From time in memorial people across the globe have been using cinnamon to fight excessive blood sugar levels in the human body. There are many types of cinnamon available in the market. This article deals with Cassia Cinnamon and its many health benefits.
What Is Cassia Cinnamon?
Cassia Cinnamon is scientifically known as Cinnamomum aromaticum or Cinnamomum cassia. It is also popularly referred to as Chinese Cinnamon or Bastard Cinnamon because of its less delicate flavor. Cassia Cinnamon and Normal Cinnamon are two different products but belong to the same family. Cassia Cinnamon and the normal cinnamon variety have different nutritional and health related benefits.
Cassia Cinnamon is cheaper than the pure cinnamon also known as Ceylon Cinnamon. True Cinnamon or Ceylon Cinnamon is actually more beneficial for treating blood sugar levels even though Cassia Cinnamon also helps in regulating it. Cassia Cinnamon has heavier flavor than the ordinary true cinnamon and is mostly used in cooking savory dishes. Ordinary cinnamon on the other hand, has less flavor compared to Cassia Cinnamon and is used in savory as well as sweet dishes.
Most commercially available ground cinnamon in the market actually contains cassia cinnamon or a combination of the two types of cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon plant is grown for its bark, leaves and yellow flowers. Dried Cassia cinnamon buds are used in pickles and spicy dishes. Cassia Cinnamon is grown extensively in China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Uganda.
How Does It Work?
Cinnamon has anti-oxidant properties, and is anti-microbial & anti-inflammatory in nature. Cassia Cinnamon has three chemical components – cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate and cinnamyl alcohol. According to some isolated studies these cinnamon components may help in fighting bacteria and fungi in the human body. All the varieties of cinnamon have a chemical called coumarin that acts as a blood thinning agent in humans. The coumarin content in Cassia Cinnamon is higher than Ceylon cinnamon. Most importantly like Ceylon cinnamon, Cassia Cinnamon has blood sugar regulating abilities too.
Benefits Of Cassia Cinnamon
Cassia Cinnamon is thought to have many health related benefits. Unfortunately, there is rarely any good and valid scientific study to back these health related claims of Cassia Cinnamon. However, according to the ancient form of Chinese medicine, cassia cinnamon is one among the top fifty fundamental herbs found and used in China.
For Diabetes Type 2
Just like the pure cinnamon, cassia cinnamon according to some studies help in regulating the blood sugar levels in humans. Some studies claim that it is possibly ineffective for treating diabetes Type 2 and some claim that it is more beneficial than Ceylon cinnamon. However, one thing is for sure that cinnamon (cassia or Ceylon) has been used since ages to treat blood sugar levels as it is thought to stimulate insulin receptors in the body.
Is A Powerful Anti-oxidant
Scientific studies have shown that the Oxygen Radical Absorbency Capacity of Cinnamon is the second highest among all the herbs. This in simpler words means that Cinnamon is a powerful anti-oxidant and effectively helps humans in fighting free radicals in the body.
Is Anti-Inflammatory In Nature
One of the active components in Cinnamon is called Cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamaldehyde has the ability to block the release of inflammatory agents in our body and has anti-rheumatic properties as well. Therefore, cassia cinnamon oil products can help those suffering from pain in the joints.
For Stimulating The Brain
In ancient times, the scent of cinnamon was used to stimulate the brain for increasing the memory retention capacity in humans. There is no scientific study to back this claim.
For Treating Infections
Cinnamon based oil products are popular in the market for their anti-microbial properties as they contain phenols and turpines. Some studies even suggest that Cinnamon oil fights candida yeast infection and fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.
According to some isolated studies (and myths), cassia cinnamon also helps in treating the following conditions – gas (flatulence), loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, erectile dysfunction, menopausal & menstrual problems, chest pain, cramps, diarrhea, common cold etc.
Dosage Level For Cassia Cinnamon
Since the health benefits of cassia cinnamon have not been validated by any scientific study, there is no recommended dosage level for this herb. However, in traditional medicinal treatments the dosage level of this herb depends upon a person’s age and other health related conditions.
Side Effects Of Cassia Cinnamon
Cassia cinnamon is safe when used in regulated amounts in food and as supplement. As mentioned earlier it contains the blood thinning agent coumarin. Long term intake of cassia cinnamon in high doses may lead to problems related to blood thinning and bleeding.
It should be avoided in patients who are waiting to undergo any type of surgery. This herb may cause miscarriage in pregnant women and may worsen existing liver related problems. For those with sensitive skin, cassia cinnamon oil may cause irritation and allergic skin reactions.
Reviews Of Cassia Cinnamon
Cassia Cinnamon may have the ability to reduce blood sugar levels but so do all the other varieties of cinnamon available in the market. Some studies claim that cassia cinnamon has more coumarin content than the other types of cinnamon. If this is true, then long term intake of cassia cinnamon must be avoided.
The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in Germany recommends that cassia cinnamon should not be taken in large dosage levels. If you are addicted to cinnamon in your food then it is better to take Ceylon cinnamon rather than cassia cinnamon. Also, always buy a cinnamon product based on the list of identified components it contains.
Cinnamon products must always be stored in a cool and dark area. It should be kept in a sealed container to avoid oxidation. Cinnamon sticks or cinnamon powder must always smell sweet as it is an indication of its freshness.
Cinnamon supplements may interact with the following classes of drugs– drugs for treating diabetes as it may lead to drastic fall in the blood sugar levels and hepatotoxic drugs (liver related). To be specific, cinnamon supplements should be avoided with the following drugs – glimepiride, glipizide, pioglitazone, glyburide, rosiglitazone, chlorpropamide, tolbutamide and, acetaminophen, methyldopa, simvastatin, Diflucan etc.