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Cinnamon Zeylanicum Vs Cassia

Cassia 

Cinnamomum Zeylanicum is a tree indigenous to Sri Lanka which produces the highest grade of pure cinnamon. Cinnamon grown and produced in Sri Lanka has built for itself a long-standing reputation in the international markets for exceptional quality, unique color, flavor, and aroma quite distinct from cinnamon sourced from other countries around the world.

Both Cinnamon Zeylanicum and other cassia varieties are tree bark from the same family of plant, but not from the same plant. Even though Cinnamon Zeylanicum and cassia varieties are related, both should not be treated as the same spice as both are different in nutritional value. In addition, the chemical profiles of each variety is quite different; and one of the most important differences is the amount of Coumarin content, a substance known to cause liver damage found in each variety.

 

Coumarin is a naturally occurring chemical compound from the benzopyrene family which is present in both cassia and Cinnamon Zeylanicum. A high amount of coumarin consumption can cause health risks. The level of coumarin content in Cinnamon Zeylanicum is negligible. On the other hand cassia has a higher percentage of coumarin presence which may pose health risks to individuals who consume cassia on a regular basis. The coumarin level in cassia varies considerably depending upon the climatic condition and respective sub–species, whereas in Cinnamon Zeylanicum, the level is just traces.

PURE CINNAMON HEALTH BENEFITS

The health benefits of Cinnamon Zeylanicum are well known. The results quoted below are animal based and lab/chemistry-based studies. Here we list the top 5 properties that scientists have seen in clinical results.

 

Antioxidant Activity

Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals. Cinnamon Zeylanicum has a very high concentration of powerful antioxidants. In a study that compared the antioxidant activity of 26 spices, cinnamon outranked “superfoods” like garlic. A Cinnamon water based extract taken twice daily for 12 weeks has been shown to benefit the antioxidant status in overweight individuals with impaired fasting glucose, a type of prediabetes in which a person's blood sugar levels during fasting are consistently above the normal range, but below the diagnostic cut-off for a formal diagnosis of diabetes mellitus.

 

Research has also found that cooking and long storage reduce the antioxidant capacity of cinnamon products.

Anti-Inflammatory Activities

A review of six other studies covering 285 participants found that Cinnamon Zeylanicum reduced indicators of Chronic inflammation (C-reactive protein-indicator of inflammation). Some studies inferred that it could be due to phytochemicals, such as Proanthocyanidins, present in Cinnamon Zeylanicum.  
 

Another University of Samford study found that cinnamon supplementation could significantly reduce post-exercise muscle soreness and improve performance of athletes.

 

Anti-Obesity Effects

Cinnamon Zeylanicum has been found to reduces obesity. A recent study covering 84 obese and diabetic men with 8g vs 4g doses per day confirmed the Cinnamon Zeylanicum’s ability to control cholesterol as well as blood sugar and to improve weight and body mass.

 

This study confirmed the findings of a paper showing similar results published in the journal of clinical nutrition that looked at 12 different human trials where the researchers specifically analyzed the body weight (BW), Body Mass Index (BMI), Waist Circumference (WC), and Fat Mass (FM) of the 786 people that had enrolled in these trials.

 

Cholesterol- and Lipid-Lowering Effects

Cinnamon Zeylanicum has shown excellent cholesterol and lipid lowering effects in a number of animal studies.

Numerous human studies further supported these findings. A study with 150 people with type 2 diabetes, when given 3g and 6g vs a placebo, showed significant declines in Triglyceride levels, LDL levels and improvements in HDL levels.

A large review study that assessed 13 randomized controlled trials with 750 participants also noted significant reductions in both triglycerides as well as total cholesterol.

Antidiabetic Activity

It has been shown that Cinnamon Zeylanicum helps reduce the amount of glucose entering one’s bloodstream by modifying certain digestive enzymes that breaks down carbohydrates into glucose.
 

This particular property is the most widely studied benefit known of Cinnamon Zeylanicum. Numerous lab, animal and human studies have confirmed a significant improvement in fasting blood glucose.

CEYLON CINNAMON HISTORY

“Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.”

(Book of Exodus)

 

“I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. 15Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.”

(Book of Proverbs 7:17)

“The entire coast of the country (Sri Lanka) is covered with cinnamon sticks washed down by torrents and deposited on the coast looking like hills. The inhabitants of Ma’bar  and Malabar take them away…”

The Travels of Ibn Battuta (1344 AD)

 

The historical references to cinnamon, especially that of Cinnamon Zeylanicum, grown in Sri Lanka, are many.

 

The Book of Exodus, the second book of the Torah and of the Old Testament, makes references to God instructing Moses to make an oil, that included cinnamon, to anoint the priests. The Egyptians may have used cinnamon from around 1300 BC for many purposes during King Rameses II dynasty, including to mummify corpses. The hieroglyphic record of Queen Hatshepsut (1507–1458 BC) mentions the spice. Genghis Khan (1158 – 1227 AD) and other Mongol dynasties have traded cinnamon through the Silk Route. “The Travels of Ibn Battuta” (1344 AD) refers to Sri Lankan coasts covered with cinnamon sticks washed by torrents looking like hills.

 

In more recent history it was the Arabs followed by the Europeans, namely Portuguese, Dutch, and Spanish, who were attracted to the irresistible and distinctive aroma and flavor of the Cinnamon Zeylanicum, or Ceylon Cinnamon, and established a network of international trade, which lasts to date.

 

Cinnamon Zeylanicum, known also as Ceylon Cinnamon or true cinnamon, is mainly grown in the southern parts of the country but recently the crop has been extended to central and inland of Sri Lanka.

Cinnamon Zeylanicum

  1. Aroma- The aroma of cinnamon is a fragrant and delightful exotic bouquet.

  2. Flavor- The flavor is warm, aromatic and sweet.

  3. Texture- The feel of the cinnamon bark is smooth and even.

  4. Color- The color of cinnamon is light brown to tan.

 

Cassia Varieties

  1. Aroma- The aroma is almost similar to cinnamon but stronger and more pungent.

  2. Flavor- The flavor is sweet yet peppery. Too much of cassia can spoil the taste of any dish.

  3. Texture- The surface of cassia is rough and uneven.

  4. Color- The color of cassia is reddish brown to dark brown.

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