Cassia

Cassia Benefits

Cassia Oil is a vital ingredient when making traditional Easter biscuits! It also offers a range of health benefits. 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.

What is Cassia

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 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 Cassia.

Cassia Essential Oil

Various methods are used to obtain 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.

Health Benefits

Traditional practitioners use cassia to treat a variety of maladies, including:

• blurred vision • bloodshot eyes • constipation • high blood pressure • diabetes • stomach and muscle spasms • diarrhea • erectile dysfunction • flatulence • kidney disorders • nausea and vomiting • cramps • bed wetting • menstrual problems • cancer • to incite abortion • depression

Antimicrobial Action

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.

Killing Bacteria

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 cinnemaldehyde 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.

Halting Fungal Infections

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. Cassia is a well known and highly regarded antifungal agent.

Killing Viral Infections

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 cassia oil. Cassia is widely accepted as being an effective antiviral.

References

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 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC522076/




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