Cinnamomum cassia (Cassia Oil) is a vital ingredient when making traditional Easter biscuits! It also offers a range of health benefits. Cinnamomum cassia is valued for its ability to kill bacteria, fungi and viruses. It is used to treat a wide range of conditions, especially by Chinese medical practitioners.
Cinnamomum cassia is a spice that is produced from the inner bark of the cinnamomum verum tree which is native to Sri Lanka. It is also known as true cinnamon, Chinese cinnamon, Chinese cassia or cinnamomum zeylanicum. It tends to be sold under the name Cinnamon when in the form of a spice, as powder or sticks of bark. However when it is sold as an essential oil it often has the name cinnamomum cassia.
Various methods are used to obtain cinnamomum cassia essential oil, such as drying and grinding the seeds and steaming the bark, leaves, twigs and flowers. Cassia produces a slightly sweet aroma, and it imparts a spicy taste that has a slight bite.
Traditional practitioners use cinnamomum cassia to treat a variety of maladies, including:
Positive reports about the essential oil from NIH confirm that the cinnamomum cassia tree contains cinnamaldehyde, a chemical that seems to counteract bacteria and fungi.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine cites the early use of spices for antimicrobial purposes, in fact it is mentioned in one of the oldest known medical books, and is mentioned several times in the Bible Much more recently, around the year 1676, Van Leeuwenhoek described some effects of using spices. Current interest in cinnamaldehyde is showing potential for development as an antimicrobial agent in food. Problems with adding a sufficient quantity of a flavorful spice such as cinnamon include the way that it alters the taste of food.
Cinnamomum Cassia oil is used for athlete’s foot, a condition that can occur from walking on communal shower floors and saunas as well as swimming pools. Cinnamomum cassia is a well known and highly regarded antifungal agent.
A virus is smaller than a single cell bacteria, so small that ordinary microscopes cannot detect it. More difficult to eradicate than bacteria, viruses are hampered by the cinnamaldehyde in cinnamomum cassia oil. Cinnamomum cassia is widely accepted as being an effective antiviral.
Antimicrobial Activities of Cinnamon Oil and Cinnamaldehyde from the Chinese Medicinal Herb Cinnamomum cassia Blume (Linda S. M. Ooi et al, Am. J. Chin. Med. 34, 511 (2006). DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X06004041).
The U.S. National Library of Medicine article https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC522076/
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