Differences between Cinnamon and Cassia Cinnamon

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.

True cinnamon occurs mostly in Sri Lanka (90%), and other countries like India, Madagascar, Brazil, and the Caribbean. The Cassia cinnamon is from China, and also occurs in Vietnam, and Indonesia.

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, CanelaHas 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 expensiveCheaper option
Contains low level of coumarins, about 004%, which is deemed safeCassia 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 layersHas thick and coarse bark but no multiple layers
Spicy cinnamon flavorSofter and subtle taste
Low essential oilsHigher essential oil content
Lighter color and finer powderThe powder is not as fine as that of true cinnamon.
Cinnamon and Cassia Cinnamon differences


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