Ceylon Cinnamon v's Cassia Cinnamon
Author: Shelley Bennetts Date Posted:7 June 2021
True Cinnamon is Known to be One of the Healthiest Spices
Cinnamon is one of the healthiest spices and has been used for cooking and in traditional herbal medicine for centuries. Cinnamon is the bark stripped from the branches of a small tree, either rolled into quills, known as cinnamon sticks or processed into a powder and sold as ground cinnamon. There’s no shortage of cinnamon to be found on our supermarket shelves in Australia, and much of what is available has a strong cinnamon smell and flavour. But, when it comes to cinnamon, this can be misleading. There are two common types of cinnamon and for your health’s sake, you shouldn’t get them confused.
What’s the difference between Ceylon Cinnamon and Cassia Cinnamon?
‘Ceylon’ cinnamon is also known as ‘true’ cinnamon and it’s native to Sri Lanka. When ground, it is light brown in colour with a delicate sweet flavour… and numerous health benefits. Its modern botanical name is Cinnamonum verum, but it’s also known by its old name Cinnamomum zeylanicum. Whole Ceylon cinnamon sticks are made up of numerous fine sheets of bark curled together.
‘Cassia’ cinnamon originates in China and is also grown in Indonesia. It actually comes from a very different plant, Cinnamomom cassia or Cinnamomom aromaticaum. Whole Cassia cinnamon sticks are usually one chunky layer of curled bark. Cassia is considerably cheaper than the Ceylon variety and so is more commonly available. When ground, it’s reddish-brown in colour with a harsher, more overpowering flavour. For these reasons, cassia is often preferred by bakers who want a strong cinnamon flavour at a cheaper price. But, if you want to use the best cinnamon for your health, then make sure you use the Ceylon variety.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
At Pure Food Essentials, we believe in providing the healthiest spices for our customers. Our cinnamon is Ceylon Cinnamon (Cinnamonum verum) known for its valuable health benefits. It has antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties. It has also been shown to lower bad cholesterol. It also has antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties and it may reduce the symptoms of inflammation. This means it can help to treat certain types of pain and headaches, in addition to treating pain from arthritis.
A great way to introduce Ceylon or 'true' cinnamon into your diet is to make Cinnamon Tea.
High Coumarin in Cassia Cinnamon
A high amount of a naturally occurring chemical called coumarin appears in cassia. Coumarin is a natural blood thinner and is found to cause liver damage if consumed in excess. Ingesting a large amount of coumarin over a prolonged time can cause serious health issues including liver and kidney damage. Only trace amounts of coumarin is found in Ceylon cinnamon.
If you are cooking and eating for health, the Ceylon or Cinnamonum verum variety should be your preferred choice.
Here are a couple of recipes using our wonderful Ceylon cinnamon that have been developed to please.