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Cassia

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  • Botanical: Cinnamomum aromaticum
  • Family: Lauraceae
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Cassia

Botanical

Cinnamomum aromaticum

Family

Lauraceae

Known as

Cassia, Chinese cinnamon, Zimtkassie,

Old Use

culinary; medicinal

Parts Used

bark

Aroma

oriental, spicy, sweet

Medicinal

abdominal pain, bleeding, cramps, cramps stomach, diarrhea, digestion, flatulence, gastrointestinal, laxative, menstrual cramps, menstrual problems, vomiting

Heart & Circulation

bleeding, hemostatic

Hormone & Sexual Organs

cramps, menstrual cramps, menstrual problems, uterine bleeding

Stomach & Intestinal

abdominal pain, bowel cleansing, diarrhea, flatulence, gastritis, gastrointestinal, glucose lowering, laxative, indigestion, nausea, vomiting

Properties

antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, emmenagogue, stimulant, stomachic

Note

top

Extraction

steam distillation

Description

The cultivated trees are kept as coppices, and numerous shoots, which are not allowed to rise higher than 10 feet, spring from the roots. Their appearance when the flame-coloured leaves and delicate blossoms first appear is very beautiful. The fruit is about the size of a small olive. The leaves are evergreen, ovaloblong blades from 5 to 9 inches long. The trees are at their greatest perfection at the age of ten to twelve years, but they continue to spread and send up new shoots. The bark may be easily distinguished from that of cinnamon, as it is thicker, coarser, darker, and duller, the flavour being more pungent, less sweet and delicate, and slightly bitter.

Properties & Uses

Stomachic, carminative, mildly astringent, said to be emmenagogue and capable of decreasing the secretion of milk. The tincture is useful in uterine haemorrhage and menorrhagia, the doses of 1 drachm being given every 5, 10 or 20 minutes as required. It is chiefly used to assist and flavour other drugs, being helpful in diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, and to relieve flatulence.

The oil is a powerful germicide, but being very irritant is rarely used in medicine for this purpose. It is a strong local stimulant, sometimes prescribed in gastro-dynia, flatulent colic, and gastric debility.

Cautions

Cassia cinnamon is LIKELY SAFE when used in amounts commonly found in foods and in medicinal doses.

It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken in large amounts, long-term. Taking large amounts of cassia cinnamon might cause side effects in some people. Cassia cinnamon can contain large amounts of a chemical called coumarin. In people who are sensitive, coumarin might cause or worsen liver disease.

When applied to the skin, cassia cinnamon can sometimes cause skin irritation and allergic skin reactions.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of cassia cinnamon during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Cassia cinnamon can affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully, if you have diabetes and use cassia cinnamon in amounts larger than the amounts normally found in food.

Liver disease: Cassia cinnamon contains some chemicals that might harm the liver. If you have liver disease, don’t take cassia cinnamon in amounts larger than the amounts normally found in food.

Surgery: Cassia cinnamon might affect blood sugar and might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking cassia cinnamon at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Distribution

Indigenous to China. Cochin-China and Annam. Also cultivated in Sumatra, Ceylon, Japan, Java, Mexico and South America.

Constituents

Cassia bark yields from 1 to 2 per cent of volatile oil, somewhat resembling that of cinnamon. It should be kept from the light in well-stoppered, ambercoloured bottles. It is cheaper and more abundant than the Ceylon variety, and is the only official oil of Cinnamon in the United States Pharmacopoeia and German Pharmacopoeia. It is imported from Canton and Singapore. Its value depends on the percentage of cinnamic aldehyde which it contains. It is heavier, less liquid, and congeals more quickly than the Ceylon oil.

There are also found in it cinnamyl acetate, cinnamic acid, phenylpropyl acetate and orthocumaric aldehyde, tannic acid and starch.

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.