidiabetic, wound healing, lipid lowering, and neuroprotective activities.
Cinnamon essential oils are used in dental preparation as mouthwashes, as disinfectant, for cooking, and as a facial scrub.
Main Differences between Cinnamon and Cassia Cinnamon
|Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum, Cinnamomum zeylanicum)||Cassia Cinnamon (Cinnamomum aromaticum)|
|Also called true cinnamon, Ceylon Cinnamon, pure cinnamon, Mexican cinnamon, Sri Lanka cinnamon, Canela||Has varieties such as Cinnamomum loureiroi (Saigon Cinnamon, Vietnamese cinnamon, Vietnamese cassia), Cinnamomum aromaticum (Cinnamomum cassia, Cassia, Chinese cinnamon, Chinese cassia), and Cinnamomum burmannii (Korintje cassia, Padang cassia, Batavia cassia, Indonesian cinnamon)|
|It is expensive||Cheaper option|
|Contains low level of coumarins, about 004%, which is deemed safe||Cassia contains up to 5% coumarin. Coumarin is a toxic compound that occurs naturally in cassia bark. It causes liver and kidney toxicity, and lesser side effects such as mild dizziness, diarrhea, and vomiting.|
|Thin bark with multiple layers||Has thick and coarse bark but no multiple layers|
|Spicy cinnamon flavor||Softer and subtle taste|
|Low essential oils||Higher essential oil content|
|Lighter color and finer powder||The powder is not as fine as that of true cinnamon.|